2019: Sew Your Kibbe Challenge!

I’m pretty sure that the title of this post should come as no surprise given the past three months worth of posts about Kibbe and his style IDs.  I’ve just completed posting the main series yesterday morning, and after having gone through all of the Kibbe types in such detail, I’m more certain than ever that I fall in the Soft Natural category.  All of this exploration has really allowed me to identify those styles that will work best for me, and so it only feels natural (hehe!) that I should use this as the core of my sewing plans for the upcoming year.

In the past I’ve been quite over ambitious in my sewing goals, but I think I can be a bit more focused now that I have a clearer image of what I want to make. Ideally I’d like to replace my entire wardrobe with new items (partially because I’m Kibbe obsessed, but more so because I’ve realized how ragged a lot of my current garments are). So, despite my lofty ambitions, I want to keep my plans more realistic than is years past.  I’ve thought of a lot of ways I could set up this challenge, but ultimately I think the goal for this year long sewing challenge is to make 1 Kibbe inspired item per month.

Based on the number of people who were enthusiastic followers of my Kibbe series, I figure this sort of sewing challenge might be of interest to a lot of people, so I’m going to outline my general approach here, and post more of my personal plans later in the month.  Partially because I need to take some time off of the blog in early January to focus on real life events (I’ve got a few posts scheduled ahead of time, but I won’t be actively writing new content this month), and partially because I still need a bit of time to plan out what I want to make.  In the meantime, here is my general outline for the Challenge:

Step 1: Figure Out Your ID

I’ve already done this; after considering the Kibbe types for just over a year I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a Soft Natural.  If you know what type you are, great!  If not, then the first step is to identify which types are the most likely so that you can narrow down the list of recommendations.  I covered this quite heavily in my Sew Your Kibbe series, so I suggest you look there if you are just starting on your Kibbe journey.

Step 2: Purge/Organize Your Current Wardrobe

I think it’s important to see what you have, and what you need, especially since the plan is to only sew a 12 item collection/capsule/group of garments to add to the current contents.  I think there could be a couple of approaches to this step…

  • If you know your ID and really like to purge, then sort your wardrobe into clothes that suit your ID and clothes that don’t.  Using the ones you want to keep, figure out what you have, what you need, and plan accordingly from there.
  • If you are not sure what you ID is, organize your clothes into groups based on what ID they would best fit into.  For example, if you are stuck between Flamboyant Gamine and Soft Gamine, sort clothes into “Flamboyant,” “Soft,” “Both,” and “Neither” categories.  Do a trial run wearing just Flamboyant Gamine clothes (possibly mixed with pieces from “Both”) for a week, and then only Soft Gamine garments (also possibly with pieces from “Both”) for the next week.  You should feel better in one set rather than another.  If you still aren’t sure, try the experiment a bit longer, but save your clothes until you figure out what really works for you and what doesn’t.  Once you settle with a type, move on with the purging and then the sewing plans.
  • You could do a closet declutter using the Konmari method – figure out what brings you joy.  Then sort what brings you joy because you love to wear it in a different pile from things that bring you joy for other reasons (for example, I have an old Burda dress I can’t bear to part with because I’m still so proud of how I sewed it, but I can’t really wear it anymore because it is too small).  I’m pretty sure the garments you love to wear will tell enough of a story to help identify or at least narrow down your Kibbe ID.
  • Use the multi-step purge method.  Basically you do one sweep of the closet to remove the items that are just ratty, old, and nasty.  Then you go through and remove stuff you really hate to wear.  After that you set aside sentimental items that don’t get worn (and decide if you want to keep or part with them).  Then you take a hard look at what’s left and figure out what are your absolute favorites that actually work with your current lifestyle, and what really doesn’t work with other things you are definitely keeping in the wardrobe.
  • Maybe you really don’t know your style ID or personal sense of style and are a bit worried about throwing the baby out with the bath water. Perhaps you could try something like Sewrendipity’s Wardrobe Wear Count test during the year. Tracking which garments you like to wear might help hone in on your Style ID, or help determine which garments don’t need to be in your wardrobe in the future.
  • You might be someone who purges regularly and really doesn’t need to do this step because you run a tightly curated ship of fabulosity, and you really just want to use the Sew Your Kibbe Challenge to add to your wardrobe selection in a strategic way.
  • Or you might be someone who doesn’t purge, ever.  And you don’t want to start now.  That’s fine, and I’m the last person who should pass judgement on that.  I did my first major declutter not too long ago, so I get it.  I will say that I think just taking a look at everything you have will be helpful for the planning phase, but if you really just want to jump in and skip this step, that is totally your prerogative.  This is all really just a bunch of suggestions, not a bunch of rules.  You do what works for you!

Step 3: Take Inventory of Your Wardrobe and Your Life

You need to figure out what you have left after the purge, and what you still need.  Maybe you realize that you are set for fancy dinner parties and for casual events, but that your work wardrobe just isn’t doing it for you.  Or maybe you have half of the amount of casual clothes you need, and half the amount of work clothes.  Or maybe you need a little something for each level of dress to really round out your wardrobe and make it really robust for your lifestyle.  Taking inventory not just of your clothes, but of your life can really help with the planning step.  Figure out what you spend your time doing (daily/weekly/monthly/yearly) and what sorts of clothes you need, and in what proportions.  Maybe you live a very casual life, and need 80% Level 1 styles, with just a few things from Level 2 for “fancy” events.  Or maybe you live a life in the public eye and need a full Level 3 wardrobe so you can look completely polished at all times.  Your wardrobe needs will be very individual, so this is where you really need to take a fair evaluation of your needs and wants.  Right now I feel like I want to replace everything in my closet, but I know that’s not practical.  I have to figure out what my immediate needs are, and go from there.

