My style, my brand, my life…

My style, my brand, my life…

I read Tilly’s recent post titled Sewing for Your Style: Hint & Tips with great interest.  With some assistance, I’ve been working on my style for the last 11 months.  Since Tilly’s post, I have been pondering what is my style? And more importantly, how does my style fit in with my sewing?

My Style:

I think I’m a quirky romantic (think curls, freckles, florals, lots of layers and accessories) with a growing Japanese influence (simple lines that allow the stunning fabric to shine) and some French chic (hello stripes!) thrown in.


Madalynne’s recent Japanese makes (see here and here) have had me swooning, and I now is probably a good time to confess that I purchased a truckload of Japanese pattern books last month.  I have many pages tagged with ‘things to make’ and although nervous about the language (most of them are in Japanese) I get excited every time I look at them, and that’s got to be a good thing!  I think Japanese patterns are my future.

My Brand:

My signature style, “my brand” is all about more.  For me, more and more and more is more beautiful.

More layers.


More accessories (ie. beads, scarfs, bright lip-sticks) and the general rule is more than one!


More patterns (florals/stripes/spots) all worn together.


AND more texture.


Mustard would be my signature colour, but it’s often worn as an accessory – shoes, beads, scarfs.




Other colours in my palette are green, red, rust, orange, teal, navy, grey and cream – lots of autumn tones.

My Life:

In my opinion, your life this is a really important consideration when it thinking about style.  I know that wearings heals makes my legs longer, and it balances out my long torso, but readers, I’m predominantly a Mum and heals are a sometimes thing.  They don’t work with my day-to-day life.  And there are other ways (although, probably not quite as effective!) to give the same illusion.  Skinny dark jeans, with a shorter top, and a little singlet poking out (offering a contrasting pop of colour or pattern) and a cropped jacket can have a similar effect, and that’s the choice I’m going to go for every-time!  Similarly, I love the idea of a winter dress and skirts with thick tights in the colder weather, but on wintery mornings I know I’m going to reach for the jeans, cords or pants, so there really is no point having a wardrobe full of winter dresses & skirts.  The ideal and the reality… it’s quite a balancing act!

What Next:

Well my focus is definitely going to be on Japanese patterns, but that’s not to the exclusion of all others.  I’m keen to make Grainline’s Archer Shirt for the experience of it, but a classic button up shirt doesn’t really fit my newly defined style, so I plan to make it in a quirky Japanese inspired fabric.

Last weekend I got it into my mind that I wanted to do a FBA on a woven pattern with darts, so I grabbed Grainline’s Tiny Pocket Tank (which I’d already purchased) and set to work.  Sometimes for me sewing is not about the end product, it’s the process – challenging myself and learning new things.

I also have Sewaholic’s Saltspring Dress on my mind.  I thought a dress like this with a gathered waist wouldn’t suit me, but then I had the pleasure of trying on Rachel’s stunning version and it was a winner.  I see one of these in my future too.

Do you have a defined style?  What is your signature colours?  Have you dipped your toe into Japanese patterns?  What are your sewing plans?  Do tell.

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  • I too have recently bought some Japanese sewing books and have a few more on my wish list. Coincidentally I have just finished (apart from the hem) my second version of the pinafore style dress made by Madalynne and I love it. My first one was in a beige check linen and the second in an almost tie-dyed look print linen/cotton blend. Definitely a convert of the Japanese style.

  • It’s good to understand what you’re actually going to wear for working out a sewing plan, but it’s interesting I would have thought an archer would suit you really well? More in the Parisian simple shirt with pants and a coffee:)

    • Ahh yes, I hadn’t though of the classic shirt fitting into the Parisian style (what planet was I on?). I had been imagining it in a liberty print (which I forgot to mention!) but maybe a block colour, rolled up sleeves and pants & coffee (as you suggested) is the way to go. Thanks for making me re-think that one!

      • I’m still trying to work out what my husbands no-iron shirts are made of, and then I’ll be buying some of that for some archers.

