You guys may have noticed that I like to make stuff. I especially like to make clothes, and especially clothes for myself. There are myriad reasons for this, from commitment to ethical production practices, to custom fitting, to just plain liking the process. Whatever the motivations, I am working hard to replace everything in my wardrobe with something I made.

That may sound like a huge undertaking, and it is, but it’s actually easier than you might imagine to spend a hefty amount of time creating something to wear that doesn’t actually fit my personal style at all. It’s so easy, in fact, that I tend to do it a lot.

My mom loves this, because it tends to mean “free clothes!” for her. 🙂 My wardrobe does tend to turn over every few years anyway, just as the phases of what I like to wear wax and wane (geeky t-shirts? Many layers of thin jersey skirts and tops?), but there are some staples. And if I’m really thoughtful about the things I’m adding to my closet, that turnover slows considerably. So I gave myself a little challenge starting this fall: I have a plan.

The wonderful ladies over at the Coletterie started this challenge last year–it’s called the Wardrobe Architect. It’s a series of worksheets and prompts that lead you to pinpoint the pillars of your personal style, so that when patterns, fabrics, or garments enter your view, you can determine whether and how they’d best fit into your closet. They point out that as sewists, we often love patterns or fabrics for their own sake rather than for ours, which is where a lot of the “I made this! I never wear it!” comes in. The Wardrobe Architect gives you a nice framework to understand what you like to wear and why, so you’re less likely to spend time putting together something that just doesn’t fit your style.

As someone with a sewing/knitting queue longer than her arm, this is extremely helpful. I did the worksheets (my personal style can be condensed into the phrase “tomboy mermaid,” I discovered), I put together the color palettes, and I took a long, hard look at my pattern, yarn, and fabric stashes. And then I made a list.

It’s 13 garments long. 5 sweaters (2 pullovers, 3 cardigans), 3 blouses, 2 skirts, and 3 dresses. These 13 garments represent my fall/winter wardrobe additions. I picked them carefully based on the stuff I already have that they’ll “go” with, what my personal favorite garment types are at present, and the colors I’m going to live in this winter. I have all the patterns, I have all the fabrics and yarns, and I have the time. As of this writing, I’ve already finished 3 of the 13 (they’ll be blogged soon!). I have a plan to match my passion, and hopefully at the end of this little experiment, I will have a bunch of stuff I love to wear.

And yes mom, a whole bunch of stuff to send you, since I’ll have to make a little room in my closet!