Closet Goals

I read a variety of style blogs that run the gamut from extreme minimalism to careless over consumption and now that I’ve declared this space a personal style blog, I thought I’d share where I stand on this spectrum. Over the years, I’ve been influenced by both and gone from too much shopping, not enough planning, closet full of nothing to wear to restricting shopping, excessive planning and a tiny closet that started to wear out and bore me way too quickly. At this point, every time I flip to this image in my inspiration notebook, all I can think is closet goals!

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There are a lot of pieces in there. When the heck do you use ALL of those bags?! But you know what? To me, it looks like a closet filled with special items collected over time that are truly cherished, well cared for and loved. I imagine it belongs to a woman with a strong sense of her own style, who sees dressing as an art and has fun choosing an outfit each day.

As I sew, dig through charity stores and shop for vintage, these are my goals.

I’m dedicated to an ethical wardrobe and learning more about sustainability every day. I’m on board with slowly and thoughtfully adding new things. But minimal? I don’t really think so. I just love clothes and the thrill of the hunt! Digging through the large donation thrift shops and finding that vintage treasure someone cleared out of an attic, 100% silk, wool, or cashmere on the cheap, testing out a trend I’m not sure about for $3 …yes, please!

The idea of capsule wardrobes helped me work out the colors and pieces that make up my personal list of essentials, giving me a solid foundation to build upon but I’m happy to have found the sweet spot where I can just add things I love while keeping it functional. In my climate, most of my clothes can be used year round so, with a few exceptions, packing away seasonal clothes isn’t necessary. I love an eclectic mix of things I find beautiful to combine in all different ways accessible in my closet at all times. Based on how quickly I got tired of my very minimal closet, I think it will be perfect to have enough items that it takes 3 or 4 weeks to cycle through all my favorites so they last longer and I don’t burn out on wearing them.

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A while back, I would have talked myself out of this clutch because it’s not something I’ll use every day. Now I’m okay with owning something special for date nights, even if I only get to use it twice a month, so when I found it in a vintage shop on vacation for $12 I scooped it right up. So much joy! No regrets!

I’m curious to hear from you. How often do you feel you should wear something for it to earn it’s space in your wardrobe? Every month? week? And do you find an issue with owning more than is necessary if everything is second hand or hand made while practicing a hobby that brings you joy? My perspective on this has been all over the map the last few years but for the moment it’s a relief to loosen up the reigns and just enjoy wardrobe building for the fun creative process it can be.

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Cut & Paste

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I have to believe that anyone into personal style who also loves to sew has the box of clothing items they just can’t seem to part with because you know you could [fill in the blank] and it would be perfect! My issue with said box is it basically turns into a black hole where ideas go to die and clothes never see the light of day. For this reason, I decided to put ALL my clothing into my closet and move things I’d worn to one end as I went. After a couple months, I reviewed my wardrobe board and did a (dare I say) final sort of items into 3 categories:

  • love = hang back in the closet
  • meh = donate/sell
  • love but don’t wear because xyz = project box

Keeping the love but don’t wear items in my closet was only complicating getting dressed, obviously, so I decided to snap a quick picture of each piece before returning them to the black hole. Next I used Photoshop Elements to create 8 1/2 x 11″ layouts, printed and cut them out to glue into my wardrobe/sewing journal.

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Now I can flip through my journal when I’m feeling the urge to shop and prioritize a project. Drawing in some grids gives me a clean space for jotting down notes for each. Many need mending, fit alterations, dyeing, or restyling, and others I’d like to knock off the pattern or sew/purchase a new item to go with it. I do realize I could have completed some mending in the time I used to play cut and paste, but there’s 33 projects so in the long run I feel it’s worth the couple hours to keep them all on my radar and moving forward.

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I made it look so fun, my kiddo immediately asked for some clothes for his own project and we spent the best Saturday morning creating together!

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I’m so grateful for the online sewing and personal style community. Though I’ve been doing things like this for as long as I can remember, I now know I’m not a total weirdo and others out there share my obsession interests!