        Of course I could just walk to the closet, but that’s a bit too much today 🙂

      • I’m laughing with you Sarah. Oh gosh I remember how tiring it is being pregnant, particularly when you have a toddler to wrangle. Take care and keep smiling 🙂

  • I always ask myself this and think it would make sewing alot easier and getting dressed in the morning! But my style seems to shift with my mood and music influences. I’ll go from feeling retro and 60s to feeling punky. I think though I would like to merge this and meet in the middle with a more contemporary style. Always though, I love grey. More grey the better! Boring?

    • I’ve always been good with colour and knowing what suits me, but to tell you the truth I had little idea about style until I started this process. Questions about ‘the feel’ of the outfit had me returning blank stares! So much to learn, such fun, but quite a personal and emotional journey!

      And your idea of merging two styles (retro 60s and punk) to meet in the middle… Clare you’re woman after my own heart!

      Grey isn’t boring. It’s obviously a colour that you feel and look good in, and sometimes we need comfortable, safe, reliable things, like grey, so we can experiment with other aspects of style. Looking forward to seeing your next make.

  • So sick of “Fitzroy Safety Black” that abounds in Melbourne. But I do wonder if that is because my style does not include black?

    Thought provoking post here! I can feel a blog post of my own as a consequence : )

    • I must admit I had this post swimming around in my head for a few weeks before it felt mature enough to share. I’m pleased you found it thought provoking and I look forward to reading about your style.

  • I love this post – I, too, read Tilly’s post about style and it’s something I need to address as well – lots of cute clothes doesn’t always make for a cute wardrobe! Selfish Sewing Week is a great place to start and I’ve actually pulled out old pieces that I thought I didn’t like and have given them a new lease of life! Feels good – I love your layers, stripes and Japanese vibe! x

    • Thanks Laura. I love your “lots of cute clothes doesn’t always make for a cute wardrobe”. How true is that? Sophie from Cirque De Bebe is currently undertaking a solids experiment and I think I could take a few leaves out of that book too! Looking forward to seeing the results of your Selfish Sewing Week.

  • A lot to think about there, I live in dresses so I know that is in my “style” I find them so easy just to throw on. I’m into Japanese patterns at the moment, please come and take a look at my very new blog. Only 3 posts so far!! But there will be lots of Japanese pieces coming up as I’m short and slim and they are perfect for me. Easy for a newbie stitcher like me . Louise too.

    • Hi Louise. A big warm welcome to blogging. Thanks for telling me about your blog. I love you new green dress and envy that you can tap into your Grandmother’s stash. My Grandmother was a big sewer but unfortunately she past away before I was born. My Dad jokes that the sewing genes obviously skipped a generation. Even though I have a blogger account, I just can’t get comments to work on blogspot blogs, so my silence doesn’t mean I’m not reading. Happy sewing and blogging.

  • You have such a distinctive style and I envy it so! (necklace layering is my goal teehee)
    Style wise? I’m style trying to nut that out. I think I may be a fitted bodice, bigger skirts, lots of pink… But this is a work in progress ;D

    • Thanks Amanda. You do definitely rock the fitted bodice, defined waist and fuller skirts (leave the sack dresses to me!). I think style is really tricky and I too am a work in progress. As I said in an earlier comment, I hardly even knew what style was 12 months ago, so it’s been a steep learning curve. Pink is awesome, more pink please!

  • I have really enjoyed reading your very thought provoking post. These are all issues I need to address myself. I seem to be sewing quite a variety of things which don’t always suit me, but I am starting to think about this more now and hopefully my sewing will start to reflect my true style and lifestyle more accurately. Thanks for sharing your journey…very inspiring.

    • My pleasure Jean. I do feel like a work in progress, but it was helpful for me to document where I’m at now. I just took a look at your blog and the dress you made for your nephew’s wedding was amazing. I also loved seeing you and your sisters rocking it in such gorgeous colours – girls after my own heart!

  • I too am a fan of Japanese sewing books. I have a few that are in Japanese as well as in English. The diagrams are pretty easy to follow in Japanese once you have mastered an English version. I really the Japanese style – flowing fabrics, simple lines. I’ve made a few tops from “Happy Homemade Vol. 1”

    • Hi Anna. I agree that once you get into the swing of things the diagrams in the Japanese pattern books are a less daunting. Simple dress and tops are fine, but I’m still a little scared of making a lined jacket (for example). Baby steps hey? Actually, my biggest problem with so much inspiration is where to start!

