Wrap Up: Spring Wardrobe Challenge 2012

It’s the last day of April which means my Spring Wardrobe Challenge is over! I can hardly believe it. You can click on any of the above pictures to be taken to the original post for the garments.

I ended up completing six garments – two shy of the ultimate goal. March and April were crazy months for me so I pretty happy with what I accomplished. So how closely did I follow my plan?

  • Four Blouses – Success! - Although the concepts changed a little from the original sketches I completed four blouses, three of which are in full rotation!
  • One Skirt - Success! – I love my teal skirt!
  • One Pair of Pants – Success! – Alright, I bagged the plan to make Colette Pattern’s Clover when I couldn’t find a fabric that I liked. Instead, I made a pair of shorts from Colette and love them!
  • One Dress – Fail! - In the end, I just couldn’t focus my energy on one design.
  • Wild Card – Fail! - I set myself up by not having a concept to begin with. I kept waffling between another dress and a jacket and in the end didn’t get the work done.

One thing that I’m really happy with is my color palette. After I didn’t have much success finding yellows to mix in, I changed gears and added a lighter teal/mint color. All the clothes I made have mixed in really well with my existing closet and I don’t think you’ve seen the end of these colors – especially the red!

I’m finding that one of my greatest challenges is finding fabric. Once again, I take the easy way out and order online only to have the fabric not live up to expectations. I really, really need to stop ordering online when I have a specific project in mind. The drape and weight of a fabric are too important in the success of a garment and you can’t get a good idea of these qualities by reading a short description. Ordering swatches is a way around this but I have great fabric stores reasonably close that I should support if possible. I need to remember what good luck I had when I went fabric shopping this last time compared to the three online orders I placed.

So what’s next? My top priority is to focus on my school projects. Right now, I’m working on two dress designs. Having kind of neglected them during these past two months, I’m excited to get back to work and knock them out. Second, I want to do some fun projects that focus on techniques. You all know that I bought a new serger and I’m really wanting to master it. Despite this being my second serger, I’m amazed at how complex these machines are and how much of a learning curve there is with a new one! Thankfully, I bought it through a dealer and get free classes, otherwise I would be pretty frustrated. Strangely enough, an expensive machine won’t sew the garment for you!

I know I promised a maxi dress last Friday but I hit some design snags and didn’t complete it in time. You can expect a post tomorrow though! Happy Monday, everyone!

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16 Comments to “Wrap Up: Spring Wardrobe Challenge 2012”

  1. Bravo on a beautiful spring wardrobe!

  2. Fantastic! Congratulations! Good luck on the dresses and mastering that new serger! :)

  3. You managed to get quite a bit done – my problem was getting distracted with new fabric and patterns. Instead of stash busting like I had planned I’ve started 4 new projects not part of my original goals. Magpie eyes, they are troublesome. Especially love the teal skirt and shorts. I’ve just been making dresses which is not totally practical when it startes getting crazy hot here.

  4. I really love your palatte – What a great spring wardrobe!

  5. I’ve really enjoyed following your spring wardrobe journey, you’ve created such lovely pieces! I have been taking a break from sewing due to having a baby, but I’m itching to jump back in. Reading your blog has been very inspirational.

    Will you be discussing your serger choice at some point? After years of deliberating I am ready to take the plunge, but have been finding it difficult to locate dealers in and around SF that have a wide selection and don’t immediately steer me to one of the more expensive models – which incidentally are the only ones set up with good and matching thread, whereas the cheaper models have a smorgasboard of spools on them. Not a great way to compare stitch quality.

    • Thank you, Steph! I plan on doing a full review on the serger I chose once I’ve gone through the major features. I feel your pain – I also had a terrible time finding a dealer that stocked the models I was interested in. I thought that The Sewing Machine Shop in Walnut Creek would be my best bet because they are dealers for many brands and all of their reviews mention what a wonderful showroom they have. I called to see if they had my top three sergers and it turns out that the only ones of the floor for test drive were BabyLocks which I wasn’t even slightly interested in. I gave up on trying to find a Juki 735 because I couldn’t test drive it – I was disappointed at that. I ended up with a Bernina because of the dealer. I purchased from California Sew and Vac at the San Rafael store and the staff there are incredible. It’s close to my house and I had been in several times before asking questions and I never felt pressured or ignored. It was over my budget but in the end I think it will be worth it. I’m certainly taking advantage of the private lessons though!

  6. I love your little collection– so sweet! Your color palette is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see your maxi dress!

  7. I think I’ve been doing the spring challenge without really knowing it?! I love the red top with teal skirt combination. It’s very fresh.

  8. Loved your wardrobe and color palette. Gorgeous.

  9. Can you do a post about ordering fabric online? I’ve been reluctant to do it, not only because I want to support bricks and mortar, but also because you don’t really see and feel the fabric, so what’s the point? When do you order? Where do you go? What’s your success rate? Thanks!

  10. Congratulations! I think you did a fabulous job. I totally feel your frustration with ordering things online. It ends up leaving a lot of things to chance, which isn’t always ideal when you’re following a plan.

  11. Great pieces, Lizz! I love your palette and the patterns you chose. Red is such a great color on you, so you should use it more!

    I’ve been looking forward to your maxi dress. :)

  12. All these pieces work so well together :) Congratulations! I love the idea of planning things that work together :)

  13. These are such beautiful garments, and the colors really sing to me. I know you didn’t like sewing that teal fabric but it’s so gorgeous–at least in the photos! I understand the fabric frustrations–I *have* to order fabric online. There is now only one independent store here, and it’s quite far from me, and stocks mostly print cottons. Sigh… but I think I have my favorite online shops now and know mostly what I’m getting from them. Congrats on finishing!

  14. “Strangely enough, an expensive machine won’t sew the garment for you!” Not yet :)
    I am looking forward to reading more about using the serger.
    All in all I think your spring wardrobe was a big success :> Beautiful garments and such an inspiration :)

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