March Madness


Yes, I know it’s April now, not March. And I promise, this post is not about basketball!  March is a month when we all go a little mad after a winter indoors- though not necessarily mad for basketball. I personally tend to fall asleep when I try to watch basketball. Now, if those guys were doing sewing techniques, I could probably get into that. However, since they don’t teach sewing, and those games tend to put a complete halt to new episodes of my network shows, I have my own version of March Madness. It’s time to sew spring clothes! 

A little while back, Colette patterns did a series called Wardrobe Architect. Check it out here:

I love this planning process and I use it for each season. Also…I really like making lists of things I want to sew. It’s fun, relaxing, and helps be creative while I play with ideas. I’m nerdy like that.

I like using the organized approach to sewing wardrobe pieces because it gives me clear goals to create pieces that are designed to work in my existing wardrobe, instead of sewing whatever and realizing after all that work that my new whatever goes with nothing I own. That’s a huge letdown. I don’t know about you, but I really like to wear the new garment I’ve finished as soon as possible.

The idea was to take a hard look at your closet and find out what is going on in there by asking questions. What do I wear? What colors do I wear? What silhouettes do I wear? What don’t I wear? Why not? Is there anything missing that might enable me to wear the pieces that sit in the closet?

First, a list must be made of what colors you wear. Then the colors get sorted into categories of Neutral, Near Neutral, and Statement colors. For spring, my palette went like this:

Neutral: Grey, Ivory, Chocolate, Wheat, Black

Near Neutral: Navy, Sage, Cornflower, Blush

Statement Colors: Teal, Cobalt, Orchid, Rose, Plum

Afterwards, start examining the clothes you wear and the clothes you don’t wear. It quickly becomes apparent why you don’t wear some but do wear others. In my case, I have some items that just don’t work with anything else I own. Either the silhouette is wrong, the color doesn’t work with anything else, or maybe the items are for one season and the pieces they work with belong to another.

Then after you establish that, you have to determine where the holes are in your wardrobe, so you can make a list of what you need to make and in what colors, so the holes can be filled. Then all those pieces languishing in your closet can get worn with the new pieces you make, and thus solving your “I have nothing to wear” dilemma.

When I took a look at my own spring wardrobe, I found that I had a skirt I don’t wear because it doesn’t match anything, one slightly ratty hoodie, leggings that don’t go with anything, no neutral pants, and a lack of spring dresses. I also got rid of several items that are now too small, or weren’t a very flattering fit to start with.

From there I determined that I need:

a lightweight hooded jacket

a pair of twill pants

a kimono

a pair of capris

a lightweight sweater dress

a tunic for my leggings

a shirt dress

a couple of knit tops, long/short sleeves

a couple of woven tops, long/short sleeves

It’s a long list and I’m not sure I can make all that before spring is over. I definitely can’t do it before March is over, which is maybe where the “madness” part of March Madness comes in. So I’m going to inject a bit of sanity here and focus on just these: jacket, kimono, capris, twill pants, two woven shirts and a shirt dress. Anything else that I make is a bonus. Now that March is officially over, I can tell you that I managed two and a half garments during that month. For me, that’s pretty good, especially since the first one I did was a jacket with lots of pieces.

When I finish up all that sewing, I’ll have three new outfits, with several pieces that can cross seasons and mix and match with other pieces I already own. Our spring season tends toward chilly in this part of the country, so it’s important these new additions can be layered! We often have a sixty degree day followed by a 40 degree day, so we have to adapt.

The Patterns:

I’ve chosen the Fall 2016 pattern bundle from Indie Sew, which features Alina Design Co.’s Chi-town Chinos (plus the expansion pack for pants), The Bonn Shirt/Dress by Itch to Stitch, Allie Olson’s Lonetree Jacket, and Toaster Sweater #2 by Sew House Seven.

I fell in love with the Cheyenne tunic from Hey June and added that, plus I’ve got Colette Patterns’ Clover pants, and Simplicity #1318 for my kimono.


I have a ton of unused fabric in mystash, and my goal is to use some of that up. I’m sticking with that resolution I made back in January, see? Using up the stash a little at a time! My next few posts will be about the spring sewing I’m doing, so stay tuned to see how things turn out!








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