Creating My Mix-and-Match Wardrobe

Emily turned to MyBodyModel so she could plan her makes on a model that looked just like her. See how she uses her custom croquis to create looks that she can mix-and-match for a year-round wardrobe.

Any garment maker knows that the amount of time we actually spend physically sewing the garment is very little. That’s because we are all, whether we like to admit it or not, obsessed with the pondering of options, the planning, and the process of making. 

My sewing journey

When I was a preteen, I learned to sew from my mom in our basement on her childhood machine. I started off with everyone’s classic “learn to sew” project—pajama pants—and then went on to make fancy tops for school dances and one-of-a-kind dresses. At some point, I started a sewing business making fleece scarves, puppet theatres and mittens amongst other things, selling them to grandmas at craft fairs to buy for their grandkids.

University was a blur and there was no time for sewing. Then as a “grown-up”, I lived in the Canadian Arctic for five years where I had more time for sewing. Years later, I was even thrown a sewing-themed bridal shower before I got married. Once I moved back “south”, I rediscovered my love of garment making and found the Ottawa Garment Guild (OGG). I finally found “my people”. It was at an OGG meeting where I heard about MyBodyModel for the first time and I saw the light. 

How I use MyBodyModel

Sometimes my biggest hurdle is picturing how a garment will look on me. While Instagram is a great resource, no one seems to have my exact measurements. I am proudly curvy and there is over a 10” difference in my waist and hips.

In addition to the look of the sketches, I enjoy the creative process and let’s be honest, buying the fancy markers. For the last two years at the beginning of January, I have sketched out what I want to make for the year. Plans change of course and these are definitely not the only garments I make, but it serves as a general roadmap.

This year’s croquis features 13 garments, six of which have been made so far.

I like pieces that are practical and can be dressed up or dressed down. Having pieces that I can mix and match are key. To me these pieces will serve me all year long. Some are for warmer weather and others are for winter. For patterns I usually have a good stash of them that are printed that I like but have not found the right fabric for yet. Once the pattern and fabric universe align I will make the garment.

I love making one-off pieces but over the last couple years, I have gravitated towards jewel tones and am making more “mix and match” items.

I try to keep my fabric stash small and I find that I can see more possibilities within my wardrobe being able to “play” with the looks .

2 thoughts on “Creating My Mix-and-Match Wardrobe”

    1. Hi Sharon. Thanks. Nope they are not my own. I tagged the designers in my original Instagram post but here we go from left to right by column: Assembly Line Tie Bow Blouse, Jalie Renee pants, Sew House Seven Alberta Skirt. Jalie Nathalie, Helen’s Closet Avery Leggings. Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress, Jalie Florence. Seamwork Dezi Skirt, Helen’s Closet March Dress. Sew House Seven Cosmos Top and Elemental Skirt, Jalie Tania Coatigan and Jalie Romy Top. Knitting shawl is the Sunday Morning Shawl from Espace Tricot available on Ravelry.

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