While I was writing the main posts of my Sew Your Kibbe series, Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow did an exploratory post examining how her makes fit into the Kibbe Gamine recommendations. I thought this was a brilliant post, and wanted to do a similar self-analysis before jumping into the main planning and sewing posts for the challenge this year.
Over the past few years I have made quite a few different styles of garments. Most recently I’ve been intentionally focusing on the Soft Natural style lines, but before that I thought I was more of a Kibbe Soft Classic, or was just sewing whatever I happened to like. Looking back, it’s easy to see why the non-Soft Natural garments haven’t turned out to be my personal favorites. Here’s a rather generalized look back at some of my sewing hits and misses with a Kibbe focus…
Kibbe Soft Natural Hits
All of these have elements of Kibbe Soft Natural recommendations; soft texture, waist definition, draping, a loose fit, or an elongated line with a hem below the knee. These fabrics also have a lot of stretch or a soft feel which allows a lot of movement. All of these elements add together to create a Soft Natural look that works well with Kibbe’s recommendations. As a bonus, all of these have been made in my favorite cool, saturated colors, so they all see a lot of wear.
These items all have elements that don’t really work for a Soft Natural. The purple dress (upper left) is more of a Romantic style; the extreme ruching overwhelms my torso. The blue top (center top) and teal jacket (bottom left) are both a tad too stiff (more Dramatic Classic or Soft Classic), and I’ve never really found myself reaching for them. The black coat (top right) was made for the Pattern Review Sewing Bee a few years ago, but it clearly overwhelms me (I think it would be Soft Dramatic or Flamboyant Natural), and I’ve never worn it outside of the contest. The striped sweater is almost good, but the tiny ruffles are just too cutesy for me. I’ve given it to a friend (who I believe is a Theatrical Romantic) and she loves it. Clearly I need to be careful of details and silhouettes that are too stiff, too oversized, or too tiny and sweet.
Not Perfect, But…
All of these garments have elements of Soft Natural, but aren’t exactly perfect options for me. The Blue Jumpsuit works because of the more relaxed fit of the legs, but the high collar isn’t the best for a Soft Natural. With the jacket there is just a bit much going on to the point of feeling a bit restricted; I think the jacket would be more successful with an open neckline on the jumpsuit, and the two can work separately for me, but I never actually wear them together. The red dress is ok but it is perhaps a bit too fitted. I think a more flared/softly draping skirt would be better, and possibly a less covered top. I still really like this dress, because the fabric is really pretty, but I can honestly say it probably isn’t the best silhouette for me. The blue and white top is a style that should work for me, but I think the tiny geometric print isn’t my favorite. I also raised the neckline when I made this top, and in hindsight I should have left it as Burda had originally drafted. I think the fabric is also a bit stiffer than it looks; I don’t have quite the movement in it that I do in many of my other clothes, and I think this makes it one of my borderline successful garments. Finally, I really love the blue gown, but I do think I can handle a bit more draping, detail, and sparkle for an evening look.
Clearly, this isn’t everything I’ve ever made, but this is a fair portion of my more recent makes, and I think it is interesting to note how the “Kibbe approved” styles have really ended up being my favorites, and how the garments that would have worked best for a different Kibbe types aren’t my go-to items (or, in many cases, have been donated or decluttered already). My intent with the Sew Your Kibbe Challenge is to focus on making garments that have a higher probability of working for me, and looking back at my Soft Natural makes, I would say moving forward in that style ID is a step in the right direction.