Next on the agenda is some actual time at the sewing machine. I still have #2017makenine to finish and one of those projects has been cut and on my table for longer than I’d care to admit…

A Personal Style Blog

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Back in 2012, I started this blog to document my journey as a textile artist. I wrote about anything and everything, textile collage, online classes I took, learning embroidery, carving stamps, printing  and painting fabric, experimenting with wallpaper paste collage and art journaling, organizing my studio, random craft and sewing projects, handmade holidays and daily life . It was with me through my first group art show, Art Walk booth, gallery exhibition and local retail shop experience.

After having  a baby a few years ago I followed my interests back to dollmaking and slow fashion and wrote about that. At first I liked seeing the progression of things over time, but after a while, blending it all together just didn’t feel right. After a lot of thought, and with more clarity than when I first started, I decided to launch an Instagram account and shop under a new name to share my dolls with the world and wipe everything from this site unrelated to slow fashion, personal style and wardrobe sewing.

I have endless inspiration and ideas for posts and projects surrounding these themes and look forward to having a personal space reserved for indulging my slow style journey and participating in the growing online discussion. I don’t know that it was necessary to address the change, but it felt strange deleting the bulk of 5 years worth of content and not mentioning it, so there it is.

If you’re reading, I hope this is a welcome change. It did seem the most interest was generated on these posts anyway. So, until next time….and if you happened to be here for my other creations, Little Stream Studio will be coming soon!

Me Made May 2017: Wrap Up

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Me Made May 2017 is a wrap, so I thought I’d pop back in with an update. I challenged myself to wear each of my me-made items two different ways and complete 4 mending or upcycling projects during the month. I’ll go ahead and throw it out right now, I did not crush my goal, but I had fun with it and did what I could.

The Outfits

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Outfit 1: Cat shirt, thrifted and upcycled | sweater, thrifted | Paige denim, new 2015 | Frye boots, new 2011

Outfit 2: Cat shirt | Wet Seal vest, thrifted | shibori skirt, thrifted and upcycled | Simple shoes, thrifted

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Outfit 3: moon phase tank, upcycle from husbands closet | Patagonia pants, new 2017| Toms, new 2015

Outfit 4: moon phase tank | sweater, thrifted | jeans, thrifted | Toms, thrifted

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Outfit 5: green 70’s blouse | sweater, thrifted | jeans, thrifted | Palladium shoes, thrifted

Outfit 6: green 70’s blouse | necklace, new 2014 | Patagonia pants, new 2017 | Clarks shoes, new 2016

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Outfit 7: skirt, thrifted & refashioned | One Heart tank, thrifted | Simple shoes, thrifted

Outfit 8: denim dress | scarf, new 2010 | Simple shoes, thrifted

Pieces That Got No Love

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The May gray was partly to blame and when sunshine did peep through I reached for other favorites first. The kimono was never love so I’m not shocked there. The blue tank was a favorite in the summer but it’s very low cut and I could use a new layering piece to put under it so I couldn’t be bothered. Then there’s the crochet jacket which I’ve decided doesn’t get wear because of the color so I’m going to dye it gray to make it more versatile.

The two pieces which aren’t accounted for were me-made by my loose definition for this challenge and include a skirt and sweater which I thrifted, tailored and mended. The skirt was in the laundry most of the time, but it was too cold to even notice. The sweater got one wear but my cat needed an emergency visit to the vet, then a couple hours later my son suddenly had a fever of 105!! Anyway, no photo that day.

The Projects

I did two out of the four I aimed for. One was the shibori skirt and the other was a quick tailoring job on a pair of joggers I lived in two summers ago. They were too saggy in the hips and the fabric was shredding next to the rear seam so I removed the inseams and took them in, simultaneously solving both issues. I haven’t worn them yet, and as I type I’m recovering from a 24 hour migraine and can’t manage to photograph them, but I’m sure they’ll make an appearance here eventually.

