Guest post by Katy: where to find inspiration

Hi Everyone. I’m Katy from Sleek Silhouette. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Claire for asking me to write a guest post, I’m so excited to be featured on her blog!! When Claire first contacted me she suggested that I write a post about my inspirations. I was feeling particularly inspired at the time and so was really excited by the idea. But then I tried to write something and didn’t know where to start…

I mean, inspiration is absolutely everywhere! For example, I live in London. At times it’s gritty, sometimes it’s dirty, it’s almost always full of life (it’s awesome).

That has a massive impact on the clothes that I wear.

Sometimes I just want to be gritty, put on my leather jacket and walk out the door. Other days, usually when I go to my home town (soon to be my home town again), I tend to wear something pretty.

Maybe because it’s green, fresh, clean, POLITE! I realised that my style changes by what is going on around me. I realised that I can inspired by anything. My personality is complex, therefore so is my wardrobe. If you look inside it, you’ll find my style choices represent my wandering, changeable style on different days. I like it!


Learning to sew has allowed me to embrace that more than ever before. Now I get to play with shape and colour exactly how I want to! Recently I’ve been drawn to the vintage inspired designs by Colette, such as the Laurel and the Hawthorn (Mmmm). Hang on! Vintage? I didn’t think that was my style? I was actually a bit surprised to find that I like them.

Then I thought about it a bit more. These are flattering and interesting shapes. Experiment with colour and pattern and I can make them totally up my street! Look anywhere in the shops at the moment and you’ll find 50’s inspired ‘fit and flare’ dresses. The shapes are universal, it’s the fabric choice that makes them special.

So, I guess firstly I’m inspired by the patterns available, mostly by indie designers like ColetteByHand London, and Victory patterns. And secondly, I’m inspired by fabric. Since I started sewing 6 months ago there’s a lot more colour in my wardrobe. It’s allowed me to be a bit braver in my choices. Before I sewed I was a complete shopaholic, I liked to follow the latest fashions and mini fashions.

The things that caught my eye were full of pattern and colour, but when I look into my actual wardrobe few of these clothes seem to have made it in. They seemed a little too risky… Instead my wardrobe was full of boring black and grey and ‘work appropriate’ clothes. Now I figure if I’m putting effort into making clothes they might as well have some imagination! I’m still a shopaholic and into fashion trends, but now when I look at fashion magazines and blogs it only informs my growing fabric addiction. (If you’re looking for any fashion blogs to follow I recommend Atlantic Pacific – that girl has style!) Now I feel I have the chance to make my perfect wardrobe, which reflects my (changeable) personality. Interestingly Collette wrote a similar post on just this point a few weeks ago too. She suggested that it’s easy to be seduced by fabric, I agree. But I think that’s a good thing – maybe it’s the ‘real’ you? Choosing fabric and working out how to show it off to its full potential is the fun part!

I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve realised that you don’t have to be inspired by any one particular style or fashion, but that you can draw inspiration from anywhere. Be a style chameleon! Or not If there’s anything the current trend for clashing prints shows, it’s that anything can go with everything! Just look at Rachel's clashing print Laurel, looks amazing right?

If you’re interested in seeing my different inspirations, check out my new feature Recre-Kate! This is basically my chance to show a starting point inspiration, and how that leads to a finished project of mine. You can literally see my inspirations and where it leads me.

Thanks Claire for letting me take over your blog for the day! xx

A sneak preview

I'm off to my second lesson of the pattern drafting course tomorrow evening. If you're interested in hearing how I get on, I'll do a post at the weekend. 

I previously mentioned that I chose a Zac Posen dress as my inspiration. I spotted it while looking at his Spring 2013 collection. I wanted to make something slightly complicated in the lesson with teacher support so I could make something of similar difficulty, or more, at home. Here is the dress:

File 11-09-2017, 06 28 50.jpeg

Original found here

I love the silhouette and the flow of the skirt. The bustier detail is wonderful and I'm intrigued by the sleeves. The contrasting patterns on the panels and their sharp lines are what really makes it for me. Given that I only have six weeks in the class, that the idea is to have a completed dress by the end of it and the fact that I have never drafted a pattern in my life I realise that this would be beyond my capabilities. I have simplified it quite a bit while keeping some of the details. I haven't yet shared this with my teacher so some of what you will see may change. Please also forgive my sketching - drawing is not one of my talents!

File 11-09-2017, 06 28 33.jpeg

I wanted to keep the silhouette as much as possible and some of the sharp lines so panels are a must. There will be a contrast one of either side. Additional panels (number to be determined) will be added to the skirt. I'll also keep the bustier. The sleeves on the original are knotted, which would drive me crazy, so I've opted for a cuff to help keep the poufy effect, they will be gathered at the top. The original has a circular back cutout which I'll be skipping completely. It will close with a centre back zip. 

The panels, bustier and sleeves will be made from a contrasting fabric. I haven't yet bought any as I wanted to wait for the class to work out how much I would need. I'll be going on Friday and have a few ideas in mind but again, that may change tomorrow. I want to avoid black and white (I'll only mess it up!).  Suggestions gratefully received!