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Wardrobe Architect 2015


Hey there & thank you for reading the Colette blog!

This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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Last year, I created a little experiment on the blog called Wardrobe Architect that many of you followed along with. This year, Kristen has decided to use the principles to help her design a personal wardrobe throughout 2015. Now you have a chance to follow along on her journey and try it yourself in 2015. -Sarai

This is embarrassing to admit, but over the past few years I’ve become quite the fast fashion consumer. When I was younger, I took a forceful ethical stance and swore it all off, but lately it seems that you can find me spending money in a large fast fashion retailer multiple times a month.

Truthfully, as a creative person I feel lousy about purchasing a style that has been designed, manufactured, and marketed specifically for my socio-economic group. It doesn’t feel right for me, and I want to take time to reconnect and rediscover my style, and make it truly personal.

That’s why I’m choosing to devote 2015 to a complete wardrobe overhaul. You might call it style therapy, a closet cure, or a fast fashion diet. Whatever it is, for one year I’m not buying new clothing; everything must be made or purchased secondhand.

I believe that this will get me truly thinking about whether I actually need something, while challenging myself to become a better sewist by tackling projects I had never previously given much thought to.

And I want you to join me! I have designed a year-long program that closely follows the tenets of the Wardrobe Architect, with a strong focus on sewing your own capsule wardrobes for spring/summer and fall/winter.

Don’t worry, you don’t actually need to swear off buying new clothing if you don’t want to! However, following along with this challenge will give you the opportunity to slowly and methodically design and plan to sew your own wardrobe. Below is an outline of everything we’ll cover, month-by-month.

  • January – Find your core style and explore shapes
  • February – Clean out your closet and take inventory
  • March – Review and finalize your spring/summer sewing projects
  • April – Plan colors and shop for spring fabric
  • May & June – Sew for your spring/summer capsule wardrobe
  • July – Review and finalize your autumn/winter sewing projects
  • August – Plan colors and shop for autumn fabric
  • September & October – Sewing for your autumn/winter capsule wardrobe
  • November – Review and refine
  • December – Show off your wardrobe!

Of course, this timeline is not gospel! You are free to sew all year long (I know I will be), but I have found that it can be incredibly helpful to have a few weeks at a time to really focus on different aspects of a project before moving onto the next.

Let’s get started: January’s Challenge

This month’s theme is about finding your core style and picking silhouettes that best suit your body.

To get started, read through The Wardrobe Architect Weeks 1-4 on the blog and complete all related projects and worksheets. I recommend getting a sketchbook or binder to keep everything organized as we work through the year.

Then, start browsing for sewing patterns that you think would fit well into your future capsule wardrobe. If you like to design and make your own patterns, sketch up some designs that you think reflect your core style and that you might like to see in your capsule wardrobe. Better yet, you can even do a combination of the two!

Try to come up with at least 20 patterns or designs in different categories of clothing, such as tops, blouses, pants, skirts, or outerwear. Print out photos of the patterns or add your sketches to your notebook.

Important questions to ask yourself about the designs you choose:

  • Have you worn similar styles before? How did you feel about them when you wore them?
  • Would you need to make any modifications to the designs you choose?
  • Are there any designs that don’t quite fit with the others?
  • Are these designs cute and trendy, but maybe not quite you?


January Checklist

  • Get a notebook, sketchbook, or binder
  • Read through the Wardrobe Architect weeks 1-4
  • Complete exercises and projects for Wardrobe Architect weeks 1-4
  • Design or collect 20 pattern ideas that reflect your core style and preferred silhouettes. We’ll pare these down later.
  • Grab a button for your blog!

Share your progress!

Toward the end of the month, we will have a check in where you can share what you’ve come up with.

Here are a few other ways you can share your participation:

  • Share this image on social media (facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest) to let people know what you’re doing (and share a link to this post). Click to download:


  • Throughout the challenge, you can post about your struggles and breakthroughs on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #WAChallenge2015 (be sure to mention @ColettePatterns too)

If you plan on participating please post in the comments and let me know what your specific goals are. I’m excited to get started and see the wonderful wardrobes everyone creates!

Kris Blackmore   —   Designer

Kris is the designer at Colette, and also writes and illustrates our sewing patterns. A graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), this Texas native worked for a variety of companies in the fashion industry before joining Colette in 2013. On our blog, Kris helps solve your wardrobe woes through the Wardrobe Architect series she writes.

Comments 330

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This is so wonderful! I did the Wardrobe Architect last year and I loved it. I have been thinking about it a lot lately as the clothes I bought last year just before I started WA are wearing out. I would really love to see how I can replace the cheap clothes I already have with quality handmade items. Looking forward to this addition to the series!


I love this and will definitely be joining in. I have been thinking about it for a while (and blogging on a similar theme). Not sure I can commit to not buying anything new though, but certainly will be keeping it to a minimum and trying to sew with purpose much more. Thanks. Zoe


Not buying anything new is tough! I’m already unenthused about the number of basic tees and tanks I know I’m going to need to sew. When we go through our closets we’ll talk more about what to make versus what to buy.


