Thursday 28 August 2014

OWOP Guest Post from House of Pinheiro

The third and final guest blogger sharing her tips on style for One Week, One Pattern is Rachel from House of Pinheiro. Rachel is an excellent seamstress/teacher, super organiser of sewing blogger meet-ups and a wonderful friend to boot. She ALWAYS looks fab, whatever she's wearing and I've learnt a lot from her over the years. I'm thrilled that she's sharing her thoughts on personal style with us today...

Ola Handmade Jane readers, I’m Rachel from House of Pinheiro and I'm so excited to be joining the OWOP series of guest write ups on style. 
Defining the meaning of the word ‘style’ is never easy, there are too many variants and like every ‘rule book’, there are some meant to be broken. 

More than what one wears or how one wears it, style is something that cannot be faked. A fusion between individual personally and vision. What matters is that it isn't an exact formula. 

Style is what works for each individual. If it works for you, it shows in confidence and that’s for me the biggest successful style indicator. Defining one style can be hard. We get bombarded by enticing images, fashion trends and well, our own genetics and lifestyle throw us a curve ball. 

The important thing is to embrace whatever makes you jump of excitement. Sewing can lead to a very interesting journey in search of one personal style.  Today I’m sharing a snapshot of mine.

You know, the kind of outfit that people immediately refer when they think of you. That can be either defined by labels, like ‘breton’: stripy boatneck and capris or by one item of clothing: a trench coat, a scarf etc…  For some people their style path is very clear, for others it requires a little more thinking.

That’s because we are not ‘one’ piece. We have phases, we evolve, change our view of the world with every new experience. However if we look closely in your closet, there are a few clues of a signature style: A common theme like ‘comfortable’, 'clean lines', a predominant colour, predominant hem height, type of print, predominant shape.

My signature is tailoring. A wardrobe consisting of fitted clothes: Blazers, sheath dresses, slim fitting trousers, knit dresses. I also have a favouritism for bold prints & colour.

I have been quite experimental sewing different shapes and patterns, also taking into consideration what was needed in my wardrobe.

Unlike when you try RTW clothes from a shop dressing room where you can immediately decide if something is or not "you", sewing for your style requires a little bit of commitment and imagination. Matching the right fabric to the right pattern becomes more selective as times goes by. Past mistakes are taken into account both on shapes and prints.
Do you have any repeat ‘offenders’, a TNT pattern that you make over and over… comfort sewing? Or do you sew for a 'dream' wardrobe that’s kept in the closet most of the time waiting for the right time? Any of those choices match with your lifestyle?

My lifestyle off-duty uniform (i.e what I dress without thinking, almost always a variation of the same silhouette with different pieces) is consistent of slim trousers, mainly jeans worn with a fitted tee or shirt, statement coat or blazer, a scarf or long necklaces, accessorised with different size bags, hats and sunglasses. When corporate I do fitted skirts, blazers and dresses, rarely trousers

My comfort sewing is to sew knit dresses, generally with long sleeves, because I love layering clothes in the winter.

I often have to manage the desire to sew my lifestyle uniform, my comfort sewing projects and the latest challenge ( ie new pattern, new technique etc) and that keeps sewing fun for me. I keep skipping from one area to another, and most times without realising, reinforcing my personal style by my choices of fabrics and silhouettes.
With a very eclectic wardrobe trying to pick odd pieces is a challenge.  Knowing what you are not is generally a great start. I'm not 'vintage' or "street urban". This dress has the fit and colour I like but the fabric print & texture, hem height didn't work because It creates a vintage look which I don't like.

Being tall I can take advantage of bolder styles, proportions (oversize- mini) and prints. Playing individual characteristics can help refine your style choices. Look at areas like, body shape, colour of your hair, nice eyes, legs etc. Complementary colours to your features, silhouettes that highlight your best assets helps when defining your style. Think about your whole package. What do you want to tell the world? 
Throw out every style rule you read that doesn't work for you and trust your instincts. Does it feel right? Does it feel like 'me'? The fun thing about sewing is that YOU are in control! Sew happy!

xoxo, Rachel

You can read more over at House of Pinheiro.

Aw thank you so much for a wonderful post Rachel. What you write rings so true, I found myself nodding along the whole time I was reading it! Sewing IS all about finding your personal style and  deciding what look works best for YOU!

Don't forget to catch up with the two previous OWOP guest posts by Winnie at Scruffy Badger Time here (styling with scarves) and Lizzy at Sew Busy Lizzy here (styling with different accessories). It's been an absolute privilege having three such accomplished stitchers share their thoughts on style for OWOP. I've definitely learnt a lot and picked up some awesome tips - I hope you have too. Massive thanks once again to Winnie, Lizzy and Rachel.

Next week sees the start of a series of fab giveaways, gearing up for the start of One Week, One Pattern itself on Saturday 6th September. Can't wait! x


  1. thanks for the opportunity for sharing my views on style. xx

  2. Great post, sadly I don't have a signature style even at the grand old age of 31. I am very much looking forward to OWOP, it even spurred me on to start my own blog rather than just reading other people's hopefully a bit more sewing will help me find my style rather than just wearing what's in the shops.

    1. That's wonderful to hear Vicki, so glad OWOP spurred you on to start your own blog! x

  3. Great post, and very interesting. I think my signature style is whatever isn't in the wash!!



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