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r (attempts to) build a capsule wardrobe

 
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r ranson wrote:I need a quick and portable project to take with me, so I decided to make a pocket.  Cut out the fabric last night and when I woke up this morning, I asked "which wardrobe theme would this match?"  The answer, none of them.

Would the one that doesn't match be suitable as a gift? Or a pocket to hang on a hook somewhere to hold something you don't want to loose? Shame to waste the bits you already cut!
 
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Jay Angler wrote:

r ranson wrote:I need a quick and portable project to take with me, so I decided to make a pocket.  Cut out the fabric last night and when I woke up this morning, I asked "which wardrobe theme would this match?"  The answer, none of them.

Would the one that doesn't match be suitable as a gift? Or a pocket to hang on a hook somewhere to hold something you don't want to loose? Shame to waste the bits you already cut!



I'll find a use for it.  It can be the backs of future pockets if nothing else.  
 
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I love this blog about creating capsule wardrobes.

https://www.theviviennefiles.com/

Great ideas even if the clothes are not practical for me. most days I wear a long wrap skirt, a bug repellent jacket, and flip flops around the yard.  It would be nice to feel more put together though.
 
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Have you been able to build your capsule wardrobe?

I'm facing a similar dilemma, as I've moved from Canada to rural South Korea. I have had to give up my old uniform of black yoga pants and an oversized cotton pullover. With the heat and the bugs it didn't work.

I've started sewing myself loose cotton clothes with unbleached cotton that I got in bulk for $1.50 a yard. So far I have a pair of bloomers and a ankle length long sleeves dress.

I can't buy clothes or shoes in Korea. I'm much too long and large for anything to fit right. But you're right, it's hard learning to sew your own. I'm not really satisfied with most of my clothes, but then I'm not heartbroken if they get ripped or stained.

What's next on your list to make or obtain?
 
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Just came across this thread which is great for me as I am about to redo the walk in robe which is really shuffle in.

When we started building our house, we looked at room designs we liked and colours.  the pictures were put into a "Dreams Book".  After 12 months we looked at the colour palate and style to come up with inclusions and exclusions.

This IMHO will work for the wardrobe capsule.

When you are looking at magazines and adverts, cut out colours and shapes you like.  At the end of say 12 months or when the book is filled up, write down the list of the main colours and the main styles eg, A-line high waisted, empire line, cropped or long.

Items such as pashminas and cross-over neck line blouses can be used in multiple ways.  This is an example of the cross-over shirt blouse: https://www.etsy.com/market/cross_over_blouse
And pashminas: https://www.pashmina.com/what-is-pashmina?___store=au&___from_store=usd  If they are two sided, it doubles the wearability.
 
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Found a cute little little blouse pattern for free that might fit with my wardrobe plans https://www.moodfabrics.com/blog/the-wren-shirt-free-sewing-pattern/



 
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Would you choose the puff sleeve style? It's really cute but also looks functional.
 
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K Kat wrote:Would you choose the puff sleeve style? It's really cute but also looks functional.



The boring sleeves are more my style.  More and more, I don't like things that can get caught in fences or that the ram can grab with his teeth to get my attention.  
 
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Are you planning to use a plaid or check like they did?  Even the thought of trying to get all those lines straight is intimidating to me.  I do love the rainbow plaid, though.
 
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Oooh! Nice!

I love me a yarn dyed plaid.
 
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Casie Becker wrote:Are you planning to use a plaid or check like they did?  Even the thought of trying to get all those lines straight is intimidating to me.  I do love the rainbow plaid, though.



I don't know.  I kind of just put it there to remind myself later.  

I don't have a winter coat, so I'm going to focus on that.  Last winter was cold without one.  
 
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r ranson wrote:Found a cute little little blouse pattern for free that might fit with my wardrobe plans


When you make such a blouse it is very important the shoulders are at the right spot. Often that part of the pattern needs adjustment.

If you need a winter coat, that's important indeed. A wide coat, made of wool blanket (or of a fabric you have woven yourself) can be easy to sew. Even by hand ... I don't know if you like visible seams, I like seams in blanket stitch when I make something out of a blanket.
 
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This came in my inbox today.  It's a class on how to design your wardrobe and plan your sewing projects.    It's by the same people who sell the Albion Duffle Coat pattern that I talked about over on the winter coat thread.  There is some brilliant marketing going on here, but that aside, the advertizing also provides an outline of things to think about when planning a capsule wardrobe and planning what to make in which order.