Something to think about is the time investment to make basic tees, everyday underwear, etc. Not worth sewing when one considers the time and cost of materials vs. availability of quality RTW at reasonable cost, unless one just adores crafting a tank top as a hobby or a therapeutic exercise. Otherwise, invest a little more cash in a good RTW garment and spend all-too-precious time making something fabulous. Or use the time just to stare at clouds.


In general I actually have trouble finding plain t’s that fit the way I like. I know, it seems like such a no-brainer, but I’ve never found “the one”. They seem to either be super loose, or too tight, or the fabric and quality are an issue; the last cheapo tank I purchased wound up warping and twisting at the side seams. For me it is definitely worth it to make something that I know will fit and will actually be cut on the grainline!


This is providential! I just discovered the Wardrobe Architect Series a few weeks ago and just finished worksheets 1 thru 4! I am so excited about this. I too, have been shopping way too much.


Ever since last year’s challenge I’ve been following the WA method every season. It’s completely changed my sewing and buying habits and I encourage everyone to try it! Thank you so much to Sarai for leading this last year and I wish Kristen a lot of success!


It’s so helpful to repeat the process, even if it’s just a small review, every season. It’s been about a year since I’ve taken a look at my wardrobe and it’s already feeling out of control!

Marliese Thomas

What perfect timing! I was gifted with some gorgeous fabrics – silk twills, wool plaids, lightweight cottons – that are just waiting to be made into a coordinating work wardrobe. I travel a lot for work, so interchangeable and well-fitting pieces are essential.

My challenge will be to work with the fabric I already own and not purchase any more :)


That’s such a great idea! I’m sure a lot of other people would also want to focus on stash busting this year!


Yes, I NEED to focus on stash busting this year and also can’t delay any longer a new wardrobe. Can’t fool myself any longer on waiting how my body recovers after 2nd kid before attempting new clothes. Instead I keep searching through RTW with little success and a lot of frustration (sizes, fitting, prices, low quality, fast worn out… could go on endlessly) so I am really excited to be part of this challenge.
Thanks again, you seem to be thinking ahead of us on what our needs are and this is so helpful!!


(editorial nitpick: para that begins “And I want you to join me!” should say “tenets,” not “tenants.”)


Nice follow up on the Wardrobe Architect Series. I have always nagged myself that I need to make clothing changes and frankly those changes are not comfortable. No more nagging. For me, I have adopted a word that will help guide my way–minimalist (possibly over used but it’s new to me). This 2015 Challenge fits well into my new outlook, my new word. I’m in!

Miss Bloomers

I would love to participate this. I’ve been searching for a way to get organized to sew outfits that I can actually use. Plus, I’ve never been happy with my wardrobe. It seems I buy something that functions and then I get the same thing in about 5 different colors and wear the same thing over and over. I’m looking forward to getting started!

Victoria B.

This is just what I need and what I’ve been hoping to do!! I’m in. Thanks for the help along the way!

Victoria B.

I totally forgot to share my goals…I’d like to create a capsule wardrobe that is small-ish, but has a ton of pieces that I love to wear. Right now I just kind of stand at my closet, puzzled by how I have so much but nothing at the same time. I also want to reduce the amount of clothing I buy from big retailers.


I just made mention of the WA on Monday! It’s cool now to have an official follow along instead of just winging it. I want to sew a wardrobe that elevates my mom uniform, has me reaching for my makes instead of RTW, and all work together to make effortless outfits.


I think that’s a great goal! So often we love the things we make, but they get pushed to the back of the closet because they’re just not as wearable!


I LOVE this idea. I’m a newbie (Read: i can sew a straight line and think I’m queen of the world) sewer; but this is something I would love to embark on to really educate myself! I always battle, especially considering the niche of my blog, with how important style/fashion is. In the surfing world, I feel like there are two types of people. The ones that like to look stylish (and keep up with it) and the ones that are anti-consumerism…. so I struggle tiptoeing the line because I’m in the middle. I love having new things, but because I HAVE to have that ACNE lookalike jacket, I have more in my closet than I really should (which makes me overwhelmed, crummy and bored). So to answer your question here are my goals:

• Declutter my closet • learn to make basics for every day wear • figure out my style • learn to upcycle and think more creatively about my thrift finds • learn about making patterns (especially fun designs like you would see in Free People) • and lastly, I want to just learn to be a more conscious consumer.

This is a great challenge!


That’s exactly how I feel about the cycling world! I REFUSE to wear lycra, reflective gear other cycling-specific clothing, so a big part of my focus this year will be on creating clothes that are comfortable for biking without looking like athletic wear.

SJ Kurtz

Biking Sewists! May I ask politely that you make sure you are lit and visible in other ways (more lights, bright colors) when you are biking? As a car driver and the mother of a biker and a driver, we want to see you. I don’t care what my ride looks like as long as it’s safe. Please be safer than stylish so you can get home safely.


Same here Kristen. My goals are the same as yours in relation to bike clothing.


