clutter and purpose

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I made a terrible decision last Saturday – I went to Ikea on the weekend.  I don’t go often and when I do it’s for something very specific.  It’s usually when I’ve discovered a need for something in my house and found the solution to that need in one of Ikea’s particle board products.  The trip is not (or never meant to be) frivolous, and yet, frivolity often wins over.

stripey burda side viewWhen I wander (fight my way through) the aisles of this popular home store, I am overwhelmed with all of the items they have on display.  Things for organization and decoration, things that have a great design aesthetic or happen to fit the color scheme in my house perfectly, and most importantly, all these things happen to be inexpensive.  Inevitably, I walk out of the store with five times as many things as I had intended and my life gets a little more cluttered.

burda stripey front viewI’ve been trying to fight the clutter in my life.  I’ve been doing well with food, I buy purposefully, only getting what I need for certain recipes and only enough to feed my family.  I’m trying to avoid waste, it’s difficult but a great habit to get into.  I really want to be more purposeful when building my wardrobe since I often shop for clothes in the same way I shop at ikea: pretty! cheap! must have.  The idea of a capsule wardrobe that Sarai speaks of in the wardrobe architect and that has shown up on many fashion blogs (my favorite being the Un-fancy) really intrigues me.

I made the above knit shirt almost 2 years ago with intention.  I wanted to make a grey stripe knit shirt to go with kelly green skinny pants, two basics that would go with other things but also make a great outfit.  The pattern is one from an old burda magazine.  I have yet to make the pants but I have the fabric.

burgundy burda shirt front view

This orange version is my muslin.  I ended up taking the neckline in a bit for the striped version and I made the back band the same size as the front, a deviation from the original pattern.

burgundy burda knit side view

I’ve worn both shirts quite a bit and I’m a big fan of this particular pattern.  The orange knit is from Joann and the grey stripes are from Haberman’s.  Both are made of polyester which I’m not keen on and I’m now being much more deliberate in my fabric choices.  When making basics that will be worn a lot, I’ve realized that quality fabrics are key.  I still have more knit tops in my queue but I’m moving on to pants as those are obviously key in a diy capsule wardrobe.  My plan is for a pair (or two) of hudson pants, and I’m knee deep (no pun intended) into Kenneth King’s Jeanius class but I’m looking for other patterns.  Anyone have success making pants and can recommend a good pattern?

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