{Capsule Wardrobe Sewalong} Quick-Sew Capsule Pieces

Maybe you've got children hanging on your every limb distracting you for "MORE FOOD MOMMA!" Maybe you wear many hats, and don't have time between playing family chauffeur and corporate badass to spend hours crafting your wardrobe. Maybe you just got your dream job and need to rock a business casual wardrobe by like, MONDAY. Maybe you just take your time sewing - it's a hobby to be enjoyed, after all. Whatever your reason, a capsule "on the fly" is in order! 

So here's a whole post dedicated to all those "instant gratification" capsule sews you can fit into even the most limited sew-schedules.

But before we launch into the patterns - let's talk about what qualifies a pattern as a "quick sew":

  • Few pattern pieces. Less to print, cut, and assemble.
  • Straight Seams. Or you know, nearly. My list includes no-or-few set-in sleeves.
  • Fit Forgiving. Minimal tailoring required.
  • No Fussy Closures. Zippers, buttons, and ties will slow us down!
  • Minimal hemming. Nuff' said.
  • No Gathering. Also, Nuff' said. 

Now before we get down to it - here's what I'm NOT saying. "Hey reader, these are pieces you won't have to muslin!"

"But Becca, what about -"

NO. Not even then. Every piece you make should be adjusted to fit you. If you're lucky, it's just a matter of a small length adjustment, or maybe blending sizes. Muslin once, make a million. The investment will pay off in every glimpse you catch of your reflection, every "girl that outfit rocks!" from your friends, and every extra booty-grab from your significant other. (Just me? Moving on...)

Woven Tanks 

Cali Faye Basics Tank

Cali Faye Basics Tank

My go-to tank (Cali Faye Basics Tank) has two pieces. Front, and back. And FOUR, straight seams. Shallow hems on all raw edges make this sew impossibly fast.

Alternatives: SisBoom Tortola, Megan Nielsen Eucalypt 


Love Notion's La Bella Dona

Love Notion's La Bella Dona

Where set-in sleeves have round caps that need to be evenly stretched into an armscye, dolman sleeves have ALL STRAIGHT SEAMS! Hurray! I love the La Bella Donna from Love Notions.

Alternatives: Hey June Aurora, Pattern for Pirate's Pumpkin Spice


Pattern for Pirates Original Raglan

Pattern for Pirates Original Raglan

I'll be beating a "straight seams" dead horse before this post is through! Raglans of course give us that option. I like to stock my pattern arsenal with raglans for every occasion. Lounging (Pattern For Pirates Original Raglan),  Business Casual (Straight Stitch Designs' Bellevue), and anything in-between (Kitschy Coo Trifecta).


Both as layering pieces, and as T-shape blouses - Kimono garments are another set-in-sleeve loophole! For layering - check out the free tutorial from By Hand London or the summer kimono from Patterns for Pirates. For blouses, look at the seamwork Akita (woven) or George & Ginger's knit shirt freebie, "I heart you." 



One pattern piece? MAYBE a separate waistband? Could leggings GET any easier?! If you have 4-way stretch knit available, stitch up the Pattern for Pirate's Peg Legs.

Alternatives: Megan Nielsen Virginia Leggings (Pictured above: 2-way, 40% stretch), Jocole Leggings (2-way, 75% stretch)


This is almost not even fair to list separately. It's really just your favorite legging pattern sewn in jegging fabric. Maybe some extra time stitching faux-jean details, or borrowing back pocket pieces from the jeans pattern you bought and patching those on the booty. The leggings list above stands, but the Pattern for Pirates SOS pants has already figured out the faux-jean detail work for you if you're interested!


Jocole A-Line, Maxi

Jocole A-Line, Maxi

The gather-less, pleat-less variety anyway! Jocole has a-line, pencil, skater, and swing styles with few seams and lots of built-in hem lengths. Love Notion's Sybil is packed with options too, many of which are gather and pleat free!

Quick-Sew Tips

Once you've picked out patterns for SPEED, consider using these tricks for even faster wardrobe assembly. 

  • MAKE MULTIPLES... in different fabric. You've already got the pattern pieces out! Cut out another, and try a different fabric type so you don't end up with wardrobe duplicates.
  • MAKE MULTIPLES... utilizing different pattern options. Same as above! Take advantage of different necklines, sleeve and hem lengths.
  • Sew like-items in batches. All knits together, all lightweight wovens together, all bottomweights together. The less time you spend switching out needles and threads and machine settings, the more efficient your sewing time will be. For this reason, there's merit in hemming pieces in batches too.
  • GET OFF THE INTERNET. Except maybe to stream some sweet jams while you work. 

Anxious to get started on some quick sew projects?? I was hoping you would be! You go print and assemble some patterns... then tune in for a big announcement later today! But first, share your quick-sew tips and patterns in the comments :)

XOXO, Becca