Creative Sewing Workshops

Let's Get Creative with Classes for Anyone ! 

Examples above are from www.Nancy-Nix, Wardrobe Consultant for further information.

See how the different garments above can be combined?  Really "look" at the way the pieces are supposed to blend together!  It's  important to consider what the style of each garment should be so that it goes with each of the other garments.  For example, if you have a V-neck jacket, what neckline would look best for the top that will go under it.

The color wheel here is very basic, but can show you how to look at the combination of colors to make your choices for fabrics for each garment you're trying to plan.  If you venture off of your color group, even just a little, it can throw off your entire groupings for your wardrobe.  Then, you'll have a piece here or there that just won't combine with the others.  That's really frustrating.

The Core Wardrobe Plan

You have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear!  Right?

Have you ever tried to put together a wardrobe with a real plan?  It's not easy.  When you know how to sew, you go into the fabric store and buy whatever is on sale.  Right?  

That spoils everything.  Many years ago I was fortunate to have a color analysis done at the fabric store that I was working at.  But, I was around fabrics that were not only beautiful but also unique and expensive.  I really had to watch myself and restrict my buying habits.  I wanted them all.  I needed a plan!

So, let's organize our plan for a functional and color-coordinated wardrobe so you are able to mix and match the garments with each other.  This will be useful especially if you need a wardrobe that will work well for business.  For assistance in keeping track of your garment projects, I have created for you the "Core Wardrobe Garment" journal sheet that has room for fabric swatches and pattern ideas or sketches.  Consider starting a notebook or journal for the projects you are considering. 

There are many blogs available for this kind of information.  Check out one from Nancy Nix-Rice.  She shows us a 12-piece wardrobe that you can make 100 different outfits from.  See her sample chart at the top of this page.  She's a great wardrobe consultant and has a book covering everything from color analysis and garment designs:

Body proportions are key to getting the styles right as you put together your wardrobe.  Here's a blog that I found to have helpful information on that subject.   archive November 27, 2012.

The Wardrobe Architect is also another good one.  They have made a very comprehensive program of information to help you decide what kind of styles you should be wearing and how to make decisions to put together your wardrobe.  

When you complete the 20 classes in the Courses and 4 Bonus Classes, you will end up with these 18 garments.  Remember, each Level of classes builds on what you learn in the previous classes.  I have put the classes together in an order that will help you to learn the basics, then progress to other techniques and difficulty.  Level I classes are for the "BASE" garments you need:  a knit skirt, easy pull-over woven top, a pair of pull-on pants, and a knit top.  Level II are your "LAYERING" pieces to go with base pieces.  Level III are the "CREATIVE" pieces that add some fun elements using the patterns from the previous classes.  Then, the Master Classes are to teach you how to DESIGN your own garments using the the Bodice and Skirt Slopers. 

The garments we will end up with are:   

              4 Skirts-- a pull-on knit skirt (#101), the Bonus class of Level I:  a skirt "HACK" from #101, a 6-panel skirt (#302), and                                  a fitted, lined skirt from your Sloper (#404)

             5 Tops--a woven pull-over top (#102), a knit top (#104), a woven Linen top (#202), your designed Perfect Blouse (#301),                                 and your Classic White Shirt (#403) 


             1 Pant--a pair of pull-on knit pants (#103)

             2 Dresses-- your designed dress combining 2 patterns in the Level III Bonus class, your Little Black Dress (Master Class                                 Bonus class)

             4  Jackets-- a soft Kimono (#204),  a Jean Jacket with zipper details (#303), an easy, unlined Princess-seamed jacket                                         with special Hong Kong seam finishing (#203), and a lined version of the Princess-seamed jacket (#304)

              2 Vests-- Unlined Fitted Vest (#201), and a Reversible Sweater Vest from the Bonus class of Level II

Color Coordinating Techniques:  Find a color wheel to help facilitate these concepts.  There are many available on Pinterest, and I've included a simple one below for you to use.    

To build the base of your wardrobe, you will need to start with:

1 or 2 of your neutral colors in solids.  These should be base colors such as black, navy, brown, grey, white or cream, etc.   Our classes will be using a dark Teal.


* Make 3 to 5 base garments from your neutral.  We will be making a skirt, pants, a jacket, and vest as our base.

* Your hair color is usually a good choice since it will tend to take that color and lengthen your body with garments that are the same color.  I have a hard time doing this since my hair is white at this age, but the color "oatmeal" works well in my wardrobe. 


* Your eye color is another great choice for your neutrals since this will draw people's eyes to your face and your eyes.  This is where my choice of teal becomes important for my neutral.  My sample garments will be using deep teal, and I already have a lot of navy in my wardrobe which is my other base color.  Unlike a lot of people I know, I own very few black pieces since my coloring is very light.  Black is overpowering for me to wear, so consider this if your coloring is light like mine.  Just because everyone is wearing black doesn't mean you should also.  At least, not near your face.  Your head can end up looking like a ball on top of the black garments.  Really take some time to look at yourself in a full-length mirror before heading out the door.

* Then, pick 3-5 accent colors.  Mine are shades of blue, lighter teal, pink, rose, and shades of purple.  Try to find a mirror in the fabric store and hold the fabrics up to your face and see what the color or print is doing to you.  The wrong color can make your skin look sallow or possibly highlight unwanted dark circles under your eyes.  Larger prints that have the colors you are looking for, can also be overwhelming to your body size. You can work with these larger prints by using a pattern that has several pieces that will cut the print into smaller sections.  This effect can be really amazing.  You get the colors you want, but not the overall effect of looking larger.  An example of this is the blue and black vest on my Photo Gallery page.  It has many seams to break up the large print.  

Watch what your body proportions are, too.  It will really help to know how things will look when you put them all together.  I found a blog that had some useful information on proportions.  It's called Lost In A Spotless Mind (website above).  Let me know what you think.

This is a very complex subject that I have tried to simplify.  For more information, try these books I recommend or go online and search "color analysis".  You can also print the color wheel from Pinterest like the one below, or get one from an art supply store.  Find out how to use the color wheel to determine the colors that belong together.  Ones across the wheel or sit next to the color all behave differently when you are putting your core wardrobe together.  Understanding it is what makes this process really fun!

           The Fashion Handbook: A guide to Your Visual Image by Sharon Lee Tate and Mona  Shafer Edwards.  It has quite a bit                            of information regarding styling for different body shapes, and experimenting with color combinations.

           Color Me Beautiful:  Discover your natural beauty through the colors that make you look great and feel fabulous, by                                    Carole Jackson.  Since it was printed in 1980, it's fun to see the hair and clothing styles from that point in time.

           Looking Good Every Day by Nancy Nix-Rice.  See Nancy's examples above for the wardrobe pieces she suggests.