Capsule Wardrobe – Silhouettes, Colors and Fabric Choices

I have finished the planning of my capsule wardrobe for fall/winter and already started with the first project. More of that later. First, I decided on silhouettes for casual and office outfits. Do you know polyvore? I did not. But this is a really fun tool perfect for this purpose. I came up with two silhouettes for the casual wardrobe and with four silhouettes for office outfis.


casual 1

Casual 1

casual 2

Casual 2

Office outfits:

workoutfit 1

Office Outfit 1

workoutfit 2

Office Outfit 2

workoutfit 3

Office Outfit 3

work outfit 4

Office Outfit 4

The shoes are not always what I had in mind, but I did not find something better. Next I decided on the colors and diveded them into three categories: neutrals, near neutrals and statement colors (As you see I did not put too much effort in creating a perfect designed picture, but it is sufficient for my purpose):


Color Palette

For the beginning I chose one causal and two office outfits and reduced the color palette:

casual 1            workoutfit 2             work outfit 4


Reduced Color Palette

I might change my plans during the process. For example, I found it quite challenging to decide the colors for the office outfit with the flared skirt and do not yet know how this will work out. However, I can always refer back to this guideline.

Now starts the fun part: fabric and pattern choices! As many of you, I have a big fabric stash, and I will, of course, use fabrics from my stash, if they fit into my wardrobe plans. However, I have decided not to use fabrics because I just have them sitting in my stash. I will not be happy with my new garments (and won’t wear them) if I do not like the fabric. This means I will have to buy some new fabrics (ok, that is not really a burden). I will also take my time and buy/use only fabrics, that are good quality and fit in my plan regarding color/pattern/fabric content. No compromises here! I have started with the casual outfit. For the shirt pattern I will use a self-drafted pattern. For the pants I will use the Anima pants from Papercut Patterns. Here are swatches for the long-sleeved shirts:


Jersey Swatches

First I thought the cardigan would be an item I would buy. But then I had the crazy idea of knitting it by myself. I am usually no knitter. The last item I knitted was a scarf and I needed half a year until it was completed. Nevertheless, I searched for a knitting pattern and found a quite easy one and the next day I was shopping yarn. I found a beautiful, cozy yarn, Merino Air from Lana Grossa. Now I am sitting in my small garden at 30 °C knitting a woolen cardigan!


Knitting Project

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Marfy Jacket 1756 Part III

It finally starts to look like a jacket. I have inserted both sleeves and added the facing: 2014-07-06-front 2014-07-06-Marfy 1756 back The sleeve cap is supported by a sleeve head. I used “Watteline” for this. I cut the sleeve head so that it goes from the middle of the front armhole to the middle of the back armhole to give more support, as my fabric is very soft. I still have some puckers at the sleeve. If I would have a wool as fabric you could iron these out, but that did not work here. 2014-07-06-Marfy 1756 sleevehead2014-07-06-Marfy 1756 sleeveThe inner corners of the facing are reinforced with silk Organza. To keep the facing inside I used a pickstich along the edge: 2014-07-06-Marfy1756 pickstitch facing 2014-07-06-Marfy1756 collar pickstitchAnd this is how it looks from the inside: 2014-07-06-Marfy 1756 inside front 2014-07-06-Marfy 1756 inside backNow I have to decide on the placement of the pockets and the hem.

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Building My Wardrobe

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my wardrobe and what direction my sewing takes meto. In most cases I sew something because I like the pattern or a specific fabric, or I want to try a new technique. This might be ok, but it leaves me with a wardrobe with many single pieces and I still stand before my closet in the morning and does not know what to wear. I have several times tried to sew with a plan, but I always got easily distracted by the next fancy dress or interesting pattern or whatever.

Before I started sewing, I did not care too much was I was wearing as long as it fit my budget and kept me warm. When I began sewing, I did have to give more thought to my clothes, but often I bought fabric, because it was cheap and not because I really liked it. I also used to buy those bundles, e.g. “1kg Jersey”, where the colors and size of the fabrics is a surprise. I still have many of those fabrics in my stash (I did not give them away, sometimes I use them for muslins, but that does not work always). So my fabric stash is a mixture of fabrics I love, fabrics I like, and fabrics I just have. Hm. Same for my garments. This is a situation that makes me unsatisfactory. Why should I spent my precious sewing time (and money) on garments that I do not really love and do not like to wear? What a waste of resources.