Step 4: Figure Out Your Personal Style Slogan

I’ve seen this called a lot of different things, but, basically, this is when you get to add your twist to your style.  Kibbe has given us a framework, but now we get to make it our own.  I always struggle with this step.  I’m usually thinking about words like “elegant” and “relaxed,” but I haven’t really found my personal slogan yet.  In hindsight, trying to fit “relaxed” into the slogan was more critical when I thought I was a Classic type; now that I know I am a Soft Natural it feels redundant.  I keep hovering around something like “Elegant Academic” but that doesn’t quite feel right either.  This step, ostensibly, is how you personalize your style, so I think it is important to put some thought into this.  I must admit it was a lot easier when I was coming up with my Sew Geeky wardrobe plans because in a sense I could pretend to be other characters.  It’s a much harder step in this challenge because now I have to figure out how to be myself.

Step 5: Pick a Color Palette

There are lots of ways to get a color palette.  You can look at one of the established color systems such as:

Personally, I know I look great in the winter colors from the 12 seasons system.  Kibbe himself uses the four seasons approach.  I’m also intrigued by Merriam Style’s system because it makes a lot of sense if you approach color from an artist’s perspective.  Regardless of the system, I’ve come to realize I look best in cool colors that aren’t too muted or too bright.  Kibbe himself offers suggestions for use of color for each of the style types, and I think I will try to focus on incorporating his recommendations when putting together outfits this year. 

Step 6: Pick Patterns

This will have a lot to do with what you need to sew and what sort of lifestyle you have.  If you are making a lot of pieces to complete your current wardrobe, they may not necessarily go completely together, so you won’t need to create a cohesive 12 piece capsule collection.  However, I think the Sew Your Kibbe challenge is pretty open ended, so it should be really easy to incorporate into other sewing challenges you might want to participate in this year as well.

Here are some possible ways to combine Sew Your Kibbe with other popular challenges…

  • Incorporate your Make Nine items.  The #makenine has been really popular on Instagram.  You could easily incorporate some (or all) of your Make Nine into Sew Your Kibbe.
  • BurdaStyle Challenge.  This challenge has been around for quite a while (like, from Ye Olde Bloggers who no longer internet a while), but basically you sew one garment each month from the magazine, either from the new issue or from a back issue of the same month that you may have, especially if the new patterns don’t suit your fancy (or your Kibbe in this case…).
  • Various SWAP (Sewing with a Plan) challenges.  There are several all over the internet.  It would be really easy to pair this with Sew Your Kibbe; basically they tell you what garment types to sew/are allowed for the SWAP and you plan it out from there.
  • Assorted Pattern Review Contests.  Pattern Review posts the contest schedule at the start of the year.  A real planning junkie could totally pre-plan a Kibbe garment for each challenge (except the Bee), and totally go for the two birds one stone approach. 

Alternatively, you may want to just plan and sew an isolated capsule wardrobe, or two mini capsules.  There are lots of ways to do this, but I’ve included a few ideas for convenience.  I will go over these in more depth in a post next week, but for general challenge purposes I thought I would include them here as well.  So here are some possible wardrobe plan examples for creating a 12 piece collection for the year:

(1) Sew to Flatter (from the Craftsy course)

  • Key Neutral Skirt (Core 4)
  • Key Neutral Pant (Core 4)
  • Key Neutral Top (Core 4)
  • Key Neutral Jacket (Core 4)
  • Contrast Pant 1
  • Contrast Jacket
  • Contrast Pant 2
  • Contrast Top
  • Contrast Top 2
  • Sweater
  • Print Skirt
  • Blouse

(2) Tim Gunn’s 10 Essentials

  • Basic Black Dress
  • Trench Coat (Neutral Color)
  • Classic Trouser
  • Classic White Shirt
  • Jeans
  • Any Occasion Top
  • Skirt
  • Day Dress
  • Jacket
  • Sweatsuit Alternative (3 pieces: top, bottom, jacket/sweater)

(3) Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning (vintage textbook)

  • Coats and Jackets
    • Heavyweight Coat
    • Formal (suit) jacket/blazer
    • Midweight Jacket
  • Dress
    • Day Dress
    • Fancy Dress
  • Skirt
    • Formal (suit) skirt
    • Casual skirt
  • Pants
    • Formal (suit) trouser
    • Casual Trouser
  • Blouse
    • Tailored blouse
    • Soft blouse
  • Sweater
    • Cardigan/sweater

(4) Seasonal Capsule

  • Spring/Summer
    • Coat/Jacket/Sweater
    • Dress
    • Top 1
    • Top 2
    • Pants
    • Skirt
  • Fall/Winter
    • Coat/Jacket
    • Sweater
    • Dress
    • Top
    • Pants
    • Skirt

(5) Mixed Level of Dress Capsule

  • Level 1
    • Coat
    • Jacket
    • Pants
    • Skirt
    • Top
    • Dress
  • Level 2
    • Suit jacket
    • Suit pant
    • Suit skirt
    • Suit blouse
  • Level 3
    • Dress/jumpsuit
    • Coat/topper

(6) Single Level of Dress Capsule (choose Level 1, 2, or 3)

  • Heavy coat
  • Lightweight coat
  • Jacket
  • Sweater
  • Top 1
  • Top 2
  • Top 3
  • Bottom 1
  • Bottom 2
  • Bottom 3
  • Dress 1
  • Dress 2

As you can see there are lots of options!  Of course, you can make any combination of garments that work for you, but hopefully these suggestions provide some inspiration for how to combine different garments in a capsule.  I will be doing a post with garment samples later this month, though only with examples I’m considering for my own personal challenge. You already have plenty of sample patterns for all the Kibbe types – this is where you get to be creative and make your own personal decisions!

Step 7: Pick Fabric

The fun part!  At this point you should know what you want to sew, and what colors you want to sew it in.  Look at Kibbe’s recommendations for fabric types and advice on colors and print.  Then shop your stash!  Or in your local store or online if for some reason you need more fabric… 😉

Step 8: Sew!

The even more fun part!  By this point you should have decided what you want to sew, so now you just need to figure out when you want to sew it, and go to town!  Hopefully by the end of 2019 you’ve added some very intentional pieces to your wardrobe that will get a lot of use and love!

