It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone who makes sewing plans and posts them on the internet is doomed to fail in said plans because such is the way of life. Also, I expect that given the general vibe that is 2020, the fates are going to double down in this regard. However, all that being said, I’m maybe possibly planning to attempt to participate in the Pattern Review Wardrobe Sewing Challenge, and as such, I’ve got some plans.

When I realized that (1) the rest of 2020 basically wasn’t happening, (2) I sort of had my quarantine life quasi-together (take this for what you will – “together” is a very loose term here), and (3) the sewjo was starting to perk up a bit, I decided to see what the upcoming PR contests were going to be. Since I knew I’d missed out on the Bee this year (due to it being in January and pre-Covid restrictions I actually had several events that conflicted with being able to participate), but I was happy to see that a Wardrobe contest was running from September 15-November 15.

Originally, before the rules came out, I’d planned to make a wardrobe that would coordinate with this coat, which has been on my to-sew list for quite a while:

I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of doing this coat as a RTW knockoff because I think it looks fabulous, but is most decidedly out of my budget. Of course then the rules for the contest were announced. The items to make are:

  • 1 Topper
  • 2 Tops
  • 2 Bottoms
  • 1 Accessory
  • 4 Items of choice (max 2 dresses/jumpsuits or 1 of each)

There was heavy debate about the place of an outer wear item in a “wardrobe” and based on the discussions (and the 10 item/2 month deadline), I’ve decided to postpone the coat until after the contest but instead make a wardrobe that would look great with it when I get around to making it. Of course, since Meghan Markle was the source of my original coat inspiration, I thought looking at some of her other outfits could be a great place to find inspiration as well:

I love the top row of images; the idea of having 3 top/bottom combos in a monochromatic color scheme that could be mixed and matched really got my creative streak going. So, then, of course, it was off to the pattern stash!

I’ve selected patterns that I think either mimic the original style quite well or would coordinate the collection and round it out quite a bit. I’ve gone through a few iterations, but I’m pretty happy with my final choices. (My accessory, not pictured, will be a face mask. It’s practical and also required should I ever need to physically go into my office, which ties into the theme of this collection.)

Originally I had been really inspired by the color scheme from Meghan’s images, and thought it would also be really versatile heading into the holidays. I also though the mix and match of these colors looked great on the My Body Model sketches I did. But I would have needed to source some fabrics for that vision to really manifest it in the way I wanted, and I’m really trying to sew from stash for this contest. So I had a day of fabric shuffling and decision making, and came up with an alternative color scheme instead:

I’m pretty happy with the grey/navy/plum colors. It’s neutral but not the typical black/white/beige that you see in a lot of places. I think these are also all colors that will work really well for me, and it branches me out from my beloved teal a little bit. Don’t get me wrong – I still love teal, but it will be nice to have some other options available in the wardrobe soon.

After making my fabric choices I made a few minor tweaks to my sketches looking at the top and bottom combinations, and I also looked at the full wardrobe in another design:

I think I like it! I’m a bit anxious to see how the blazer/topper works with everything, but I think in real life the colors are much darker and more cohesive, so it shouldn’t look as wild of a texture or print as it does in my sketch.

So, now that these plans are formally out on the internet I fully expect to be thwarted in some way over the next few weeks. But hopefully, with a bit of luck, I can actually manage to get this done for the contest, and if not that, then maybe done at least by the end of the year.

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