  • I’m so glad that my Japanese dresses were inspiration to you. I can’t agree more than when it comes to planning a sewing wardrobe – reality is a key player to consider.

    Loving your style – quirky romantic. That’s me too!

  • I was thinking about this very thing, wanting to update my wardrobe and get to work on some sewing projects. Feeling guilty about the patterns I’ve amassed and wanting to move past some online fabric shopping failures, I am eager to sew some updated basics (namely, a few Briars and a pair of Anita ponte pants for the fall ahead in the US). Like you, my life at home with small children doesn’t have much use for dresses! I love what I see blogging seamstresses create but should devise a “My Style” litmus test when I want to buy a pattern “simply because” everyone else is sewing it!

    • I’m hearing you Sarah Jo. I have so much fabric and so many patterns and lots of these don’t fit with my newly evolved Style (Ooopphhhss!). The upside is during a recent big sewing room tidy I did some de-stashing (giving fabric away to sewing buddies) and I rediscovered some gems that I had pack away and was previously too scared to use. I totally agree about the “My Style” litmus test. I’m also going to try and buy fabric for specific projects rather than just because it’s pretty, on sale, a lovely colour etc. Wish my luck with that one…

  • As a grateful recipient of your de-stashing, I’ll say I am excellent at inventing projects at the sight of lovely fabric.

    I’m finding it really interesting to hear your thoughts on this. I feel we have quite similar tastes in terms of shapes and styles, and I have a lot of your makes bookmarked for reference so I can make my own versions. But I never walk past black, grey, navy or red and I feel like I get lost in Liberty.

    If only I had time to make all these lovely things! Soon, I hope. I cut out yet another Scout this week, and I have a McCall’s 6565 to tackle.

    And I’m totally coveting that Japanese top with the completely unnecessary, yet awesome, contrast pattern halter. 🙂

  • Such a great question…my lack of blogging (and sewing) has to do with a shift in style persona…not a radical one…but something doesn’t quite gel for me and my current wardrobe…I’m not enthralled with what I see in the mirror….so am working on things til I am!! I love your style….wonderfully eccentri-chic ! I love mustard yellow too…but it’s definitely not one of ‘my’ colours… It’s a pain not really liking ‘mý’ colours!! Anyway…thanks for this thought-provoker post!

    • I’ve missed your sewing and posts, but understand the need to take a break until you’re in the right space. “Eccentric-chic” I am so going to use/borrow that term – it’s perfect! 🙂

  • I really enjoyed reading this post. I was drawn to your style when I first came across your blog because I liked the combination of style and wearability. I have also been doing a lot of thinking about sewing clothes that i would love to wear, so reading posts like these give me useful insights.

  • […] traditional suit. I am not a traditional suit person any more. Which reminds me – Anna had a terrific post the other day about finding your style. I’ve been ruminating on her thoughts ever since, and […]

  • Oh I envy that you know your style so well Anna – I struggle with this a lot! I lean toward ‘safe’ black too often and need to take some time to find what my style is I think!!
    Thanks for the food for thought. Very interesting post.

    • I still very much feel like a work in progress Karen. I had this post floating around in my head for several weeks before writing it. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put it out there in case I wandered, drifted or got it wrong down the track. But I’m starting to understand that style is very much a never ending journey. In the end, I wrote the post for myself as much as anything. Documenting my thoughts on style at this point in time will hopefully be a good reference point when I’m next feeling a little ‘lost’ or ‘wobbly’ with it all.

  • […] need to wear, not what we most enjoy sewing. Anna from Blogless Anna worked through her process of determining her own style, how that is reflected in her clothes, the pragmatics of what is flattering and what is feasible […]

  • I think it’s great that you’re so aware of your clothing style and lifestyle – sometimes it can be hard to reconcile the two! Tilly’s post was definitely very thought-provoking, and I’m still trying to figure it out for my own life/style. I really like how you’re so practical though. It’s hard to wear heels everyday, even if they look great. Rock those flats instead! : )