Why I Decided to Sew my Own Capsule Wardrobe
I've been learning how to make clothes for a few months now but only recently feel like I have the skills to make things that fit seamlessly into my wardrobe. I love making my own clothes as a creative outlet - working in fashion I can see what's going to be on trend, or how something is constructed and then make the garment myself. I'll often see things on the highstreet and think 'I can make that' and go home and recreate it - changing the fabric and colours to fit in with my wardrobe and personal style. I make clothes to help me switch off from a busy day or week and utilise some of the creative energy I bottle up on a day-to-day basis. It's definately cheaper than therapy and you get a whole new wardrobe out of it too!
Hand's up who's bought something on the high-street and it's fallen apart in three washes? I've had clothes get holes, ripped seams and fray if I just look at them too hard. Personally I think fashion is moving in a more sustainable direction - customers want to invest more in quality garments that are going to last them for a while and make them feel good every time they wear them. There will always be people one end of the scale that want cheap, fast fashion and don't care if it's bad quality because they only want to wear it on that 'one night out'! However, I know I can see a shift in people's shopping behaviours - retailers like Jigsaw, Reiss, Whistles and COS are doing well because they provide classic, well made pieces all year long. There will always be fashion trends (and that's why I love my job!) but it's just too expensive for me to run out and buy every fad going. Making my own clothes gives my wardrobe a lasting longevity that I just don't think you can buy.
As far as minimalist dressing goes, I've been intrigued by Capsule Wardrobes ever since I read The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees. This year I want to make a lot more pieces and put together a capsule wardrobe of my handmade collection. My style is very classic and somewhat scandi-inspired. My day-to-day go to look is a a sweatshirt, black mom jeans and my white Jigsaw trainers. I love wearing neutral tones that work together in different combinations.
To get started, I've put together a colour palette of neutral tones and pulled together a board of items I would like to make for my capsule wardrobe. Pinterest is a great starting point for inspiration and I use it to collect images and cuttings of colours, shapes, styles and fabrics. I then look through patterns online until I find a shape I like that can be adapted to fit my look.
Inspiration - COS Funnel Neck Sweatshirt - £49
I really liked the shape of this jumper from COS and it's super similar to a Sew House 7 pattern - the Toaster Version 1, so this is the first thing I made for my capsule wardrobe...
I'm going to keep making pieces to add to my capsule wardrobe and build something that I will be able to wear for years, not just seasons. There's something really satisfying about taking some fabric and making it into whatever you want it to be.
I might do a post on how I got into making clothes (because I studied fashion at uni but never studied garment design or used a sewing machine!) however until then, here's some links that will help to get you started.
The Toaster Sweatshirt - Click to buy the PDF download
Great for beginners classes and fabric & based in both North and South London
One of my all time favourite fabric shops, it's so chic and they do amazing classes too!
A shop/ workshop business that run a variety of courses from Macrame to Jeans making - I'm making a bra with them in a couple of months time!
Let me know if you start sewing or have a creative hobby - I'd love to hear more!