Step 9: Share!

I’ve never “hosted” a challenge before, since I usually do them as personal challenges for myself, but I think it would be really fun for everyone who is interested in this challenge to share their makes on social media.  I’m going to use the hashtag #sewyourkibbe for any of the Challenge makes I accomplish next year, and I invite anyone else who wants to join me on this challenge to do the same!  If there is enough interest I might possibly do monthly (or quarterly?) round up post on my blog – I think it would be so fun to do a post of Kibbe styles showcasing non-celebrities looking fabulous in self-stitched garments, and if a bunch of people participated I bet we could have examples for most the the Style IDs too.  

So who’s with me?  Is anyone else interested in do the Sew Your Kibbe Challenge?  Would anyone want to be featured as part of a monthly Challenge round up post?  Please let me know if this sounds like a fun challenge and if you have any interest in participating in the comments! 

Happy Sewing and Happy New Year!

89 thoughts on “2019: Sew Your Kibbe Challenge!

  1. As always, your post is so interesting, offering multiple possibilities, various visions 🙂
    On 2018, I found my colors, join a fb group to help build a capsule and sort/purge/organize my wardrobe, challenge myself with a year long fabric destash and was inspired by your series on kibbe style.
    I’m not very good at following big challenges on a complete year, but build capsules, with my colors and trying new shapes on me, was already part of my 2019 goals, so I’m in 🙂 flamboyant gamine & deep autumn, warm spring

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is a great idea! My main local crafty shop has had 40% off fabric & patterns in the Boxing Day sales, so I’ve stocked up and now need to make sure I actually make some things 🙂 So I’m in for the challenge, for sure. I’m still very much at the stage of learning as I go, so now I’ve got my Kibbe sorted, I need to get my colours sorted (thanks for the tips above!) and take less of a scattered approach to what I make. Also, Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m in. I had already been thinking to do a wardrobe purge and sew a SWAP this year anyway. Plus now having finally confirmed I’m a Natural (not SN or FN) I wanted to try one of your suggested patterns from each category you listed (so 7 garments). I have other TNTs I want to use which seem to already fit the Natural parameters so should be able to manage 12 in a year. A big plus for the natural styles is they are a relaxed fit and often easy to sew so should be a lot easier than some of the style types!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m planning Newlook 6416 coat and Simplicity 8175 skirt plus a whole load of Burda Style (esp the Plus) from your selections for Naturals. Thank you for the encouragement to sew more of the Burda back catalogue.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay! Love it! I seem to be trapped in Step 2, perpetually organizing, reassessing, purging, and starting over again. If I can ever move forward, I want to sew very deliberately this year, and that means sewing only from my stash, sewing a very limited color palette, sewing realistically (90% warm weather and Level 1 for my lifestyle), and definitely sewing my Kibbe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds so similar to my own goals too! I have similar climate needs and lifestyle needs, and certainly have a large enough stash to sew from it. I think I need to be a bit more ruthless with my purging, but I think having Kibbe style concept will help a lot with that. I’ve had a thought of doing a “quasi-purge” and remove things into a temporary storage bin/maybe box while I work out my personal style a bit more. If I find I can live without them this year, then I probably can let them go come 2020, but if I find myself missing them then I can pull them out and reincorporate them into the Kibbe-ification of my wardrobe this year.


      1. Yes, do that! I think that’s what people used to do before Marie Kondo came along. After I retired I had so much trouble letting go of my beautiful, expensive work clothes that I stored them in a separate closet for several years before I donated them! I still sometimes use the temporary storage method when I’m having trouble parting with some really nice fabric. Whatever works. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Kibbe describes this sort of weight gain as being in the “waist” and is pretty delicate about his descriptions of weight gain in general. There are a few types that collect weight there primarily: Soft Classic, Natural, and Gamine tend to collect weight in the waist area first. There is a summary on this web page which might be easier to use to compare the types:


      Honestly I think looking at other features might be best to try to determine a type and not focus on weight gain as a primary determinant (though I do think it can be helpful as a secondary or confirming characteristic).

      Also, (and please don’t be offended by this because I can’t know everyone’s personal state and am trying to make general statements here) I think it is also possible that there are a lot of medical conditions that may change weight gain tendencies from what Kibbe describes. I tend to listen to too many health/medical podcasts, and read a bit too much about certain digestive track issues, many of which can cause the weight gain issue you describe (IBS and celiac being two of them). These are definitely medical issues and not what I would consider a normal weight gain pattern. Again, I don’t mean to make presumptions or offend in any way, but as someone who has had an autoimmune disease I am very mindful of how medical issues can wreak havoc on weight but also disrupt “normal” patterns of where it collects. I can totally understand how varying weight levels can make finding a type challenging, but I think looking at things like bone structure and general fleshiness can be more helpful in determining or narrowing types. If this is still hard I recommend doing a bit of reconnaissance shopping – pick out an outfit for each of the types you are considering and see what works best for you. At the end of the day the goal is to find clothes that work, so it makes sense to use them as a litmus test of style if you are still searching.

      Hope this is helpful! I may do a more in depth post on Kibbe and weight in the future, but I believe I also discussed this a bit in my Interlude post of the series.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you for the extensive answer.
        There might definately be autoimmunity messing with my weight gain issues, thus meaning I’d gain elsewhere if I was healthy… It seems to me that none of them just start looking pregnant instead of fat? I mean, if you saw me from the back, you wouldn’t usually know I carried extra weight, it’s when you see me from the front, and especially the side, that you can tell. And if there are mentions of mostly keping the figure, it’s still mentioned weight is from waist down, not waist up :/
        It seems Soft Classic describes the closest weight gain issues for me, but I think I have too much drama to be any of the softer types so that definately adds to the confusion.

