Starting with a Jacket…

Toast jacket

Image from Polyvore

Let’s just suppose that I bought this jacket in the January sale at Toast (reduced from £175 to £88).
And that when it arrives it fits me perfectly (there’s the catch!)

How about building a refreshed grown-up work wardrobe around it?

 Rather surprisingly, when I went through my box of sewing patterns, I was drawn to the idea of making dresses.
A dress under a jacket?  Very work-appropriate, and very unlike my style to date!  But I enjoyed wearing my Robe Sureau with my tailored Tara Starlet jacket at that interview.  I wore them together again for an important meeting a few weeks later. 

From left to right:
1- New Look 6543, a very simple figure-skimming shift (pattern sent to me from Cecilia in New York – thanks Cece!)  In a plain colour I think.
2 – Another Robe Sureau – I have my eye on some Italian viyella-like fabric at Croft Mill for this.
3 – Simplicity 2798, a Project Runway pattern which Jessica has used to great effect.  Lots of possibilities with this one!  I love the pleats on the sleeves and the shape of the yoke.
4 – McCalls 3463, a 1970’s smock that is probably best kept for homewear, but we’ll see…
5 – Robe Bleuet – I love the look of this dress but it will require careful fitting and fabric choice to avoid looking like an old-fashioned nurse’s uniform.

In terms of separates, as well as planning to make a couple more Airelle blouses and a few Renfrew tops, I spotted this blouse pattern in the stash (far right, dated 2003):  New Look 6952.  I really like its simple fly-front, open collar and three-quarter-length sleeves.  That yellow version (View C) has a tiny self-fabric frill at the sleeve and hem edges – cute!  I once had a Zara shirt with that detail… and yes it was in about 2003 now I come to think of it!  Not pictured, but brewing in my brain is a Pattern Runway Pussybow Blouse.  I have the perfect material set aside for this.

I also plan to make the Simplicity 5351 skirt in the centre-right view… but a little bit longer than my mustard cord version (main picture and centre-left).  I rather fancy a magenta wool to pick up the colour of the stripes in the jacket.

And finally, the Betsey Johnson flippy skirt, Butterick 3289, is still calling my name.  I have some orange wool crepe earmarked for this pattern… though it might be diverted to sew the Project Runway dress instead – whichever project grabs me first.  Looking at the pattern again, I might even try out the jacket – that could be an interesting alternative to a knitted cardigan :)

OK, that’s a plan. Now I just need to stalk the postman until the jacket arrives. Fingers crossed it fits…!

The January sales are perplexing me.  I thought it might be a good time to buy a few “good pieces” but of course it’s all the tat that ends up in the sale.  So despite thinking I could relax a little, I can’t bear to drop my ethical standards or my preference for natural fibres and end up buying absolutely nothing.  It might be easier if I could stand to go to a real live shop, but I feel a rising panic at the thought.  So, online scouring is the order of the day.

If nothing else, it provoked me to fill in two surveys from Boden, telling them what I thought of them.  Seriously, if they use those images in their next advertising campaign, they deserve to go bust.  Ahem.