A pair of Style Arc Josies for the capsule

But I need to talk about the evolution of this capsule… or you can skip to the photos!


The starting point for my capsule wardrobe was inspired by a young mum I saw at the supermarket. I think I got away with staring at her askance; or else she spotted me and is now calling the locksmith… She was wearing a maroon stretch skirt and maroon sweatshirt. Young mummy’s look was convincingly cosy, an excellent choice for schlepping around the freezing cold supermarket dodging frostbite!

Self drafted, using learning from The Fair Fit Studio ‘Create a Clothing Collection’, the maroon skirt is the anchor for my collection, which is a mute point since it’s now too big, can I pretend it was meant to be low waisted?! My original design had a waistband and was colour blocked with another maroon based tweed. When I went to cut the fabric I just didn’t love the combination, Mme. Tweed  was just too muddy. However, no matter how I tesselated, I just couldn’t get a waistband out of the scraps of this awesome fabric, originally bought for a Gryffindor quilt circa 2005!

The shorter angled panels at the top of the skirt side are 100% because I just couldn’t get the whole long side panel out of the limited meterage. My Patternmaking teacher – Anita McAdam tells me it’s called pattern engineering, so now a compromise turned design feature is legit!


pencil skirt innards

Be Mindful that design lines will appear closer to the side body than you imagined.

Another note from the ever helpful Anita. If a design line is placed toward the side of the body, be careful that it’s placed toward the centre enough to compensate for body depth. We are 3D and looking at this photo in 2D the princess line looks perfectly fine. But when my body takes up the 3rd dimensional space (front to back) the design line sneaks over toward the side and is at risk of being lost around the side body competely, making it difficult to read from a front view.

Onto the Josies – Princess tried on this sweat from Bassike – only $320. It’s made from exactly the same fabric content as my maroon Josie – a rayon, cotton, lycra blend.

Bassike sweatshirt - blush pink

Style Arc Josie Hoodie


Changes made to the maroon Style Arc Josie… ignored the Bassike cold shoulder as a bad idea (but a great design element), pilfered the quilted elongated triangle feature, added a centre hood strip rather than the original 2 piece hood (pattern engineering again!). The original pattern is about 12cm longer, I prefer this shorter length with certain bottoms. and the longer length (navy) with an appliqued and embroidered anchor, is great with leggings, jeggings and leather pants for a bit of backside coverage. Deleted the hem cord in the maroon. Added self cuff bands and hem band rather than the original turned under finish. Stabilised the back neck edge with a gorgeous piece of blue twill tape!


You cannot prise these Josies off my living body – they’re gorgeous and perfect. Congratulations #StyleArc this is a winner. The raised front neck keeps out the chilly wind on those early boat trips to the mainland and the shoulder dart is a fab design feature, so excellent I highlighted it with a coverstitch.


The rayon/cotton/lycra khaki trackpants (self drafted) were ridiculously large and bagged out uncontrollably after a few wears. Which is a reminder to always, but always, make sure your fabric is suited to the job, no matter how much you love the stuff. The rayon/cotton/lycra just doesn’t have the recovery needed for bottoms, so I washed and dried them to a crisp in the dryer and now I have leggings? It worked (they’ll no doubt expand a little with wear), so I did the same with the blue track pants which had been too big and long in every direction – talk about high waisted… Now I may not need to alter them, they’re pretty good. While not officially part of my capsule, the khaki trackpants are great and work surprisingly well with the navy and maroon Josies, a happy accident for a toile!

My clothing collection so far is a combo of self made and purchased items. Some of the purchased items are due for replacement and have joined the sewing queue, like the $350 trousers which have pilled – grrr! Looking forward to finishing my next piece – the bastard child of Chanel… Onwards.

#StyleArcJosie hoodie and side view trackpants

Capsule so far…

Maroon pencil skirt

Navy track pants

Navy trousers (purchased)

Maroon Scotch and Soda trousers (purchased) $10 at The Red Cross Shop, as new.

Navy Josie hoodie

Maroon Josie hoodie

Navy self drafted short sleeve raglan with black beads







Add yours →

  1. Fun post, Lesley. I am loving both the colours and the hoodies in particular. I’ve been getting the Fair Fit emails yesterday and I find them interesting as they articulate many of the ideas I have been getting to in a roundabout way. All very interesting.

  2. ellegeemakes 13/07/2017 — 1:36 pm

    Love the colors you’ve chosen for your capsule wardrobe, and that hoodie is enviable…a must have for my wardrobe. Looks like stylearc has another winner there!

  3. I was excited to read your post since I have that SyleArc pattern! I loved that pattern from the moment I saw it – its just what I need. The hardest thing for me to find with a good fit is a hoodie – if I get them big enough to go over my breasts they end up like a tent at my waist – another reason why I returned to sewing. Love your idea of a sweat/skirt! And that tape inside the neckline is so “finished” looking.

    • Yessss, it’s excellent. If you’d prefer a centre panel down your hood it’s an easy fix. I took the measurement from a favourite hoodie, Mine is 9.5cm finished. The centre panel addition takes up much less fabric too. If you do this, you could also change the facing to reflect the centre panel. And next time I’d put a cord in the hood, for those really chilly mornings when you just want to pull it up around your neck 😉

  4. I’ve been wondering what you have been up to? Such a fun casual wardrobe! Are you going into the deep and heavy ” why?” of every choice? If you are, I’d love to hear some of that thought process. Do you have a plan, or are you winging it for the next pieces?
    Joyce from Sudbury

    • Hi Joyce, the ‘why’ is pretty simple – because The Vivienne Files said so! Basically I’m following her ‘capsule from scratch’ guidelines. Not entirely sure that reigning in my free will when it comes to dressing will work for me though. Next up is the french jacket and yes I have the plan all written out, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stick to it!! Choices are still reliant on fabric availability and the need to learn new things I think – stay tuned! I’ll try to add more discussion in future – good call 😉

  5. I can understand why those hoodies would be so desirable – and Style Arc patterns are just so great (provided you aren’t too bothered about construction instructions!). Great work on the capsule wardrobe too.
    P.S. I am so jealous that you have the Studio Faro guru as your pattern cutting teacher!

    • Yep, the Style Arc patterns are very seat of the pants aren’t they! I had a class with Anita (Studio Faro) just a couple of weeks ago, before she moved bush! We drafted her Vivienne dress together, which is toiled awaiting further tweaking.

      • I’m hoping to have more time (and inclination) to play with pattern cutting now I’m no longer sewing for clients. She does have some amazing style options!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: