I have nothing to wear …

I have a closet full of handmade garments and I’ve lost my inspiration to get dressed in the morning … I have nothing to wear …

So the other day, I started wandering through my fabric stash and patterns and my Craftsy courses to be inspired, and I remembered I had purchased this one a while ago – Sew to Flatter:  Plan your Best Wardrobe with Nancy Nix-Rice – when it was on sale.  I only buy Craftsy “on sale” and if you sign up for their emails then you get notice of their sales.  😉

This course talked about colour, fabric, patterns for body type, wardrobe planning, etc.  Just the thing I needed to re-discover my wardrobe!  

As an added bonus, I remembered quite a while ago the staff at our office went to a colour consultant.  It was fun!  Interesting that there were colours that we were naturally drawn to and those we didn’t like at all.  In the end we all walked away with our own “colour palette”.  The colour consultant told me I was an “Autumn”, which was fine with me because I liked those colours anyway.

Google image

I hunted, searched and found my old “Autumn colour palette” deep in a drawer.  I think it might finally come to some good use!

I could have done with a bit more BLUE in my palette though!  

Nancy advised me to clear out my closet and MY BELOVED FABRIC STASH of any colours not in my Autumn colour palette.  I haven’t sorted through my closet yet, but I have sorted through MY BELOVED FABIC STASH.  I did find about six fabrics I shouldn’t have bought – like the dreaded HOT PINK!  Nancy also described which patterns should be my go-to patterns based on my body type, although I haven’t sorted through my patterns yet neither.  Hopefully, at least, with my next project I keep Nancy’s recommendations in mind and I won’t end up with garments like this one (wrong fabric) or this one  (wrong pattern).  I just realized both of these qualify for Fail February – #failfebruary – organized by Sew RED-y!


Nancy also provided a useful “Wardrobe Worksheet”.  Apparently with these 12 basic garments, in your colours and style, you can plan an endless wardrobe.

Craftsy/Nancy Nix-Rice

Well, that certainly caught my attention, so I pulled twelve items out of my closet following the Wardrobe Worksheet.  My “Core Four” in basic black – neutral skirt, pants, top, and jacket (although I had to use a cardigan).


My two contrasting pants, contrasting jacket, and contrasting print top.


My sweater set (I didn’t have one, so I substituted a white cardigan and a white print top) and my print skirt and blouse (they are supposed to match but one’s blue and one’s black).nan-3

Now Nancy Nix-Rice’s idea of a combination was to wear a top and skirt, then add a cardigan to make a second new combination … like this …

Another combination – print top and black skirt or print skirt and black top.

Same idea with the pants combinations …

So seriously, starting with these 12 garments, all either black, white or blue solid or print, I managed to get 67 different outfits!  (Don’t worry, I won’t make you look at all of them!)  Now I stuck with black and blue, if i had tried to use more of my “Autumn colours”, or added belts or scarves or one print dress as Nancy had suggested, I could have stretched these garments into even more combinations.

And I have nothing to wear … silly woman!

I know there a sewing blogs, etc. out there who encourage you to sew thoughtfully – like “Sewing with a Plan”.  Nancy Nix-Rice also has a blog nancynixrice.com, which I am now following to get more wardrobe ideas for my future sewing projects.  

I think it’s time to at least sew garments that match other garments in my closet.  I already have a black (boring) Core Four, can I sew to complete a blue or red Core Four?  Can I go through all my “Autumn colours”?

Do you sew on a whim or do you sew with a plan in mind?  

Either way, Happy Sewing!


40 thoughts on “I have nothing to wear …

  1. Normally I’m an impulse sewer [although I do keep to colours that suit me, no yellow, orange or beige in my wardrobes]. Last year I took part in The Sewing Guild’s SWAP which was fun, and this year I’m trying again, but sewing for my wife. This is of course, much harder because I’m a selfish sewer [aren’t we all really?] I’m due another clear out though, as some items simply never get worn, even though I like them,,,they just don’t work for me any more. That’s fine though, as my stash is set to burst out of all the crates and boxes!

    1. That’s right you are one of the SWAP sewers/sewists. I’m going to be watching you with interest! I get tired of some garments too sometimes – then it’s time for the charity pile! I’m going to at least try to keep my impulses in control by watching for the correct fabric, colour and style. A few things I have made just don’t work on me.

      1. We’re all bound to have some mis-matches, or we could only dare to make identical outfits, time after time. That’s not me, I’m changing shape [all for the worst] and style as I get older. Elastic waists for me!

        1. I think we all should change style as we get older – and Ms Nix-Rice must be of a certain age like me, and you? – as she is a proponent of the elastic waist and shows you how to do a simple one!

          1. I’m just about to add an elasticated waist to the V1312…in for a penny!

  2. I think my fabric purchases are probably 99% impulse buys!! However I do try and sew according to need as well, like I desperately need some trousers at the moment, unfortunately having never made them before I’m procrastinating like anything! I got my ‘colours’ done years ago, it was interesting the shade of a colour made such a difference, I can wear the blue end of red but not the orange end!

