Spring Wardrobe///Building a Capsule

It was a little over a year ago that I started really taking the time to think about the clothes I wear, how I get them, and what that means for the world around me as well as my personal style. I shared all my thoughts while I read the book A Conscious Closet and you can see all those posts here!

I’ve changed so much in how I get dressed and how I plan what I want to sew this year. I get dressed pretty much every day. I have focused on my skin care and how I treat my hair. I have found that when I take the small amount of time every morning and at night before I go to bed to feel good on the outside, it really isn’t something I think about throughout my day. I feel good and happy in my skin and I hope that that shines through in other areas of my life.

When I was getting ready to plan what I wanted to wear for spring, I did quite a bit of reflecting. You know I love my modules, but I wasn’t feeling that right now. Instead I looked through my patterns and pulled a bunch that I just really wanted to sew. I tried to get tops, bottoms, and dresses so they could work together and then went looking for fabric. I ended up with a giant stack that I will be sharing with you Tuesday!

Then I watched a video by Whitney from TomKat Stitchery where she talked about the EveryDay Style School. I started listening to Jennifer’s podcast and was hooked pretty quickly. Her style philosophy really speaks to me and I went to research her capsule wardrobes.

Every season Jennifer puts out a capsule wardrobe. The spring one is still available to purchase, but I believe you can get a free mini capsule if you sign up for her newsletter if you’re wanting to see what this is all about.

Basically the Everyday Style Team builds a 39 piece capsule wardrobe and then gives you links to pieces to buy, tons of ways to style them up and wear them, as well as a lot of advice on how to love your closet and get dressed quickly every day. There is also a very active Facebook page if you happen to be on Facebook.

I was really intrigued. I’ve looked at capsules in the past but always felt they were boring or take the fun out of getting dressed. This one seemed to be so well thought out that I decided to give it a try!

I printed out her shopping list and first pulled pieces I already had in my closet. Then I looked at my sewing plans and was able to plug all of those pieces into the capsule. Already knowing the colors I wanted (I changed up the capsule recommendations a bit!) and styles I liked meant that everything already worked well together. It was just a matter of having a little guidance to fill out the pieces that were missing.

From there I went shopping! I ordered a few things from Thred Up and some new shoes from Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. I have 3 pieces coming from Boden and then my capsule should be done. My plan is to share all my makes here with you in the coming week and then in May wear everything and show you how it all goes together!

I’ve had a lot of fun thinking about this and it’s been a fantastic tool for me. I don’t need a closet full of ‘stuff.’ I need a closet where I go in and know that anything I pull, I truly love to wear. To me, a closet full of clothes you love and wear is a conscious closet. I hope that in making things with intention and shopping with intention, I can slowly build a wardrobe that represents who I am right now and what I want to say to the world when I get dressed.

I hope you’ll follow me along as I build and then share this capsule! Please let me know if you have any questions or specific details you want. I will be happy to share in the weeks to come.

My Fall Module/// McCall’s 8145

Today I have my first top from my fall module to share with you! You can find my topper and 2 bottoms here if you would like to see the whole collection.

I haven’t been purchasing many big four patterns this summer as I’ve been trying to support and promote indie companies that are outspoken allies. However I really liked a lot of things in the McCalls and Vogue fall release so when they went on sale I made a couple of purchases.

This top, M8145 , looked like a fun one to add to my stash. It’s a knit faux wrap top with a thick band around the waist and very dramatic sleeves. I am in need of more separates and liked the idea of view B in a sweater knit for the fall. I like that it’s comfortable and easy to wear but is still a little extra.

I sewed up the size 12 in this Plush sweater knit in solid paprika from Stylemaker Fabrics. I admit I’m not one hundred percent impressed with this fabric. It has a synthetic feel to it and after working with all the other fabrics in this module, I can really tell a difference. I do love the color however, I will just make note that this specific fabric isn’t for me in the future.

This was a really simple sew, I filmed my process here!, and I like the end result. I’m going to make note that if I sew it again I would like to lengthen the bodice a bit and maybe take in the band some too. I find that it does ride up and as it’s already right at my natural waist, it can show more skin than I want if I’m not careful.