I have read about the “Wardrobe Architect” from Coletterie and started to work through it.

The Wardrobe Architect

Have you followed it? I have the feeling that this will really help me to build up a wardrobe that suits me and my lifestyle, so I decided to give it a try. I will use this guide to plan my fall/winter wardrobe (as I am a slow seamstress it does not make sense to start with a summer wardrobe with summer already half over).

I have already learned so much. For example, I love pencil skirts, but as I go to work each day by my bicycle, I rarely wear them (I could change clothes at work, maybe I should think this over….). The first execises were not easy for me, as I have never tried before to describe my style. I even got the feeling that I do not have any style and that I am still struggling to find mine. But in the end I have come up with styles that I am drawn to, that inspire me and that I am pretty sure do also suit me and my Lifestyle. I have put them together here. You can see that a few pictures are titled “inconsistent”. These are styles I am drawn to, but would not wear (I only dream of it) but it inspires me and its also a part of me and what I like, so I included this in my board.

The next step are colors and how to fit them into the wardrobe. I am pretty sure about my favourite colors so I think hope this step will be easier for me.

I am really excited and can’t wait to plan and start sewing my new wardrobe. As Sarai from Coletterie said, if you are confident that your plan will work, you will not get distracted easily and are also more willing to spent money on more expensive fabric or garments.

Do you sew with a plan for your wardrobe?

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Signe Summer Dress

After another exhausting week at work I wanted to sew something easy at the weekend. As much as I enjoy sewing the Marfy jacket, this is a long term project, and I needed something with instant gratification to treat myself with. I was looking for an easy summer dress to wear at home. First, I had a dress from an old Burda Magazine in mind. But a research at Pattern Review told me, that this would not be as easy as thought. Then I received the newsletter from Maria Denmark announcing her brand new pattern, the Signe Summer Dress. This dress was exactly what I needed: easy to sew, easy to wear.

2014-06-15-singe dress front

2014-06-15-singe dress back

It has only three pattern pieces and I sewed the dress completely with my serger. I own my serger for one year now, but it is still an alien for me and it frightens me. Everytime when I start sewing I have the feeling that I loose control and I just hope that the seam gets right…The fabric is a rayon knit with 3% elasthane that I found in my stash.

The bodice front is lined with self fabric. The pattern has three different lenghts: top, knee lenght and maxi. I chose the knee lenght. I cut a size S for the bust and waist and tapered to size M at the hips. Next time I coud even give a bit more room at the hips… The top of the back is finished with an elastic, so that it fits quite tight and stays where it should. I really love that you do not have to worry about gaping with this dress. It is really comfy and I am happy with my new summer dress.

So, no news regarding the Marfy jacket this week. We will see how it will be next week.

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Marfy Jacket 1756 Part II

This week I finished some of the more complicated steps. First, I had to finish the second corner of the front panel. And this happens when you try to sew after a long day at work:

2014-06-10-bad corner

I had to unpick the corner three times until it was ok. This is how it looks at the inside:

2014-06-10-corner inside

Next was pinning the front interfacing to the front bodice,  padstitiching and attaching stay tapes.

2014-06-10-front interfacing

2014-06-10-front tape stay2014-06-10-pinning roll ine tape 2014-06-10-tapestayroll line

After that both front panels were sewn together at the collar center seam and the haircanvas fixed with a featherstitch. This stitch was something new for me but I liked it. And as I had trimmed my hair canvas a bit too much, I added a small piece in between. Before padstitiching, I marked the padstitiching lines with chalk.

2014-06-10-marked linescollar201-06-10-collar detail

2014-06-10-pad stitched collar

Then again corners wanted to be sewn when attaching the back to the front. I pinned and basted carefully and I am quite happe with the result:

2014-06-10-completed back1

2014-06-10-completed back2

I am unsure where to put the seam allowances of the collar. Do you have any suggestions?

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Sewing Indie Month – Voting time

My Mimosa blouse made it in the second round of the Sewing Indie Month in the category “everyday casual”. How exciting is that? The preliminary voting was done by the participating companies and the blog hosts. Now the final voting has started. Check out the finalists for “Everyday Casual“, “Dressed to the Nines“, “An Indie Love Affair” and “Pattern Hacking“. The voting ends on Friday, 13th.


