It’s been a crazy 2 months of sewing like a fiend, but my Wardrobe Sudoku contest entry is done!
Here is the final Sudoku board with my finished items:
The requirements were to make 10 outfits, but I decided to go “full sudoku” and just throw in all the other optional combinations that were suggested as possibilities on the discussion boards and on other blog sites. Some of the optional looks (like the Center Square and Four Corners) turned out to be some of my favorite looks.
Here are the outfits I was able to make:
For me the stand-out looks are: Diagonal 1, Row 2, Row 3, Column 2, Column 3, and Quadrant IV.
Here are the links to all my individual reviews:
- Burda 6630 – Teal/Black Striped Top
- Simplicity 5356B – Teal Striped Cold Shoulder Top
- BS-06-2013-101B – Black Ruched Top
- BWOF-02-2008-119 – Bow Tie Blouse
- BS-12-2015-115 – Teal Skirt
- BS-10-2010-104 – White Wide Legged Trouser
- BS-02-2017-104C – Grey Culotte
- BS-02-2014-129 – Navy Print Corduroy Skinny Trouser
My favorite individual pieces are the white pants, the skinny trousers, and the bow tie top.
Interestingly, even though I spent quite a few late nights master planning this sudoku board and spent even more time tweaking the items and placements over the past few months, I’m not entirely sure I ended up with a lot of looks I love. I picked pieces whose silhouettes I thought would look good together, in colors I’m drawn to, yet I’m not entirely excited by what I’ve created as a whole collection. Certainly, there are some pieces that look great together, but probably only two pieces (the white pants and the black top) that look good with everything. Even though I feel I had a pretty narrow color scheme (black, white, teal, navy, and grey), I perhaps used a few too many different prints to have everything mesh well. Something to consider if (when) I do more capsule wardrobe type planning and sewing in the future.
Another thing, perhaps, is that I’m not sure I had a really cohesive idea for “where am I going?” when I put the board together. I sort of threw a lot of classier pieces in the mix, but then had some more casual looks with the sweater and culottes. It isn’t as cohesive as it could be. When I was choosing patterns I was looking for a way to incorporate some of the more recent trends, rather than thinking about how everything would look as a whole. I think this is why I’m not entirely loving the mix at the end of of the experiment. It likely would have been better if I’d had more of a purpose in mind at the outset, like “business formal” or “weekend casual” instead of “ooooh, I want to make a [insert clothing item here].” Perhaps I got a bit fixated on fitting recent trends (like culottes) into the mix instead of considering the versatility of the wardrobe as a whole. Another thing I will have to think about for future wardrobe attempts.
Finally, it is sort of interesting how some of the looks I’d normally put together are restricted by the set-up of the sudoku board. For example, if I had to just create 10 looks from these pieces, each bottom would be paired with the black top as an outfit (4 looks), each top would be paired with the white pants (3 looks), I would pair the boucle jacket with the white pants and the skirt (2 looks), and I would pair the sweatshirt with the skinny trousers (1 look). This, of course, is not as restrictive as the actual sudoku game, as it does not require the pieces to be as versatile or coordinate with as many other things. On the other hand, to be frank, that is probably how I will wear these in real life. So, as far as sudoku-ing goes, I’m not sure I would use this formula for future wardrobe planning, but I did find it to be a really informative exercise in thinking about what makes a piece versatile. I would try again if Pattern Review does another contest, but I don’t think I will use it as a primary wardrobe strategy in daily life.
Anyway, despite my indecisiveness over the results, I am really happy I decided to persevere and finish this contest. I think all of the pieces I’ve made will find use in my wardrobe, though perhaps not as I’ve grouped or styled them here. And I do think it was incredible useful and informative to sew an entire wardrobe in two months. It let me explore my capabilities as far as time management and incorporating sewing into my schedule, as well as play around with the idea of a mini-wardrobe. I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about wardrobe planning the past few months, and this contest was a great way to explore what sorts of pieces I want to continue to add to the wardrobe in the future.