        I’m pretty tall and V-shaped, so thus I find I look best in tailored V-necks and A-line skirts, which is somewhat Classic according to the Kibbe examples I’ve seen. But again, A-line skirts are hardly reccomended for any of the types, and definately not any of the ones with a bit of Drama in them…


      2. Your weight gain pattern sounds a lot like SIBO. I’m not a medical doctor, so I have to legally caveat that I’m not offering medical advice and that you should consult a practitioner, but it definitely sounds like a medical issue and I would not recommend fixating on that as a means of discerning anything related to Kibbe. Also, as a general statement, I would say that weight gain patterns have changed since the 80s across the population due to a more highly processed diet and changing gut microbiome, so I’m still not sure how useful the weight discussion is in 2019 as opposed to 1989, because people just aren’t putting on weight the same way. Again I don’t want to go too much into the weeds because I geek out on podcasts about epigenetics and such, but suffice it to say things have changed. (If you do want to know more I recommend The Paleo View, Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution Podcast, or Chris Kresser’s Revolution Health Radio because they have fascinating discussions with experts in the field of health research.)

        Based on your description I would try to compare clothes in the Dramatic, Classic, and Gamine main categories and see if you can narrow it down a bit from there. Your description of your body shape and style preferences has me thinking you might be Dramatic Classic or pure Classic, but it sounds like pure Dramatic or Flamboyant Gamine might be worth exploring as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Doctor T:
        Yeah, it wouldn’t really surprise me if I have SIBO. It seems quite common with autoimmunity. I’d love to listen to the podcats etc you mention, and I already eat a mostly paleo diet. When I do cheat on that diet, my stomach bloats quite noticeably.

        But then, I think my mother and grandmothers must have had SIBO it as well, we have all been top heavy women with stomach gain issues in my family on both sides. But my grandmothers were more short and wide, the drama is definately from the men in my family.

        I tried taking the Kibbe Test again, it seems that I have almost equal A and D answers, and D isn’t really adressed in the results, and definately not when paired with A. So that could be what throws me off finding my type.


      4. Ah! You can think of D as being similar to E in that case (if you think of the quiz as being a spectrum from A=yang to E=yin). With a mix of A and D you have to look at *what* gets the A’s and *what* gets the D’s. If the questions about skeletal structure are mostly A’s and flesh is mostly D’s I say Soft Dramatic. If it is D’s for the body and A’s for things like facial features I’d say Theatrical Romantic. If the mix is really random all over the place then I’d look at the three Gamine types and go from there. Based on what you said earlier Flamboyant Gamine might be worth looking at especially.

        I’ve heard D answers described as being Theatrical Romantic, which means if you are Gamine it’s probably Flamboyant or regular Gamine because even your yin features have a tiny bit more yang to them. Also, the random mix of yin and yang can make Gamines tricky to figure out sometimes, especially if you don’t have the stereotypical “Twiggy” body. You should check out the Crafting a Rainbow blog – Gillian is a Flamboyant Gamine with awesome style, but also considers herself a plus sized sewist, so it’s great to see how Flamboyant Gamine lines work on someone who’s not a one of the typical celebrity examples most Kibbe bloggers/vloggers talk about.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. My bones are definately dramatic. I am tall and mostly thin, except for the pregnant looking tummy. Even when I weighed 40 lbs more, people thought I was on the thin side. The only real difference between then and now, other than a ovrall smaller frame, is that I have my waist definition back. My waist got pretty straight when bordering on being overweight. Nobody believes me when I say I was in the riskzone for diabetes. So that is definately some A-answers and Dramatic bone structure.

        I would generally think I am too tall (5’10) to be considered Gamine, even a Flamboyant one, although I hear Emma Watson is classified as Gamine even though she’s on the taller side. So then SD is the more likely option, but they tend to be a bit more bootyliscious and have big eyes and lips, I think?
        Flamboyant Natural is also an option, but like pure Dramatic, they aren’t supposed to be busty or wear overly tailored clothing :/


      6. Height and weight are the two things most people consider to be “flexible” in the Kibbe system, probably the least important things to focus on in the determination. Though I can understand how being tall makes you feel like you don’t quite fit a category. I felt the same with Soft Classic, which is why I kept looking at the system a bit more, though it wasn’t ultimately why I realized Soft Classic wasn’t right for me.

        If you don’t mind me asking, which things were you getting D answers for? Based on your description here you sound like you might be pure Dramatic.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Oh really? I didn’t know that, I thought height and weight distribution was the most defining factors?

        Some of the Ds could be in the wording. Like the first question about the vertical line. I *am* tall and people can see that (A), but when people guess my height they usually go a bit lower (which is a D answer). When I correct them about my height, they aren’t really surprised either, which would make it a C…
        So the confusion starts early 😉

        What throws me off the pure Dramatic is that they aren’t really described as having much of a bust (I was a 32 GG before weightloss, not quite sure now as I haven’t been able to have a fitting, but guessing around a 30 FF), and the straight lines that hang straight from the shoulders aren’t really doing me any favours. I need some waist definition and volume on my bottom half in order to balance out the top-heavyness. I also think my torso is a little bit wider in the ribcage than the typical D’s I can find online, which then would steer me towards he FN category… I guess the only way to truly know is to consult Kibbe himself.


      8. I think the most important thing is identifying the bone structure (sharp, blunt, or delicate), the flesh type (sinewy/dry or fleshy/soft), and the facial features (angular or rounded). Height tends to be an exception that throws people off quite a bit (I’ve had people on here comment that they are very short Flamboyant Naturals or tall-ish Soft Classics which tends to be a hang up for them even though the rest of the description works) as is weight (especially because it can disguise the bone structure). That’s why I think these characteristics are less important than the bone structure, flesh, and facial features in determining lines.