I do love where the wrap hits though. Sometimes wrap tops can be really low cut or feel like they are gaping open. This one stays closed and I like how high up it is. I feel covered up (and warm!) but it’s still cute.

And these sleeves! I love these sleeves so much. The cuff is nice and thick so everything is secure and out of your way but you still get all the draaaahhhmmmaa of the sleeves. There is a version with the sleeves uncuffed but I don’t understand how that would be even remotely practical as this is a lot of fabric! Just something to note if you’re thinking of making this up.

This top is a little out of my style comfort zone, but I think making it in such a rich solid fabric means it will get a lot of wear. I loved making this top from start to finish and am really pleased with how it turned out!

My Fall Module/// Simplicity 9114

This week I’m going to be wrapping up my fall module and showing you everything I made! The idea behind this came from Whitney over at TomKatStitchery who sews in modules all the time. The idea is to make 3 tops, 2 bottoms, and 1 topper and they all work together as well as work with what’s already in your closet!

When I switched out my summer clothes for cold weather clothes recently, I saw quite a few gaps in my wardrobe. I thought a fall module would be an easy way to add in some great basic separates that I can layer up in the coming months.

I shared my first piece, the Brumby skirt, over in this blog post. Today I have my second bottom, these brown trousers. I am desperately in need for more heavy weight pants that aren’t jeans and I’ve been wanting to sew this Simplicity 9114 Mimi G pattern ever since it came out. I’m actually showing it with the cami I made from this pattern earlier this year.

I sewed up the size 14 in this grid texture cotton/nylon coating in chocolate from Stylemaker Fabrics. Now, I knew going into this pattern that getting a perfect fit on a pair of pants the first go around is not likely to happen. So I’m calling this first version a wearable muslin.

I think I could size down as I had to take in the waistband a bit, which means the finish on my waistband isn’t perfect. I also don’t love this fabric for these pants as it is a little stiff. I would love to try this out in a wool or tencel twill.

Otherwise the shape of these pants is exactly what I wanted! I love the pleating details and the straight leg. The length was pretty perfect on me and I’ve already worn them with some slouchy sweaters.

I look forward to perfecting this pattern in the future, but in the meantime I’m really happy with how these turned out and am loving having this rich brown color in my wardrobe.

Sustainable Fashion Haul/// My Well Loved Clothing Frock Box

A few weeks ago I found Adey’s youtube channel Well Loved Clothing and I binged all her videos. She is a thrifter that has an amazing eye and styles up her finds in unique ways. She also sells pieces and refashioned items in her shop.

I love her attitude about fashion and the joy she finds in getting dressed! When she posted that she would be selling Frock Boxes I knew I wanted to give it a try. I bought a box and then she sent me an in-depth questionnaire about sizing, pieces I was looking for, inspiration, and things I absolutely did not want. Then she went thrifting for me! In a couple of weeks I had a box full of 4 unique items that fit really well into my closet.

I have an unboxing video here and I thought I would share how I’m styling everything up this week on instagram as well.

First is this teal, oversized, cropped sweater that I think looks great with high waisted pants and skirts and I love it layered over my Kielo Wrap dress. I feel like your funky art teacher!

I told Adey I loved skirts and she did not disappoint in finding me this midi animal print skirt. I will absolutely wear this with t-shirts and sweatshirts and I love it with this thrifted Madewell sweater. I’m trying to figure out how to layer up and stay warm but still wear the silhouettes I love, I think this skirt makes that possible.

I’ve been having zero luck thrifting pants so I was nervous when I pulled out these pink cropped trousers! They fit perfectly though and I love the color. I will wear these all the time and I thought this sweater I rented from Nuuly worked perfectly with these pants.

My final piece might be the most basic, but it’s honestly something I will get the most wear out of. This mock turtle neck in the softest ribknit in a great color is a fantastic piece for layering. I love that it is sleeveless, I think it will be easier to wear under dresses this way, and I love the 70s vibe I get when I pair it with my high waisted jeans.

I was so impressed with this box! I love when people are creative with their business and offer something new to the world. If you love the idea of wearing second hand but have trouble finding the time or energy to shop yourself, check out Well Loved Clothing online!

