Closet Woes


I am blessed to have as much as I have and can’t help but feel a little bit bad to complain that I have too much – but after I put everything (non-P333) back into my closet, I feel a little overwhelmed.  I definitely have too many clothes!  I have been culling a lot again and have one full trash bag to donate.  Right to Left: the shoes are stacked, with the boots on the bottom (if you can’t tell, the collection has grown a little).  The white organizer has cami’s, t’s, sweaters, and accessories (belts, sunglasses, hats, etc). Pants are to the right. Then, the top rails are all my tops and dresses, each in their own little slot (I hope this will keep me from expanding).  The bottom rail is gear (hiking, painting/yard work, pajamas, gym, and cold weather gear). (Seasonal stuff, like shorts and skirts are in one drawer in another room.)

I have a concrete color scheme and finally have a concrete style descriptor thanks to my pinterest board and some helpful ladies on an online forum.  Based one what I wear and like, combined with my true life needs (i.e. super casual), I am aiming to not bring in or sew anything that doesn’t match “casual country classic with a hint a glam”.  (Basically an Eddie Bauer catalog with some personalized sparkle and/or leopard)

I hope to keep culling, as I have noticed that I have a lot of things that can serve the same purpose (like two coral/orangish 3/4 sleeve tops – one cotton, one jersey but very similar cuts and colors), but dang – it is really hard to get rid of stuff that isn’t even a year old and when you can’t pick a favorite!

I will own up to a shopping mistake and it is something that I am trying really hard to break – buying duplicates!  That aqua striped breton top that I picked up over a year ago following the purchase and love of the ivory/navy breton top that I LOVE – gets no wear.  I thought it would be a great idea, but in fact, I am just always reaching for the one I like better and I don’t even split the wears, because I never wear the aqua one!

The learning never ends…

Its has been a while, but I am ready to get back into sewing!

I keep working on projects that appeal to me, but exceed my skill level.  I have a half finished Colette Laurel hanging up in my dining room because I am terrified to put sleeves in on my fashion fabric.

Also, after a purchased an entry level serger and set it up in the dining room beside my sewing machine, my husband realized it was time to move me out before I move in for good!  We picked up a cheap desk which is the perfect size for a sewing table (still need a good chair) and moved me into some unused space in the bonus room.

I still haven’t figured out how to even turn my serger on – its really scary!

The whole reason I bought it was to make Colette’s Mabel and Moneta, and to dupe same expensive stretch lace boy shorts.  I do hope it will make everything else easier in my life, as well.

I decide to scale back the size of my projects as I get back into the swing of things.  My mother-in-law sent me One Yard Wonders

I plan to make the bedside organizer – keeping the prototype for myself.  If it turns out successful, I think I will turn it into Christmas gifts.

I am also going to make a dog bed, for the little fat one.

Then, I really want to finish my Laurel and then make a Colette Dahlia.  I am in love with it and really envision an eyelet one for summer.  I would like to dye it too, and was thinking peach!

So, those are my current sewing plans!

I finally get to focus on sewing!

I turn in my final draft for my thesis this weekend.  After that, I just sit back and wait for a grade…and my diploma!  Whoot Whoot!  I am pretty stoked, but I am more stoked since I GOT TO BUST OUT THE MACHINE AGAIN!

Then I ruined a muslin for a relatively simple See and Sew pattern (of which I cannot locate at this moment) for a dress with a gathered waist, contrast band on waist and bottom, and cross over bodice.  After that, I decided to cut into my fashion fabric and tackle McCalls 6699, as I had already made a half a muslin.  But I think I ruined that, since I graded out the waist on the skirt, but forgot to grade the waist on the bodice.  Whoops.

My fashion fabric was so pretty, it was an aqua Moroccan-esque pattern.  Hopefully the store still has some.  I really want a “made by me” dress to wear to my Graduation/Birthday Party which is next month.

This is got my rethinking my approach and I think I need to scale back my ambition for the moment.  I just purchased Colette’s Laurel, and although shift dresses have never really appealed to me, it seems easy enough.  I would really like to make it in the same fashion fabric that I ruined – I think it would be super cute!

I am also rereading my Colette Sewing Handbook and have been doing some self-discovering so I can sew with a plan.🙂

I pulled out five (ok, six – but my wedding set doesn’t really count) of my favorite pieces to see what I can discover about my style.  I pulled out an olive green jersey sleeveless dress, my purple and teal flannel shirt, a brown leather scuba style jacket, my brown Gasolina Moto Boots, and my Ray-Ban Aviators.  

I can see neutrals, leather, organic, casual, solids, animal prints, geometric prints (plaid), simple (my wedding set), and maybe a little bit (just a smidgen) edgy – with the aviators and leather…maybe “rough” is a better word?


I discovered the Cobbler!

My precious Gasolina boots have been worn into the ground.  One section on both heels (I must drag my feet) has been worn all of the way to the stacked heel.  I found a local cobbler (who knew? and every time I say “cobbler”, someone laughs) and dropped my boots off.  They look awesome!  I am so excited that rather than having to buy a new pair, I can get mine fixed time and again!

Also, while I was there, some light metallic gold shoe cream caught my eye.  I have some gold ballet flats that have starting getting scuffed up, and it makes me not want to wear them as much because I am afraid I will keep scuffing them and then have to trash them.  Anyways, the gold shoe cream is almost an exact match, so I had to treat the whole shoe, but they look brand new again!  Amazing.

This discovery allows me to feel ok about spending more on a good pair of shoes because I am know how easily they can be repaired.  (In addition to shining and protecting them, which I already do!)

Now if only I could figure out how to fix the gigantic water stain on a leather bag – I wonder if the Cobbler can just dye it a dark brown to cover it up?

Also, I think I found my personal style sweet spot!

Claire Dunphy (from Modern Family) + Deb Morgan (from Dexter) = My happy spot.

I really love pretty, high maintenance clothing, but if I am to examine my life and dress appropriately, its a mix of casual knit tops and jeans, button ups for when I am feeling “fancier” than casual, suiting separates and dresses for when I have to get “fancy”.  I lean towards solids, but like patterns if they are stripes or plaids.  I have a few odd floral prints, but tend to favor floral prints in dresses.  I also have a soft spot for animal print accessories, low heeled boots and leather coats.  I like things that I can throw in the washer and can’t be bothered with dry cleaning or hand washing.  I don’t own any high heels over 1.5 inches and plan to keep it that way.  I am more comfortable in a sports bar than a dinner theater and like it that way.

When I break it down like this, it is so easy to figure out things that are “me” and things that aren’t.  I know what cuts and colors I like and pretty much ignore trends.  I don’t want to stand out, but I don’t want to disappear.  

I am still alive!

School is swallowing me alive, so I haven’t been able to sew any. I did, at least, make it to my local ASG Neighborhood Group Meeting this month. I have been so busy with work and school that today was the first day in two months that I have been able to clean my house (ick, I know…but its true).

I have also been working really hard on paring down my wardrobe to have a smaller, more cohesive and functional wardrobe and think I am almost at my sweet spot. I think I love about 80% of what is there now, with some things that need replaced/updated and some stuff that I haven’t worn so I am still on the fence.

I went from taking up half the walk in, plus a chest of six drawers and half of another chest of drawers to about a quarter of the walk in closest, a little chest of drawers for gear and the remaining half chest of drawers for underwear, socks, and sleepwear.

I fell hard off the no clothing shopping wagon and was proud that I set a clothing budget and would just work off the budget – however, its the end of May and I am 75% of the way through my yearly budget. I have another large purchase planned, a nice purse to replace the nice purse that I ruined, which will leave me pretty close to the end of my budget.


I really wish I took a before picture, long ago before the downsizing, but I didn’t .  In the left photo, my closet with stuffed full all the way over to the hanging organizer on the right (DH’s side).  Now, looking at the photo on the right, it is my dress capsule, then tops capsule (organized by color, and within color, by sleeve length – I have been doing my closest like this for well over a decade).  After tops, I have my college sports capsule, bottoms capsule, work capsule, and business capsule.  I then have a hanging organizer that houses my sweaters, camisoles, accessories (hats, gloves, wallets, belts),  and clothing care and mending supplies (shoe polish, sewing kit, febreeze, etc.).  Lastly, I have my shoe organizer, which houses all my shoes except for my moto boots, work boots, and rain boots.  Also missing is my outerwear capsule which stays in the downstairs closet.

All and all, I am pretty impressed.  Although I keep buying, I am buying smart – replacing some things that are worn out or ill fitting, and continue to downsize.  I think the hardest part was reducing my college sports capsule, as I love my team.  However, I don’t need six hoodies, 2 jackets, 12 t-shirts, 3 sweat pants, etc. to show my love.  The collection is still large, but its a lot better than it was!  The fewer pieces I have in my collection, the more I get to wear them!