        While I agree that Kibbe is really the only one who 100% can make determinations in his system, I still think it’s possible to DIY it with a little effort. If the descriptions are really confusing I still think the best thing to do is go try on the clothes. The one thing I would say is that Naturals do all have that “B” or blunted bone structure, so if you aren’t having any B answers it’s unlikely that Flamboyant Natural is your type (and I think you already noted that lack of waist emphasis really doesn’t work for you). It really sounds like you might be an unusually tall Flamboyant Gamine. Do you find that you look good in mix and match sort of geometric shapes? If not then you might look at Soft Dramatic; it would allow for softer shapes to accommodate your bust but also have the sort of long vertical lines that come from being a Dramatic bone structure. It takes a little effort to do reconnaissance shopping to test out types, but I think it really helps to illustrate what works and what doesn’t, and it can really help clarify things when the descriptions aren’t enough to be entirely sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. After reading your reply to Jennifer I think even more Flamboyant Gamine might be right. The clothes are very fitted on the lower half, but can be boxier on top. This will give you the emphasis where you need/want it but also give you move movement/space where you need it. Flamboyant Gamine is such a great space to play in, you can really make your look your own in a lot of fun ways.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. In case it helps at all, I’m like that. My stomach area has been bloated and the main area of fat gain in recent years (and yes, due to gut issues that I’m working on, and potentially age/peri-menopause-related change in weight distribution), but that doesn’t change my overall yin/yang balance and other features. And it wasn’t always like this, so when I looked at the Kibbe recommendations I thought about how I used to gain weight when I was younger (all over, evenly, with maybe a little more on the hips and thighs). That fitted much more with the other Kibbe clues for me – I’m Classic, leaning towards Dramatic Classic. As Dr T says, the weight gain bit is only one small part of the overall Kibbe description.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jennifer: I have always been like this, though, ever since my teens.

        First to gain/last to lose weight: Stomach – and in a pregnancy pattern (protruding) not so much losing the waist definition although that can happen if I gain like 40 lbs, folllowed by chin (double chin), then boobs and upper arms.
        First to lose/last to gain weight: Lower legs and arms, followed by butt and thighs.

        If I don’t emphasize the waist, I tend to look as fat as my boobs all over. If I am not careful with the way the garment is cut on my shoulders, it makes me look really wide and stocky. That could mean I’m somewhere in the Flamboyant Natural area, but the FNs aren’t supposed to be busty, and are suggested to go for undefined waistlines and shoulder pads, which I definately don’t need….


    3. I recommend that you disregard or put a low emphasis on weight gain for Kibbe purposes, as it is only one of the dozens of attributes. I had a lot of extra weight for ten menopausal years, and it all accumulated in my belly, making me look like the oldest pregnant woman in history (also the longest pregnancy!). Once I managed to look beyond the huge belly, I realized that my basic structure of long limbs, slightly sharp features, and even proportions had not changed, and I was probably a Classic subtype.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Fanny: When I was younger I didn’t, but other people used to tell me I looked like Lauren Bacall (a Dramatic Classic) in her earliest films. Now when I look back at photos of myself in my 20s and 30s, I can clearly see the Classic features.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. I have enjoyed your last few posts but haven’t commented as I have been away on vacation. I have been planning to do a SWAP this winter but doing something re. Kibbe that has a longer progression sounds like fun. I am pretty sure that I have pinned myself down as a dramatic classic so I’d like to push that further.

    I could relate to your post the other day about life transitions. I was competing internationally as an athlete twenty years ago when I decided to do a doctorate. While I was studying I continued to train, but I think in my heart I think I understood that my competitive time was winding down. There are many transitions in life and it can take some time to work through them; I think I am in another one now.

    Colour is still something that drives me crazy, as I am a muted person with both some warm and cool tendencies (though probably mostly cool). Thanks for the structured tips in this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you had a good vacation! It would be awesome to see a Dramatic Classic Kibbe SWAP – let me know if you work on it because I’d love to see that come together. I think color can be one of the hardest things to pin down; especially for creative types who love to make things because there are so many fun colors out there.


      1. Still on vacation! Thanks. 🙂 I have had a goal of working on at least one tailored jacket for a long time so this is a perfect opportunity. I am a slow sewist though so one garment a month might defeat me!


  6. Still on vacation! Thanks. 🙂 I have had a goal of working on at least one tailored jacket for a long time so this is a perfect opportunity. I am a slow sewist though so one garment a month might defeat me!


  7. Would really like to take part in this but couldn’t do so until second half of the year as like you I have lots of commissions, shows, etc to sew for in the upcoming months. Like you one of my resolutions is to try and sew more for myself this year. Would it be too late to join in by then???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course not! Honestly, my goal of one per month is going to be rough for me at the start of the year as well and I might be making it up a bit on the back end. This challenge isn’t about strictly following rules, it’s about finding what works for you and your life and being more intentional in your sewing process. If that has to wait until July or August that doesn’t change the goals and you would be totally welcome to participate!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yay! I’m so excited that you’re turning this into a year-long challenge. I can’t wait to see what Soft Natural pieces you choose along the way.

    The idea of using this challenge as a way to get better, more inclusive representations of the Kibbe IDs is brilliant. One of the main stumbling blocks in researching Kibbe is definitely the lack of real world, non-celebrity examples. The absence of plus sizes and women of color, specifically, make the system feel less inclusive than it could be. As a plus size Soft Dramatic, count me in! I’m really looking forward to exploring my ID over the coming months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! I’m so excited to have different Kibbe types wanting to participate because this blog is going to be a whole lot of Soft Natural as I get into the process more this month, and I’d love to be able to point people to other examples for different style IDs.


    1. Awesome! You definitely don’t need to get an Instagram unless you want to; I don’t believe in forcing people to use any one type of social media. It’s not like I’m doing prizes or anything so there aren’t really any official “rules” in that sense either. Thanks for sharing your blog link – I’m sure others who want to do the challenge or want Kibbe Natural inspiration will appreciate it! I’ll definitely be following along – I’m excited to see your makes!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’d love to take part! I pretty much was planning to do seasonal Kibbe capsules anyway, and have already been working through most of your steps over the last couple of years as I’ve attempted to hone in on my style. I feel like discovering Kibbe is the final part of a puzzle I’ve been working on.

