Handmade Winter Wardrobe Additions

So I started a capsule wardrobe a few weeks ago, made up of 40 items that I’ll wear all fall and then switch out with some new items for winter.  I thought that paring down my wardrobe would give me added incentive to sew, because I have a bad habit of making things and then never wearing them.  Knowing that they have to go into a small rotation or 40 things should make me more mindful in drafting up clothes that are practical and well made.

I have a wonderful pattern for leggings that I’ve used a few times (McCall’s M6173).  I raised the waistline a bit and cut them down some from what the pattern called for.  The fabric I used for these is a cozy woven cotton blend stretch fabric with gray designs on a black background.

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I also finally got around to finishing a skirt I started almost a year ago.  I made it after seeing a cable knit skirt for sale that I knew I could never afford.  I went thrifting and found an old sweater that I cut up and made into a warm skirt for winter.  I used some scrap fabric from the leggings to make the waistband, because the sweater scraps had too much stretch to serve as a good waistband.IMG_0147

I have a few more projects in the works that I’ll post later as I get more work done. The first project I’ve already started is a pair of work pants that will be lined in flannel. I’m modifying a pattern I’ve had since about 2007 when low-rise jeans were all the rage.  I don’t know if modifying this to my current tastes will be too difficult or not.  I’ll be making the pockets bigger, adding a few more utility pockets, reinforcing the knees and sneaking in a flannel lining.  I never find pants that fit and last for more than a year, so I’m hoping to get better at sewing pants and just start making all of mine.

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Capsule Wardrobe

A few weeks ago I decided to finally take on the mother of all first world problems: I have so many clothes, but nothing to wear.  I know I’m not alone in this.  According to an article on Huffington Post, the average woman owns around $500 worth of clothing that’s never been worn.  Many people, seduced by the thrill of acquiring, find out just how easy it is to end up with a closet full of things that are rarely if ever worn.  A lot of people, seeking to get more out of fewer things are downsizing and cutting their wardrobe to only best pieces, that can be easily matched.  I ran across an article about Project 333 and began contemplating a capsule wardrobe.  The idea behind the project is to limit your wardrobe to 33 items that are worn over the course of 3 months and then donated or put away, making room for another series of 33 items to be worn in the next 3 months.  Thirty three sounds like a reasonable number to limit your wardrobe to, until you start taking inventory and realizing just how many T-shirts, undershirts and dresses you actually own.  Luckily, the plan is flexible as it only has to benefit you.  I decided not to include underwear, tights, socks, undershirts, coats or work-out clothes in my count.  Still, my total came to 105 when all was counted.  This initial count was 105, even after cutting my wardrobe by half over the summer.

Benefits of owning less clothing:

  • I can invest in few but better pieces
  • I have incentive to make more clothes for myself, knowing they’ll actually get worn
  • I have more room in my closet
  • I now have a surplus of clothes hangers
  • I no longer have to stuff drawers full of clean laundry only to find the drawers won’t close when full
  • I don’t have to worry about what to wear in the mornings
  • I do laundry more frequently and should never again need try and fit 2 or 3 loads on my clothesline
  • I’ll spend less money on clothing
  • Next time I have to pack for a long trip, I won’t have trouble deciding what to bring

I ended up making it down to 40 items by donating almost everything that didn’t fit in my new capsule wardrobe.   I put a box of about 10 things I couldn’t part with under the bed for now.  In the last two weeks I’ve had a great time getting up and not having to even think about what to wear. Even before downsizing my wardrobe was all the same monochromatic grey, more grey, heather grey and black (with occasional breaks of yellow).  After getting rid of a lot of my clothes, I haven’t missed a single thing.  I never needed 4 black dresses in similar cuts, when one would suffice.  I never needed 20 pairs of shoes when I wear the same boots every day.  Now I plan to make more clothes for myself that are better quality and more versatile.

My New Wardrobe:

  • 15 shirts
  • 8 dresses
  • 6 skirts
  • 3 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 7 sweaters and sweatshirts