My Journey To A Curated Closet, The Finale!

Well, it’s not really the finale…it’s actually more like the beginning! I feel like I’ve put in a considerable amount of brain work these past few weeks trying to make sense of all this information that’s been swimming around in my head and that part finally is over- now I just get to implement all the things I have learned and see my hard work pay off! I don’t know how it happened or when, but around the time that I really and truly started understanding my palette (as in, being able to identify colors from it without needing to have my Color Me Beautiful book open to reference at all times), things just kind of snapped into place; colors that worked well together seemed to swim out at me when I saw them. I was able to put together favorite color and texture combinations without much thought at all, combinations that I had previously coveted from afar but never felt assured enough to pull off myself. Looks that I had never imagined putting together were suddenly easy to envision because my my closet was filled with more pieces that made sense with each other than stood out individually. Memade garments that I hadn’t worn in over 2 years, sometimes 3 (!) were now getting back into rotation, or at least paired up with items that I now felt excited to wear. I never threw those items out because I knew the issue wasn’t that I disliked them- I wasn’t wearing them because I had nothing to wear them with! And then, with my colors and style all over the place, I knew that I would be making one garment just to go with another one- two individual pieces that go with nothing but each other, perpetuating the endless cycle of making things that don’t fit into a cohesive closet.

Okay, I got a bit ahead of myself just now. I wanted to start this post out with the illustrated map I made above because I worked really hard on it after I took a really fun skillshare class with Mimi Chau. As I mentioned in my last post, I got myself an iPad Pro for Christmas hoping that it would motivate me to draw more regularly (if you’ve perused my website at all you know I have a background in illustration and comics). As much as I love pencil and paper, it had come to feel a bit limiting for me over the years with the kind of work I was drawn to, and forcing myself to carry a sketchbook around everywhere was not having the desired effect I intended it to at all. The transition to the iPad was easier than I thought it would be because I spent a lot of time in the early 2010’s  on a wacom tablet, so understanding Procreate and “drawing” on a smooth faced tablet (I don’t like the paper-feel screens) didn’t have too steep of a learning curve for me.

I took one of Mimi’s skillshare classes to better familiarize myself with Painting in Procreate because I am historically not very gifted when it comes to creating with color, but my recent delve into seasonal color palettes both inspired and educated me enough to want to get better at it. In that class Mimi mentioned another one of her classes called Illustrated Memory Maps that looked really interesting, so I took it and I loved it! My first idea was to make a map of my journey figuring out how to curate my closet, and although it changed a lot along the way and I got even more ideas for it as I was finalizing it, I still love it. It’s the first fully realized drawing I’ve made in a long time, and I even challenged myself by working outside of my familiar parameters and incorporating…COLOR! Ha! Color is definitely going to be the theme of my 2020!

One of the (many) reasons I wanted to get back into a regular drawing habit was so that I could plan out makes and share them here on the blog. I’ve used a couple of those croquis sketch pads in the past and I’ve tried using a small notebook to keep track of all my drawings of projects, but scanning them from paper was always a pain in the ass and I wasn’t very consistent with the drawing anyways, probably because I was never sold on those formats- I prefer having all my stuff digitized for easy access and sharing. Below are a few images I created while I was getting to know the Procreate and Fresco platforms, and they were inspired by some of the obvious holes I found in my closet after getting rid of garments that simply didn’t work for my dream curated closet. It is not an exhaustive list of items I need to make, nor will I be making every single item from it, but I think it’s going to be a great jumping off point for me as I start the next phase of bringing my style goals to life.

One of the key pieces to bring my style to life, as discussed in my previous post about my curated closet, is a camel colored duster. It serves as a layering piece to tie in lots of different garments and outfits in the cooler months, it can be used as a neutral from my color palette, and the design, though simple, is unique- it’s not exactly a coat because it’s meant to be worn open and isn’t drafted to close in the front. But I also wanted my version to be more substantial than just a long sweater. After gathering a little instagram intel, someone suggested I try the Hot Toddy coat by Our Lady of Leisure, a new to me pattern company with lots of cute, simple and fashionable sewing patterns in their etsy shop. The pattern looked exactly like what I wanted, a boxy shape but not bulky or loose-fitting, and I had the perfect fabric for it in my stash, a stunning, very luxurious cashmere wool in camel. Looks great on paper, right? Unfortunately this make has been really disappointing. I already started making it but it hasn’t at all met my expectations- the instructions are lackluster and inefficient, there were issues with the pattern lines on my PDF print out tiles (the lines and sizes didn’t consistently match it), and the sleeve is so tight and uncomfortable that I am having to re-draft them entirely with more ease and scoop out the armhole. I am optimistic but please still send me the good sewjo I need to save this thing!!!

