Summer wardrobe capsule plan…sittin’ at the ball fields

Summertime around these parts consists of many hours watching ball games – both softball and baseball.

This means I sit in the hot sun sweating and getting odd tan lines for hours at a time. I wanted to make a mix and match wardrobe capsule that would keep me cool, look awesome and be easy to change up the pieces.

This also matches some other pieces already in my wardrobe, so it should work well.

Here are two sodoku capsules that I made up. This is all subject to change on my frivolous whims.

summer soduko 1

summer soduko 2

I am going to make a pattern for a skort (’cause wind…) with a straight-front, flounce back with pockets on the legs underneath. Something like this:

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We’ll see if it actually turns out that way. Whims…I tell ya.

The tops are going to be tank tops to try to minimize the farmers tan. Not that there is anything wrong with a farmer’s tan…had them aplenty growing up.

These are my tank top inspirations. I like the thought of putting stretch lace in there, so I think I will use that idea to try to keep cool.

tank top inspiration

Lots of fun things going on with those tops. The only issue, is the bra issue. I have yet to find a comfortable strapless bra, so I am thinking of making some fun straps with some existing bras.

Fabrics are next. I bought a few different types of athletic mesh in black and gray, some gray Nike sport fabric, and then I have some different cotton/lycra and poly/lycra knits. I also have some lace and should be getting a sample stretch mesh fabric soon that will fit in nicely.

The sodoku would not be complete without some accessories, amiright?? I have a lot of silver jewelry that I can pull out for these outfits, since I am a jewelry hoarder.

This is just the silver stuff…

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I need new black sandals, since I threw away my pair that I have worn the last 5 years or so. The soles were breaking down. I bought these two new pairs of sandals. I might need one more black pair, more of a walking sandal, but I will see how these fit when I get them from Zulily. I also got a new pair of shades.

What glorious purse do I carry?

I thought you would never ask! It is this Zip-top Utility Tote by 31 Bags. Could I make this? Yes. Do I want to when this is only $35? No, no I do not. If you want one I can hook you up with my friend that is a consultant.

zip top organizing utility

This has 7 side pockets, yo. It fits all my crap that I bring with me, which includes this non-exhaustive list:

  • water bottle
  • purse stuff (phone, wallet, etc.)
  • kleenex (allergy season)
  • first aid kit (yes, I am that Mom)
  • Sunglasses for large and small people
  • Sunscreen
  • Visor
  • Bug spray
  • Camera and several lenses
  • Snacks
  • Art supplies and/or sewing to keep me busy
  • Hand warmers, and I can throw my blanket on top for early in the season

It is heavy, but holds all my crap.


I am going to be joining in on a contest on the Wardrobe Capsule Facebook group, but I really will be sewing it whenever I get the time. That gets more rare as the summer gets closer, so I need to work on it as soon as I can. Tryouts are next month!


Oh, just in case you are a fellow sports parent sewist person…RP Custom Fabric will be having a sport prints pre-order round on cotton-lycra in March. She will have all FOUR of my kids’ sports. I’m gonna be so poor.

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Mix and match sparkles

I saw this striped fabric on a custom fabric website and thought it would be perfect for the pattern test I did on the cropped jacket.  Unfortunately, I spent way too much on fabric for these pieces, but sometimes you just gotta splurge.  Most of my fabrics I buy are at a discount fabric warehouse, so I don’t normally spent a lot per yard.

Fabrics:

Here are all of the pieces I made with the above fabrics, and how they can all go together.  I have another few plain black pieces I made for her that will go with them, too.  I bought 2 yards of both the black arrows and the gold sparkle, since she needs over a yard of fabric to make her bottoms.

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Folis Jacket by Sofilantjes (just released)

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This jacket is so cute!  It is an unlined jacket, and pretty easy to throw together.  It also comes in a long jacket and dress.  Any version would be cute.  It is meant to be fitted, so she doesn’t recommend long sleeved shirts underneath.  My girl has skinny arms, so it isn’t as fitted on her as it was on other testers.  I made a 10W and 13L.