    1. There are so many lovely fabrics out there, it is difficult to resist. I’m in need of some pants/trousers too. I’m working on a muslin now – my second go at it, or is it my fifth? It makes me feel so much better to try in a cheap fabric (old sheets) first. It seems that some of the shades of yellow make me look deathly, so I have to be careful with those. Funny thing is I realized that before I had my “colours” done. I was in a change room trying on RTW long ago and I discovered that shade of yellow just looked awful on me. I haven’t tried it on since.

  3. Another impulse sewer here. If you have already some basic sets in blue and black, could you look out for a few nice printed silks or rayons which combine a selection of some of your other colours, and make a few simple scarves/blouses to extend their usefulness? Also, maybe costume jewellery – gosh it’s so much easier giving advice than following it.

    1. It is the perfect advice. Honestly, I was trying to keep my word count down – a second post should be warranted as Ms. Nix-Rice did get into adding prints and accessories in the next chapters. To be honest I was in total disbelief that 12 basic garments could mix and match over 60 times. I was determined to prove her wrong! She, and you, are right though – with a few extras from my closet, these basics would really pop! And then again there IS all that fabulous fabric out there that needs a loving home!

  4. I’m another impulse sewer and fabric buyer. I have decided to try and prune my stash so that I can actually see what I want to make up but it’s so hard!!!
    Well done for checking your wardrobe. I’m sure you will soon ‘have something wonderful’ to wear!

    1. There are so many lovely things I bring home! 😄 it’s amazing how much better you feel though when you take control- even if it’s just temporary!

  5. I’m such an impulse buyer. I have scrutinised my wardrobe to identify sewing gaps (cardigans, shirts, trousers etc) but still get distracted by beautiful prints leaving me with a mismatch wardrobe!!

    1. It’s really not our fault you know! It’s those stores, websites and advertisers and the like… they keep waving pretty things in our faces!

  6. I’ve been feeling a bit blah about my clothes right now too. I wonder if it’s a seasonal thing? Winter’s gone on too long and we want to bust out the spring/summer clothes?

    1. I do love the pinkish coat you made a little while ago. Its so beautiful, I can’t imagine it being seasonal. Although I was so happy to see the snow go away – now we have torrential rain and everything is grey – perhaps we should pull out the bright colours early!!

  7. Brilliantly entertaining post, thank you Linda. I too have Nix-Rice’s class and I watched it with great interest. She mentions high contrast/low contrast from memory and in combo with some colour advice (I don’t wholly agree with), I find the contrast thing to be quite interesting. Currently reading a wardrobe planning book (name escapes me unforch), but since we’re currently travelling, one of the suggestions really stands out. When creating a capsule wardrobe you have to be 100% in love with the garments. Living out of a suitcase really proves that point, I’ve worn my light grey cashmere jumper to death this trip, oh and my Cascade duffle coat. Xx

    1. Nix-Rice has a lot of ideas in her course, just a few mentioned here. After going through her course I did stop and think about what I am actually sewing up for myself – hopefully some of it stays with me through my future projects. I do understand my “Autumn colour palette” more now than when it was given to me. I like a lot of the colours and have some thoughts on accessorizing and mix-matching and branching out with some new colours I haven’t tried before. Let us know the name of your book recommendation if you get the chance on your return home!

  8. I like the way you took us through the various combinations…I tend to fall back on black which gets pretty boring, a jolt of blue like in your first combination will really help.
    Of course the real reason I’m not feeling particularly inspired by my wardrobe is because I’m not not pulling out a swim suit and sun glasses and heading to the beach!!!

    1. Nix-Rice also has some great recommendations for wearing black, or a neutral, and spicing it up with a print top or a scarf or accessories. I have only skimmed her course with my comments here. I think I might have a swim suit in my future soon – fingers crossed!

  9. That’s ok! I’m on an IPad right now and everything is getting messed up! I’ll check it all when I get home. I think I get your drift though!

  10. Usually I sew on impulse. Every time I try to plan a couple of projects something appears that jumps the que. This year I am doing the #SewMyStyle challenge so each month I will be doing a pattern from that list. I’m also doing it to challenge myself to try styles I am not naturally attracted to and see now they look on me. I know this might prove to be an expensive endeavour but at least I get to practice my sewing.

    1. I know the feeling. Quite often I think I am going to do this dress pattern next and then I see something on a model or on a blog and I say I have to have that! I will have to keep checking your blog for your #SewMyStyle garments! There is nothing better then improving your craft!

  11. I’m glad it’s not just me who’s got a wardrobe full of orphans! Maybe if I do what you’ve done I’ll have more outfits? I’m really trying to steer away from buying any fabric that’s not a solid colour to make more combinations.
    I’m also trying to sew less whimsically, but then I’ve found I’ve sewn less altogether which isn’t good 🤔

    1. The impulse is difficult to fight. I’m just hoping that I at least get out of this the ability to recognize a good colour, fabric or style for me. Wishful thinking???

