Enter the Albion contest by March 9th and win a Bernina!

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Just a quick note that you have until March 9th to finish making your Albion with us and enter to win a Bernina 380 sewing machine (US) or a basket of wonderful prizes (worldwide)!

Visit sewalongs.com for all the details.

Like what you read here? Subscribe to our blog via email so you don’t skip a stitch! And sign up for our weekly Snippets email for even more sewing tips and tricks.

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Swimsuit inspiration

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We’re back from our fantastic, sunny work-cation in Palm Springs!

I’ve got some photos of the swimsuit I made for the trip that need editing, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share some of the suits that inspired me.

In the end, I went for full support with underwire, a midrise bottom (love the high waist look, but an extreme high waist is not for me), and a really awesome photo print.

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I particularly love the Malia Mills suits. They are pricey, but I love that they are sized by cup, mix and match, and include slightly larger cup sizes.

If 2 pieces aren’t your thing, be sure to check out my swim pinterest board, because I rounded up some awesome one-pieces there as well.

[images: (1) striped suit from Bona Drag, (2) Dolce & Gabbana floral bodysuit, (3) DVF bikini, (4) Malia Mills Chrysan top in DD/E, (5) Minnow Bathers swimsuit, (6) Jason Wu printed bikini, (7) Malia Mills Gabi top in DD/E, (8) H&M swimsuit]

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Friday Chatter: Would you sew activewear?

swimsuit-sketches

I’ve been getting a lot of wear out of my new swimsuit this week here in Palm Springs. I’ll be sure to share the photos when we get home again. Kenn got some good ones of me in the pool, right before I got out and was bitten by crazy ants (!).

Sewing it was a lot of fun too. I got to experiment with interesting fabrics I’d normally never touch (high spandex polyester and nylon, anyone?).

This has got me thinking about sewing other forms of activewear. Kristen and I are planning to run a half marathon this summer, and the idea of sewing our own running outfits for the occasion is awfully intriguing.

And did you know that Spoonflower even prints on technical knit fabrics? So we can conceivably design our own fabric for it too. Perhaps something with a cat theme.

I feel like sewing your own workout clothes my be a divisive issue. Either it sounds fun and exciting to you, or like a total bore. Personally, I get a kick out of making things that seem really prosaic like that.

Is making workout clothing something you’d attempt to do?

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Weekend Reading: Inside a fashion studio, changing shapes, and doing more

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Just a few links for you this week while we’re out of town! Above is a photo I took on the plane over San Francisco on our way out to lovely PS. California has been treating us very well, but we’re headed home later today.

  • Go inside the studios of Nanette Lepore, a designer who is really committed to producing clothing in New York. Elizabeth Cline writes, “The theme of Lepore’s latest collection is ‘handcrafted,’ an appropriate homage to the ecosystem of highly skilled professionals responsible for engineering her designs.”
  • How our silhouettes have changed over time, and what that means. “Notably, the head – where our biggest asset, the brain, sits – has been the most overlooked part of the female form when it comes to the sexual male gaze.”
  • Keep your doing and your deciding away from each other. I keep thinking about this article this week. I actually feel like there are lessons in this for becoming a more productive sewist.

Have a great weekend, folks. I’ll see you next week when we’re back in the studio!

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The Wardrobe Architect Week 6: Organizing your palette

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Last week, we discussed the idea of creating a palette that represents your own unique tastes and preferences.

So the question now is, how do you go from a list of colors to a wearable palette? How do you decide which colors you need more of, and which you need fewer of?

To help us along, we’re going to organize our favorite colors this week.

I’ve divided my palette up into 3 parts: neutrals, near neutrals, and statement colors. I’ve also added one more category, metallics. I’ll go through each one in turn, showing you my own choices.

Once you have your palette categorized like this, it will be easier later to create smaller palettes for seasonal wardrobes. We’ll cover that process in the coming weeks.

Neutrals

Neutral colors are basics that go with just about anything. Think browns, grays, black, white, beige, etc.

Generally, neutrals convey an air of sophistication and elegance, though they can become boring if used exclusively or untempered by other kinds of visual interest, like texture, silhouette, or detail.

I find that the more neutrals you incorporate, the easier it is to build outfits from just a few pieces. If you’re not into neutrals, that’s absolutely fine, but I do think that without neutrals you may need to own more clothing to create the same variety of looks. It really depends on your personal preferences.

Just keep in mind that a healthy serving of neutrals (or nearly neutrals, our next category) helps to keep things simple. I pulled out the neutrals from my palette:

wardrobe-architect-neutrals

Nearly Neutrals

I call these colors “nearly neutrals” because they act like neutrals but have a little more visual impact.

Your own definition of nearly neutrals can vary. Think of colors that seem to go well with everything, like burgundy, navy, wine red, very pale blush pink, olive green, gold, etc.

Nearly neutrals are anything you personally wear like a neutral. You feel confident combining them easily with other colors.

wardrobe-architect-nearly-neutrals

Statement Colors

These are the colors that don’t necessarily go with everything, but have a lot of visual impact. For me, these colors elicit some of the strongest feelings. They have a lot more visual weight, and they tend to make clothing more recognizable.

Statement colors can be used in large or small doses. You can have many of them, or just a few.

statement

Metallics

Metallics will probably be most present in the jewelry you wear, but might show up in other places too (shoes, buttons, bag hardware, etc).

I love metallics because they act like neutrals but have a bit more spark to them.

I find that people are usually drawn to either cool metallics (silver, white gold, pewter, platinum) or warm metallics (gold, bronze, copper, rose gold). I am definitely of the warm persuasion.

wardrobe-architect-metallics

Exercise

Organize your palette. Take your collection of colors from last week and try dividing it into the categories above: neutrals, nearly neutrals, statement colors, and metallics. If you feel like adding more colors to your palette at this point, go ahead! I added metallics to mine.

Discussion

Do you feel like your color choices are balanced, or do you lean more toward neutrals or statement colors?

PS: Guess what, you guys? This is the 1,000th post on this blog! Thank you guys for being with me through the years, I’m so thrilled to have made it this far. I’d like to be more reflective, but I’m still on work-cation right now (writing this poolside with a G&T, in fact), so for now I’ll just say a sincere thanks.

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