{Summer Capsule Sew Along} The Reveal

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?? This is a project 10 weeks in the making, and I'm so excited for the big reveal!

For those just tuning in, I was challenged by a friend to take on a Capsule Wardrobe Sew Along after discussing this viral blog post in April. It couldn't have come at a better time for three primary reasons:

  1. Summer was fast-approaching, and I had NOTHING to wear. Really, truly. Between 4 years of thyroid disease and two pregnancies yo-yo-ing my weight, nothing left in my closet fit quite right, and even if it did - it was well worn and tattered.
  2. One year into my self-care-sewing journey, I had learned a lot about sewing for myself: which pieces were most worn (...and which were not...), what made them versatile, and what made them flattering. This was a perfect project to relay that information to a rapidly growing readership. Thanks for that, by the way! I've so loved the participation this series has inspired! Blogging is the most fun for me when you all participate :)
  3. What experience I had sewing women's wear, coordinating prints, and conceptualizing a wardrobe... I lacked completely in fitting and tailoring knowledge. This project pushed me from the nest, so to speak, and forced me to learn these essential sewing skills. (If you follow me on instagram, this was the #thisiswhywemuslin hashtag used by myself and other capsule sewists!)

So - if you want tips determining your style, finding patterns for your body type (or designers who design with your bust and height measurements in mind), narrowing down a color palate, "auditioning" fabrics for your balanced, "neutral" wardrobe, choosing the right size, prioritizing projects, understanding "fit" - or even just defining what a "capsule" wardrobe is to begin with!! be sure to start from the beginning!  

Now that the context is set, let me take a brief moment to recognize the amazing ladies behind this series: I had some seriously generous sponsors jump on board with the project right away, and I'm so pleased with how these collaborative projects came out! Special thanks to:

OK! HERE WE GO! REVEAL TIME!! If you'll recall, I set a reasonable 9-piece expectation for my wardrobe. (This is what fashion/wardrobe bloggers like the capsule-wardrobe guru Unfancy suggest you rotate each season to update your minimal wardrobe for weather shifts) As it turns out.. I made 19. I sort of just kept plugging away at it on piece at a time, and sewing like-items back-to-back. I even transformed two of my muslins into wearable pieces for my final wardrobe! I've arranged them here for you sudoku-style. Scroll past the pinnable image below to see the slide-show of 10 outfits I can make with each sudoku arrangement!

My Home-Sewn Capsule Wardrobe for Summer 2015 - 1 of 3 "Style Sudoku" Wardrobe Arrangements

My Home-Sewn Capsule Wardrobe for Summer 2015 - 1 of 3 "Style Sudoku" Wardrobe Arrangements

Of course, the first thing you might notice is that there are even MORE combinations for wearing these clothes that the sudoku layout doesn't highlight. For instance, my basic solid tanks are versatile enough to pair with ANY of the bottoms I made for this capsule. (Yes, that includes the navy tank with the black/white polkadot skirt. I do not subscribe to the "no navy with black" rule. These aren't mis-matched socks, they're intentional styling decisions that a little imagination and accessories can make look chic and effortless)

Initial responses to the sew-along greatly centered around the number of shoes suggested (9!?!). Here,  you'll see how I managed to pair all of my outfits with just 5 pairs. I may sub flip-flops for any of these, should weather threaten the condition of my beloved shoe collection- so maybe we call it "6" to be true and honest. And of course, I may sub my camel sandals for any of the heel/wedge shoes when baby-chasing is required. 

Yellow Flats: Joyfolie / Purple Fringe Booties: Joyfolie / Camel Sandles: Tommy Hillfigger (Amazon) / Blue Stripe Flats: Target / Cutout Peep-Toe Heels: Jessica Simpson (Similar Style)

Here, I've included my two dresses (a maxi and a knee-length a-line) with the option of a button up. They can, of course, be worn solo - but it's nice to have the option to throw long (or cuffed to 3/4) sleeves for the evening chill during summertime. 

So what did I make??

2 dresses:

6 Bottoms:

2 Outer Layers:

9 Tops:

I was pleasantly surprised by how simple sewing this project was. (I won't say EASY, because fitting your garments is time-consuming, at least when you're first learning.) I simplified the process by reusing the same patterns, and in some cases muslin'ing with "B list" fabrics that would coordinate with my capsule if they turned out. At the end of the day, the most important step in determining the success of my capsule was the time spent planning: picking versatile patterns from the start, stocking up on coordinating fabrics, and prioritizing my projects. With that done, the sewing part of the project was just... chipping away at my sewing list, one project at a time. 

I've debuted pieces of my wardrobe throughout the series (you can check those out here), and look forward to continuing to show you different ways I'll style these pieces throughout the summer on Instagram. I also plan to blog some styling and accessorizing tips in the coming weeks as well!

"So, did you finish everything you planned to make?"

NO! I have a pair of gray skinny pants I want to make, still, but I justified that it could wait for Fall. I haven't been much inclined to sew full length pants with the recent weather in Virginia... And I have one more sponsor fabric left to cut into for a fun romper tutorial. (You can expect that in the coming weeks!) None the less, I'm proud of what I managed to create, and how versatile this wardrobe truly is. 

If you've been sewing along, I hope you've managed to create a versatile wardrobe of your own - or even a few well-fitting pieces you'll get to enjoy throughout the season. If you didn't sew along - but wish you had- join our facebook group to hop in to the Fall Capsule sewing conversation!

So tell me - how'd I do?? Would you wear this capsule? As we conquer our Fall Wardrobes next - what fit, styling, and sewing topics would you like me to address? Don't forget to link me to your own capsule creations in the comments!

XOXO, Becca