I accomplished so much last year by following along. It took me almost the remainder of 2014 – after the challenge was launched – to create my core patterns, but it was well worth it. I now have a foundation group of patterns that will carry me for a long time. This year, I’m doing something a little different – instead of using the wardrobe architect for clothing, I’m using it to create a bra wardrobe. My goal is the same – to create a set of core lingerie patterns that will carry me (pun intended) for many years.


I love that you created your own patterns! I want to draft myself the perfect pant, blazer, and button up blouse that I can make over and over again.


I was just planning a post on my blog about a fast fashion detox I was about to start. This is so serendipitous, it was just meant to be!!
I’m joining you, Kristen and hopefully so many others too. I’ve just changed the post to announce to the world that I’m taking the challenge! Bring on the planning!! Alex


There’s something about the new year that really makes you want to get in control! What perfect timing.

True Bias

OK, Im in the this year. Ive heard so many great things about this. Im going to start on the worksheets and plan on keeping with the progam this year in order to have a more streamlined, and well worn hand made wardrobe.


I’m excited to join this challenge. One of my new year’s resolutions is to do more sewing and this seems like a perfect way to go about doing that!


This is perfect timing as I plan my sewing for the rest of winter and begin gearing up for spring. I have wanted to move toward a handmade wardrobe and 2015 is the year to do it. So exciting to be doing it along with so many accomplished makers! Can’t wait to see what everyone is working on. Happy New Year!


I dabbled around a bit last year but I plan to completely participate this year! Great idea!

Jody Raska

I received my MBA last May and have been at my current job for the last 10 years. My company is downsizing and I’m beginning a job search. As an older worker (46), I need to carefully review what works for me and rebuilt my “career” wardrobe as my current position was in a farm office. The dress code was casual so I’m a little under the gun to get going. I’m looking forward to working toward a new me and a new wardrobe.


I’ve been RTW free for a while now (funny when my auntie told me once she hadn’t bought clothes in 10 years, I didn’t believe her….) and you’re right, it completely changes your sewing – you come more to grips with your true style that isn’t determined by what’s fashionable, and you HAVE to sew more basics because you only have one black t-shirt.

Oh and I thought I would mention, you might want to include the Southern hemisphere in the planning – ie, “planning your spring/summer OR autumn/winter wardrobe”

Good luck everyone!


Thanks for pointing that out! We’ll make sure to note that in all future posts!


I am so excited. I must admit I will be buying my jeans, as a rider who just had 2 complete hip replacements. But…all the rest of my wardrobe will follow your guidelines! ….and will probably be begging for help and ideas from everyone.


i think this is a great idea. i would like to be more organiszed with my sewing, too buy less stuff and having less stuff and caring more for the impact my consumer behaving has on my world.
I would love to have all the good basic things that fit me well and are made of good material no five year old child had to work for on a 16hour shift.
But I think i have to be really disciplined no to buy new things esspecially sports wear, which i really like to buy.


Count me in! I’m really looking forward to it :-)


I will try! Between Uni & small child it won’t be easy, and might well be more planning than actual making. I need style though, and dream of a capsule wardrobe. I will go and pin all of Merchant and Mills’ patterns!


I’m definitely in! I’d like to create a wardrobe that’s comfy, fits perfectly, is totally me and gives me variety without having a bunch of stuff that is never quite right. I know this must be possible!

Sarah Quinn

I’m in! I can’t wait to get started! This is such a great idea and a perfect way to cut out some of my consumerist ways!


Yea! Perfect timing. I’m post 2nd baby and in need of clothes that fit and flatter the body I HAVE… Not the one I had. Found this via Instagram and it seems like a great challenge!

Sheila S

I would love to join the group. I plan on following along and working through The Wardrobe Architect with the group. If I need some new items, it will probably be a mixture of purchasing and sewing my own pieces. Looking forward to getting more organized and getting my “look” together this year. Thank you for doing this!


I am very excited to take on this challenge. I’m new to sewing but determined to finally figure out my wardrobe.


I’ve been meaning to set aside time to read through the WA and this gradual process is so perfect! I read Overdressed a year ago and have tried my best to only buy vintage, second hand, or (when I really can’t resist) local/hand-made specialty items. Then, recently reading the NYTimes article about Marie Condo’s Japanese organization process, I started thinking about removing pieces that “no longer bring me joy”. It’s not without pain, of course! I live in a warm climate, but moved from a colder one so I’m still trying to figure out the best way to have fewer pieces but layer them appropriately. Looking forward to this “guided experiment!”


It can take a really long time to adjust your wardrobe after moving climates! It took me years to buy proper rain boots after moving to Portland.


This is a brilliant idea. I’m a new sewer; I’m also on a weight loss ‘journey’, which means I need to plan a new wardrobe as my body shape changes, so that will be my challenge. I’ve already identified some styles which I prefer, at both my current and planned sizes, and ideally anything I make now needs to be something I can adjust at a later date (unless I wear it to death in the meantime!).

