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Sewing a Capsule Wardrobe

Sewing a Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing items that you love and can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits! But why make one? Well…have you ever found yourself standing in front of your closet and staring? Your mind probably overwhelmed as it races through a million different possible combinations of pants and tops, trying to create an outfit for the day? The beauty of a capsule wardrobe is that it eliminates that problem! It takes the stress out of the morning routine and allows you to quickly and effortlessly select an outfit for the day! Bonus - it’s a kid and husband proof wardrobe because any top and bottom will work together!

Now a full capsule wardrobe has anywhere from 25 - 50 pieces, and will take into consideration accessories, shoes, jewellery, bags, etc. But, you can start small by creating a mini capsule - even 6 - 10 pieces mixed and matched, can give you over a weeks worth of outfits! Choose 3-4 tops and 2-3 bottoms, with a layering piece or 2!

When sewing a capsule, there are a few things to consider when it comes to pattern and fabric selection. Here are some tips to help you in this process.

Choosing Patterns

  • First off, pick patterns that you love! Choose the patterns of the tops and bottoms that you find yourself reaching for each week. You aren’t going to wear the top/bottom if you’re not comfortable in it.
  • Choose styles of tops and bottoms that you like the look of when paired together. For instance, if you wear mostly looser tops paired with more fitted bottoms - pick those types of patterns!
  • Choose patterns appropriately matched with what you do each day. For instance, consider - what type of attire do you need for work? Do you need dressier items in your capsule? Do you need athletic wear?
  • Consider the weather/season you are sewing the capsule for. Layering pieces can play an important role as you transition your wardrobe into different seasons - so don’t forget to include a cardigan or jacket!

Choosing Fabrics

  • Choose fabrics that coordinate! Remember a capsule wardrobe takes the stress out of the morning routine because each item can be mixed and matched with the next. Start with a “statement print” - this will be the focal point of the capsule, then find some basic fabrics that coordinate with it such as solids (2-3), stripes, dots or even a panel. 
  • Choose quality fabric that will last multiple wears and washes. 
  • Consider the correct fabric bases you need for the chosen patterns. Shear’s new spring collection comes in a variety of bases - the “oh so amazing” stretch waffle, cotton lycra, classic rib and french terry. Mixing different bases can add texture and dimension to your wardrobe!
  • Consider the amount of each fabric you need. In order to do this, you’ll need to decide which fabrics are going to be used for what.  For some of the accents fabrics (those you may be using for cuffs, bands, pockets, etc) you may not need as much. But, you also don’t want to be stuck short on fabric!

Using the new spring collection (which you can check out the Lookbook for HERE), Tasha created an amazing grow-with-me capsule that fits three of her kids. She started with her love for the Gamer print on Loden Forest, paired it with the more subtle brushstroke print and 4 different coordinating solids!

Ivy designed a comfy, easy to sew capsule she describes as "Japanese street style meets Vancouver athleisure". She pairs Loden Forest, Legion Blue and Almond Milk in the most perfect way and rocked the photoshoot.
Nicole created a 'twist' on a capsule wardrobe by designing a family capsule of several items that the adults and kids can mix and match. She used 3 of the spring collection colours  - Almond Milk, Loden Forest and Legion Blue to create.... ready for it?..... 2 kid dresses, 4 kid tops, 1 kid cardigan, 3 kid pants, 1 pair of kid leggings, 1 kid shorts, 2 adult tops, 1 adult romper and 1 adult cardigan! She also added in a few other coordinating solids and EVEN created her own striped coordinate with a fabric marker on the Almond Milk french terry!! How perfectly does it all pair together?!
I designed a monochrome capsule using the Pink Champagne from the spring collection, with a pop of the Tulipwood! Since I mostly used the one colour, I chose patterns that had fun details and used different fabric bases for accents. This mini capsule is made up of 2 tops, 2 bottoms and one cardigan which can give a total of 6 different looks! Switch up the shoes, jewellery and accessories and you have got even more looks!


Now, if you are tech savvy, you can use an editing program to help you create a vision board of your capsule. Create a grid, grab the outline drawings of the patterns you are creating from the pdf files and layer them with a snapshot of the fabric you are using. There are several programs such as picmonkey, that allow you to do this and there are lots of tutorials that can walk you through the process. 

With the new spring collection of 5 coordinating colours on 4 different bases and some cute prints, it is the perfect time to try your hand at a capsule!

Happy Sewing Friends,