Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My First Wardrobe Capsule

Year after year I watch the "SWAP" contests and the mini-wardrobe contests and all the blogs in which people develop wardrobes and I think to myself how fun it would be to create one. But I've always been intimidated and have never taken the time to attempt even a mini capsule. Instead, I make random items depending on my mood. That's not a bad thing, necessarily, but with all the trips I take, it would be helpful to have a coordinated grouping so I wouldn't have to stand in front of my closet picking and choosing items that go together.

Well, last night, I took the plunge and developed a capsule for an upcoming trip to Saipan (people usually ask so see here for more about Saipan). Saipan has a tropical climate and the people dress very casually. As a consultant, I still need to look professional but not overdressed. Men can simply throw on a golf shirt or short sleeve button down and a pair of khakis and voila, they're ready. More difficult for women.

I started by looking in my fabric stash for items that go together and came across a print fabric from which I made the following dress:

I can actually wear the dress (with a jacket/wrap) on this trip so that became my starting point! I am only going to be with the client for 4 days so I really only needed 3 outfits other than the dress, plus I intended to include a RTW pair of khaki capris as one of my bottoms. But I couldn't narrow my pattern/fabric choices down so I've expanded the plan to include the following 9 pieces:
  • 3 skirts
  • 4 tops
  • 1 bolero style knit wrap
  • 1 jacket
I strategically planned the sewing order so I will have at least 3 outfits in case I don't get done (which is almost certain since the trip is in 4 weeks and I have several other business trips in between that will take away from my sewing time.) I frequently have trips to warm climates so even if they don't all get done in time for Saipan, I will get plenty of use out of them. Not all items go together like a true SWAP (i.e. the leopard charmeuse top and the purple turquoise paisley skirt!) but each item does go with at least two things. I think...

Each item in the order I plan to sew:

1. Scarf tie knit top in purple lycra; Jalie 2921, View A with short sleeves (I forgot to photograph the purple lycra for this one.)

2. Pencil skirt in lightweight brown stretch twill; Vogue 8603, View C

3. Bolero wrap in brown lycra; New Look 6559, View A

4. Ascot knit top in brown / cream leopard charmeuse; McCalls 5977, View C

5. Straight skirt with pleated overlay in purple, turquoise, cream stretch sateen; New Look 6918, View E

6. Gathered side top in purple slubby knit; Simplicity 2977, View B

7. Jacket with bell sleeves in brown stretch twill, facings in leopard charmeuse; Simplicity 2977, View E

8. Ruffled-neck top in turquoise knit; Butterick 5493, View D

9. Skirt with inverted triangle pleat in brown embroidered linen; New Look 6969, View D


Lori said...

Looks like a perfect combination of fabric and patterns for your SWAP, good luck, you will be the best dressed on there.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Bonnie ~ it's a great collection and I believe that you can get most of it made up for your trip! Just think of how great you will feel wearing these new pieces created by you!