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I used most of one yard on the jacket, with and extra half yard for the hood lining and bands.

Domi pants by Sofilantjes

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These were made out of the French terry and I kept it simple.  She didn’t want pockets on the pants, so I left them off.  I also made them long and just hemmed them instead of adding the bands on the bottom.

Nivalis/Hibernis by Sofilantjes mash up

This is similar to the tattoo horse top I made her previously, only I made it short sleeves. (Sorry, didn’t get a picture of it without the jacket!)

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Hibernis by Sofilantjes

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I left off the pockets on this top, and just did the side panel pieces plain.  No cowl either, and I used the hood from the Nivalis pattern.  I added on thumbhole cuffs.

Shenanigans Skort leggings by 5 out of 4 Patterns

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Not Sofilantjes for this one.  I like the leggings from this pattern, and they fit her well.

All the pieces will go well together.  She is wearing a black long sleeved shirt under the hood with some of the pictures, and she also has some plain black leggings, and a pair of black stretch velvet domi pants.  Lots of stuff to mix and match!

A fun tween capsule for her to be able to wear this winter. 🙂

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Plaid cape top and gored skirt

Here is a Pinterest pattern hack coming for you.  This pin is pretty popular.  It is a short-sleeved top with a “cape” over it.  If you are on Pinterest, I am sure you have seen it.  I know it comes up in my feed all the time.

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I wanted to make this as part of my winter capsule in black and long-sleeved.  Since it is for winter, I am not doing the key-hole in the back.  That would be cold.

The base pattern I used for this is the Wardrobe by Me – Wardrobe Builder Tee.  I made two versions – one in black and the one shown here.  I made it a size larger for the black, as I wanted a looser fit, so I made a size 14.  I did it in cotton lycra and it didn’t have the right amount of drape.  I will be re-doing it.

This was the first time I made this WBM pattern, and I do generally like the fit.  Christina drafts for more of a pear shape, which I am a rectangle.  If you have more of a difference in your hips/waist than I do, some of the modifications I made will not apply to you.  Got to work with what you got!

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I will make up an add-on pattern for this, but I want to do a few modifications of this top first.

I used a jersey knit here.  As I said above, I needed to do some modifications.  I made this to my measurements (size 12), and it slid down on my hips a bit too far.   I am a rectangle, so this wouldn’t slide down on a pear shape.   First, I tried sewing clear elastic in the bottom 6″ of the side hems on either side.  The elastic was 4″ long, so it had a subtle ruching of about 2″.  Didn’t look right.  Next, I took out the elastic (fun times) and cut off 3″ off the bottom, including the hem.  I hemmed it at a good spot on my hip.  I think knowing the most flattering length of top on YOUR body is pretty important.  Lengths that look good on others won’t necessarily look good on you.

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A pretty simple add on for a pattern, but a fun stylish one!  You can add whatever length sleeves you want with the wardrobe builder shirt, or do sleeveless underneath by adding a band to, or hemming, the armscye.

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So, the skirt.

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This is a first draft of a gored skirt.   I wanted it to have a bit more flare, so I will have to redraft it for that.

More to come…hopefully. 😉

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Keyhole overlay top – pattern hack

A few years ago, I pinned this picture on my Things To Make board on Pinterest.  I love the look of this top, and figured I could just hack a t-shirt pattern or something to make it.

As part of my wardrobe capsule, I wanted to make that top…finally.  After having sewn up the Sneha tunic, I decided to hack it for the top. It has a long hemline, scooping neckline and cap sleeves, so it worked well for it.  I cut it to have the asymmetrical hemline.

In case you notice it, let me be the first to say that…Yes, I know the bottom of my v-neckline is a little off center.  I was having some issues and finally said, “screw it…good enough!”

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I just basically did an overlay and then bound the necklines.

To draft it, I took the front pattern piece and redrew it.  I think I lowered the scoop a little, too.  I laid that over some paper, and drew out where I wanted the keyhole to be.  You have to take into account the binding that would go around the necklines.  I made sure the armsyce matched and then went down about 2.0″ inches into the body.