  1. This is a vintage Calvin Klein shirt pattern that was gifted to me along with some beautiful large-floral print cotton that is in my color palette. Something is up with the shoulder slope on this pattern- even though its sewn about as perfectly as possible, the neckline is gaping out on one side so I’m not crazy about it yet, but I am hoping I can figure it out so that I can be.
  2. This is another vintage pattern, Butterick I believe, that I got in a big box of donated patterns from an IG follower from Canada. This shirt is designed for wovens but I plan to make it in a nice knit. It’s such a unique design that I can’t tell if it’s my style or not…but I am sure gonna try it out just in case it is!
  3. Green turtleneck! The one I ended up making isn’t as lime green as this, it’s more of a subdued grayed green, which works better for me. As much as I love a pop of color, this lime green from my seasonal color palette is probably the only one I don’t like or plan on using, haha. I used the #monroeturtleneck for my version, a really simple and beautifully drafted top from Tessuti.
  4. A beautiful vintage blouse with a necktie, this one in a rusty-colored silk.
  5. I am currently about to finish the yoke on this No Frills sweater, a garment I knitted last year in a gradient of colors from Miss Babs Yarn. Although I do love it, my earlier version is not in my palette at all (I hate what the eggshell white of that yoke does to my skin tone, blech!) so when I went fabric and yarn shopping for my colors on the east coast a couple weeks ago to get new yarn for a second one, I chose a really deep, forrest green with flecks of gold and yellow greens that I knew would look harmonious against my face.
  6. I keep seeing these short sleeved turtlenecks in ribbed knits all over pinterest and I am dying to make one, once I find the perfect ribbed knit in brown!

  1. Persephone Pants in a deep chocolate twill- haven’t found the fabric yet, so I might have to dye it, right after I just complained about how much I hate dying! Hahaha!
  2. More Dawn Jeans in the skinny fit with tapered ankle, in a light wash denim. I really really love my first pair of dawn jeans, even though I have a few more tweaks to make to them. They are my first pair of woven jeans I have ever owned that fit me like a glove without cutting off my circulation and they never bag out! They are actually made of raw denim, I only pre-soaked them before sewing them up, so hopefully I can find a light wash denim that is close to the quality of these.
  3. I really want to add polka dots to my wardrobe and I haven’t had much luck finding high quality spotted apparel fabrics, but I am not giving up! For this midi-length skirt I have about a hundred pattern options, but I might end up going with the Cielo skirt.

This drawing illustrates the Cap Sleeved Burda #122 03_2013 pattern that I am so in love with, which I’ve made and worn a lot in the past, and which I most recently made in a deep rust colored knit from Stitch Sew Shop (not green as pictured here). This make was the first sign that all my color palette and curated closet obsessions were actually going to pay off, because when I opened my closet to hang the garment inside, all these other items, some I hadn’t paid attention to in years, started trying to grab my attention: “Put me in, Coach! I’m ready!” “No me! I’m right here! I’m gonna look great with that top! Give me a try!” So I stopped everything I was doing to have a Fashion Show At Lunch and document everything for the gram…and eventually for here!

Above is me in the Burda top- a simple ribbed knit, beautiful deep orange color, unfussy design. It’s pretty, but it’s nothing too fancy- I’d call it a step up from just a regular knit tee. Now watch how it pairs with so many items in my closet….

A pair of yellow cotton pleated #alphonsetrousers…

A much beloved but rarely worn cotton printed circle skirt in navy blue, a color that is not in my palette, but still works well when paired with the orange top since the blue isn’t close to my face…

Another pair of Alphonse Trousers, this time in a supremely drapey tweed from The Fabric Store…

A pair of olive green corduroy Lander Pants…

A bright yellow felted wool skirt, yet another rarely worn gem from my closet that nothing ever seemed to work well with…

Light blue Pietra Pants that, somehow, some way, look amazing with this orange top. Even though light blues and orangey-browns were all over my pinterest style board and made it to my chosen palette as a color combination, I didn’t imagine that I had anything in my closet to pull this look off. But I did! Which brings me to a whole series of blues and blue-greens that look amazing with this orange top…

Like these Jenny Overalls which I never wore because the pink shirt I matched with them washed me out too much!

