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Hi

My name is Gabriel and I love to sew, knit, and create. There's nothing better than making your own perfect outfit or giving a beautiful handmade gift. I document my creations on this blog - I hope you enjoy!

My 7x7 memade challenge

My 7x7 memade challenge

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I haven’t had time to do much sewing lately, but I have been reflecting a lot on my sewing practice and how I want to approach it moving forward. The fantastic Slow Fashion October prompts by Karen Templer of Fringe Association have helped guide my thought process. One of the important things I've realised is the clothes in my closet don't really align with what I want to be wearing every day.

This is partly because I am not a shopper, so I rarely buy new clothes. But it is also because, although I love a lot of my handmade items they don't necessarily fit together to form many coherent outfits. So this is a problem I want to fix! The solution I've devised is to focus on making a very considered handmade capsule wardrobe for summer. In the past I've tended to simply jump into projects so this level of planning will be a first for me.

The challenge

I'm calling this project my 7x7 memade challenge because I am going to make seven items which can be mixed and matched into seven different outfits. That way I will have a handmade outfit for every day of the week!

My plan is to make 3 tops and 2 bottoms which can be rearranged into 6 different outfits. I am also going to make one standalone dress and one lightweight jacket to layer over all 7 outfits.

 Fabric swatches and pattern planning

Fabric swatches and pattern planning

The fabric

In the interests of sustainability, I'm not going to purchase any new fabric for this challenge. I've picked out a few special fabrics from my stash which pretty much sum up my style - all natural, muted tones, mostly block colours with one lovely print.

The patterns

I’m going to try and mostly use patterns I already own - although there are at least two I want to purchase to achieve the looks I want.

The patterns I am considering are:

 My inspiration mood board created in response to the first Slow Fashion October prompt - this was a great exercise which helped me clarify the kinds of garments I want to be making.

My inspiration mood board created in response to the first Slow Fashion October prompt - this was a great exercise which helped me clarify the kinds of garments I want to be making.

The timeline

Although the ambitious side of me wanted to give myself a deadline to finish my capsule wardrobe I realise this is completely at odds with the aims of Slow Fashion October. So I'm not going to impose any arbitrary restrictions on myself but simply enjoy the process, and hopefully it will be finished by the time summer ends here in WA - but if not, there's always next year…

Skills - old and new

Throughout my 7x7 memade challenge I want to utilise all the new sewing skills I have learnt over the last 1 1/2 years (which is when I started sewing again regularly). And I also want to try out some new techniques I've come across but haven't got round to testing. While I always make mistakes, hopefully the result will be well made, very wearable garments I will have for many years to come.

A sashiko stitched needle book

A sashiko stitched needle book