Thursday, October 22, 2015

Working out new ideas

The realization that I've come to in the last few weeks ~ something you all tried to tell me at the beginning of this new journey ~ was that I can wear whatever I feel like wearing that day.  This is new and liberating for me.  It's been a decade of having to adher to a strict dress code and like any prisoner walking out of jail, it's taken me a minute to lose the shackles.

However, once free, what do you do? Who do you become? How do you show yourself to the world? I think my recent makes are me finally finding my way to that new person. Notice that there isn't a skirt or a dress amongst them!



I have to tell you though that when I started this journey ~ making Butterick 5678 my own ~ I was influenced by ThatBlackChic and the amazing Dashiki Shirtdress she made.  It made me realize that I needed to think outside of the box using even casual patterns.  The pattern didn't need to be perceived as a "typical" shirt dress but somewhere I could let my flights of fancy take me.



So Butterick 5678 is one of the patterns I'm using to make this journey. As with any pattern, my first version is made simply to get my fitting issues worked out, cause as we all know, no pattern fits you right out of the envelope! Now that they are worked out, I'm getting a little creative with the pattern and honestly I'm in sewing heaven!

I know that there are a lot of technique driven blog posts being written lately for both the beginner and intermediate/advanced sewist. Also there's quite a few sewalongs going on in the sewing blogosphere, but what really thrills me and gets my creative juices going into overdrive are the blog posts and Instagram pics that feature an inventive take on a pattern.  Where the sewist uses embellishment, fabric or puts a spin on a pattern that I just didn't think of...that's what stimulates me right now!

Now that I realize that separates work best for this new lifestyle I also need to tame the creative beast that roars inside me.  Separates and basics are the building blocks in a wardrobe but they aren't what causes me to run to my sewing machine. Honestly I'm not a jeans and t-shirt type of woman and I've finally worked out how to "style" myself for my job that doesn't involve me trying to look like a 20 or 30 year old.

That styling began with Butterick 5678 and the variations I've thought up for it. Of course the original (made), then the dress/topper (made), after that the Yazz shirt (to be made) and finally a bow-tie version (to be made)...all to be worn with tights, leggings or ponte pants (also working on).



I've moved onto McCalls 7095 making two versions of this loose-fitting yoked top that are easy & comfortable to wear. I've even made another Lisette B6183 because right now tops over leggings or straight leg pants is a look that's working for me. I've even separated the top from the pants, from this look made last May, to wear so I'm finding my way.



Let me tell you though, it was a challenge and I felt very lost most of the time. However, now that I'm on a path and have a destination in mind, this life change has been great for me creatively.  I spent a lot of time looking at websites, catalogs and some in-store research to figure out what look I wanted. I've walked away from quite a few things that I loved, not so many dresses, more separates, and more RTW looks less fashion forward styling.

I'm learning to incorporate "me" into the looks that work for this stage of my life. I've also looked around and realized that there are more people living life in casual clothing than the professional gear I use to wear.



The most significant challenge has been to work primarily from the goods in my Sewing Cave.  I'm having a lot of fun fabric diving in the shelves and pulling out pieces that I've owned for years to sew a garment...using buttons and notions that have also been collected over the years. It's wonderful because this is the time and place that those items have been collected for!

Now that I know where I'm going and what I want to make, I will be using and reviewing a lot more new patterns on the blog. Hey there are very few TNTs yet for this journey...I'm thinking that's years away!  Also, and I'm apologizing up front since I'm fabric diving, there's going to be a lot of fabric that I use that you won't be able to purchase. If I happen to see something on one of the online sites similar, I will point you there because yes, I'm still cruising the fabric sites!

Finally, my daughter needed a few new dresses for work so we fabric dived together and I've sewn a couple of McCalls 6886 for her. Well actually I've gone down the rabbit hole and made quite a few variations for her.  This one is up on Instagram and a follow up post will show up here soon.

...as always more later!


36 comments:

  1. You are having fun on your journey...that's most important. I'm totally blown away by the staggering amount of fabric you have. Wow...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have been reading your blog for several years, and watching your transformation. I was in banking for 30 yrs and sewed a great deal of my work wardrobe. Now I am retired from banking, running a home business and helping out with grandkids. I am still trying to find my new style. It needs to be casual, but not sloppy. I have also lost almost 30 lbs since January. Less stress eating and more exercise. It certainly is a journey to find out what works and what doesn't. Best of luck!
    Barb

    ReplyDelete
  3. How wonderful it is to be able to find a style that expresses your personality and just feels like YOU without the constraints you used to have to deal with! It sounds like a really interesting and exciting journey and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love watching you find your style. Happy to be on this journey with you and looking forward to seeing how you interpret designer looks. Enjoy the journey. g

    ReplyDelete
  5. It is so helpful to read about your new journey finding out what works for you now. You inspire all of us to look at clothing around us and decide how it could fit our lifestyle. It opens all of us up to new ideas! I have seen two particular items this week that made me think of you... one was a short jacket with pleather insert (like ribbons horizontally
    down the front) and the other was a turtleneck that had a pleather line down each sleeve.
    Before I started reading your blog, these details would have escaped my attention!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. As I journey through my 'fabulous fifties', my wardrobe needs have also changed. I'm semi-retired and like you, the dress code is more relaxed. I like tunics, pants with a little stretch, longer tanks and blouses, comfort driven (but stylish) footwear. You are adjusting to your new wardrobe well. Looking forward to see more interesting separates.