    Hopefully I’ll find more time to sew and blog in 2019 as my youngest is now 8 months. I can but hope…

    And apologies for not commenting on your last few posts. I’ve read and enjoyed them all, but the run up to Xmas with three kids didn’t leave me much time or energy for comments. I will leave my thoughts on them all this next week… kids permitting!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No need to apologize! The only reason I’ve been able to post so much is through the magic of scheduling; I don’t even have kids and the holidays are nuts for me too.

      I’m so excited you want to join in! I think it’ll be so fun to see what everyone comes up with!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you so much for all the effort you’ve put into this series! I had never heard of Kibbe before so I’ve been reading your posts and the links you provided in them with voracity. It turns out that I am a Natural but
    I may also be a Flamboyant Natural as well, although at 5’4″ it may sound crazy. I have very broad shoulders and a muscular build even without exercise, although lately I can also attest to what my weight gain pattern looks like (it matches that of FN as well). I feel my best in FN clothing and seem to get the most compliments when I dress that way, I will just tweek certain things to the regular Natural when it comes to certain items where additional height is needed and pay attention to how the outfit comes together.
    Now for the sewing part – I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while but suffer from analysis paralysis and fear of ruining my fabric and don’t actually make the time to sew like I’d like to 😦 I am new at it and am still taking Craftsy classes etc… Having figured out my Kibbe type (range) has eliminated so much of the mental clutter I now feel that I can take that first step and get to sewing!
    I also want to say that I like how you structure your approach to sewing and goal setting and how you convey that to your readers.
    You seem to have a nice combination of logic and creativity.

    Just thought of one more thing – Congratulations and good luck on your journey to improved health! I discovered Chris Kresser a number of years ago and in fact became a patient of his (This is not an endorsement), it’s just that your comments above resonated so strongly with me that I had to make that comment.
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! This post is so exciting I think I had heart palpitations . I definitely will use this as a guide this year. As for posting I don’t have a blog or Instagram. I have an occasionally used Facebook but I don’t know if that would work. This might make get an Instagram tough. 😉I definitely need a purge and upgrade in my clothes. I tend to put myself last on the sewing list except for when I have an event or costume. In fact , next on my list is my costume for Little Women. I also keep planning on losing 20 lbs. first. Definitely starting the beginning steps for now. My closet is in desperate need of help and your challenge actually makes it more exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. P.S. I am not completely decided on my type. I’ll be exploring the soft categories from soft classic to romantic. I suspect that I am probably soft gamine who wishes she were romantic. I love aspects of soft natural and even soft dramatic but feel like I’m drowning and need to scale it down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand! I feel the opposite in Romantic clothes, like I’m trying to tug it all down to make it fit. Good luck in your exploration – enjoy the process and have fun! And let us know if you find out what ends up working for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I just wanted to really thank you for putting in all your time. I thought I knew my colouring (autumn) & body type (pear).
    After looking at all your posts, I’m now a Flamboyant Gamine (who knew?) and have more neutral colouring (I’ve swapped my reddish blonde hair for a beige. I used to hate boring beige).
    Thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

  14. These posts have been so interesting. Thank you so much for an incredible job! I seem to be a classic according to the surveys, with less but equal A and Es also. When I look at the pattern posts I think classic looks so boring and I’m more drawn to DC, but I wear a lot of dresses and love the dresses in SC too. I’d love to participate but aren’t sure what to do re my type. Try some classic options and see how I feel maybe? I find it hard to apply the classic or DC rules to more casual wear, which suits my lifestyle. I definitely like to look put together but not at all corporate. I would post on Instagram @sewnsow

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d definitely say you should try options from all 3 Classic types and see what works best. If you are a true Classic (which it sounds like you might be), you can definitely borrow from the two subtypes to spice things up a bit. I’d think of maybe planning a few pieces from each of the three types, and you see which styles work best. Plus, all the Classic pieces should mix and match pretty well, so you should still end up with a great wardrobe at the end. I’ll be sure to follow you on Instagram!


  15. It seems my thread above isn’t allowing further comments on it? I have tried to post this twice now, without it showing up despite gettign the confirmation it was posted. So if I triplepost, I apoligise. And feel free to delete them,

    Well, it’s always hard to judge oneself accurately, but I think I have one or two Bs, one or two Cs and one or two E’s. The rest are A and D, in almost equal amounts. But like I said, some of the D’s could be in the wording of the question.

    I know we shouldn’t really go by celebrity twins, as some people who look alike can be in different categories. But my celebtiry twin is LeeLee Sobieski ( https://external-preview.redd.it/qEdy_oVyFHfSbuEJ_ZZD9GRuNV4hwbvPzayh8z15_O0.jpg?width=640&crop=smart&auto=webp&s=cfe282db2c728d622a399566c76586d21313bd47) and she also seems to be confusing people when it comes to typing her, the forums on Tapatalk has her as both Romantic and Dramatic Classic. Romantic is definately out of the question in my view, simply due to the lenght of her bones.
    ( http://hollywoodmeasurements.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/leelee-sobieski-body-measurements.jpg ) She could also be a pure Dramatic, but again, there’s the bust thing, and what I think she looks best in, that throws it a bit off.
    Because I think, like me, she looks best in V necks with waist emphasis ( https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8c/e7/cd/8ce7cdb390e0706425a6bbff0bfdd023.jpg ) compared to more loose and unstructured clothing ( https://media1.popsugar-assets.com/files/thumbor/n2Rligzh6nVdQfmdMB7VeuCjFU8/fit-in/1024×1024/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-/2013/01/04/2/485/4852708/985e513cb7240606_159832507/i/Leelee-Sobieski-walked-show-all-rugged-up.jpg ).

    We seem to be very similar in bones and flesh, she’s just 1 inch shorter than me, and we weigh about the same. The main differences I see is that my shoulders are slightly wider but a bit more sloped, her chin is slightly more pointed, my hands are thinner with longer fingers (but hers also seem to be a clear A answer), my cheeks are slightly puffier, and my bust is a little bigger. And of course, I don’t have the hollywood abs, so overall I’m a little puffier and less muscular. But I think that’s due to lack of excercise on my part, versus her hollywood routine, and not so much difference in our bones.