  12. What can I say. I take my seamstress with me when I go shopping so now I also have someone who can make my wardrobe explode and as far as swim suits and sunglasses I have this feeling that there is a beach in the future for me and a sister soon.

    1. You are a funny sister! I guess you are going to also benefit from Ms. Nix-Rice’s course when we go shopping. All this talk about sun and beaches makes me want to sew up a swim suit for myself!

  13. What a fascinating post! The autumn colors are so lovely. I’ve been in a black rut for years, and as much as I’d like to escape, everything goes with black. Most annoying.
    Sewing is such a slow process for me right now and I’m trying to plan with some sense of logic, and using a more colorful palette. Have only one completed piece at the moment and it’s definitely a departure!

    1. I don’t know much about “having your colours done” but I sure was happy with what she sent home with me! I have, as you can see. black for the basics. I was sticking to her 12 garment plan to the letter so I didn’t have a chance to bring out many prints. I think black is a good start as, like you say, everything goes with it.

  14. Well, although I admire those who plan, I like to sew whatever flashy thing catches my eye:). I do sew to the occasion though. If there’s a special event or trip planned I try to sew a capsule wardrobe like your core pieces. My fabric stash is huge though so right now I’m sewing to my stash, I hope that will free me in the long run, I love your autumn palate. The colors are much more satisfying that my winter ones. I guess I have a case of season envy here.

    1. You are funny … season envy? 🙂 Are you into the same gloomy grey weather down there that we are having up here? If so I’m all for sewing up some flashy things to go with my black core garments. I love the recent dress you made. I have to catch up on my blog reading again and read all about it!

      1. Thanks! That’s the good news about your core pieces, they’ll go with just about any fabric you have the urge to try!

  15. I know how you feel. My wardrobe is bursting at the seams but I have very little that actually goes with anything else. That sounds like a brilliant class. So handy to be able to have outfits that go. I absolutely love your colours. They are stunning. Maybe you could pick an Autumn colour to be close to your face and use the hot pink for pattern blocking? I am a bit biased though as it is one of my favourite colours.

    1. Yes, I think I should be fine with a non-Autumn colour if it isn’t near my face. But I think the pink will have to be given away or swapped. Hot pink just isn’t me! I am really happy that I learned about colour, fabric and pattern suggestions in this course. It explained why I sew something and sometimes it ends up just not being me!

  16. This is SO COOL!!! It must have been tough getting rid of the 6 fabrics from your stash…..did you really get rid of them? 😆 I’m going to try this at home. I’ve heard the rule that if you haven’t worn something in a year, it’s gone.

    1. This is only the beginning – next I get to pep up these 12 garments with my Autumn colours either with tops and bottoms or accents or accessories! and … NO … I did not get rid of my “unflattering” fabrics. I did put them in the bottom of the remnants bin though! Getting rid of something that hasn’t been worn in a year is a great idea!

  17. I had done my colours about 5 to 6 years ago so got rid of the offenders then (I’m all about clean, blue-based colours). Then a couple of years ago I read Marie Kondo’s book and got rid of probably 70% of my wardrobe. When I was sorting the clothes that I didn’t want to keep (they didn’t ‘spark joy’), I noticed that there were very specific things that I did not wear (big prints, cropped pants, short sleeved tops, button-down blouses) so I have kept that in mind when shopping or buying fabric. But I am still always drawn to really big, bright prints and from time-to-time I will buy one thinking I’ll make a blouse. But then if I make a garment with that fabric it will hang unworn in the closet.

    It’s really a fun and important exercise to find out what brings us JOY when we wear it, however we go about the discovery process!

    1. I haven’t read Kondo’s book yet, although I have heard about it and other bloggers have commented on it. I really should check it out too. It is a great feeling to get rid of the extra unused, unwanted possessions we have, clothes or whatever. I can imagine though that it might be a little difficult staying on your path with all the temptations out there. I’m going to start slowly and give it a shot!

  18. So interesting. I’m not an impulse sewer but I can’t say the same for my fabric buying! I have a plan in mind and was going to do SWAP and PR Sudoko but have run into problems getting the trousers I need so have decided to concentrate on them and abandon the rest – for the moment at least.
    I’m a summer and while I do wear black as it’s so universal, I prefer navy and am trying to base my plans on that.
    You’d recommend the class? 60+ outfits! Amazing. Good luck

    1. I usually plan what I want to make from what I need now or see in the stores or a designer’s idea or other sewists. But I buy any fabric that appeals to me and sometimes they don’t match anything else I have. This course made me think about that, but it was helpful to have had my colours done already. I liked the course but she did spend a whole chapter on accessories, which meant a lot of scarves! 😂

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