I already started with Wardrobe Architect in the summer and have been increasingly happy wearing the clothes I made for myself, with styles and fabrics which I considered really carefully. I think Wardrobe Architect will be a good motivator as I work on the weight loss. I will especially look forward to throwing away some of the hideous items which I bought because they were all that would fit ….


I’m in the same boat. I’m going to focus on getting more in shape and wearing more items that I make myself. I sewed many basic pieces years ago, but let that drift away for no real reason. Time to get back to the colors, fabrics and styles that make me look my best as I am now…..this will be my first step on that journey.


I got so excited when I saw this in my inbox! Can’t wait to follow along and hopefully participate (my schedule’s been a little nutty lately, but I’m trying to make sewing a priority this year).

Just as a quick resource, I put together some templates/ illustrations last year to help me with Week 3: Exploring Shapes. For those of you still on that step (or revisiting), I thought they might be helpful:


Thank you for the silhouettes. I find it useful to see the styles this way and without color or pattern.


That fits so perfectly into my plans for 2015, it’s unbelievable! :D I’ve just started with the Wardrobe Archticts series here on the blog and I’m really thrilled so far! I struggled with other challenges (like the seamless pledge for example) because I feel like I can’t buy anything. So I love the idea to include the possibility to buy second hand clothing and I think I will add fair produced clothing as well. :) But of course I plan to sew most of my wardrobe! ;)


This is great! I was planning on working through the Colette Wardrobe architect stuff this year anyway as I want to create a capsule wardrobe for the office which is a bit smarter than what I would normally where but still feels distinctively ‘me’. I started sewing seriously about 6 months ago and it’s really made me think and feel differently about my wardrobe and style, so I’m definitely ready for a bit of an overhaul. Thanks for doing this Kristen!


I am in! I need to have a sewing plan and get a grip on my “so boring office wardrobe.” Everything I wear is so basic and plain, I need to step up my game and create some makes that will add some spark and personality in my wardrobe. And besides, if I am going to wear office clothes on a daily basis, I really want what I wear to fit me like a glove. RTW fits me mediocre at best. I am an apparel pattern designer, I really have to start practicing what I preach.


Count me in for sure. I can’t tell you how many times last year I thought to myself, “No, don’t buy that pattern/fabric/combination/outfit; you wouldn’t really wear it. Remember Wardrobe Architect?”

As a result, I’ve avoided so much waste — of time, of money, of energy. Let’s keep it going.


I have been reading about capsule wardrobes for awhile, and really like the idea, although I have several “lives” that require different wardrobes. Basically, this means I need 3 capsule wardrobes, with little that will transition between them.

But I do love to sew, although I haven’t done much for the past several years. I am inclined toward Marcy Tilton, The Sewing Workshop, and Diane Erickson. They all are creative, one-of-a-kind, Japanese inspired – simple lines, beautiful fabric, easy to co-ordinate. And I have a large stash of wool jersey and wool crepe fabrics. So I am in!

I am committed to one item/outfit per month for the year. I am very short on warm pants right now, so will start there will Marcy Tilton’s new unmatched suit.

But my real first step is to organize my sewing room so there is a place to sew! Too much stuff, in total disarray!

I like the idea of the notebook, and plan to trace the pics of the patterns I want to use, and match them with a scrap of the fabric that will go with them.

I have been wishing for a friend to sew with, but have not found anyone, so I hope to use this community as my “sewing buddies”.

Looking forward to a year of sewing and creativity!


Me, me, me! I did the Wardrobe Architect last year and was totally OBSESSED with it. It totally changed how I approached sewing for myself and as a result I made more wearable garments for myself than ever before.

This year my goal is: less. I want to buy fewer fabric, fewer new patterns and really focus on the plans I had for fabrics and patterns when I originally bought them! Also, by doing this I will force myself out of my comfort zone. Stop making the same three patterns over and over and learn a new skills! I can’t wait to blog about my progress.


I love this! It’s really hard to buy what’s right for you when there’s so much on Pinterest and blogs, or in stores that can easily distract you from your goals.


This is perfect! I was traveling so much last year (work stuff, along with getting married and a few vacations sprinkled in) and felt like I couldn’t give the WA series the attention it deserved though I LOVED the concept. This year I’m focused on staying in one place and building up my sewing skills so I would love to participate. I’m committed!

My goals • simplify my current closet • define my personal style • build a wardrobe of basics • utilize fabric from my stash and donate what I don’t have a use for • make smart and sustainable purchases for items I don’t make • gift one handmade item each season to a friend or family member


I love your last goal! I’m a selfish crafter, I would love to put more thought and effort into my gifts for people.


Perfect! I’m in!
Goal: handmade capsule wardrobe. Ten pieces a season, well spring/summer and fall/winter as seasons not forty pieces a year! I’m hoping to create about 50 total pieces of things I truly like on me that all work together to create just about unlimited outfits :)


This is exactly what I need to help me start to focus my style, rather than buying and making stuff willy-nilly! Thanks.


Been working on my fabric stash recently and this will be great!

Cait Walker

Hooray! I’m In.
My Goals: Develop a strong set of sewing skills through creating a classic wardrobe which I will be able to wear and add to for years to come. I will do my best not to buy any new pieces this year with the hopes of making this a permanent change for life.


