Monday, March 19, 2018

The Work and Play Capsule Wardrobe

6 garments. They all make fantastic individual additions to my wardrobe, but they can also be worn together in multiple combinations. This is the mini capsule wardrobe I made for the pattern review contest. 1 cardigan, 2 pairs of pants, and 3 shirts.

When I began to plan my capsule wardrobe I knew immediately that I wanted to make it as versatile as possible. I wanted a wardrobe that would look "at home" in both "work" and "play" situations. I wanted my outfits to transition from a more formal look to a fun look with the exchange of just one garment.

For maximum versatility, I made the first item of my capsule wardrobe, the cardigan, reversible. After I made the cardigan, the next step of assembling this mix and match collection was to make two pairs of pants. In keeping with my goal of having a variety of looks with just the one set of clothing, I made these pants to be opposite of eachother. The first pair are loose, flowy, and made of dark gray wool. The second pair are skinny jeans made of bright metallic gold stretch denim.

When it came to the shirts, I knew right away that I wanted to make all three in different styles. One would be a button up blouse, one would be a tank top, and one would be a basic T shirt. These three things would look great with both pair of pants, and my cardigan.

After I picked out my fabrics and patterns for the shirts, I decided to start with most boring one - a plain, black, T-shirt. A wonderful wardrobe staple that I clearly needed. Easy to sew, but not very exciting.

To make the shirt I used my basic dolman T-shirt pattern and a remnant of  black Ponte de Roma from my stash. The stability of the ponte lent an edge of formality to this otherwise casual pattern, making the the T-shirt look just right with my wide-legged pants. Unfortunately, I didn't have quite as much of the fabric as I thought I had, so I had to piece together the back of the shirt. I used the ponte for a yoke, and some plain black jersey for the rest. I'm not complaining though, because I love the visual interest that the back now has. A happy accident indeed, as this top now can't be called boring at all!  

As another design feature, I also added sleeve ruffles. They add just the right amount of fun to this "boring" black T-shirt!

My next shirt, a tank top, didn't need any design changes at all to make it interesting. The fabric took care of that. 

I acquired this purple, floral, patchwork, soft, drapey, mystery fabric in Malaysia. Once it arrived home with me, I immediately saw that it was just the fabric to turn into the Burda 6969 tank top. This pattern had been in my stash for quite a while now, waiting for just the right fabric!

The capsule wardrobe contest was just the push I needed to actually make the tank-top. I put off making it until now because it's been much too cold outside to think of wearing anything sleeveless! Thankfully, my reversible cardigan solved that delema for me, as this flowy purple tank top looks good layered under the cardigan, or alone with either of my newly made pairs of pants.

For my final shirt, a button up blouse, I decided to match my tank top in color and stick with purple for two reasons, a) it's one of my very favorite colors, and b) having two purple shirts created a very nice cohesive look for my capsule wardrobe. The color however, is where the resemblance between the two shirts ends. Where the tank is loose and flowey, the blouse is fitted. Where the tank has a wide, open, neckline, the blouse has a modest V.  And where the print of the tanktop fabric is a little bit of everything, the blouse blouse fabric is a uniform plaid. These differences though, do not mean the blouse is any less fun! Oh no, not at all!

When I decided to make a button up blouse as my third shirt, I immediately knew just what fabric I would use - this purple plaid I acquired at the mennonite fabric store a couple months ago. The only challenge was deciding what pattern I would use. After rifling through my pattern stash multiple times I finally decided on Simplicity 1460.

The scalloped neckline, fitted bodice, and peplum made this pattern catch my eye, and I'm so glad it did! This blouse features double diagonal bust darts, a dart formation I'm never before used, and they give the perfect fit. This pattern will definitely be used again!

Of the three shirts, this blouse is definitely my favorite. The other two shirts look best tucked into the wide-legged pants and worn loose with the skinny jeans, but thanks to the peplum, this shirt looks good worn either way with either pair of pants. Truly a versatile garment!

So there you have it, 6 items that can be worn in 12 combinations and look fabulous in all of them! I think I nailed this challenge! 

You can see my official Pattern Review entry on my capsule wardrobe, with links to my individual project reviews, here.


  1. It turned out great, I love all the combinations. 😊

  2. Everything looks fantastic! You are so talented. I love reading your blog as you frequently have new projects and it inspires me to sew.