In Conclusion

Life threw me some curve-balls and the weather was all over the map but the first two weeks were great. I got a feel for what type of items I’ll actually wear, figured out how to make a couple older items wearable and I’m looking forward to next year if this continues! Thanks Zoe!

Shibori Look Midi Skirt

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After creating my wardrobe mood board and realizing the dominant color was a shade of blue that wasn’t represented in my current closet, the racks at the thrift shops became a sea of blue! Proof that shopping with a plan works…especially when diving into the donation thrift, which can be an overwhelming amount of options. I have so much love for the hunt that giving up shopping new fast fashion didn’t cure me of over buying inexpensive second hand things that didn’t earn their space in my closet. This $2 shibori look skirt, however, was money well spent and fits in with my wardrobe goals. The color, print and silhouette are on point.

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I fell in love with the fabric at first sight, knew the skirt wouldn’t fit as is, but could see there was plenty of fabric to re-style into a midi skirt that would. This was a pretty straight forward project that was complete in an afternoon. Here’s what I did:

  1. Cut the waistband off close to the stitching
  2. Ironed new waistline of skirt and laid flat
  3. Marked a line 6″ from the top all the way across and chopped that piece off, leaving a piece of fabric to cut a new waistband from and the skirt portion, already constructed and hemmed
  4. Basted new waistline in preparation to gather and fit new waistband
  5. Using my waist measurement, cut a piece of elastic and a new straight waistband
  6. Stitched elastic together with ends overlapped so it has to stretch slightly to fit
  7. Serged waistband front and back together at the side seams
  8. Folded waistband in half and inserted elastic, pinning in place.
  9. Serged raw edged of folded waistband together
  10. With right sides together, zig zag stitched waistband to skirt
True to recent form, I did steps 5 – 10 twice. Old habits die hard and I first fit the waistband to my hips, then quickly realized I’d only want to wear it that way with a swimsuit on the beach and the purpose of the skirt was to build my everyday wardrobe. Out came the seam ripper. Repeat steps 5-10. Definitely made the right decision.

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Confession: I probably should have lined this. I knew it while working on it, but didn’t have any on hand. Slow is a state of mind that’s hard to remain in while racing against a toddlers nap time. The zig zag stitch finish is sloppy but it’s okay because I’m going to add lining once I get to a fabric store then properly bind the raw edges.

I LOVE this skirt and I’ve worn it four times already as is, but it has reminded me of an article I once read about the fashion industry taking the ancient art of shibori and turning into a print. I realize one day this skirt should be replaced with a fully handmade version, from the dyeing process to the sewing. In a world where a child didn’t dominate my time, I’d prefer to grow the indigo and make my own vat…but back to my current reality: I’ve ordered a shibori kit from Dharma Trading Co and added the project to the end of my current list. I’ll be wearing this proudly in the meantime though, especially once lined and properly finished to my perfectionist preferences.

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Here’s my favorite way I’ve styled it so far. I felt like a million dollars when I wore this on Mothers Day, even though it only cost me six! Bonus: looks pulled together, feels like pajamas.
  • vest (Wet Seal, thrifted years ago, $1)
  • shoes (Simple, thrifted, $2)
  • cat shirt (thrifted and restyled, $1)
  • skirt (thrifted and restyled, $2)


Once upon a time, I wrote enthusiastically about all the slow style posts I was planning on. They haven’t come to fruition, but I’m getting back to work on my original goals for the series and hope to have more thrifting, styling and outfit posts sprinkled in between sewing project features. One new development is this little bro turned 3 and he’s my new photographer! Although, I’m not above mirror selfies in a pinch.

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Me Made May 2017

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All 10 pieces in my “Me Made” wardrobe

I loved scrolling through the flood of Instagram photos and reading the thoughtful blog posts surrounding Me Made May last year and it’s inspired me to participate this year. If in it’s 8 years running, you’ve not heard of it, more details here.