    It was hard to find some pictures of her in a bikini, but here’s a couple of stills from her movies. This one looks a lot like me ( http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Ve1wqf7COBk/TLyJkLF_TCI/AAAAAAAAAoI/4f4HwEj4khE/s1600/leelee_sobieski_the_glass_house0009.jpgamp_ ), especially if we take a few lbs from her workout muscles and put them on the belly, making it protrude forward.
    Here is one that seems to hint that she DOES have the same weight storage problems that I do ( https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRAsLsaU-ofu2oTTF9tNuOAy-Rn0ccUbjRZpdNZ1hiVrXxR6PrJaQ ), but of course with a hollywood excercise regimen, it’s gonna be hard to accumulate extra weight anywhere…


    1. I think it wasn’t posting because of the links. Or maybe there is a comment thread limit on WordPress? I’ve never had that happen before, so I’m not sure. In either case, I had to approve it, but it should be ok now.

      Ok, so I’ve looked at several photos of LeeLee aside from the ones you’ve sent and I have to say I think she is Soft Dramatic. Her bone structure comes across as being a bit delicate, but it is definitely angular and long predominantly. It’s definitely not short and delicate, which would be the expectation from a Romantic type. Her bones are also all long/thin/angular, and not a mix of answers as we would expect for a Gamine. This means she should be a Dramatic type of some sort, because the bone structure is Dramatic. Then when I look at her flesh she definitely has some softness. It’s not the voluptuous lushness that I think the stereotypical Soft Dramatic celebrities have, but her skin is definitely not taught or “dry” either. In some of the photos you shared, it is easy to see that she can definitely have a soft appearance on top of her long lean bones, which would be Soft Dramatic.

      Looking at her in various clothes, I think she looks best in a long vertical line, but not in one with sharp tailored angles. This is my favorite photo of her:

      When I look at this I see her, not just the clothes she is wearing. It is a long vertical line, but with soft, sweeping lines, which is also echoed in her hair. She looks absolutely beautiful.

      I also love this look on her:

      But I think she also looks great in fun/funky casual clothes that have a long vertical line:

      However, when she strays into clothes that are very tailored it looks a bit less elegant on her:

      She looks good, but not as relaxed or like herself as she does in the first three images.

      Here is a look that seems half-right:

      The dress looks great, but the hair is so severe I think it really destroys how amazing the dress is on her.

      If we look at other style type options I think she also doesn’t look as good as she does in Soft Dramatic lines. When she goes into Natural territory the fabrics just overwhelm her:

      And “Gamine-ish” styles that break the line also don’t look like her absolute best:

      (I think it makes her look rather harsh, and my eye sees her body in chunks rather than as a cohesive image.)

      Finally, when she wears the belted red dress that you shared, I feel like this can be a bit separate from her; I see the dress before I see her as a person wearing it:

      So overall I think I see her as a Soft Dramatic, because her body structure meets that general definition, and she looks really good in those style lines. As you say, there are times she is in “Hollywood shape” and then I think she pulls slightly more Dramatic and can wear some of the more Dramatic lines, but even then when she goes too far Dramatic I think it can be a bit harsh on her. Similarly, when she goes too soft in the Natural lines it overwhelms her thinner, Dramatic frame.

      Hope that helps!

      (Also, I just want to add to this comment as a disclaimer that I still think people should wear/do what they want, and that it’s fun and amazing to try different styles to see what you like. She of course is a celebrity and looks good in all of her photos, so any comments I have made are simply to illustrate where I think she looks her absolute best and are not meant to be derogatory in any way.)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ooh, how do you add images in comments? Basic HTML?

        I’m not sure either. I first tried to post the comment via the wordpress notification, and then I noticed it wasn’t listed so I tried to reply directly on the page, but that didn’t post either. So eventually I just tried a new comment, and then it said it was awaiting moderation.

        I could probably safely guess that I am Soft Dramatic as well then, considering how similar I am to her. As I’ve been saying, my bones are dramatic. What throws me off is the flesh, as there’s boobs and puffiness that isn’t generally associated with Dramatics. And SD are, as you say, generally described as more voluptuous – va-va-voom-types. And LeeLee also lack the big eyes and lips generally associated with them. Not to mention her hair seems naturally thin and straight (like mine), and like she too has to work to get some curls (softness) in there.

        I agree that she looks great in the purple dress, however I tend to find that empire waistlines look a bit weird on tall people. It tends to make us look fatter around the middle, when that’s usually what we try to hide. The blue dress is also great on her, but I think she disappears a but in the long green suit. It’s like her head is separate from her body….

        I agree that the white suit is NOT a good look for her, but if you notice, that has shoulder pads, and she already has a bit of width to her shoulders, so adding extra gives her the same problem I have – we look strange.
        The black dress also emphasises her broad shoulders, making her look more like a natural type, which I guess she could have gotten away with if she had kept her hair loose and curled.
        I agree that the long brown coat make her seem like she drowns in it, but I quite like the long white dress with the gold belt. Except it has quite some shoulder emphasis, which again seems to widen her.

        I agree that the black and white gamine-ish dress cuts her body in to sections, divided by the colours. I still quite like the red coat/dress, but I can agree that it’s a bit bold for her. I think that might have to do with the colour, as it seems to me that she doesn’t quite pull off crisp colours. Like the worst looks above here, seems to be in pure black/white/red etc, I think she might be better off in navy/offwhite/wine red etc. Like here, she is in pure black that washes her out a little ( https://c7.alamy.com/comp/KDDJW7/new-york-ny-november-10-2014-leelee-sobieski-attends-the-museum-of-KDDJW7.jpg ) versus here in gray, that isn’t quite as harsh ( https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/leelee-sobieski-during-harry-potter-and-the-prisoner-of-azkaban-new-picture-id105404905 )


      2. I legit have no idea how the photos posted… I just pasted in links? Maybe because I own the blog it allows me to do that? Really not sure…

        Anyway, I agree that colors are definitely part of the story of what is looking good vs. not good, but I was trying to focus on line and not color in these images. The green suit is not the best color for her, but I do like the lines on her. And I do think the red belted dress might look more cohesive in a more muted color on her, as I do think she can pull off the bold shapes in that dress, but with the color my eye goes to the dress first. Also, notice how in that one it is styled with very dramatic shoes and accessories, to really bring the overall image into the Soft Dramatic sphere. Also, I agree that the purple dress could be better if it weren’t quite so bluntly truncated in the front, but overall I look at *her* in that image more than the dress.

