A multi-passionate creative at heart, Raylene planned a comfy, polished, & versatile me-made capsule wardrobe using her sewing bullet journal and her personal croquis from MyBodyModel. Read on to see Raylene’s beautiful and organized 2-page bujo planner spreads, and how she chose 6 garments to create more than 12 outfits!
I’ve been wanting to create a me-made capsule wardrobe for the longest time. Due to the lockdown and being at home 24/7, I got bored of wearing pajama bottoms and leggings with boring but decent-looking tops just so that I could look somewhat presentable in my Zoom calls for work. I felt like I needed to pay more attention to the way I presented myself even while I was at home. I wanted a way to throw together an outfit that is effortlessly chic, a little wardrobe that I wouldn’t have to think about, but also comfortable that I could easily chill in bed with it.
I got to work, and used MyBodyModel croquis to plan what I was going to make in my sewing bullet journal. I was heavily inspired by the “Dressed” ebook by Deer & Doe, and after evaluating my current lifestyle, I knew I could come up with a collection that would work for me.
Upon doing a google search for capsule wardrobe inspiration, I came across a Youtube video by Christie Ressel where she discusses the concept of “modules” which are essentially collections of clothing items that are cohesive. The six pieces in one module includes 1 outer layer, 3 tops and 2 bottoms. Each top needs to go with each bottom, so if you created a 6-piece module, you could create 12 outfit combinations using this formula.
When I heard this I was sold! I set out to start planning mine, so before I get to the creation of my actual capsule wardrobe, let me take you on a little journey on how I came up with it.
The first thing I did was to figure out what my personal style was by going into a Pinterest rabbit hole. I made a private board with outfits, colours and styles that I am drawn to. Then I analyzed the overall board and started to list the common thread or themes running through.
I noticed that I am very drawn to autumnal colours and themes – rust, brown, black, tan, khaki, off-white, as well as small scale dark florals and animal prints. I also noticed that I prefer feminine and flowy silhouettes, but paired with contrasting elements like chunky black boots or a leather jacket.
I then set out to work on my capsule wardrobe spread in my sewing journal. It took a few tries, but I eventually came up with a layout that works for me.
On the left page I narrowed down my wardrobe colours to six and below that I created a little moodboard using fabric swatches, cutouts of pictures I found on Pinterest as well as some little line drawings I created using MyBodyModel as a template.
On the right page I made a list of all the wardrobe staples I know I love to wear, or would like to experiment with in the future. I separated these into six categories – Outerwear, Tops, Dresses, Skirts, Pants and Other. An example of something that would fall in the “other” category is a jumpsuit.
At the bottom of the page on the right I created my version of Christie Ressel’s modules and called them Collections. The idea is that each collection is cohesive and builds upon the previous, making the possibility of outfit combinations practically endless! I came up with four more 6-piece mini collections that I could create so that I don’t get too bored with the same six pieces, and labelled them A, B, C, D and E.
Based on this naming convention, my first collection is called Collection A #001. I added the #001 because I could end up creating more of the same collections in future. The main aim of this is to make creating a capsule collection more manageable when I know I only need to create six pieces at a time.
Next, it was time for me to create my first 6-piece collection! I then set out to create a sewing journal spread that I could use for future collections, and after lots of brainstorming, I finally came up with a spread that works for me.
On the left, you can see I labelled it Collection A #001, and below that I created a space for my fabric swatches. The little numbers below each swatch corresponds to the number I gave them in my swatch book. I have swatches of all my fabrics with details in that binder. I had to do this because I have a huge fabric stash, and it helps me stay organized. That, and I love flipping through it time and time again for a much needed dose of inspiration.
As I perused my swatch book, I ended up choosing five fabrics for my collection. I wanted to make a top and a bottom in the same fabric to give the illusion of a dress which is why there aren’t six.
I chose mostly rayon twills for the fabric, and went with a colour scheme of black, khaki, tan and dark floral. All of these fabrics are cohesive and work really well together.
Below the fabric swatches, I created line drawings using MyBodyModel croquis of all the patterns I chose to make, and after much brainstorming, I chose the following patterns for my first collection:
On the right page, I created a layout featuring 12 of MyBodyModel croquis where I sketched out all the outfit combinations I could come up with based on the patterns and fabrics I have chosen.
Here’s what the Outfit Combinations page looked like when finished:
I had so much fun coming up with these outfit combinations, I even created paper doll style cutouts using MyBodyModel croquis. It reminded me so much of my childhood.
Whenever I work on a new pattern, I always create a spread for it in my sewing journal. I created a layout like this for all six of the patterns I chose. I use these spreads to plan out my makes and get all project packs together – equipped with notions or trims required. I also indicate if I have pre-washed my fabric, and make notes of the seam allowances and any adjustments if need be.
My favourite part of the spread is doing MyBodyModel sketches of the front and back of the pattern. I do these as line drawings so that I can see all the style lines.
My project planner detail page is also great for documentation. When I go to make a pattern in the future, I can use this as a quick reference instead of having to rummage through all my patterns and potentially creating a confusing mess!
Next, onto the fun part!
I had so much fun making all the garments knowing that I was doing it with a solid plan in mind. Stay tuned for outfit photos!
Have you tried designing your own mini-capsule collection? Do you use a bullet journal to plan and document your wardrobe? Let us know in the comments below!
For more mini-capsule planning inspiration, check out the #mybodymodel3x3 hashtag and these recent blog posts:
- “Designing a Monochrome Capsule Wardrobe” by Eri
- “Chic, Easy, & Fun: My Fall Sewing Plans” by Sierra
- “Fall Capsule Wardrobe Planning with my 3×3 Sudoku Grid” by Sarah A.
- “My Fall Capsule Wardrobe from Sketch to Finish,” by Whitney
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Raylene Harvey hails from beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. She is a multi-passionate creative at heart, but among all her crafts and creative endeavours, sewing has always remained her one true love. Scarlet Stitch is her online space to share her behind the seams self-taught sewing journey, to connect with fellow makers and most of all, to inspire others to sew. Raylene currently works as a full-time web developer and she plans to turn her sewing into a business in the near future. When she’s not coding or sewing, she can be found listening to music or podcasts, binge-watching series and spending quality time with her husband and her two miniature schnauzers, Sherlock and Bailey. You can find her on Instagram @iamscarletstitch and on YouTube @rayleneharvey.