{Fall Capsule Sew Along} My Budding Plan & Tips for Yours!

Hello there my friends!! It's really time to kick our fall capsule planning into gear, don't you think?? I've been hard at work planning out both my kid's Time {For School} Capsule "style sudokus," and liked theirs so much that I just sort of.. evolved it into one that would work for me. I evolved the kid's free sudoku-planning printable, too, so you have one to use for yourselves, here

"That's so cool, Becca, but I have no idea how to do a normal sudoku, much less your wardrobe planning kind!"

You are so right! What use is a printable if you don't know how to use it?? Here - let me share some quick tips for how to fill this out. (I already IG'd these, so I apologize for those in for some repeat-content!)

First, gather your supplies. This includes 4-6 of your most-worn pairs of shoes for Fall (I've got 3 boots and one pair of flats.), and a whole mess of season-appropriate apparel fabric. (Think mid-heavy weight knits, bottom weights, flannel, suede...). If you have favorite, well-fitting, good-condition pieces from last Fall/Winter, grab those too. We might not need them right now, but the more you can reuse the less you'll have to sew. ;)

Sift through your fabric stash and pick out your 6 least versatile, but GOTTA HAVE IT, fabrics. Think bold colors, funky textures, "distracting" prints. Same for you shoes - grab two pairs that are more difficult to pair than the others. These "secondary" selections will fill our perimeter (marked in blue below), because they will only have to be paired with the rest of our wardrobe twice. 

Now you can start auditioning your "primary" fabrics. Grab your four "favorites", you (either already do, or plan to) wear these styles often, and put them in the corners. Then grab your four most practical fabrics - ones that are neutral enough to coordinate with the wacky prints you've already put on your sudoku. Put these in the middle. Each of these pieces will have to be paired at least THREE times. 

Will it work out perfectly the first time? Probably not. There's a lot of shuffling that happens when you're trying to make sense of existing pieces, old stash finds, and new purchases. Your style (and skill) has likely evolved quite a bit between acquiring each of these pieces. But this is a good place to start, and will help you understand when you have a "problem child" piece that needs to be shoved to the outside of the sudoku, and when you have a more versatile piece that needs to be promoted to a "primary" sudoku spot. Keep a light heart about it all - this does require some imagination!

"But Becca, I have a LOT of prints. How do I pair these?"

First things first: neutral does NOT mean solids. I encourage you to audition small-scale prints like ginghams, stripes, polkadots, etc, as your "neutral" picks and see how many you can get away with pairing in your sudoku. Here's a helpful graphic/article to push you out of your comfort zone, if you find your existing stash is kind of limiting. 

The less time you have to sew, the more pieces you should roll over from previous seasons. You really need a plan like this to maximize your sewing efficiency! And if you have a laundry list of pieces you intend to sew? You might need more than one sudoku. In which case - by all means, reuse pieces between each (especially the layers, and the shoes!) sudoku you make. 

Here's my first shot at a my own Fall sudoku wardrobe:


Diana Cami / Megan Nielsen Leggings in Faux Leather / Blazer Pattern / Wrap Sweater Tutorial / Valora in Black FlatsGranville Shirt / Daytripper Top in Wanderlust Knit / Dropje Vest / Lace Up Oxfords / Kianna Fringe Booties / Patterns for Pirates Raglan / Day-to-Night Reversible Top / Emma Pants

But, lest I give the impression that I have it all figured out - let me assure you that I do not. I still have the following fabrics to place, which will likely need their second sudoku plan to verify their versatility, and help me prioritize each project. (Those pieces I'll pair the most between each sudoku will get sewn first, and those that are paired least will get sewn last). To give you an idea of the rest of my list...

Ideally, the grunge knit above will become a dress like this one, if I can find a pattern match:

And I still have to perfect my Brassie Joggers before  I cut into some french terry.

It'll go perfect with my gotta-have-it-or-at-least-recreate-it (maybe a long sleeve version using the Extraordinary Woman pattern from Filles a Maman?) T:

C'mon, paired with my vest, the screen t and joggers will be my go-to preschool dropoff look. It's like PJ's, only schnazzier. And declaring my love of all things sewing. Win/win/win!

"But how will you pair your dresses??"

Good question! My best advice for dresses is to arrange a sudoku all their own. Replace each "Top" with "Accessories", and each "Bottom" with "Dress". Again - reuse those layers! Wrap sweaters and button ups can let your dresses masquerade as "skirts", and outer layers like cardigans or blazers can completely change the formality of your dress if you were to wear it solo.

Don't wear that many dresses? You'll need at least two for this formula to work, but it is possible to combine a dress-and-separates sudoku setup. (Remember my third sudoku from my summer capsule reveal?) This might be a good option for those who plan separate professional-attire capsules: 

Hope these tricks have helped inspire your Fall planning! I haven't brought myself to sew yet, but if I don't get to muslin'ing pants soon I'm gonna be mighty cold in my underwear when the seasons turn ;) 

As always - let me know what questions you have in the comments below!