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Winter Capsule Wardrobe Wrap-Up

I've been working on my First Frost Winter Wardrobe capsule for 3 months, and I can happily say that it is done! 
- 4 woven tops (here and here)
- 2 sleeveless tunics (here)
- 3 turtlenecks
- 2 cowl necks (Bellavista Tops) (here)
- 2 long vests (here)
- 1 dress (here)
- 1 coat (here)

 = 15 pieces

Whew!  That works out to be a little over 1 item a week.  I honestly feel like I've just ran a marathon.  Someone needs to design a bumper sticker for people who can make it to the finish line of homemade wardrobe capsules!  Of course, this random number of items was my own doing- you can make capsule wardrobes with many less pieces.  Since I started this back in November, some pieces have already been worn quite a bit.  And I anticipate that I'll continue to wear them all through February, and possibly some chilly days in March. But from what I've done so far, here are the winners and losers:

Most Worn- Dusty Lavender Duffle Coat (of course, I can wear it with everything!)  I get lots of compliments on the color too.

Least Worn- Teal Silk Blouse- I just wore it to a couple of holiday functions.  But, I kind of expected that.  The blouse is just fine, I just need a fancier life.

Least Loved- The Solid Sueded Polyester Blouses.  Love the colors, hate the fabric.  Even though this fabric is all polyester, it still wrinkles like the devil.  And, because they are solid, they show every stain! I can't drop a crumb on them without a spot showing up.  Grrr.  I really wish that I had used a nice cotton flannel.  I keep falling for these synthetic fabrics.  Overall, they are way better than they used to be, but not this one. 

Most Loved-  I would have to say the Pink Boiled Wool Sleeveless Tunic.  I love the way the dye is kind of mottled, and the boiled wool is just awesome.  My first time working with boiled wool, and it won't be the last.

Miss Congeniality- Grey Wool Waterfall Vest.  It really gets along well with everything.   The fabric is warm without being bulky.

Best All Around Pattern- Okay, we have to have a tie for this category because I can't choose.

Butterick 6389- I made the turtleneck tops and the waterfall vest from it.  I am definitely making this one again...and again... and again.
Itch to Stitch's Bellavista Top.  Love this style, love that I didn't have to do any other alterations other than lengthening it, and love Itch to Stitch's instructions.   Win, win, win!

You'll notice that I didn't include any pants/skirts this time.  That's because I really didn't need any.   And, I have found out that JCPenney tall pants fit me like a dream, so I'll let them do the work.  I truly can't make them any cheaper or better.  During the winter, I don't tend to wear skirts, so I focused on LAYERS.   We've had temps from -10 degrees all the way up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit- and sometimes in the same week!  It's really quite impossible to be a minimalist in this type of weather.  (Not that I'm a minimalist in any type of weather, LOL!)
I won't show you every possible layer combination, because there are a lot!  But here's a few:

1 Woven Top + 1 Woven Vest + 1 Coat

1 Turtleneck + 1 Dress + 1 Coat

1 Turtleneck + 1 Sleeveless Tunic + 1 Coat

Overall, I'm really happy with the way this capsule turned out.  Not to say that there weren't any fitting or construction issues- there were plenty.  But, I try to look at them as lessons learned.  And it's not just these pieces that work together- I've got several other pieces in the closet that can fit right in, no problem!  I like this method of planning my sewing projects because:

- it uses up pieces in my stash that might otherwise go unsewn (like all the solid gray fabrics!)
- makes me really think creatively about possible combinations (including what can I dye)
- and I end up with really wearable clothes (not just fancy dresses that I have nowhere to wear). 

But, I think it's time to start thinking about Spring, don't you?  It will be here before we know it.

What are you planning on sewing for Spring?

Happy Sewing!


  1. I love your capsule wardrobe! Such great colors that look you look gorgeous in, and your thought into layering is genius - love the warm, warmer and warmest options :-)

  2. Everything looks so good together!! You make it look effortless even though you say it was not. I am still sewing my fall/winter capsule, but hope to turn to spring in the next month or so. Can't wait to see what you do next.

    1. Thanks, Vanessa! I think I'll take a vacation from sewing for a couple of weeks. But you know me, I won't be able to stay away from the sewing machine for long.

  3. Its a lovely capsule that works so well for your colouring and is very cohesive. 15 pieces is amazing.

    1. Thanks, Ruthie! I always admire your capsules so much! I think that we have similar coloring as I often wish I had your wardrobe.

  4. Such an amazing collection! I like your layering options and the beautiful colour scheme.

    1. Thanks, Marianne. I've never been much to layer before, but with a workplace that is kept much warmer than my home, it's been very helpful this winter.

  5. What an amazing job you did on your capsule wardrobe. Everything looks wonderful on you and they all work together. I noticed a comment about dying. What brand of dye do you use, and do you have any tips to share?

    1. Thank you, Jeanette. I use RIT dye, because it is so readily available. I like to mix shades, and the RIT website has some great color charts for mixing. Depending on what you are dyeing, you need to add either salt or vinegar to the dye bath to help it absorb into the fibers. For cotton, it's salt, and for wool, it's vinegar. The bottle gives you the information on quantities.

      I dyed the violet Bellavista top, and the two wool tunics in this wardrobe. The dye bath is strongest at the beginning, but I've had luck in dyeing multiple pieces after the first, and they just end up being more in the pastel shades.

  6. Love all your capsule pieces! What a satisfying make bonanza this must have been for you! I'm already working on sleeveless woven tops for summer - is there anything cooler to wear than sleeveless cotton lawn or linen for those HOT summer days? I realized recently I only had knit sleeveless but to be honest they are just not as cool as linen or light cotton.

    1. Yes, I agree. Knit tops can be really too heavy when it's 90 and above! I love cotton voile and lawn for summer tops and dresses.

  7. What a great capsule wardrobe! They are all so lovely, it'd be hard to choose a favorite. I admit I immediately purchased the Bellavista top pattern when I saw how lovely it was on I actually needed another sewing pattern - ha! And sigh, that coat! LOVE!

    1. Thanks, Sharon. That Bellavista top is definitely a must-have. I know that you won't regret it!

  8. I'm going to come and snatch your whole wardrobe! :) Everything is absolutely beautiful!! I love each and every one of your warm/warmer/warmest pics!!

    For spring I need outerwear more than anything and perhaps a few jackets. I make a lot of cardigans but I would like 2-3 "suiting" jackets too.

    1. Thank you! Sewing jackets is one of my favorite things. I look forward to seeing yours!

  9. Ann it’s all really beautiful. I love it when you do a wardrobe post, I still admire the wardrobe contest entry for PR you did some time back!

    1. Thanks, Eliabeth! That's been a few years- you've got a great memory! I still wear a few of those pieces.


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