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Marfy Jacket 1756 Part I

After finishing my contribution to the Sewing Indie Month, I now concentrate fully on the Marfy Jacket Sew Along. I am a bit behind, but that does not matter. Leisa reminded me that it is more important to take one’s time than to keep up with the sew along posts. This is sooo true. Thank you, Leisa!

As this project will take some time, I decided to post weekly udates. For detailed description of the single steps, please refer to Leisa’s Blog. She is giving so much information it would just be inappropiate for me to repeat it here.

So far I have cut my fabric and underlining. As underlining I use cotton batiste (that is my favourite besides silk organza).

Thread tracing all pieces:

Thread tracing

Cutting out the back stay:

back stay

Horse hair canvas for the front:

front interfacing

Sewn the first corner:

corner 1


It is incredible how much stability is added due to the silk organza.

Next step will be pad stitching.



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Mimosa – Part II

Instead of sewing the Marfy jacket, I got side-tracked with the Mimosa pattern and made a second version.
This time, however, I made some changes. I wanted the blouse to be more fitted, so I added darts to the front and back and took it in in the waist. In order to be able to put it on, I added a button placket. I did not make the tie, as I felt this would be too much.
The fabric is a linnen. I underlined it with cotton batiste to add opacity and give the linnen a bit more stability. The button placket is interfaced with silk organza. The side seams are finished with Hong-Kong finish. I also bound the armscye seams. Here are some views of the inside:



Before I changed the pattern, I put the original blouse on my dress form and pinned the darts. I measured the length and depth of the darts and transferred these measurements onto the paper pattern. I cut the fabric and basted it together. The fit was really good. I only had to pinch out some excess fabric at the side below the armholes. This is the first time that I altered a pattern beyond fitting issues, and I am quite happy that this experiment turned out so well. This will be my entry for the Sewing Indie Month “Pattern hacking” category.

Here is how my pattern looked like after changing:


As it was such a lovely day today, we went to the river side and took some pictures of me wearing my new Mimosa blouse:




I really like the colors of this picture. You do not often have this blue sky in Hamburg.


Me, looking at the boats.


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Mimosa Blouse and Sewing Indie Month

Two weeks ago I read about the Sewing Indie Month.

Sewing Indie Month

Until now, I have never used a pattern from an indie company, except a free Colette pattern. Of course, I have seen many indie patterns in the blogosphere but somehow I did not get around to sewing one. So I took the opportunity to check out some patterns. I did not know that there are so many indie companies. I do not like the style of every company, but there are a few interesting ones: Sew Chic Patterns, even if I do not know when to wear their dresses, SomaPatterns by Sylvie P because of the zero waste goal, Thread Theory (wow, a blog for mens wear only?). For my first try I used the Mimosa pattern from SBCC (skinny bith curvy chicken).

The blouse is easy to sew, there are only two darts and no closure. The instructions are clear, but you should not expect details like when to trim a seam allowance. I like how it came out, especially the tie detail. Just a nice casual blouse for summer.



The back is quite simple:

Mimosa back view

The back neckline is finished with bias tape.

Mimosa neckline

The front neckline is finished with a facing:

Mimosa facing

Tie Detail

mimosa tie

Mimosa 1

I like it with jeans, but it looks also great a bit more dressed up with black trousers:

Mimosa black

I cut a size XS, but next time I will cut S, as it is a bit small in the shoulders. I think this is a versatile pattern. I can imagine this blouse in a more drapey fabric, maybe even some knits. Or adding some darts to make it more close-fitting.





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Muslin Day

Last weekend I spent cutting and thread tracing muslins for my next three projects. Usually I try to avoid to work on several projects in parallel, but I thought it might be more efficient to handle the big rol of muslin only once. I cut muslins for the Marfy free pattern jacket for the sew-along with Leisa from A challenging sew, Marfy 3414 and Vogue 8766 for the craftsy course “sew the perfect fit”.

Marfy Free Pattern

Marfy Free Pattern

Marfy 3414

Marfy 3414

Vogue 8766

Vogue 8766


Once I finished thread tracing the Marfy dress, I could not resist and pinned it together on my dress form.

Marfy 3414 Muslin

Marfy 3414 Muslin

Do you see how lovely it looks already, even on a rainy day and the pleats on the skirt pinned in the wrong direction? I can’t wait to start with this one, although I think it will need lots of alterations in the bust area to fit me. But first, the Marfy jacket is waiting.


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