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Note that the inner shoulder is narrower.  We’ll get to the “why” later.

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There is about a 2.5″ difference for the keyhole.

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In making it:

  • I bound the underneath neckline and the bottom hem of the overlay.
  • I serged all the pieces together at the shoulder seam.
  • I bound the neckline.  The underneath neckline at the shoulder is narrower than the top piece and the back so that it doesn’t get caught in binding the neckline.
  • Lastly, you add the arms, do the side seams and hem the bottom and sleeves.

There you go.  A fairly easy pattern hack and a cute top!  I know I will make more…just need some more sewing time!

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Wardrobe Capsule – A misshapen dress

Upon (mostly) perfecting the pattern for the misshapen top, I decided to try to make it into a dress.  This top part drapes to the side, so it needs to be wider than you would think.  If you take your normal top pattern that has some generous room at the waist, add about 10″.   It drapes across your body, so it needs extra room.  Unless you want a tight top, then just use a normal top pattern for the width.

The dress looks like this, as a line drawing:

mis-shapen dress measurements

The measurements above fit my body (39B, 32W, 39H at 5’7″ and 145 lbs).

There are six pattern pieces:

  • Top cut on the fold (1)
  • Bands at the arms (2)
  • Waistband – interior and exterior (2)
  • Skirt cut on the fold (1)

mis-shapen dress line drawing

I drafted it to have a doubled-up waistband to try to give a little more tummy control in that area.

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To sew this pattern.

  1.  Sew the waistband ends together and the skirt back seam.
  2. Sandwich the skirt top the the waist band seams in between, right sides together.  Serge or zigzag stitch.
  3. Hem the skirt and iron the waistband seam.  You can topstitch here if you want it flat.
  4. Serge the edge of the top seam – don’t serge the seams together.   Mark 15″ from the edge of the fold.  This is your neck opening.  Sew from the edge up to the mark.
  5. Fold under the neck opening seam allowance and topstitch the hem.
  6. Serge the side seam up to the small piece that juts out.  Serge the bottom/side seam.
  7. Take your bands and serge the side seams.  Fold together and attach to the ends of the arms.  If you don’t want bands, just fold under and hem.
  8. Serge the bottom waist hem to the waistband.
  9. All done!

Another version of this pattern, would be to just draw a line from the waist of the top down to make it into a one piece dress.  You need to figure out where it would hit at your hip and have negative ease in that area.  My hip is 39″, so I would want it to be around 35″.  The pattern piece would be 17.5″, as it is cut on the fold.

Let me know if you have any questions on the drafting of this dress.  I suggest sturdy knits.  A ponte like this one would work great for this dress.  I used a heavy poly lycra knit from The Worth Collection that I found at SR Harris in MN.

I would also suggest making a top first, and then going into making the dress.  Once you have the right measurements for the top, you can work on drafting the dress part, which is fairly easy.

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Wardrobe Capsule – Jeggings

I have had the hardest time making jeggings.  I made a few pairs a few years ago and didn’t wear them.  They ended up in the charity pile.

I thought I would tackle this project again with my wardrobe capsule.  I decided to use this dark denim that has a brown underlying dye to it, and some stretch (not a lot).  It is hard to photograph, but the fabric does have a brown tone to the dark denim.

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The pockets are a faux leather that I cut on my Silhouette Cameo.  The faux leather is backed with Heat N Bond prior to cutting.  You need to iron it on with a press cloth, so the faux leather doesn’t melt.  Cut setting should be Speed at 2, Knife at 10 and Thickness at 25, with a double cut.

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The design is one that I drew.  I made it into a JPG file and then imported into the cameo design software.  From there, I traced it.  I will have to do a tutorial on how I do that some day, but I am sure there is something on YouTube that shows the process, too.

Here is the file if you are interested in using it.  Just be warned.  It is a PITA to sew around on the pockets.  Once you have the file cut, you need to iron it to the pockets and then do a straight stitch around it.  Generally, the less elements the better.

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To place the pockets, I compared them to a pair of jeans I already owned.

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The jeggings pattern is a widened leggings pattern that I drafted.  I should have added more room to it, though.  I did a double layered waist, and then a side invisible zipper.

I finished the waist, and it was 100% wrong in so many ways.  I tore it off and recut the waistband, but should have done some different adjustments.  On the front I stitched down some elastic to keep it from getting stretched out and floppy.

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I think a side zip was the wrong way to go with these and a back seam zipper would have been better.  Or hey…a front fly!  Next time.  I have a hard time zipping up the zipper, so these are a bit of a challenge to get on.  This is exacerbated by the fact that the front and back should have been cut differently.  I cut the back and thought, ugh..that looks too small, so I cut the front a little wider.  Yeah, that turned out well.  The side seam is pulled to the back.

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With some wear, they will hopefully stretch out a little bit, but they are still wearable.  As you can see there is definitely some stretching going on in the front with the pull lines.

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If I can manage to move the scale in a downward direction that would be great, too.  It has proved rather stagnant lately, so I need to work a bit more diligently on my eating and exercise.  Half measures no longer work when you get older.

Here’s a few more close up pictures:

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I love how my belt turned out, too.  It wasn’t too hard to put together.  A little hand stitching and some rivets.

Booty shot.  I like where the pockets ended up.  I also hope that belt stops shedding soon, too.

All in all, this was a good wearable muslin.  Definitely not perfect, but now I can make some adjustments and go from there!

Wardrobe Capsule – Finished!

When I was thinking about my wardrobe capsule, I wanted to use what I had in my fabric stash.  This was not hard, as I have a lot.

I have been drawn to lighter colors these days, so I took out my creamy neutrals and started planning the individual pieces I was going to make.  The biggest impetus was that I needed TOPS.  This is something lacking in my spring and summer wardrobe.

I still wanted them to have a little edginess to them, so I also added in some leather and faux leather that I have in my fabric stash.  All these different elements pull together into a fairly cohesive mix and match grouping.

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Here it is…the finished Wardrobe in a “Week” capsule.  I may or may not have watched some project runway before embarking on my sewing.  I think you will notice that not all of these were easy projects.

I was able to complete the wardrobe capsule in about a week and a half.  I changed things up as I started cutting, and noting just what I wanted and needed to make.  I sewed pretty much all weekend for the first weekend, and then made the rest at night after the kids hit the hay.  I was burning the midnight oil, and so happy to be done with this wardrobe.

Here was my original soduko.

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I decided to make some changes, so I added two dresses, and then I couldn’t figure out how to make the soduko work.  Well, then I needed to redo some parts and so, yes…it totally changed, and ended up being more than just the original 9 pieces.

Here is my completed capsule, but I also have an add on capsule that includes  dresses.

separates soduko

What I made in summary:

  • Cream rayon dress, modified Ravenna pattern
  • Cream poly knit dress, self drafted
  • Stone maxi skirt, self drafted
  • Animal print and cream pencil skirt (bottom-weight woven with lycra), self drafted
  • Green silk handkerchief hem skirt, self drafted
  • Dark denim jeggings, self-drafted
  • Green yoked knit top, self-drafted
  • Brown yoked knit top with a faux leather exterior yoke piece, self-drafted
  • Cream poly knit and rayon top, self drafted
  • Stone keyhole top, modified Sneha pattern
  • Cream knit and pigskin vest, self drafted
  • Brown and cream double knit cardigan, self drafted

And I also made this belt:

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I love it.

Here they are worn (click to see them bigger).  In the next week I will start posting on how each pieces was made, relevant patterns or tutorials, and any issues I encountered.  I have to fix the cream vest I made, since it appears to be too large.  The green skirt will need to be taken in a bit, too.  I will get to eventually, and then get some better pictures of those pieces.

The accessories finished off the looks.  I have no shortage of accessories.

I have a feeling that once Me Made May hits…I will be all set!

I had been wanting to get these pieces made for quite awhile, so I am really glad that this challenge came up to push me into getting them completed.  I know that I won’t have much time to sew once summer hits, so some of these posts might be months in the making by the time I get them done.  I sewed up a lot of pieces and most of them were self-drafted.  I am going to try to explain my process in how I went about designing and drafting them.

