Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Introducing Project: Professional

The other day we (DH and I) started to analyze our closet contents. I should have done this awhile ago, it could have dictated my sewing/purchasing priorities a bit more. Maybe my sewing more than purchasing (see: Olive joins BUGWB) but still useful. And this got me thinking more about what I need to consider when planning my wardrobe for my early professional years, especially tops.
  • There's a bit of a dichotomy in my preferred position - we need to go from rooting (carefully) around storage areas, that range in condition from immaculate to grubby, back to the office setting for committee meetings and sometimes speaking with the public.
  • I need a balance between a suit (too much) and jeans and a tee (makes me look like I belong in a freshman seminar class).
  • I really need to consider the cleavage-y factor, especially since not only am I short but my shoulder to full bust measurement is shorter than most RTW tops and most patterns account for. As easy as it is to ask DH to check in the morning, I'm getting up at 5-6 in the mornings for my next internship and he is not a morning person. So, I need to think about this ahead of time.
  • I own way too many cardigans (lazy way out) and college tee shirts (unprofessional), and too few go-between tops that I can dress up or down.
  • I have very few professional prints and that's a nice place to add interest (the lack of "interest" is DH's pet peeve with my outfits). I'm not a big floral or animal print person so it's a matter of finding non-kitschy, more geometric patterns.
  • I really don't care for "trendy" or "in" styles so much as flattering, comfortable, and professional. If it's seen as fashionable, yay, but not necessary.
  • As much as I like the idea of sewing more of my own things, I need to be cognizant of the actual  costs. So I should probably go RTW if a decent quality version* can be bought for significantly less than it would cost me in time, fabric, and extra materials (different interfacing, presser feet, etc).
I've found a couple of options for patterns for the next few months**

Sewaholic's Renfrew. People seem to have great results with the pattern and it allows for some go-between knit tops. Already have the walking foot and biased interfacing tape. Good place to use professional prints. 

Burda's Flared Godet Skirt. I don't really need many skirts but I need something between my suit skirt and the fun prints that DH hates that are good for dancing. I'm thinking a blue twill or grey tweed. I already have a couple yards of grey bottom weight suiting I could piece together for it.

Colette's Ceylon. I have some major fit issues with it when I made a muslin last year and shelved it for awhile. Has potential as a top but it might be too unique to be a TNT pattern. I do want one in Baylor green.

Sewaholic's Alma. There are enough neckline and sleeve variations that it could become a TNT. I really like the neckline from view A. Another place to use prints

Salme's Peplum Top. Actually working on a summer version in a geometric print. The measurements (except for the distance from shoulder to full bust) were spot on. Like the Ceylon may be too distinctive, and maybe too trendy. Are peplums even "in" anymore?

Not Pictured:
Colette's Taffy Blouse from The Colette Sewing Handbook. Not in a sheer fabric like they suggest but I like the idea of the sleeves. I want the book anyway. The Licorice Dress is a possibility too, but the lack of a waist scares me a bit.

Vera Venus' 30's PJ Top. She drafted it into a dress as well so it's not distinctively PJ-like, and I had a top similar that we got rid of when I decided I was not going to settle for subpar fit. Will probably need a FBA to fit perfectly but the starting measurements aren't too far off.

Folkwear's Armistace Blouse. Blousey but I think could be nice for muggy summers- I'm thinking a pretty swiss dot with some of the lace we picked off my mom's wedding dress the other summer.

* I don't mean thin knits that tear and pill quickly, I mean quality fabrics, good construction, etc.
**Or the roughly 436 days until I get my hood, provided I pass my comps. Not that I'm counting or anything.

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