    ReplyDelete
  7. All the new makes are fun and functional. And - as you said, this type of wardrobe is so much more common than your former one - so not only are you continuing to be inspirational, a lot of us can see ourselves in these same outfits! Keep it up. I love your stash but would be overwhelmed by approaching it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love your new found look Carolyn. It is fresh and great to see you expressing who you are through your sewing creations. When I worked in the corporate world, the structured wardrobe look carried over into my weekend wear too. So boring! Now that I am a sole proprietor, my wardrobe includes more color, and trends. It is fun!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm so enjoying your journey to find your new style. Since I've been doing the same your blog is especially fun and informative. Now that you're into separates have you thought about adding vests since they are so on trend right now and perfect for cooler weather? Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen I do want to make a vest or two hopefully I will get them made!

      Delete
  10. I love your casual style...way more interesting and fun. Seems like several of us are sewing from our stash right now. Nice!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I always love looking at your fabric stash. It's so heavenly. <3 It's also enjoyable seeing the different patterns you're making on your journey!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm loving your new style, too, Carolyn. It's casual, chic and you're rocking it! I love those pictures of your stash. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tia thanks! I'm really loving the fabric collection these days!

      Delete
  13. Carolyn- I can so relate having just retired. Finding a new "grown up" casual style has been a fun journey. I too have settled on the same "uniform" of slim pants with a tunic type top or a tee with a longer cardigan. However, my style is more casual than yours. I will look forward to seeing how your sewing evolves.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You certainly look younger and happier.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I can't wait to see more! Yes yes yes! More patterns and ideas, less techniques! I'm in the same place, wardrobe-wise, as you and other responders. Although I'm retired, I'm not about to go sloppy into my later years. I call it casual chic. So glad you've found your NEW sew-jo!

    ReplyDelete
  16. You certainly do look happier! You work in NYC so even your casual wardrobe can be fun and fashion forward if you want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy - I haven't decided if I want to stand out that much! I'm still working things out! Baby steps...

      Delete
  17. Great post! I'm really enjoying watching your recent and ongoing journey!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Its interesting to fabric dive and to see a whole new idea for that fabric. Originally it may have been purchased for a corporate outfit in mind and now you are looking at it in a new way?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am loving the new direction that your style is going these days!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. You can reinvent yourself as many times as you want. That is part of the fun.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The Monday after I stopped working in the "corporate world" I went through my closet and bagged up all the dresses, suits, fancy blouses, twin sets, dress slacks - all that business attire and donated it to Goodwill. It was a huge weight off my shoulders and cleared over 75% of the closet. From that day on, I've only worn clothes that I love and it has been the best thing ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't dislike my wardrobe because I made 90% of it and pushed it as close to the edge of that dress code as possible...I just no longer have days and days of meetings where suited looks are required...or anyone getting upset that I'm in jeans. I can wear jeans every day and no one would care. I haven't been this free in years so it's taken some getting used to!

      Delete
  22. Love seeing your journey and they style you are coming up with. This is my favorite part of sewing blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I totally agree with you Ms. Carolyn and what a great post! The times have changed...more and more folks are casual at work than ever before! It truly is EXTREMELY hard to move away from something that's been instilled in you over many years! When I first moved to Florida, no one was wearing nylons (pantyhose) to work. I thought this UNBELIEVABLE!! You would get sent home from work back where I came from...that was against dress code! It took me at least 6 yrs and 90 degree + temperatures to change my thought process! I love your new look and think it suits you as perfect as your professional wardrobe did! You definitely have a great flair for what looks good on you both professional and casual. Continue to follow your heart and you'll never, ever go wrong! I'm right there with you now...being retired, my wardrobe is moving from office profesional to casual too. I'll be checking back for ideas! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Don't you just love an ensemble that is comfortable and fun. Looking forward to more of your new pattern creations.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am enjoying your new journey. Always interesting to see what you have created.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow, what a difference a life change make. I have been following your blog for years now and really enjoy it. I really liked the things you have made over the years, but I love the new stuff that you are making. I think we are getting to see your style personality.

    ReplyDelete
  27. HIya! Let me say I was looking at my blog and saw that traffic was coming from your blog but I could not find the post, sooooo as I was trying to find the post where you mentioned me I have now read almost all of 2015. I am happy to have inspired you to try a new take on a your make! I'm gonna follow you on this journey! Thanks for the shout out.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails