Fifty Dollar Fashion: Week 5

We made it! 5 Weeks, 5 Patterns, 5 (+!!) Outfits

Of course, I blew my own $50 budget on rookie mistakes. But when I look back at what I've created this month, I give this project a big ol' W in my book. So what else is left than to conduct my own post-game interview? 

Sewing a complete wardrobe with the Colette Laurel, Named Jamie Jeans, Jocole A-Line, Victory Nicola, and Pattern Runway Pussy Bow Blouse #50dollarfashion

Sewing a complete wardrobe with the Colette Laurel, Named Jamie Jeans, Jocole A-Line, Victory Nicola, and Pattern Runway Pussy Bow Blouse #50dollarfashion

For starters: how did you feel about the patterns you chose?

Oh boy. That's a bit like asking me how I like Thin Mints after I've eaten an entire sleeve of them. For 30 days straight. Each pattern was great! And then I sewed them all countless times EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. FOR 5. WHOLE. WEEKS. I kind of just want to curl up on the couch in my Jocole yoga waistband skirts and hide from my heels for at least a month. (Oh wait, that's exactly what I'm doing!)

But I'll break it down for you by pattern. Let's do a brief recap of the 5 patterns:

The Colette Laurel

Now this was an ultra versatile little pattern! It had dress, top, bell or regular sleeve options. I made it in knit twice before I learned my lesson, and broke out the zipper foot (and seam ripper..) instead. 

I learned early in my journey on that all women's patterns require muslin versions to get the right fit. Laurel was no different. I ended up having to take 2 inches off the back, and I preferred adding length to the top. 

The Named Jamie Jeans

WOW. I can make JEANS. And they look REAL. Like. REAL jeans! <<< Those are the words I've repeated over and over again this month as I made pants AND shorts from this excellent pattern!

There are so many great ways to personalize this pattern for truly unique pants. I love playing with accent pockets, and even a detail strip across the back pockets. It's been a great addition to my pattern collection - and wardrobe! 

Now the pattern starts at 2, which is too big for me, so I definitely had to do some adapting to get a comfortable and flattering fit. Luckily it was just a matter of toying around with the seam allowances on a muslin until I got it right! Well worth the time investment, for sure.

The Jocole A-Line

Jocole's new tagline ought to be "If you can dream it, you can make it." Jodi's patterns are THAT versatile! The A-Line comes with many skirt lengths. I only made the midi-length and the maxi-length this month, and played with pleats and gathers on each skirt to use up the yardage of fabric I bought (I'm stingy ...er... resourceful that way!). Expect this pattern to make many'a return in future posts!

The Victory Pattern's Nicola

So this pattern comes with THREE options. 2 dresses and a wrap. 

I'll be honest. I gave the skirt a go, and felt far too scandalous to share. The wrap-front is *not* a modest look for this kid-chasing momma. So I stuck to the wraps, and I *LOVE* them!

Now, they serve no practical purpose in my wardrobe, but they sure make me feel purdy :) 

And last, but not least...

The Pattern Runway Pussy Bow Blouse

Is this pattern awesome? Yes. But it was an outrageous pick. For starters, I'm button-averse. I'm not so much bad at them, as I'm totally impatient for the whole process. Maybe if I had one of those fancy machines with the automatic button hole feature I'd be more deliberate about sewing them.

Second? With well over a dozen pieces, it's anything but a "fast sew". For a naptime sewist, that makes this pattern impossibly hard to accomplish. 

I'm not very well versed yet in the drapey slippery fabrics, so all my other attempts to make this shirt were destined for the trash bin. But this shirting version came out better than I could have hoped! Here are just a few ways I've worn it:

PATTERN RUNWAY PUSSY BOW BLOUSE. STYLED BY KRYSTLE CLARK, REP OF DESIGNER JEWELRY BY SARA BLAINE

PATTERN RUNWAY PUSSY BOW BLOUSE. STYLED BY KRYSTLE CLARK, REP OF DESIGNER JEWELRY BY SARA BLAINE

PATTERN RUNWAY PUSSY BOW BLOUSE. STYLED BY KRYSTLE CLARK, REP OF DESIGNER JEWELRY BY SARA BLAINE

PATTERN RUNWAY PUSSY BOW BLOUSE. STYLED BY KRYSTLE CLARK, REP OF DESIGNER JEWELRY BY SARA BLAINE

Why did you pick these patterns?

I did a lot of research before tackling this project. I reviewed Spring Summer 2014 trend reports, browsed pinterest endlessly for inspiration (yeah, let's just pretend this is why I spent so many hours on pinterest...) and flipped through catalogs as they came in. What was fashionable? What silhouettes did I want to replicate? And then of course, which patterns would I need to replicate them? 

What would you change about your pattern selection?

My pattern choices were largely unrealistic. I paid no mind at all to the time investment a few of these more advanced patterns required before agreeing to sew them... and on tight weekly deadlines, no less! 

Don't get me wrong, I loved practicing zippers, buttons, darts, and advanced skills like alterations. I feel like a much more accomplished seamstress having pushed myself to learn these things. But I'd have paired these difficult patterns down to... one out of the five, maybe two? The rest, I'd rely more heavily on the quick-sew, forgiving-fit magic powers of KNIT patterns. Or less-fitted dress patterns.

So you made 5 outfits... do you actually wear them?

You bet! I'm dying for the first hint of Spring to break out those shorts, and zipper-back Laurels aren't nursing friendly, but everything else is getting a lot of wear! 

You've talked about muslins and fabric choices. Is there anything else you learned throughout this process?

Well. I've learned that there are countless ways to play with my hair in pictures. (I mean, really. I can't be the only one who thinks that's a bit ridiculous!) 

On a more serious note: yes. I've learned that I can sew for myself, and free myself from the guilt it used to cause me. It feels awesome wearing clothes that fit me, that I made, with my fabrics and my vision. I can really appreciate them, and feel confident in them. (And they don't get immediately smeared in peanut butter and mud, like the pint-size wardrobe I've made for my kids!)

Would you do it again?

Yes, and in fact, I WILL do it again. I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be joined by the very talented sewist, photographer, contributor Suzanne Winter in the evolution of these series that we're calling "Runway Deconstructed." We'll be dueling weekly to explore the creative limits of a new set of patterns each month, reporting current trends and recreating our favorite looks of the season. Together, we hope to continue the tradition of self-care sewing and inspire you to do the same! Look for our return Friday, March 14! ...Or, subscribe by email now so you don't miss it ;)

What else do you want to know about my experience with this series? What patterns do you want to see Suzanne and I cover?