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Not so basic basics

If you're a member of the Facebook Group Capsule Wardrobe Sew Along , then you probably know all about the Creative Counselor's Bac...

If you're a member of the Facebook Group Capsule Wardrobe Sew Along, then you probably know all about the Creative Counselor's Back 2 Basics Series. If not, feel free to hop on over to the link and take a peak about what I'm talking about.

But if you don't want to click away, here's the run down. Katie is recommending that we take a break from all our beautiful fabrics and sew up some basics. You know simple items to coordinate with all of those wild prints and crazy styles we all love so much. Just like Kids Clothes Week (KCW), you dedicate a little bit of time each day to work on one of our basic items. Seems simple enough.

At first, I was all over this. I was like, YES, I know exactly which patterns I'm going to sew. It will be so awesome.

But, it hasn't even started yet and I'm starting to dread it. Full on anxiety and fear to cut into my fabrics. Sew up 3-4 basic t-shirts. Really? Sounds like torture. Cue Sadness laying on the ground too sad to even be dragged. WAHHHHHHHHHH!

Now don't get me wrong, I NEED to do this. I need to stop sewing up the super wild prints and sew some basics.

So, if I'm going to do this, it needs to be more than just the same basic things over and over. Some of my not too crazy ideas include:

Pockets. Pockets are a fun way to change things up a little bit. A tiny pocket on a t-shirt takes it from, "I'm boring", to "look, I have a pocket that can't even hold money. I'm just here for style!" You know, like this pocket. Here's a great little tutorial with a free pocket pattern piece. Score! Adding in a tiny little flap is super simple. and if you REALLY need to spice things up, add a cute little embroidery to your shirt, and then cover it up with your pocket. Then only you know what's "in" your pocket. ;) And if your shirt has stripes, cut your pocket on the bias.. Instantly fun.
Image shared with permission from Tami Meyer of Love Notions
That's just the tip of the iceberg. You want fun? What about the Love Notions Hip Hop Tank. Business in the front, Party in the back! I could see this in a black rayon with pretty black petals, maybe even chiffon. Or a nice neutral blue with a chambray button up back. Or cheat and just use an old shirt and put it on the bottom of your t-shirt (the instructions includes this hack, totally NOT my original idea). Use a nice solid lace and you've got fancy. I'm so excited I want to go try all of these options right now! AND AND AND, It is on sale, RIGHT NOW, through Friday, April 22nd. So grab it, you NEED it. No coupon necessary.

Are you excited yet? I know I am. I'm actually no longer dreading a week of simple, no crazy fabric sewing.

Let's try something different. Do you need joggers? I know I need joggers. You probably already know about my love of the Winter Wear Designs Aviators. How many times have I blogged them? I don't even know. A lot. I love them. But guess what, I've always made them very basic and boring. See image. Gray. Basic. Boring. :( Who needs basic and boring? Not this girl! So how can we fancy them up without losing their basic qualities? If you're going navy, perhaps a navy polka dot welt pocket. Or navy polka dot inset pocket. Don't go crazy. Don't go navy and lime green because you're no longer in neutral territory. But black on black, gray on gray, etc. Or piping. Piping in your pocket seam. Seriously, I look like this now O.O. Why can't I sew as fast as I type? The Aviators have cargo pockets, back welt pockets and inset pockets. So many options. AND, the triangle cut out actually looks really cool when you do self colored. You can see Suzanne Winters rocking her olive on olive aviators in the etsy listing. So basic doesn't have to mean boring. Basic can mean, watch me rock pants so cool you can't even stand to look at me. Or not. Maybe that was over kill.

Let's take another turn. What about skirts. I know you're probably thinking, ugh... You can't make a plain black skirt not boring. Try and stop me! Paprika Patterns Jade Skirt. Black, gray, navy olive, even fuschia (tell me the cover photo isn't awesome). And the exposed zipper back... I'm dying here. I don't even need a black pencil skirt (or any other color for that matter), but I want this. I want this in black and gray and navy and all the colors so I can wear it EVERY day.

And speaking of an exposed zipper back, don't discount a super fun exposed zipper. Even if your skirt or top doesn't need it, it is super cute! or you could go a "little" wilder and use one of those lace zippers. Or zipper on the bias. Or even more, just use your own lace with a zipper. Or bias, lace zipper. Yup, zippers=awesome. And still basic. FTW!

And just for inspiration, gray ruffles plus zipper. I'm killing myself with awesome basics!

So maybe you're on spending lock down. I know I am. :( But, there's actually a great free skirt pattern that can be AWESOME! The Itch to Stitch Lindy petal skirt. Ironic truth. I own the Little Lizard King Perfect Petal Skirt. Apparently you can't buy it anymore, but you can still see the bundle up listing here. After working through fitting the Perfect Petal Skirt, I ended up essentially recreating the Itch to Stitch Lindy. Whoops. Oh well, great minds and all that. Its better than your boring basic pencil skirt, but it can still be basic. I actually have 2 of these. 1 in black (no surprise there), and another in denim colored and patterned cotton/lycra. Its like jegging, but not. it is like wearing a comfy pair of leggings. A definite favorite.

Speaking of leggings, I don't sew my own regular, every day leggings. You see, I fit just fine in Walmart brand leggings. They're like $3. I can't even make my own leggings for $3. So I buy a few pairs in black and gray and that's done. But if you need leggings, I have to tell you, you just have to do it. You'd actually spend more time complaining about it than actually sewing a pair from start to finish. Pretty sure that with the help of my serger, I could sew a pair from cut to finish in 15 minutes. You've got 15 minutes. Just do it.

The last thing I need is plain shorts. But the truth is, fitting shorts (and pants) drives me CRAZY. I've never managed to fit a pair of shorts in less than about 6 muslins. Yes, 6. Maybe it is because I'm inexperienced and still learning, but me and shorts, NOT friends. But, I'm working hard to create "the perfect crotch curve" for me. I promise, once I find it, I will never refit pants or shorts again. I will just copy my crotch curve and bam, instant success.

But, if you're interested in driving yourself crazy a versatile shorts pattern, then definitely grab the Hepburn Shorts from Pattern Emporium. This is a great little fit once, get at least 4 different looks pattern. 2 lengths, and 2 waist styles, pull on or side zipper. With or without belt loops, it will definitely break up the monotony of what feels like sewing the same shorts OVER and OVER again. And honestly, I'm kicking myself that I've waited so long to try to muslin these for this year. Just me and shorts... cue Sadness, again.

Now I'd like to pick you and me up out of this Sadness funk before I send you back on your way. And that will be with 2 words, Silhouette Cameo. Also 3 more words, Heat Transfer Vinyl. If you haven't seen the amazing Heat Transfer Vinyl creations that are on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. then you are MISSING OUT. I have an amazing store bought t-shirt with a HTV heart on it. LOVE that shirt. And its still completely basic. So if you've got a Cameo (or Cricut for that matter) or even just a sharp pair of scissors and an iron don't be afraid to use it.

Hopefully I've inspired you to make your basics not so basic! Be inspired. Be creative and don't let that basic black tee just be a basic black tee! Just don't go crazy and use all my ideas on one shirt. Because that would be like

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  1. Awesome ideas! Basics don't have to boring, just versatile :) Mine will not be all black and white this year, and I'm hoping to tackle some fun patterns as well!

  2. Great ideas! I so need a Silhouette in my life. My joints/tendons hate me now and I can not rock an exacto knife like I used to for cutting stencils. I blame all the cardboard models I had to make in college. :P

  3. Thanks for the inspiration! And I hear you on the pants fitting - I'm still searching for the perfect crotch curve too!


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