To entice myself to sew dull work clothes, I started with my fabulous-almost-a-disaster winter coat. I told myself in October last year, when I finished it just in time for warm weather,(as one does when the sewing ambition outstrips the available sewing opportunities), that I would definitely wear-it-all-the-time in order to distribute the cost of the fabric over many occasions of use. This is how I manage to convince myself that pricey designer Winter fabric fits into my
Unusual virtue 1.
Completing the entire project
I report success. Not only have I actually (although belatedly) completed a dull work 6 pac mostly according to my plan, I wore the coat nearly every work day for 2 months (assisted by a particularly cold Winter), on my pleasant, short but sometimes frosty walk there, because these 3!! pairs of trousers all co-ordinate quite nicely with it. (Sewing trousers is the second unusual virtue - I can't bear to write a post solely about the trousers so they are previously unblogged -2 Burda Style 04-2009-118 variations, one self drafted and all tropical or lightweight wool, all lined with cotton batiste).
technical drawing from burdastyle.com.frYou can probably see that my personalised versions are rather different, I don't do cuffs, and the zip is on the side (blue pair) or at the back (grey pair).
I do admit that the third pair, grey, has been languishing in a partially sewn manner on my sewing table for at least 2 months and has not actually been worn with the winter coat- yet. I wore them today though.
Fortunately, you can't see any of the blouses when I wear the coat, so I didn't have to think hard about that element of co-ordination. Blouse 1 here, Blouse 2 here and 3 here, Burda Style (when it was BWOF) 01-2008-106/7
(I have also worn the coat quite often over my lone pair of denim trousers in my soccer mum role). I am loving having a knit coat that bears no relation to polar fleece other than its flexibility.
Unusual virtue 2.
Stash and scrapbusting
The blue and grey trousers are not my usual colours, but I am quite happy with them for work clothes with some warmer shades in the blouses to prevent a terrible sallow appearance from scaring off all my clients. As I have purchased a few fabric bundles (see fiscally responsible self reporting above - it takes creative self accounting to convince oneself that purchasing a fabric bundle is really saving money, but I am quite accomplished at this aspect of fiscal
Unusual virtue 3.
I actually threw out one dismally faded pair of trousers and one pair with unfortunate signs of insect affection. I don't think I've ever thrown out a pair of trousers that fit me and had mostly intact fabric/hardware before. This unfortunate tendency to retain clothing has led to occasions of unsuitable scruffiness in the past. I now only have respectable and presentable work trousers in my wardrobe - not even an laundry emergency pair lurking in the top of the cupboard.( I may regret this)
Unusual virtue 4.
Thinking about the accessories. As my (inside whilst at work) work wardrobe is invariably a pair of trousers and a blouse, my opportunities to accessorise are limited.
I made an accessory. This is a leather version of the Hot Patterns Nombad Hobo Bag. My accessory mostly co-ordinates with my new work wardrobe. This is much smarter looking than taking one's lunch to work in a supermarket bag. I also already have work shoes to co-ordinate with the trousers (one pair black, one pair dark brown). There will be no new trousers languishing in the wardrobe because I don't have the right shoes.I may be learning something from all these wardrobe planning threads after all.
Unusual virtue 5.
Cutting my losses when the inner layer cardigan did not look good with a collared shirt and trousers. - Formerly, I would have made a different cardigan, or different tops, or gone off on a tangent to force the cardigan into the 6pac. Instead, I worked out that I did not really need it to complete the wardrobe for my needs, and kept to the core plan of trousers and shirts for work with something to wear as an outer layer for commuting. I virtuously made a third pair of trousers to make sure it really was a 6 pack. See my halo?. I have left the inner cardigan in the "wardrobe" shot because it will remind me not to make it again in a work colour.
Unusual virtue 6
Not starting a new project in the middle of the schedule. Unfortunately this is a very unusual virtue for me, I failed to display this virtue.
I was very distracted by the Vivienne Files posts about a starting from scratch wardrobe, and the discussion concerning this that started in July. I feel it is an unusual virtue to have restrained myself from instantly starting a 4 piece collection in the same colours that I would never wear for work anyway. However, I did make the blue trousers without any pockets, belt loops or details, to make them unnoticeable, as the Vivienne Files suggest, and unfortunately, I find them not only boring, but impractical.
The other pairs of trousers have at least one pocket for my phone, which sometimes needs to be on my person whilst both hands (and shoulders) are free. This is how I did it. I think my pleasure in wearing hand made clothing is more "non boring basics" as described in Imogen Lamport's post here.