I currently have 10 pieces (8 handmade / 2 thrifted and restyled) and I’m a SAHM making athleisure perfectly appropriate for my days of gardening, cooking, cleaning, toddler crafts and play. The day may come that I make my own yoga pants, but for now I prefer to focus my sewing on my personal style and support decent companies when shopping for those other pieces life requires. All things considered, my challenge will only include days I actually dress to leave the house for errands, meet ups, appointments or weekends out. Here’s what I arrived at:

I, Kaci of textileandstitch.com / @textileandstitch IG , sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. My goal is to wear each one of my 10 me-made / restyled pieces at least two different ways during the month. I also plan to add 4 pieces from my mend/restyle drawer back into my closet by months end…so 1 per week, hopefully?!

Looking forward to browsing #MMMay17 on Instagram and expanding my sewing community!

#2017MAKENINE: 3 Schnittchen Anna Dress

Here I am, a little later than expected, with my 3rd project for #2017makenine. Below is a quick recap of my plans and today I’m sharing the Schnittchen Anna, a simple A-Line dress with kimono sleeves and side slant pockets.

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Since this is my 3rd project, it makes sense that I’d sew it up 3 times, right?! Well, it wasn’t the plan, but that’s how it went down and I have ONE new dress to add to my closet after all that. I should add that the issues I had were 100% user error. The pattern is perfectly drafted. So, a brief rundown.

Round 1

02-20-17 Anna DressFor this version, I attempted to grade between sizes based on my measurements and quickly learned that reading blogs about other makers grading between sizes does not an expert make. Add an afternoon at a brewery before jumping in and I should have seen disaster on the horizon. Needless to say, my grading skills paired with fabric that was pretty shifty resulted in a dress with too many issues to correct. This will be cut apart to salvage what I can of the fabric.

Round 2

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Don’t mind the un-showered selfie in my kiddo’s messy room

For this version, I re-traced the pattern using a straight size 38 based on my bust and hip measurements. My only modifications were to omit the patterns facings to finish with a back zip and bias facing instead and shorten the sleeves. This wasn’t a total failure, but the fabric feels a little too granny chic (luckily it was $2 at the thrift store), the pockets are too high due to my long torso and I’m not loving the A-line silhouette on me. Since the pockets and hem can be easily remedied, this will go in my fall/winter storage and may come back out to pair with tights, boots and sweaters later this year.

3rd Time’s a Charm!

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LOVE at last! For this version, I went back to my traced size 38 pattern with the already shortened sleeves, dropped the pocket placement 3″ and took 3″ off each side of the hem, blending up to the new pocket notch. After these final adjustments, I was just able to squeeze the pieces out of 1 1/2 yards. I flat felled the side and shoulder seams, which resulted in the one bummer about this dress…no pockets. I found some instructions online for in seam pockets with flat felled seams, but I got mixed up and basically did the trimming and folding backwards. The only way I could see to salvage it, without risking the dress being too small, was to omit them.

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It was an afterthought to drop the front neckline by 1/2″ to eliminate the closure, so on a future version I could cut both the front and back on folds to get rid of the center back seam. The plus side, when considering slow fashion, is I have the option to change the shape of the dress if I tire of the shift and want to fit it more in the future.

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I had considered keeping some of the edges unfinished so when I ran out of thread before hemming, I decided to give it a wash and wear to decide how I like the frayed end. It hasn’t been washed yet, so the jury is still out. I love how easy this dress is to wear! No special underwear required, not see through, interesting alone but easy to pair with any sweaters, jackets, shoes or accessories in my closet. Definitely a win. My only concern with the fabric is it smelled of chemicals even after washing and drying the yardage, so in terms of ethical clothing this probably doesn’t score high on the environmental front. I’ll definitely be more mindful fabric shopping from now on, but this color and style filled a huge gap in my wardrobe.

I followed along with Me Made May last year but wasn’t ready to play along yet, so I’m looking forward to finding a challenge that will work for me this year. Be back sooner than 2 months…I think 🙂