Hey sharkbites. Tis the season of blooming trees and soft, spring breezes and that means one thing in my world.
Spring Capsule Sewing.
Even though I have a closet packed full of pretty dresses and cozy sweaters, I’ve been jonesing for a bit more me-made, slouchy, layered up dresses and other assorted comfy wears.
After 10 years of prattling on about my sewing plans and actual sewing accomplishments, I’m dragging the Snugbug blog into the 21st century via the use of video, aided by my trusty iPad, Apple Pencil, and GoodNotes, so if you’d like to come along on the FULL plotting journey, click the image below to see what I’m plotting.
For those of us who are Luddites and prefer to read the details (like me) I’ll lay down a bit here in a post so you can ride along too.
The Inspiration and Patterns
As for where my inspiration came from for this plan-o-thon, I’m still deep in my love of new prairie lagenlook with a waist and also did a bit of poking around googling “cottagecore” plus, oddly, was vibing on an old episode of Star Trek.
I think we all knew space-wear would eventually enter into my aesthetic, right?
I’ve also been low-key stalking a few patterns I like on Instagram over the past few months and realized when I actually looked up those patterns they all were from the indie pattern company, Sew Liberated.
Let’s jump in… here’s the hit-list for my 10-11 piece spring/summer capsule wardrobe…
A quick pre-note… I’m 5’10” and hate my bare flesh on my hot leather car seats and assorted other uncomfortable surfaces, so all the dress lengths will be a bit longer than shown in the illustrations.
Cashmerette Holyoke Maxi — I’m yearning for a princess seamed maxi with a scoop or v-neck, spaghetti straps and lovely, loose lines that feel like a nightie, but look good on my curves. I’ve found it in RTW (check out the trapeze maxi dresses at Torrid…) but am still on the hunt for a pattern. This isn’t quite perfect, but I’m hoping it might give me a good base. Plus, making it in a shirt-length totally fits my vibe if I need a cute shirt.
Sew Liberated Metamorphic Dress — oh good lord, it’s reversible. I mean… I love the shape, and it’s literally two dresses in one.
Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress — This looks perfect for me — I mean. Perfect. The button-front means that I can do some cool layers with it, plus I love the 3/4 length sleeve, though that’s more of a fall-thing.
Sew Liberated Stasia Dress — I absolutely love this dress! The neckline scoop in the front and back is puuuuurrrrrfect. I’m stoked to make to wear alone and to use as a layering piece.
Sew Liberated Gypsum Skirt — I’m not totally excited about making a skirt, but think I could use one. I love the pockets and if I want to bubble up the hem by running elastic through the hemline, I think it will do well. Plus, I like how wide the waist is.
Ogden Tank — this is an indie fave and extremely hackable. We’ll see what we can do with it.
Sew Liberated Lichen Duster — this is one of the patterns I’ve been creeping on in my Instagram feed. It’s somehow both totally chill, unstructured and has a sort of 50’s New Look shape. I mean… HOW?
Sew Liberated Arthur Pants — I mean. They are in my plan. I don’t know if they are staying there. I don’t know if I really WANT more pants, and even if I decide I do, I might actually go for a Sew Tina Givens-style Bloomer
The Ursina Sweater — I haven’t loved crop looks on me, but have been kinda wanting something chill and made with natural fibers to pull on over more loose-fitting dresses. We will see.
Here’s a thumbnail of the tech drawings and some IG-sourced inspiration pics of what’s in mind.
Now it’s time to play one of my favorite games! In order to ensure that a capsule-wardrobe will actually create multiple outfits, I like to arrange my ideas in this 4×4 grid.
Here’s the rules:
Add one or two store-bought items to each row. In mine, I added four pairs of shoes, a denim jacket, and a scarf.
Arrange the rest of the patterns so that each horizontal and vertical line creates a wearable look — I don’t bother with the diagonals.
As you can see, I’ve worked it out so all the rows and columns represent a cute wearable look. I included fabric swatches to get an idea of how the colors will mix together as well. There’s a couple of the lines that aren’t super-ideal outfits (I likely will NOT wear the maxi, pinafore, and cropped sweater… but I could!)
You could also set up a 3×3 grid for six looks instead of eight. For me, it’s just a fun exercise to double-check that I’m choosing truly flexible pieces.
A Thrift Crawl
After I did my planning on ‘paper’, I headed out to the thrift shops to try to source some inexpensive fabrics to make wearable muslins of my patterns. I typically like to make a practice garment with new patterns and pattern lines. I’m actually quite pleased with my findings! From the bottom to the top of the stack we have… two orange table clothes, a large piece of a rough woven fabric with a fair amount of holes, two sage green brocade curtain panels, two linen-esque flaxen curtain panels, and a magnificent queen-sized sheet in a lovely cream and sage gingham.
Of course, we’ll see how things pan out when I start laying out pattern pieces, but as of now, I have decided to match these patterns with these test fabrics.
That’s 18 linear yards of fabric in widths ranging from 40 to 85”. I spent a grand total of $18 on this stack of fabric, so, as Queen Bey says… I’m feeling myself.
And so we’re off! Right now I have the Ogden Tank, Gypsum Skirt, Metamorphic Dress, and Hinterland Dress patterns so will be printing and taping those up. I’m also making a list of the little bits and notions I’ll need (like 458 buttons for the Hinterland dress) and will keep checking out the thrift shops for more inexpensive fabric for the Holyoke Dress and Lichen Duster. I likely will not make a ‘test’ Stasia, as I typically just go for it with knit garments. I like to live large.