The problem they identify is something I can relate to.  Too often I've made a thing because the technique looks like fun, not because the thing is something I can incorperate into my life.  I'm getting better, but I do still struggle with this.

The problem:

But too often, we sewists get tripped up. Maybe you get pulled into the latest trends, or you keep accumulating fabric, or you just keep making things that you'll never wear.
That means you end up spending way too much time and money while not expressing who you really are. Your wardrobe feels fractured. There's a disconnect between your personal style and the things you’re making, and you’re not quite sure how to bridge it.



The solution: To help us "think holistically about your wardrobe"

That's a brilliant goal.

The technique - and this is the part I'm really interested in
  • Create a moodboard, so you can visualize exactly what you're going for.
  • Build a palette, so you have the exact fabrics and colors that work together.
  • Define the looks you want to create, so you're not just sewing one-off projects.
  • Build a personal queue of sewing projects, so you have an idea of what you want to make in the next season.


  • I never made a moodboard before.  I suppose this is what Pinterest is for?  I always feel this takes time away from making the thing and I never seem to choose things that match - I get squirrel brain if I have to sort through visual stimuli for too long.

    Build a palette - now this is a good idea.  I started a bit with my three capsule themes and this has been helping.  I could take this further and maybe even weave some gamps based on the three colourways.  Oh, I like this idea.

    I have no idea how to define the look - this is the big problem with why I don't have a unified look yet.

    Build a personal queue of sewing projects - this is a good idea.  Usually I'm all "oh noses, the weather is suddenly hot/cold/wet/whatever.  I need clothes!"  So I'm trying to sew the opposite weather - right now it's hot and dry, so I'm sewing the winter coat.  Don't know if this is sustainable for me, but I am trying.


    I think the class would actually be quite good.  It's something I could enjoy and the monthly membership also gives access to sewing patterns.  I just feel repulsed by this kind of marketing - although they do a good job of it.  It's just something in my personality that can't give money when I'm marketed to in this way.  But from what I've seen of the company elsewhere, it probably has good value to the right person.   If I hadn't already bought the pattern for the coat, I could see myself considering this more.  
     
    Jay Angler
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    r ranson wrote:

    Build a personal queue of sewing projects - this is a good idea.  Usually I'm all "oh noses, the weather is suddenly hot/cold/wet/whatever.  I need clothes!"  So I'm trying to sew the opposite weather - right now it's hot and dry, so I'm sewing the winter coat.  Don't know if this is sustainable for me, but I am trying.

    You are still learning a lot about sewing your own clothes to wear. It seems like at times, your run into road-blocks and projects stall.

    In my opinion, if you build a personal queue, you need to promise yourself you'll be flexible. I really admire that you're working on your coat now. You've got time to stall if you need to think about a step for a week. I think this will decrease the risk that time pressure will result in a "difficult to fix" error, or increase your stress level to the point that you'll stall indefinitely.

    Along those lines, dividing the process up on a list may help you celebrate what you've gotten done, rather than stress about the next step.
    For example:
    1. Shopping - pattern, notions, fabric etc
    2. Alterations - decisions about pattern adjustments, length etc.
    3. Cutting - celebrate getting it cut out - there's a lot of decisions to be made in laying it out and cutting it neatly.
    4. Sewing - divide this up into sections depending on the project
    a) main seams, b) finishing details, c) hemming etc - this really depends on the instructions with the pattern!
    5. Last details - the things that take the project from "nice" to "perfect"!!!

    I don't know if this will help or not - hopefully it will help someone. Personally, I have distinct memories of struggling to take the first step, until I realized that taking the first step needed to be the goal - not the finished product!
     
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    Great topic! I tend to shape my wardrobe based on my current life interests. I work in a professional office so I need nice office clothes, I also love to hike and need sturdy clothes that can get dirty. Plus, we just bought a home with a garden, and I am finally able to realize my dream of urban homesteading (YAY!!), fortunately many of my older hiking things can be worn in the garden.
    Having an intention when designing your capsules will definitely help, I do appreciate that you need sturdy, durable fabrics. Looking into thrifting and resales is a great way to stock up too. Sewing is in danger of becoming a lost art, so I'm cheering you on in that art!
    Having basic color schemes will make for a cohesive wardrobe but remember to save space for those "out there" items that make your heart sing!
    Cheers!
     
    r ranson
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    Not something most people will see, but I added a very necessary part to my capsule wardrobe for winter.  Petticoats!