Perfect timing! I just started a blog and posted my winter wardrobe plans, and was thinking about how I really ought to do the Wardrobe Architect series to help inform my planning and making. I’m trying to source fabric ethically (secondhand, deadstock, or organic if possible) which can be more expensive, and my time is pretty limited (especially as a beginning sewist still developing my skills) so I think committing to Wardrobe Architect 2015 will help me waste less (time + fabric) on items that don’t fit my style, and really hone in on what I need. At this point most of my clothes are thrifted so I’m also looking forward to making things and fitting them properly!

My goals are to expand my sewing (& knitting) skills and choose patterns and styles consciously to get the most out of each make.

Looking forward to following along!


Sure I want to participate :)
A fan from France !


Brilliant. This is exactly what I need!


I’m in! I discovered the wardrobe architect towards the end of last year but didn’t really do it fully. As someone said earlier, I’m fed up of having a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear.


sooo timely. i was closet clearing and boxing up a holiday return just this morning and thinking that i needed to go back to this project, and, lo, serendipity! my goals are to be able to wear something i made everytime i go out socially, and to be able to quickly pack a carry-on-able bag for a week in the keys this spring and in the fall, santa fe and boston. (not counting shoes. my feet are the bane of my existance. ) a couple of words besides serendipity: wabi-sabi, silver, saturated, joy, centered, breath, fluid, authenticity….


I’m so excited that you are running this again! I have been going through the old posts over the last few weeks and I’m working through the content, so I’m excited to see what everyone else comes up with!


I’m so glad you are bringing the Wardrobe Architect series back. I saw it last year, but feel like this year is better timing for me, as I have only recently reached a point with my sewing that I am actually making things I wear a lot (the first couple of years I was learning how to get the fit right and getting all the wacky prints out of my system). I also think it’s really cool that I now know what shape I am and can make clothes specifically for my body type. The things I have made that fit me really well, and I feel are my style, make me feel so good when I am wearing them. That said, I would love to get to the point where the majority of my wardrobe is handmade and this will be really helpful!

helen siddon

I followed the wardrobe architect series with interest last year and found it a great way to focus on what suits me and also what I enjoy wearing. It’s so easy to jump on each new pattern that’s released without considering if it’s really ‘me’. One of my aims this year is to be more selective in my sewing and following along with this series will really help.

ruth e fox

yippee! nervous, but inspired and excited!


I loved Wardrobe Architect! I want to focus on slow sewing this year and really build a wardrobe that I love. I’m in!


Perfect timing! I’m in too. Wardrobe Architect was so helpful last year for defining my style and I’m going on my second year now on the RTW fast. I’m working on my silhouette’s and pattern choices for the New Year right now so this will fit right in. My goals this year are to make more complete looks that coordinate, use what I have(stash +patterns) before buying new, use more organic fabrics and natural dyes, and learn to draft my own patterns.


I stumbled upon the wardrobe architect and have been totally excited about a thoughtful wardrobe; reviving and developing my sewing skills this year and despite time constraints making a commitment to making meaningful clothes that I love. Thanks for the inspiration and the new Wardrobe Architect series to help me stay on track.

Michele Ferguson

Wow!!! The fact that your email went out today and there are zillions of people joining already is testament to the fact that we have trouble putting together a wardrobe that sings to us! Too many choices are not necessarily a good thing. For the past year and a half, I worked at an “off’-price” retailer and got into the buying frenzy. Now my closet is filled with clothes that I am not at all excited about. Like everyone, I want fewer clothes, better quality and clothes that are ME!! Will definitely be following along and thank you so much for this!


Such perfect timing! I too loved the Wardrobe Architect series last year and one of my goals for 2015 is to sew a pair of jeans (for me they’re an all-season wardrobe staple and jeans will be a sewing challenge for sure). I’m thrilled to join in this journey.

Sue Augustyn

Looking forward to this new challenge. I did the RTW fast last year, although I did fall off the wagon a time or two, I sewed 14 garments for myself, some more successful than others. In addition I sewed two bathrobes for gifts as well as several baby garments. I feel that I learned a tremendous amount in terms of fit and what actually looks good on me as opposed to garments that look fabulous on the stars from the forties and fifties, or the things that look stunning on a willowy model who is 6′ tall with no hips and weighs 120 lbs dripping wet and holding a pound of butter! That said it is time to start really tightening up my pattern stash and focusing on the things that enhance my figure and that I can wear on a day to day basis.
Thanks for doing this again!

Katie Emma

Sounds great! I’ve started some of these things already – I have bought almost no new clothes in months, and I’ve made a big purge in my closet and am trying to be more mindful of how what I sew and knit will fit into my wardrobe. I’ll happily follow your progress and try to take some of these ideas for myself!


Count me in. This was something I have been planning to do anyway this year and joining in will be fun. I have put on a ton a weight in recent years and my body shape is definitely becomng more “middle-aged”. Now I am a sensible (working) adult I also need some decent clothes instead of jeans and t-shirts. Completely lost my style and looking for a new one so any structured way to accomplish this is ideal! I have loads of patterns but no idea if they will suit me, especially vintage ones. So drafting a few patterns will be great as I never had much chance last year. X

Heather B

Count me in! I’m been losing weight and collecting fabric (including some lovely Liberty of London prints) to start sewing some clothes for once I reach my goal. I’d love to participate! I need all of the help I can get!


I love this idea. I, too, want to by less RTW and use up some of the fabulous fabrics in my stash. It would be great if your on line magazine, Seamwork, could issue some of the basic patterns in coordination with these blog posts.
Looking forward to more!

trudy mae

talk about perfect timing! my new years resolutions include cleaning out my wardrobe and making at least one garment a month that I will wear regularly. I’m so glad you’re hosting this challenge, it’ll definitely help keep me on track ;) late last year I poked around in the Wardrobe Architect posts; I’ll have to give them another visit and dig out my worksheets.
my first addition will be a sweet polka dot Violet. and I’ve already started purging the closet!


I’m thrilled that this is happening again! I missed the first Wardrobe Architect series, and always intended on revisiting it. This is extra encouragement. I woke up on New Year’s day and proclaimed that I would not purchase a single new item of clothing in 2015, so this is perfect timing for me. I will be sewing and knitting nearly every item that will be added to my closet, and only purchase necessary items (that I can’t sew) secondhand. I just completed my MLIS so I finally have some time on my hands!! When I look in my closet I’m overwhelmed by the amount of clothing I own that I just don’t wear, and likely purchased because it was on sale. And really, my style has simplified over the years. Here’s to purging!! Good luck everyone!


Looking forward to sewing and planning along with you…I had already planned on a ready to wear break so this works out perfectly!


Excellent, I’m in! I actually started a dimilar process last week working on a capsule wardrobe using what I love in my wardrobe, the wardrobe architect posts & aiming to sew the gaps. I may buy 1 or 2 things throughout the year, but only if they’re needed in my considered plan….will be great to follow along with others on similar journeys.


I love this! I was just reading the old WA series last week, and having just moved to a much smaller home I need to rethink my wardrobe and my addiction to fast fashion as well.


This challenge sounds fantastic. After I went through the WA series on my own last year I walked my husband through it too :)

My goal this year is to produce items for myself that are high-quality. I’m always faced with the problem of losing steam on a project towards the end because a shiny, new project comes along. I skip little details to finish the project more quickly, but inevitably end up with a garment that feels cheap. It ends up becoming a different kind of “fast fashion.”


“I skip little details to finish the project more quickly, but inevitably end up with a garment that feels cheap. It ends up becoming a different kind of “fast fashion.”

That is so true. What a great way to put it.


I’m in! Found out about WA on Pinterest. My goal is to create a wardrobe through smart purchasing and better sewing.


Hello, I’m totally joining the challenge! I just found out that me and my husband have a baby on the way, so my goal is to create a modern capsule wardrobe for the coming months; I’m terrified of looking mumsy and just give in to comfy clothes! So I’ll be probably sewing loads of jersey dresses and tees.

Any recommendations for maternity sewing patterns?

Thank you and I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!


Megan Nielson has a cute tunic pattern that I used when I was preggers last year.


I’m in the same boat as you! I’m trying to mostly use patterns I have and adapt those to maternity–I’m thinking the Moneta could be a good option if I raise the waist seam in front, for instance. I did also buy one of the Megan Nielsen patterns sold through Simplicity recently, because it’s supposed to work for both maternity and nursing. I haven’t stitched it up yet, but that sounds like a good use of my precious sewing time right now!


This is very timely for me, and I love that it is broken down into steps. My clothing situation is rather dire. I have fabric and patterns planned, but I would love to take the time to plan a capsule wardrobe, so that no matter what the situation, I have something to wear.

I’m in Australia, so will start with Autumn/Winter clothing first :)


This is just what I need to get my “mojo” back and sewing a storm up. My wardrobe is at a critical stage. I refuse to purchase anything new and have items filling my closet that have no rhyme or reason and don’t always have anything they can be worn with residing there. You will serve as an accountability partner and my goal is to completely create a wardrobe that I’m proud to wear that fits my style and look “put together” when I step out.


This is so perfect- right now I am in the midst of a huge de cluttering project, following the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. The basic principle is to only own things you love, and then to treat those things well. I purged over half of my clothes- mostly low quality Target impulse buys and ill-fitting hand me downs. Now I’m looking forward to sewing up some new basics that I will love, and not letting anything enter my house that I don’t adore. My goal is to build up a handmade wardrobe that fits my lifestyle (stay at home mom that hasn’t given up yet :) and my aesthetic (nice fabric, subtle patterns, neutral colors). I can’t wait to get started! Once I tidy my sewing room, of course!!


That book sounds great! Thanks for the recommendation.

Lisa G.

Yes, yes – it’s an amazing book.