Fall Wardrobe Inspiration

If you’ve been following me here these past few months, you know I’ve been building a conscious closet. A few months ago I used the approach I learned about back in May and took a critical look at my fall and winter wardrobe.

First, I changed everything out. All the summer stuff got put away in my dresser and all the winter layers and sweaters got put in the closet. I had already gone through most everything with my closet clean out, but I did double check that everything still fit and was in good condition.

Then I started looking for fall inspiration to help me find gaps in my wardrobe. Above is a picture of some of my favorite images. I love the slouchy, menswear vibe. I love the oversized sweaters or sweaters with dramatic sleeves. I like the idea of taking the color palette I discovered in the spring and just making it a bit richer.

After assessing what I had and what I wanted I was able to make a list of key pieces that I would like to add to my closet. My first stop was the thrift store where I got a few sweaters, some skirts, and some great layering pieces. I have a video up today sharing everything here!

Then I started planning out some things that I wanted to make myself. In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing my fall module as well as a few extra pieces I’m throwing in.

My goal is to have a fall and winter closet that lasts for years to come and that I can add special or trendy pieces to on years that I want! Also, I want to be honest and say last week I think I got dressed once and was mostly in my sweats the rest of the time. So cozy and comfy pieces are also a big must for me!

Are you buying/making anything new for fall and winter this year? Or has being at home more changed how you get dressed and it’s not as big a priority? Or are you like me and in a new climate where you truly do need new things to wear to match the weather? Let me know!

Workout Collection Reveal

As I’ve been diving deep into my closet, I’ve noticed a pretty big hole, my workout clothes! Everything I own is at least a couple of years old and it was time to get some more leggings and sports bras. I decided to spend the past two weeks making my own!

I chose 5 fabrics that could all mix and match in various ways and got to work sourcing patterns. I wanted to make clothes for actually working out but also things that were comfortable for lounging around in and things that could work for hikes and walks.

My first two makes are these Seamwork Mel joggers and this Greenstyle Creations Power Sports Bra. I’ve made these joggers before and they are a quick, cozy make. They are perfect in this light weight mustard cotton spandex french terry I picked up from Surge Fabrics. I loved the color and thought they would be warm enough for fall and to layer up in winter, but not so warm that I could actually sweat in them when we do our at home workouts.

I knew this fabric wouldn’t be the most supportive so I thought this racerback version of the bra would be a fun option, and it is! Perfect for lounging or walks and again, you know I love this color.

My next set is another version of the Power Sports Bra paired with the Cavallo Leggings. This green poly/lycra fabric is also from Surge fabrics and I didn’t have quite enough for all the details I wanted, so I dug in my stash for this gray performance wear fabric. I’m so happy because I ended up loving the color blocking even more than if it were all green! This bra is the strappy u back option with an 1 inch band. The leggings have the slanted pocket option and the ultra high rise waist band.

My final set is another Power Sports Bra and Cavallo Legging, this time in this beautiful fabric I bought from Greenstyle Fabrics. I loved the colors and the play on an animal print. The only difference in this set and the last one is that the bra has a 2 inch elastic band and the straight back.

I wanted a couple of layers to throw over the sports bras or tank tops and t-shirts and I decided on one light weight and one thicker. This pink heathered baby french terry is from Surge and I sewed the Uvita top from Itch to Stitch using the add on pattern. I added the hood, cuffs with thumbholes, kangaroo pocket, and bottom band. This pattern sewed up really quickly and it’s a great weight for layering in Colorado weather.

My final top is made out of this gray cable quilted knit from Surge and it is warm and cozy. The pattern is M7874 and I love the seam lines on this top. Another easy one to sew up but I think the details on this make it look ready to wear.

I loved sewing this little module and I know I will get a lot of use from these items. I was intimidated to try activewear, but honestly it was all fairly simple to make! I will have a more detailed review of Greenstyle Creations to share with you Wednesday, but if you’re interested in trying some of their patterns, they have offered my readers a 15% discount on any of their patterns! Just use the code GS15WM at checkout!

