Friday, July 9, 2010

Function and Style

Today I'm going to talk about the last two elements in wardrobe planning: function and style.

Function = What does she need? What will she be doing in her clothes? Does she need something for church? Will she be running around in gym class in these clothes? Does she need something for a special occasion? What will the weather be like when she's wearing these clothes? How long do I need this outfit to last / fit?

For now I'm focusing on cool weather school clothes. We've scored some great deals on gently worn second-hand dresses that are more appropriate for church than everyday, so that is one wardrobe category where Alice is set, at least until it gets really cold.

Once I figure out function I start hunting through my patterns to figure out the specific styles I want to sew. When I see something I like, I sketch it in my idea book along with pattern details. I'll also mark which fabrics I might like to use. Here are my design pages:

As you can see, it's nearly all dresses and tunics. This is the first year I'm planning to make tops with sleeves. I've stuck with jumpers or tunic length jumpers in the past because that way Alice is able to get optimal wear out of her clothes. She wears them sleeveless in the summer, with short sleeves in the early fall and spring, and with long sleeves in the winter. She has one jumper she's worn regularly for three years. I'm changing things up this year because I'm afraid she will decide that that type of outfit is babyish. I'm trying to keep a step in front of her to keep her happy in her hand made clothes.

When I make clothes in mass quantity I like to stick with a few basic patterns. If you think about it, this is probably how you'd shop if you were buying clothes anyway. Or, at least, you probably wouldn't automatically reject something because you already have a similar cut in a different fabric. Sticking with a few basic styles keeps the process manageable. Details and trim can always be changed.

Don't feel like you have follow your plan to the letter. You can see that I had decided to make a bunch of long sleeved knit dresses. Then I got together with a friend who was in the planning process of her little girl's fall wardrobe. Over the course of a long weekend we made our girls matching long sleeved knit tunic tops that are so incredibly cute that I'm re-thinking the dresses.

Next time we start sewing!!!!

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