I’m ready! Ready to purge, stop purchasing and start making a capsule wardrobe! My goal is to limit the number of pieces I own and make sure all that I do own works together to make MANY creative outfits, including utilizing accessories more.


Great timing! I started WA last year but didn’t finish. I’m looking forward to finishing the process but also to working with a community. That should give me the incentive to keep going! Thank you!


This is so exciting! Count me in.

On New Year’s Day I cleaned out my closet. I got rid of everything that didn’t make me feel great while wearing it. If I was on the fence about something, I left it in the closet but with a plan to get rid of it if I haven’t worn it in six months.

My goal is to be a more thoughtful consumer, and to be more honest with myself about my style, size, and general clothing needs. This applies to my sewing as well – no buying patterns and fabric without a plan. This is absolutely perfect timing for me and I know it will help me accomplish those goals.

Thanks for leading us this year, Kristen!


I need to do this. Been thinking of what to start this new year and this is perfect. I am so excited! I better go over Wardrobe Architect again so I can keep up. Thank you for thinking up such a wonderful idea.


This is great! I’m going on my first backpacking trip to Asia for 3 weeks, and I’m planning on crafting my handmade capsule wardrobe. I have started the Wardrobe Architect project last year, but I got stuck at the point where you have to narrow your ideas down to patterns, so i can’t wait to follow your journey!

Ana Rita

I discovered WA last year after the series finished and never got past week for…
Since one of my goals this year is to sew my wedding dress, discover my true style is essential and I think WA is perfect for that!
I would also love to make my entire -future- capsule wardrobe, but I must set achievable goals!
So my goals are to discover my style, to sew my wedding dress and to make 1 piece for each person of my closest family members (7)!

Ana Rita

*week 4!

Abigail M

I agree about biking clothes, Kristen! My goals (as a starting sewer) are to pare down my overflowing (literally out of my little old-house closet) wardrobe to those things which I do/will wear and to add to them some handmade basics that will increase the versatility of the pieces I already have.


Best timing ever! I was thinking about starting last year’s Wardrobe Architect in order to organise my sewing and define my wardrobe. Can’t wait to start and see everyone’s progress.

Kat @ House of Lane

Funnily enough I just read through all the wardrobe architect posts last week to help guide me this year. So this project is perfect timing. I look forward to playing along this year.


Well, I’d already planned on doing a RTW-fast, so this seems to just be the additional motivation to keep to it! I want to cut down on all the stuff I hang on to but never wear or only wear when I have no other options, both for storage and self-esteem reasons. I basically already only wear four colors so I want to focus in on those and make it so everything I own can be mixed and matched.

… it WILL be hard to resist the geeky t-shirt sales though.


Definitely looking forward to this journey


Count me in. I have been wanting to do this. My problem is having access and choosing the fabrics. It is very frustrating to order so many swatches and wait for them to arrive only to see they aren’t what I am looking for. Maybe I will learn something.

Erin K.

Hi! I’m so excited that I saw this post the day of! I always discover these types of things so late that I can’t participate, and it’s so inspiring to see so many people joining in! I’m in. I read through the wardrobe architect posts and did some of the work a few months back, which helped me bring some cohesiveness to my “too many clothes, nothing to wear” wardrobe, but I’ve been meaning to start a notebook and be more thorough.
Oh Portland! I moved back to arizona 2 years ago after 7 totally awesome years in portland, and still find myself adjusting to the move. I really got the layering thing down up there, and find myself wanting to wear hoodies and huge chunky scarfs when it’s just not appropriate. Haha! I’ve also always worn really bold and daring things, but find myself not feeling like myself in my old favorites! That’s wear wardrobe architect really helped! I buy most of my stuff secondhand already, so as a new sewists my goals are to put together a smaller but cohesive wardrobe that makes me feel comfortable and vibrant! I’m so excited to share and follow everyone’s progress and to start my notebook!


Fantastic – the timeline is a bit awkward for me being in the southern hemisphere but that isn’t going to stop me!


You should just be able to flip the seasons! So while the Northern hemisphere does S/S, The southern hemisphere will work on A/W, and vice versa. I’ll make sure to point that out in future posts as well.


I’m excited about following along. My problem is that I take on too many projects, so I wonder if I can focus on just one big one and get this done. I’ve also got a lot of knitting going on–in the Great White North, a capsule wardrobe includes chunky sweaters!–so maybe those can count too? :) Seriously, I’m going to try and do this challenge right and finally get around to making lots of actually wearable, flattering pieces.


Knitting absolutely counts! I’m working on a sweater right now that is intended for my capsule wardrobe (if it actually fits!).

Bobbie Calgaro

I am looking forward to this. I am just shy of 62 and probably have never had a handle on my wardrobe. I partially blame it on sewing since I always made things piecemeal never really concentrating on a harmonious whole. I’m retiring in June and need to decide what my style will be from here on out. I’d like to lose weight ( wouldn’t most of us) and have a well thought out wardrobe for my lifestyle. I’d also like to make most of my clothes. Unique things that suit who I am. So here goes…….. I’m up for the challenge.