Whit Review/// The Navigator Pullover

I have my second pattern company review to share today in my new series where I dive deeper into indie sewing companies. My hope is that as a community we can lift up smaller companies that are doing the work as allies and find new companies to support!

Today I’m going to talk about Love Notions. Now this is a new to me company, I only started hearing about them this spring. I know a lot of fellow sewists that make and promote their patterns all the time so I thought I would give them a look.

At first glance I really appreciated the diversity of patterns. There are a lot of great womens and mens patterns as well as childrens and I like that so many are pretty gender neutral. The size range is pretty large in all of these different patterns and I love the price point. There are also regular sales on patterns. I scooped up quite a few this summer when they had a big $5 pattern sale!

The value in these patterns feels really great as well. I chose to make and review the Navigator pullover, which covers sizes 2T to 16. For five dollars this kind of great staple is just incredible! I will be making my kids these pullovers for the rest of their childhoods!

The instructions are clear, there are a lot of resources available to learn new techniques, and I thought that while the patterns I made were basic, they all have clever construction details that make your finished garment look really professional.

I made both my son and daughter a Navigator pullover and I just love how they turned out. In fact I love them so much I bought the women’s and men’s version of this pattern to make for my husband and me!

Cozy, simple, but with great style lines, this pullover is something that will be worn on a daily basis here in Colorado. I made the version with the collar, there is also a hood option, and I think you could have a lot of fun playing with colorblocking and add some details with the zipper and pocket lining.

I used a lightweight sweatshirt fleece that is really perfect for this time of year and I chose the colors based on my kids’ houses at Hogwarts! That may have won me mom of the year!

My only disappointment in doing this review is that Love Notions never got back to me after I reached out to them multiple times on multiple platforms. I admit that leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, I understand that small businesses may not have time to answer the questions I’ve put together and I certainly understand that everyone’s lives right now are a more upended than usual, however I would have appreciated an acknowledgment of my correspondence.

That being said, this company seems to have a clear mission statement (that you can see here) and everything from their sizing to their testers to what they showcase on their social media feed leads me to believe that this company does in fact practice what they preach!

Because of what I see from their presence online, I think I can safely recommend this company to my followers that care about racial justice, sustainability, and the environment. I look forward to hearing from Love Notions someday and will most definitely be sewing their patterns again!

I purchase these patterns on my own and all thoughts and opinions are mine. I receive no compensation from these posts.

My July Nuuly Box

I have used rental services for my clothes on and off for years. I started when I needed a formal gown but didn’t want to spend a lot of money on one dress that I might not wear again. I’ve tried a rental service for maternity clothes too and found it a great way to bulk up my wardrobe on pieces I only needed for a few months. Renting clothes is a great sustainable option, especially if you’re someone that likes trying more trendy pieces.

A little less than a year ago I started subscribing to Nuuly. Each month you pick out 6 pieces of clothing and they deliver it to you in zero waste packaging. Wear everything for a month and then send it back with the option to buy anything you absolutely loved.

I’ve found this most useful for trips (remember those?) and this past winter when we moved to Colorado and I needed more sweaters and coats. I also like to try and find new styles and see if I like them mixed in with what I already own. I paused the service when lockdown started, but decided to try it again this month and share with you.

I have a referral link (click here!) if you want to try Nuuly yourself. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about the process!

Today I wanted to unbox my July Nuuly box and show you what I picked, and why, and different ways I styled up each look. Check out this video to see all the styles in action! I will try and link to all clothes and patterns that I can!

The first piece is this Bardot Blouse by the Anthropologie brand in a size 6. I need more tops in my wardrobe, especially ones in a print. I thought the colors of this would work with a lot of stuff I have and I like the crochet detail, feels like a trendy touch. I’ve paired it with Harper shorts, Persephone Pants, Pomona pants, and this McCalls skirt.

The next piece I got were these Megan Patch Pocket Shorts by the Anthropologie brand in a size 28. I love the color of these and I don’t own a lot of shorts so I was excited to try these. I think the rise is really cute and the stretch material makes them very comfortable. However, they are tight through the leg whereas on the website they read as fitting looser. I would prefer that, but have been wearing these a lot. Here I have them paired with a Seamwork Akita top, a top from Burda Magazine, an old button down that I love to wear tied up, and my new Simplicity top.