    I made some with this technique last winter but with scrap fabric.  They are fantastic and I'll keep wearing them until they devolve into rags.  But they are ugly.  The whole point of building a capsule wardrobe is to choose clothing that gives me joy, looks nice, and works together.  

    My goal was to choose a pattern that was nice but non-obtrusive.  That way if it is raining in Paris (old-style code for your slip or petticoat is showing), it won't clash with whatever I'm wearing on top.  

     
    r ranson
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    Some things I've discovered (finally)

    I am apple-shaped now
    my shape is finally stabilising
    warm colours look better with my skin, especially with my summer tan
     
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    I’m late to the party here, but have been mulling over capsule wardrobes for at least the last couple years. I came to the realization recently that, y’know, I usually dress like I might have to work in the yard, cook up a giant meal, or run off to go stomp around a mountain. Because that’s my life, more or less, and I’m okay with that.

    So most of my wardrobe is convertible pants or trail pants, wicking shirts, and sun or flannel shirts depending on the weather, so I can layer. I tend to ride the border between a “winter” and an “autumn” palette, and I like to describe my color choices as “summer forest” — heathered / slightly desaturated versions of deep greens, blues, stone-gray, khaki, charcoal, and dark brown, with occasional bright (but still a touch desaturated) splashes of pink and orange.

    I’ve tried to evacuate black from my wardrobe as much as possible. I look good in it, but it’s boring. It seems like it’s the default color for everything except jeans (and even then … ). I like fun socks that match my shirts. I like overshirts with patterns, usually plaid. I try to wear everything until it wears out, mend it if I can, and wear it some more. I’ve got some fun old jeans with applique bears and trees on the knees, and covertly-mended thigh patches, because hey. I like those jeans!

    Someone I met once brought up the idea that your dress should reflect your art, and that someone upon seeing one or the other would immediately recognize that it is yours. I thought that was an elegant way of looking at that particular problem.
     
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    i think i accidently evolved toward a ''capsule'' wardrobe.  Retired; no more ''have-to-keep-it-nice can't-wear-it-anywhere-else items. Old & cranky; absolutely has to be comfortable. And easy to wrangle in the bathroom/public restroom/behind a bush. Easy to put on, take off, care for.. POCKETS!= no purses. Colors I like = bonus it all works together no matter what I grab. So: I have 1 newer nice blue jeans. Which eventually become the couple of midrange daily jeans. Which eventually become the grubby gardening jeans. ONE grubby worn out hoody sweat shirt for gardening, it gets water wetted in hot weather, greatest personal air conditioning there is. T-shirts, a couple long underwear for winter, a few tank tops for hot weather. 1 nice pair shorts, 1 jean cutoffs. 1 ''just in case'' pretty dress, a couple pretty blouses, one bra. Way too many shoes and socks for someone who goes barefoot as much as I do. Usually sleep in next days T-shirts. 1 sweatpants for winter sleep. Minimal laundry, the jeans don't need washing much until they hit the gardening stage and mostly rinse & hang the rest. I rarely have to think about clothes. I admit to being a sucker for T-shirts with snarky slogans but I cant wear polyester/spandex/harsh dyes so that & budget keeps a limit. I find the reduction in decision anxiety about what to wear is a huge improvement in my life. That whole not having to think about how "I look" makes everything else easier.
     
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    I am several years done the capsule wardrobe/sewing my own clothes journey and highly recommend it!

    For me they went together and made a HUGE difference in loving myself and my self confidence.

    I found an indie pattern maker (small business owner) who designs patterns MEANT for my shape.  I'm a front heavy apple coming in at 5'4"
    https://www.cashmerette.com/

    With a little creativity and can create nearly any garment I want or need form just a couple of her patterns. Wearing clothes designed for my body with quality fabrics in the colors I want helps them last a really long time.

    My favorite example is the 3 shirts that are nearly identical for my day job - and I wear them 7 days a week because i love them that much. They lasted 6 years as "good in front of customers" in my half metals fabrication and half office job.
    20200505_103808.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 20200505_103808.jpg]
     
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