        Ultimately, what I would say is that I feel like she sits right on the border of Soft Dramatic and Dramatic. She can pull a little bit from both styles, but if she goes too much in either direction it is less effective. If you think of the Kibbe space as a spectrum and not as discreet segments, it makes sense that some people would sort of fall between two image IDs, which should ultimately let them play around with recommendations in both spaces. I’ve had similar comments throughout the series regarding this concept as well; in particular there are a lot of Dramatic Classics who were *really* unimpressed with Kibbe’s trouser recommendations, but really loved everything else in that image ID. It’s the sort of thing where we all have individual quirks, and no system is perfect. But I do think that by finding some balance between the things that are closest (in this case Dramatic and Soft Dramatic), it’s possible to play with recommendations from both IDs to create an overall image that really works with the individual. It’s probably not “Kibbe approved” to say such things, but at the end of the day you need to figure out what works for you and not be so worried about rules and regulations. In any case, I’d still classify her as Soft Dramatic if I was pushed to choose a type, but like I said, I think she really sits on that border between Dramatic and Soft Dramatic. And on a personal level I think finding even 2 types to play around in (especially if it is a main type and subtype) can really help create a style that works for an individual. Because really that’s what this is all about – finding things that work for you and focusing on what will make you feel happy and confident.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hmm, strange… Yet another wordpress mystery.

        I actually quite like the green colour on her, as it’s not a bold, bright colour. But I might have to train my eyes more.
        But I could probably safely assume that I am likely an SD as well, then, and play on the border between D and SD. And also learn that since she could have been my twin, what looks good/bad on her will probably look quite similar on me, although she is of couse way hotter. Goodbye black garments *sniff*.

        Thank you so much for all the help ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I like the idea of this challenge. I can’t, however, seem to define my kibbe type. I’m stuck between a theatrical romantic and a soft dramatic.

    I am an hourglass, but slightly overweight and since then a bit more pear-y. But my waist is still two sizes smaller than my waist and bust. And overall I pack the extra weight on very evenly. When I say I want to lose some weight, most people look puzzled. They do not consider me overweight, when I, in fact, am. This all fits in better with the Yin-types and in my case more TR than pure romantic. Because I’m not the very delicate, small kind of girl. So that’s why I think SD too. Because my hands are not delicate at all, and the bone structure in my face, that could be a SD too. Eyes and lips are not small and they have a defined bone structure.

    Overall I feel that TR has the most pieces, that I know look good on me, that I am already wearing. However, the pants in TR would all look terrible on me, whereas the pants in SD usually look very flattering on me. I also like some of the tops in SD, but have more tops in TR that I now I’d look great in. And a lot of the coats in SD would be disastrous for me, because most of them do not emphasize my waist enough and would make me look bulky.

    So overall, I would say I’m more TR, but with some SD looking good on me either? With some of the TR having too many ruffles and being ‘too sweet’ and some of the SD being ‘too outgoing’ for me, too much ‘hey, look at me!’. I am however still struggling with the ‘delicate’ part of the yin-types, because that, I am definitely not.

    I will mull all of this over some more. And try to select some patterns. I could use some new clothes. Mostly since my current wardrobe is mostly just very practical, but not inspiring at all. I used to have clothes that I loved, now I mostly have clothes that I like and do the job. The fashion of the last couple of years didn’t exactly help. Most of the things sold now will never look good on me: oversized, but at the same time too short. Without any defined waist.
    So I’d like to change my wardrobe in 2019, to get it back to a wardrobe that I love again, that’s my resolution. And maybe the Kibbe-challenge can help me with that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’d like to try this challenge but I don’t know if I will be able to make a garment a month. I’m still torn between Soft Natural and Soft Classic so I may try to make a mix and see which look better!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Definitely in on this! Within my time and skill levels… I’m still learning how to sew, but I love this idea. REALLY appreciate the capsule samples way up top, they are very inspiring! I want to purge most of my wardrobe (over the time it takes to sew), and using your samples capsules will give me an idea how to approach. Already know what I LIKE to wear, slowly understanding what I SHOULD wear (or rather, SHOULDN’T), and a couple of nerd things I hope eventually to be able to sew too.

    I’m pretty much a Dramatic, and seem to fit into the physical description of both Dramatic and – I think it was Natural – because of my height, and where the weight goes over time (straight to the tummy and upper hips, if anyone wants to know. Once you hit fifty, the metabolism slows down, and now that I’m fifty-six, I can tell you there is a big adjustment to eating habits and exercise…lol) Darks and neutrals seem to be what I should aim for, but of course there will be some color here and there too. Just cuz. At least ONE really cool jacket must be attempted – either that long Burda jacket pattern I just got, or that jacket in the January issue if I ever get it.

    My plan is to sew thoughtfully, learn from every project and make it wearable, sew mostly for everyday, but add a bit of frosting if possible.

    Go #sewyourkibbe !

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve been so inspired by your Kibbe series and some of the wonderful older Burda Style patterns that you have included that I’ve been scouring Ebay and spent far too much money buying back issues! I’m so excited to have some now in my collection from 2005 onwards and am looking forward to making some of the designs for the Kibbe challenge. I make things OK but then rarely get around to photographing them to put on instagram but I’ll try and improve 😊

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.