 

Next up is this knit v-back knit top by Callahan in a size small. I liked the simple style of this and thought the back was a beautiful detail that could be fun to duplicate into a sewing pattern. I also like where this hits me- right at my natural waist. It looks cute with my Hollyburn skirt, my Burda magazine paperbag pants,Persephone pants, and these striped shorts I’ve had for a few years.

Finally I have these Morocco Wide Leg pants by Eve Gravel in a medium. I loved the color of these and wanted to see how much I wear a lighter weight trouser in the summer. These are cropped and kind of reminded me of this Mimi G pattern that I hope to make soon. I’ve paired them with a pink cami, this floral blouse, and this cropped camisole that my mom brought back from Europe years ago.

The only other things I haven’t shown here are this dress and this blouse. The dress is very cute, I just haven’t been styling it other than wearing as is!, and the blouse is the only thing that didn’t fit. It was a strange shape and the top of the arms was way too tight when everything else fit. I put this on the review to help other future shoppers out!

I had fun playing in my closet and mixing these pieces in and have had fun wearing them these last few weeks. I hope this inspires you to try out a lot of looks with new clothes and try and get the most wear out of them as possible! Let me know if you ever rent clothes and what service you like to use!

 

Make That Look Reveal

Today I’m sharing my big reveal for the Make That Look challenge I am hosting with Lisa over on Youtube!

If you’re new here, check out this post for all my inspiration and thoughts on approaching this project. A reminder that this two piece set was my original inspiration.

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I’ve said I’m into the pajama adjacent attire lately and this easy look speaks to that. I loved the color, the drape of it, and how chic it is. I imagine a rich lady at a resort somewhere wearing this look.

I ended up using the cami from this Mimi G pattern as well as the Ponoma Pants and this fabric from Stylemaker that I think is a pretty great match. Here’s what I ended up with!

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Not to toot my own horn, but I think it’s a pretty great recreation!

Here are some pattern stats in case you want details:

Patterns used: S9114 and the Pomona Pants

Sizes made and any alterations: I made a straight size 12 in the Simplicity and the size 8 in the pants. No adjustments or changes!

Construction notes: I love that Mimi G has a sew along with her pattern, it’s a simple make but seeing it made is really helpful. I just used this video instead of the instructions in the packet.

Additional thoughts: I will absolutely make the simplicity pattern again and can’t wait to try the pants! I may try to size down in the cami or attempt a small bust adjustment next time. As for the Pomona Pants, I like that they use such a wide elastic as I think that looks less pajama but I do wish there were more pocket options. The instructions and construction of both were very clear and easy to make!

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I had such a great time working on this challenge and every day I got more and more inspired by people that tagged me on Instagram. Go check out the hashtag to see everyone’s amazing recreations!

A Sustainable Sewing Haul

I recently made some online sewing related purchases and want to share them with you!

I’m going to be participating in Jacinta’s book club and the book for July is Liberated Threads by Tanisha C. Ford I picked mine up from The Lit Bar if you’re looking for an indie, black owned bookstore to support.

After reading The Conscious Closet, I’ve been wanting to dive in deeper and explore sustainability and its ties to racism so I was really excited to see this book selection. I love learning how fashion has been used throughout history to make political statements, especially by women. I will let you know what I think when I’m done, and if you want to join us in reading, there’s still time!

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I made an order from Fiibers Fabrics and I was so excited to find this sustainable fabric source. I picked up a linen and two jerseys (one boring, one a cool print) and they came wrapped beautifully.

I also ordered some patterns from the Etsy shop It’s Sew Vintage. I’ve decided not to support the Big 4 Pattern companies until they actually make the changes they claim they want to make to their business. Shopping vintage is always sustainable and vintage patterns are so fun to look through! These are the pattern numbers I picked up, I already have plans to make one of them soon! Very Easy Vogue 7720 ,Vogue 7670, Vogue 9572, Very Easy Vogue 9242, Simplicity 9937, and Vogue 8908.

Check out the video if you want to see all these goodies in person!