If you can call it a “process”.

Now that these are done…I have a dance costume that I have been procrastinating making.  There’s a sweet little girl and expects to be rocking lime green in a few weeks, and I need to get that made!

If you want to see the posts on the capsule when I get them made, just look over to the left and subscribe by e-mail.  Once they post, you will get them in your e-mail box.  You can unsubscribe at any time if you find me annoying. 😉

Ottobre S.W.A.P. for the little man

The S.W.A.P. for the Boy is finally done!  I still have several things I need to make for him, but I wanted to make sure these fit him first.  There are actually a few other Ottobre pants I would like to make for him, so I need to get them traced while I’m still in “Ottobre-pain-in-the-arse” tracing mode.  I just need more parchment paper to be able to trace them.

I put the fall colors one up again, so everything was in one place.

Feel free to ignore the duplicatitis. 🙂

Basketball Boy

I picked up this bit of embroidered corduroy last year at one point.  There wasn’t much of it and it is less than 45″ wide, so the options were limited.  I decided to use it more for the accent on the pants and for the main body of the vest.  I really love how this outfit turned out.

The patterns for this outfit are:

Pants: Ottobre 6/2010 # 32

Vest: Ottobre 6/2010 # 34

Shirt: Ottobre 6/2010 # 33

The pants were supposed to be button fly, but Kai isn’t thrilled about that.  I decided to just do a faux fly, since the denim had enough stretch in it.

The vest isn’t exactly like the pattern.  It is supposed to be buttons, but I wanted an easier to use zipper.  I omitted the front button facing and just put a zipper in between the layers.  I also forgot about the knit facing on the hood, and made it without.  Guess I need to look at the instructions, huh??

The shirt has a snap placket.  Ottobre didn’t put picture instructions in for that, so I just winged it.  Pretty sure it turned out mostly right.  I drew out the basketball and stenciled it onto an orange knit fabric with heat and bond on the backside.  Once dry I ironed it onto the shirt and did a straight stitch around the outside.

Little hunter

The fabric for these outfits are a polartec wind fabric backed with fleece.  That should be nice and warm in the winter!   The shirt is a cotton-lyrca knit with leather patches, and the vest is more of the polartec with knit bindings.

The patterns for this outfit are:

Pants:  Ottobre 6/2009 #27

Vest:  Ottobre 6/2010 #34

Shirt:  Ottobre 1/2010 #22

The pants are mostly the same as the pattern.  I just omitted the back pocket flaps, as my fabric wasn’t making the curves very well.  I also did the back pocket a little different.

The shirt is just a basic shirt.  It went up to size 140, but I added length to about 146.  I added a leather patch similar to hunting shirts.

The vest is unlined, as it is fleece backed.  I also omitted the hoodie and just added a neck binding and a thinner band on the bottom so that I could use the zipper I had available.

Fall Colors

The fabric for this outfit is brown thermal knit for the top, stretch cotton twill for the pants and an embroidered fleece and woven for the hoodie.

This goes along with the cream, brown and orange theme.

The patterns for this outfit are:

Pants: Ottobre 6/2010 #31

Shirt:  Ottobre 1/2010 #24

Hoodie: Self drafted

The hoodie is my own draft via modifying the above shirt pattern (widened sleeve and armhole, cut the front, different neckline and facings).  It is inspired by this pin for menswear.  It is a pullover hoodie sold overseas in Asia.  It definitely has a very Asian spin to the design (more modern, slimmer cuts).  I did my own take on it and kidifyied it (not a real word, as spell check is telling me).

The hoodie is fun because it mixes wovens with knits.  Now when I mix the different fabrics I usually cut the woven on a bias, so it has stretch like the knit.  If you don’t do that, the fabric that would have stretched and be comfy is now more rigid.

 Everything fit him pretty well, so now I have some solid patterns to make him some more clothes. 🙂

 9-Piece Boy S.W.A.P.!

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