And, biggest shocker of the whole experiment, these Megan Nielsen Flint Trousers in printed silk cotton which I love but have never found the right match for! I kept pairing them with pink blouses, a color outside my palette that does not look great on me, so then I just wouldn’t wear them, ever. I wouldn’t in a million years have thought that this garment would look great with these pants, but here we are! We aren’t judging anymore, we are just basking in the magic that is my closet right now! Ha!

Okay, yall, I think that’s it! What! A! Journey! I will absolutely still be talking about my curated closet and specifically my color palette as I find more ways to wear the things in my closet with the new items I am making, but I feel solidly invested in this new mindset as opposed to talking through and trying to figure things out as I have been doing for the past few weeks. I know I say it in every post, but thank you again for following along, sharing your own journeys in color and thoughtful making, and inspiring so many great conversations around the subjects. This whole experience has been such a great treat, and one I am SO happy I embarked upon. I started reading The Curated Closet on a whim because my friend was doing it, but I ended up feeling inspired and excited about creating again in so many ways! May your 2020 be filled with as many lightbulb moments and fingers just itching to make as mine has been!

 

24 replies
  1. Ainsley
    Ainsley says:

    I loved following your journey! It inspired me to think about my own wardrobe colors 🙂 I love the color green and it works for me, but I have struggled with how to combine it with other colors. Seeing your palettes helped so much! Also: I would check out Emma One Sock for some polka dot fabric. She usually has some beauties! Like this one: https://www.emmaonesock.com/fabrics/73667

    Reply
  2. Cheryl
    Cheryl says:

    You don’t appear to need it but MyBodyModel is great for a personalized croquis figure that can be used digitally or printed out. I’ve entered my basic measurements and the figure looks pretty much like me – I really should fine-tune things so I can download and begin using it.

    I had a Color Me Beautiful analysis done when the book originally came out – I don’t follow the color advice all the time but confining myself to fewer colors does mean that I look happy and healthy more often than not. I just recently found the swatches I received from my personal analysis session – and remembered a few colors I should start wearing again.

    Can’t wait to see what you make next!

    Reply
  3. Delphine (SewingTidbits)
    Delphine (SewingTidbits) says:

    I’ve been following your wardrobe journey which I find super interesting but I have to say that I am COMPLETELY in love your illustrations!
    Also the Jenny overalls combination with the rust top is perfection! I feel like I need a rust top now to pair with the Burnside Bibs I made in a similar color…

    Reply
  4. Genevieve
    Genevieve says:

    This was a great read. I loved seeing what you paired with the deep orange top. Can’t wait to see what you do with polka dots in particular!

    Reply
  5. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    I’ve also loved this series of posts–I’m inspired to look at the things I’ve made but rarely wear to see if the obstacle is them, or the colors I’ve tried to wear with them! For something like the No Frills sweater, I wonder if re-knitting just eggshell would let you save the rest of your work–on my monitor the eggshell isn’t harmonious with the greys, so perhaps they are warm greys that would play nicely with your coloring, and it’s just the eggshell that’s an outlier?

    Reply
    • Jasika Nicole
      Jasika Nicole says:

      Thanks for your comment, but there are some important things to note here: first off, creamy off-white is in my seasonal color palette from the Color Me Beautiful book, but I realize now that I simply don’t prefer the color on me, which is why I don’t wear the sweater very often. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the sweater itself looks. Which brings me to my second point. I am not asking for people to weigh in with their opinions of the clothing I have already made. This series is about ME discussing MY OWN curated closet journey and discovering what colors make me feel like I look my best. It is not an opportunity for you to tell me that the colors I made a sweater out of aren’t “harmonious” to you. That comment is both unhelpful and unsolicited criticism because a) the sweater has already been made in those colors and b) I didn’t ask you or anyone else what you thought of the colors I picked out, I’m only talking about how they look on ME. I made the No Frills sweater from a pre-determined ombré yarn bundle from Miss Bab’s Yarns, a company known for selling “kits” of yarn in colors that work together by creating ombre designs when knitted. I loved the color selection when I saw it on their website and I was super excited to make it. I realize now that I don’t like off whites next to my face in the winter months and grays just aren’t anywhere near my color palette, so the sweater doesn’t really work for me personally…but that is not an invitation for you to offer your opinions on what works for YOUR tastes. Please be considerate and mindful when leaving comments like this on not just my, but everyone else’s blog and social media posts. No one wants to wake up to read a comment about how you don’t like something that we love.

      Reply
      • Rebecca
        Rebecca says:

        I am so sorry that this seemed like criticism–it wasn’t how I intended it to sound, but I rereading it I can see that it did. Please accept my sincere apologies.

        Reply
  6. Holly
    Holly says:

    Hi! Really enjoying reading about your style journey. And I love your new Burda cap sleeve top! I’d quite like to make my own but I’m wondering if you’ve got the numbers right – Burda 122 03/2013 seems to be a maxi skirt?

    Reply
    • Jasika Nicole
      Jasika Nicole says:

      I don’t know what to tell you. Yes, that is the correct pattern number but Burda redid their website several months ago to one that is even worse than the site they had before it. I haven’t even been able to log into my account, much less track down patterns I am looking for. None of the links from the old website work and none of the pattern numbers seem to coincide with the designs they are supposed to match up with. This company is an absolute mess and I have no idea if and when they will get their shit together, so until then we are pretty much on our own.

      Reply
      • Renee
        Renee says:

        I am SO SO happy to see how much love that Burdastyle top is getting. I think I’ve made half a dozen versions myself. I am not holding out hope for the website to get it together though :-/ I tried to leave a review of a pattern and it doesn’t allow for photos and never even posted.

        Your drawings are an absolute delight and I could read a book of them anytime. This has been fun to watch and even more fun to do at the same time. What you’ve posted seems SO ALIVE now!

        Cheers to closets that make us happy and no more wardrobe orphans!

        Reply
        • Paulina
          Paulina says:

          I love the patrern and I’ve found it! It’s issue 1/2012 and the pattern no is 113 or 112:) could you please confirm?

          Reply
      • Nancy
        Nancy says:

        Hi there! I’m also in love with your orange Burda top and am trying to track down that pattern. I have the March 2013 issue of BurdaStyle but the top isn’t in there- so I’m guessing you bought the pattern from their website as a download? In which case I think I’ll need to troll through their pattern listings and hope to stumble across it, lol!

        Reply
        • Nancy
          Nancy says:

          Me again…
          I found the pattern in one of my BurdaStyle magazines: it’s #122 in my April 2011 issue. Figured I would post my finding here in case any of your other readers are as obsessed with that pattern as I was.
          Thanks for your inspiration!

          Reply
  7. Elizabeth Lewis
    Elizabeth Lewis says:

    Jasika, thank you for sharing your journey. I love seeing all the successes and hearing about what you learned about color. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
  8. Renee
    Renee says:

    Hi there, I’m super curious about the wallpaper (stencil?) in your room. Do you know anything about where it came from? I love it!

    Reply
  9. M-C
    M-C says:

    If you can bear another comment about the first no frills sweater.. I am with you in that the cream color doesn’t seem to do much for you, and besides color is really everything in whether you love something or not. But there might be a different salvage solution. Since this is all the same yarn it should take up dye homogeneouly. And since this is primarily animal fibers you can use acid dyes, which are extremely easy to use (and nontoxic even indoors, you need a separate pot but not a separate kitchen). The grey gradient would take up almost any color you chose to throw at it harmoniously, ie pick whatever you would like close to your face and the rest will sort itself out.

    I have double standards about duds it’s true – sewing ones can be tossed, donated, passed on. But knitting takes such a significant time investment, especially in a fine yarn.. So I would rather take my chances with a dye bath than start over from scratch. And I have ended up with some real bargains that way, cranking up the color on horrible 80s neon or puky pastels, whether they started out as thrift rejects or yarn on sale for good reason. Think about it . Dharma Trading has all the supplies affordable, and reliable directions

    Reply
    • Jasika Nicole
      Jasika Nicole says:

      Thanks for your comment but I’m not interested in unsolicited advice. For one thing I don’t have a problem with the cream color of the sweater and I never intended to imply that this was why the sweaster didn’t work for me- cream is actually in my color palette and when I am tan I think it looks beautiful against my skin. I more have issues with the black and greys of the sweater since they arent in my color palette and I therefore don’t have much that go with them. Secondly, I hate dyeing. In general I use my blog and social media to share my process and end results on things that I am working on or have finished, and I try to make it very clear when I am asking for advice, ideas or ways to fix a problem. I never considered this sweater a problem that needed to be fixed, just wanted to share my (at the time) current thoughts on the make. Thank you for respecting my boundaries.

      Reply
  10. Gillian
    Gillian says:

    I found your website through Maressa @maressamade and got re-inspired to work my wardrobe back to my real color palette. I knew I was a Winter (apparently Deep Winter) but somehow I’d gotten it into my head that green NEVER worked on Winters so I was confused why some of my most recent favourites have been green! Turns out they’re just the greens that work on me. (I’m still not sold on hot pink, though.)

    Reply

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