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JAN- Journal Post: Making a Wardrobe from Scratch-

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I have begun. The once daunting task of making a new wardrobe has now settled into me as an interesting adventure. I look forward to my clothing being an expression of who I am now.

The Flannel Tunic & Shrug

So here is where it starts- This cozy flannel tunic was inspired by the white garment I was gifted after the fire. So, simple, it is based on many historic Ethnic garments that are created from  rectangles. Here are the measurements and the shapes if you want one, with notes on what I changed to give it more comfort and shape. This is very roomy and would be a dress on a shorter is mid though for me (5'10"). You can play with various size seam allowances to reduce or add more fullness. 


Shaping the Tunic:

#1 The  shoulder and sleeve line is straight (see on the left)...we are not. I angled the shoulder line and added 2" more (at the top of the sleeve) and curved to seamline to create a cap for the shoulder.

#2 All the pieces are cut on straight grain. Cutting the side panel on the bias gives more shape and drape to the garment. The pegged shape can be accentuated by curving the side panel in from the hem. 

#3 Adding a shawl collar- I used the selvedge edge for the fold back edge along the front neckline. To include a shawl collar, sew the front panel down the center front and at the center back of the collar first. A collar from another favorite pattern could be added. 

#4 Combine the center front and back pieces, set aside. Next combine the sleeve and side pieces. The last step would be to sew the side seams from the bottom of the front up and over the shoulder to the bottom of the hem in the back. Pockets could be added in that seam too. 

The Shrug- 

Beautiful Japanese Gauze makes this French Fold Shrug. I love both sides and finished the seams so it could be reversible.

Hand-Stitching: I love the process of choosing threads to compliment both sides of the fabric for hand stitching for seams and embellishment. 

All the edges are opportunities for accent...with this fabric the folded, hand stitched edges show the contrasting fabric. Embellishment-following the designs on the fabric with the needle and thread, add more interest. 

Shrugs are one of my favorite garments and a great accessory every season. This is a great time of year to take stock and revise our wardrobes. I hope you jump in with me and make what's in your closet more YOU!     Diane




  • Tamela: March 15, 2022

    These are so beautiful!!

  • S Bailey: May 24, 2021

    Lovely shrug – a real inspiration for more person work! Thank you so much!

  • Mary Glenn: January 12, 2021

    Great inspiration as usual. I ‘hear’ the excitement in your words.

  • Claire Kennedy: January 12, 2021

    I simply love what you do with the fabric to make it more interesting and give it “creative depth”!

  • Mar: January 11, 2021

    Creative Ingenuity at its Best – I was 1st inspired to sew with using rectangles & squares after seeing woman hand sew a dress from start & finish during a long flight. It was during this time French Elle Magazine had a monthly section sewing outfits using rectangles, squares & circles. Thank you for Your continued Inspiration!

  • Linda Clark: January 08, 2021

    Diane, You inspire me constantly. Thank you!

  • Sara: January 08, 2021

    Thank you! using the selvedge exposed at the neck had never occurred to me. Was the hand sewing on the reversible shrug done before the two fabrics were sewn together or through the finished garment… It had a lovely old souls feeling to it. My wardrobe is not me… I love the inspiration here!

  • Karyn: January 07, 2021

    Your ideas are always so creative. This project has inspired me to ad some embellishment layers to a couple of linen jackets/smocks to give them new life. Thank you.

  • Celina: January 07, 2021

    Thank you for sharing the tunic directions!

  • Sharon: January 07, 2021

    I need to make clothes more new me and having a difficult time. Due to medical issues, I suddenly am carrying 50 lbs of water, most of which is in the front mid section. Items such as these are a great place to start since I go up and down in size, easily 10 lbs a day. Because of the water, I hate having my legs show, again water makes them unattractive, so pants are necessary. Thanks for the giving me a starting point.

  • Carol Wiebe: January 07, 2021

    Simply stunning. I love every detail of these wardrobe pieces! Making our clothes “more us” is wonderful, self-honouring advice.

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