I’m also retiring this year – I think working through the Wardrobe Architect while preparing for such a lifestyle change is perfect! At least half of my wardrobe will either get tossed or donated as I’ll no longer need all those clothes for work. But I’m not sure what I’ll be adding – luckily I have time to think about it and let ideas percolate.

We are going to travel for a year so I will probably have a very limited wardrobe for the next year (sightseeing & hiking clothes mostly). Once we settle down I’ll use what I learn through this exercise to begin rebuilding. My mother-in-law will live with us and she has a serger that I’ll be able to use on a regular basis so that will open up all sorts of new sewing experiences. I’m looking forward to making all sorts of basics with fun details and quality fabrics.


Hiii ! I’m a fashion student and this year is my final year. So I don’t know if I can make it but at least I try, I want to try. Please guide me and support. I have the ambitious to do everything but I don’t have any potential to make because I’m just a regular student. Maybe I’m lack of confidence. So please help me! thank you very much of your challenging.


You are ambitious in just the right way, because you intend to improve your skills as your busy schedule permits. Good for you! I wish you lots of success.


I’ve been using the principles from WA to work on a capsule wardrobe for the winter/spring. I’ll follow this series for sure, though I’m not sure yet about participating-my big challenge right now is that I’m pregnant, I literally don’t have enough clothes to get all the way through, and my favorite silhouettes involved waist definition and I don’t have that right now! Oh well. This will still be fun to read.

Andrea S.

I’m so excited about this! I started sewing my own clothes last summer and am hooked. I’m looking forward to getting a handle on my style so I can selectively make items that I will love and wear over and over again. Also, I’m really looking forward to evaluating and purging my closet. Thank you so much for the Wardrobe Architect series – it is fantastic!


I’m so excited to get focused and clear on what clothing items I will actually wear that will be true to me. I have bought, and especially sewn, so many things that ended up just not getting worn. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon the Wardrobe Architect and read through the entire thing in one sitting and it’s motivated me to get back into sewing. I’m thrilled that I can be a part of it this time! I’m looking forward to learning some new techniques and sewing the 60’s beachwear patterns I found last week.

Mary Kay

I’m a longtime sewer and am looking forward to some fresh ideas. My closet, too, is full, but not with RTW, but mainly full of things I made–sometimes years ago and sometimes recently–that I no longer wear because either they no longer fit or I my tastes have just moved on. I keep telling myself I could remake them or use the fabric for something else entirely, but maybe this project will convince me to just let them go to someone else who could actually wear them and I can start over again with a new approach. Looking forward to it.


I have that problem too. My wardrobe is full of of handmade, but between some recent changes in my weight and tastes I can only wear a handful of my creations.

Bethany Johnson

This is such a wonderful blog idea. I’m so excited to follow along this year.


I’m in, and this concept of meaningful clothing, combined with true body acceptance is what is driving my return to sewing. That, and I really want to do it well. The skill level can improve so much and you can stop down and look something up (which doesn’t really work in my other hobby – ice hockey. I don’t think my coach would like it if I stopped the game to watch the Blackhawks and how THEY scored the goal. . .)

Ahem, but I digress.

My goal is to properly define what really works for my body, and then get excellent at making it. And to make things that incorporate my humor and my outlook.

looking forward to this!

PS (anyone else from Washington State (I grew up in Tacoma) have this recurring moment when folks refer to Wardrobe Architect as “WA” and wonder why they are so excited about Washington? Then feel silly? Nope? Ok, just me then. . .


Yes, I did the same thing! I’m about an hour south of Seattle. :-)


I didn’t manage to do the Wardrobe Architect last year, but read everywhere what a great project it was that I had decided I was going to do it on my own this year. Then I saw this post and I immediately mentally signed up, so I’m definitely in. I did a lot of sewing last year, well a lot for someone who leaves home at 7am and doesn’t return until 8pm, but I wear only very few of the pieces that I made. So I want this year, to start afresh with patterns and fabrics that fit to my lifestyle and personal taste, so that I can wear my handmade items more. I will have to buy some RTW though, due to lack of time, sometimes I do need something quickly and can’t wait for my hands to make it haha! Right, off to work and buying that notebook. Looking forward to the challenge.


This is great! I’ve been trying to do this every year and have been failing. Now I have people to do it along with me. Not going to fail.
My goals are to learn how to knit sweaters because those are my fav fall items and to try new things because doing fashion design as a job sometimes takes the fun out of doing it as a hobby.


I’m in. I’m very new to sewing (I’ve only made 4 pcs of clothing) but I love it so far. I’m not very good but figure if I have to make everything for a year I’ll improve. I hope! I have a wardrobe full of clothes I never wear & hate the fast fashion ethos that I have been part of for so long. Love this idea.


Wow what perfect timing… one of my goals for 2015 is to sew for myself, and specifically to update my wardrobe! Fantastic, so looking forward to this – thank you!

Sim Shwen

I am really excited to join this! My goal is to have a wardrobe that is more versatile, instead of having a few staples that I wear all the time. It would be so nice to enjoy wearing all of my clothes!

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