Ah, summer. We had a fantastic and relaxing summer, which explains my absence. Back in April my sewing mojo somewhat disappeared. Who knows why? I guess with creative endeavors, it is inevitable that "writers block" will happen. Anyway, instead of dwelling on my lack of creativity, I decided to spend the summer working on client work (the mindless kind) and hanging out with my kids as much as possible. They will be 10 next month so my time with them is dwindling. I was feeling the need to really soak up these last few years of childhood before their teenage years really set in.
Excuses aside, my summer wasn't technically completely void of creative expression. Back at the end of May I received the news that not only was I approved to enter the MSDP (Master of Sewing and Design Professional) certification program, but I also received one of the scholarships! It was a very exciting time for many reasons. One, I really needed that scholarship to help with the expense and two, I LOVE learning. My plan is to use this certification program as a kind of Masters program in sewing. I was assigned my mentor in June and got to work pretty quickly. In fact, as of writing this I have already passed the first of my seven modules and am waiting to hear back on the second. The next module is all about fitting and will take me a little longer to complete, but I'm already diving in!
Even though I've only been in the program two short months, I am shocked with how much I have been learning. One of the modules that has really piqued my interest is the design module. While I haven't tackled this one yet, I have been doing a lot of the recommended reading and even took a Craftsy class on the subject that I'll talk about in a minute. This module deals with choosing colors, silhouettes, necklines, accessories, etc. for you and your clients. I have really fallen down the rabbit hole on this one.
The text the program recommends is The Triumph of Individual Style by Carla Mason Mathis and Helen Villa Connor. Its kind of a dry read (and out of print so kind of hard to find), but is full of fascinating artistic and scientific principles on how the human eye sees beauty. I guess I had never thought of beauty as being something that could be defined by anything but the "eye of the beholder", but I have been learning so much! It was these ideas that got me interested in taking Nancy Nix-Rice's Craftsy class when it became available this summer. Let me tell you: I LOVED this class. I loved it so much I also bought her book Looking Good . . . Everyday and have been devouring that as well.
Her process is much the same in that it follows basic artistic and scientific principles to create your very best wardrobe. Disclaimer, while I love her theories, there are definitely areas in which I disagree with her styling choices and even some of her rules (I will not do any sort of shoulder pad unless it is part of a tailored jacket!). But what are rules if not for breaking? That's the fun part!
It was because of this class that I became obsessed with developing my own personal color fan. Folks, I tried really hard to develop one for myself, but between the self doubt (I thought I had a good handle on my colors until my husband told me my blouse - which I thought was in one of "my colors" - made me look dead!) and the time it was taking I decided to bite the bullet and hire a color consultant. Going to a qualified color consultant and acquiring your own personal color fan is not cheap. However, given the amount of money we spend on our clothing (or fabric) it makes sense to spend a little to determine your best colors. This way you are ensuring that everything you buy makes your skin, hair, eyes, etc.. look their best. Here's my newly delivered fan!
Doesn't it look like me? I know that weird, but I can see my coloring and, therefore, myself in this fan. This thing will never leave my purse. You know, in case any shopping opportunity should present itself! It's magical and brings me to the second part of this lengthy post.
In Nancy's class and book she discusses a capsule wardrobe. I'm sure capsule wardrobes are something you have all heard of recently. I feel like I can't read a blog or peruse Pinterest without being bombarded with everyone's capsule wardrobe lists. What I enjoy about Nancy's system is that it really allows you to develop your own capsule based on your lifestyle, flattering silhouettes and personal style. It is because of this that I have decided to take you all on a journey with me while I develop a 12 piece wardrobe for myself. You see, my professional wardrobe is sadly lacking, which is very unfortunate since that is basically what I am selling to my clients. I decided to rectify the situation by making myself a 12 piece capsule work wardrobe based on this amazing Dolce and Gabbana wool double cloth that I bought at the vendor market at our annual conference last year.
Isn't it dreamy? I have never in my life spent so much money on yardage before, but I couldn't help it. Luckily for me, I was correct that it was my colors.
Whew! These are the fabrics I have chosen to go with my precious yardage.
Don't they all play so nicely with my color fan? I have ordered a couple more fabrics to go with this grouping, but this gives you an idea of where I'm headed. In my next post I will discuss the silhouettes I have chosen for my 12 piece wardrobe and which patterns I have chosen to make my dream wardrobe come to life. My goal is to have everything made by my October Educational Conference in Vancouver, so I had better get sewing! I'm so glad my sewjo is back!
Until next time!