Tired of having nothing to wear despite spending sooooo much time behind the sewing machine, necessity became the mother of invention and I embarked on putting togther a ‘self sewn’ capsule wardobe. Not everything in my capsule is self sewn, some is purchased and most is really old. It’d be hard to accuse me of having a clothes shopping issue! We’re currently living temporarily in a house that will soon be demolished and some of our gear is in storage which means I already had to cull clothing – it’s not pretty, literally or figuratively!
I’ve accessed a tremendous number of resources in this journey, find them listed and linked at the end.
Andrea’s Fair Fit mini course helped me define my style. Finally, years after pinning ‘stuff’ I honed it down to a few cherished images and tried to percolate some kind of style from that. Her point – the more specific your design voice, the more niche your ‘market’ will be. Now there are definitely bloggers who have a very specific market, but to my eye, the more specific a style, the more caricatured the clothing and I’m constantly annoyed by blogs clearly designing to increase their market share – blah, gauche! Where’s the authenticity? Isn’t that what we’re all trying to find? Readily identifiable styles don’t really appeal to my aesthetic, it’s just not right to be boxed in, captioned, defineable. But never say never right? If you see me with a beehive and cat eyeliner next week, I’ve turned!
It was a surprise to me that I like classic styles because I have always tried hard not to be classic, classy yes, classic no! How I love hippy/boho, but when I wear those clothes I feel like a technicolour heffalump, a far cry from the will ‘o’ the whisp whimsy I’d hoped for . Tailored clothes suit me, nice pants, lovely jackets but they need to have a twist so as not to look too stitched up and serious, perhaps I should just get a job!
On the other hand special occasion gear should be a spectacle (thanks for noticing that point Kate). I like to stand out from the crowd and be noticed for all the right reasons (not all the time obvs, I’m not a total narcissistic clown!). But the thing that seems to define my ideal self sewn wardrobe is a penchant for hand stitching. I am actually a little dissapointed when people don’t notice that what I’m wearing was made by me!! I know that can be a pat on the back for some peeps, but not me! I like it when people comment on my clothes and they very often don’t if they perceive them to be RTW. Perhaps our friends are too polite to comment on my crappy wardrobe? Regardless, I think, hand embellishment defines my self sewn wardrobe. But again, I cannot possibly wear only clothing that is hand embellished – that’d be too full on, and too work intense!
I had some works in progress (WIPs) that all happened to be leisure wear, they needed to be finished. So the task started with a 3 x 3 sudoku incorporating those. A 3×3 eased me into the process and made a lot of sense. It’s comprised of 3 tops, 3 layers and 3 bottoms. My very favourite long sleeved white t shirt from American Vintage yesterday bit the dust and can only be worn under something now – yikes – more limitations.
I don’t necessarily think I got it right or had any clue, so I consulted The Vivienne Files and followed her step by step ‘starting from scratch’ for a more complete approach to the big picture. This is what I came up with:
Now it’s quite possible I hate the capsule idea, or I may be capsularly confused because crikey, I can’t wait to move out of this winter stuff. I have monumentally failed to include my favourite light marle grey cashmere jumper which I would happily live in. I guess it seemed too obvious and boring? Compounding the problems of the larger capsule (above) – I’ve lost a bit of weight and my new maroon skirt is a bit big, all my jeans are gross, stretched out, too big. My chic black leather leggings that cost me a small fortune now feel too big. Some of the items are waiting to be made so they’re missing from the wardrobe (gotta have goals) and some I long to replace because they’re old, pilled and worn to holes. I’m afraid to wear the silk Tahari shirt because it’s ‘too good’. The navy suede jacket has been worn for about 15 years and now smells musty (so I don’t wear it), but I’ve tried specialist dry cleaning suede in the past and it didn’t go well. I’m feeling deprived and limited so have resorted back to wearing what’s in the robe actually.
Perhaps trying to force oneself to try new things should not be a recommended capsule wardrobe strategy! This caspule stuff is hard enough, “go easy on yourself” would be my newly informed suggestion!
Some of the items in the caspule I already own – phew! The rest, I need to make myself, ho hum. In order to stop the capsule from being boring to make, I aim to spice it up. The french jacket is done and frankly fabulous. So should I still be making items for the current season which is scheduled to end in 4 weeks? Or should I be starting to make for the upcoming spring season? This is a serious dilemna. My winter capsule has never been completed, which has made dressing options limited. I’d love your input.
Thanks go to Seamsalright Joyce for a push to explain a little more about my capsule wardrobe. I’m often afraid to bore readers with explanations – I like pretty pictures!!
Fair Fit Create a Clothing Collection. The price has unfortunately gone up, Andrea’s free courses are great and her blog posts are excellent too.
The Vivienne Files, a fabulous resource for all things capsule, but wow, I especially liked Finding your favourite colours.
Curvy Sewing Collective ‘Is a capsule right for you?’, a question worth asking!