I took part in the #MyBodyModel3x3 Challenge and recently finished sewing the last of my 9 garments in my me-made capsule wardrobe! It’s been fun mixing and matching the looks I designed using my custom croquis from MyBodyModel, and integrating my new handmade clothing with other loved items from my closet.
Here is my process of sewing a capsule wardrobe, all the way from initial inspiration to final outfits.
Planning the Looks
The Fall/Winter Design Your Wardrobe from Seamwork coincided with the MyBodyModel 3×3 Challenge. I decided to take my many ideas from the course and think about ways to create a 9-item capsule collection using the 3×3 template. I started by looking at my digital mood board featuring style images, fabrics, and line art from potential sewing patterns. Fall is my favorite season, and I was heavily inspired by autumnal earth tones and the magical small towns of New England.
As a sewist that only really started making my own clothes, I had created many spur of the moment garments over the last year that didn’t really go with anything else in my closet. Sewing a capsule wardrobe using the 3×3 template was the perfect launching point for designing clothing that I love, and that importantly, I would wear. As a visual planner, I use my Microsoft Tablet and custom croquis to digitally sketch my ideas and envision what garments would look like on my body. I use a free drawing app, Autodesk Sketchbook, to draw. I don’t worry too much about getting it just right, instead using that time to experiment, visualize, and just have fun.
Here were my original 3×3 capsule wardrobe sewing plans:
I ended up changing out the skirt for some much needed layering leggings, adding a cuff to my Arenite Pants, and swapping the Seamwork Quince Robe for the Wiksten Haori.
The Finished Outfits
I selected 9 items to sew for my me-made capsule wardrobe. While several plans ended up changing, here are some of my favorite combinations from #sketch2finish:
I wanted a classic black corduroy overall dress to layer in the fall and winter. I choose the mini version of the Cleo Pinafore from Tilly and the Buttons and have been wearing it all winter long.
This fabric actually inspired me to create the Peppermint Wrap Top from In The Folds and I have been wearing this simple, but fancy (for me), top with all of the pants from my closet.
I spent a long time playing with potential colors for the Arenite Pants from Sew Liberated and experimenting with cuff options on my croquis. I finally decided on a slate blue linen and find myself wearing these pants with comfortable knit tops.
I choose to do the front button version of Seamwork’s Bryn Pinafore. This reminds me of the 90s and I surprisingly love that. The corduroy is so soft and I wear this over leggings and jeans with different turtlenecks from my closet.
So far I have made 5 different versions of the Union St. Tee from Hey June Handmade and love them all. I wear this shirt over my Cleo Pinafore here, but often find myself throwing this tee on with jeans and a sweater.
The Pietra Pants are the ultimate working-from-home pant. When I wear these I feel put together, but comfortable. The Pietra Pants will become a staple when I return to the office and can be easily mixed and matched with many tops from my closet.
While I ended up making the Quince Robe from Seamwork, this was intended to be the Wiksten Haori Jacket in my 3×3. I really liked it’s simplicity and large pockets, so I decided to sew it in a luxurious textured cotton.
The Neenah Top, originally in the 3×3 as a Seamwork Ace, is by far my most worn make. I ended up making another Neenah in cream that I pair with all of the items from my 3×3 capsule.
The 9th item, the Seamwork Shelly leggings, are a workhorse in my closet. Made in a warm ponte, I layer them under dresses and jeans for winter hikes. I had originally wanted to make a ruffle hem skirt. When snow began in October and I prepared myself for a Maine winter, I decided to forego the skirt and make something a bit warmer.
It’s amazing how many outfits I can make with just 9 garments. Here are even more outfit combinations drawn on my body model croquis:
I am so glad I took part in the MyBodyModel 3×3 challenge and finished sewing a capsule wardrobe collection. I not only enjoy wearing my recently sewn clothing, but I also truly enjoyed the process of collecting inspiration, planning the projects, and spending time at my sewing machine turning my ideas into reality. The result: 9 loved clothing items I wear again and again.
My tips for those starting a 3×3 include:
- Spend time playing with color and silhouette
- Be flexible enough to allow your plans to change
- Think about gaps in your wardrobe and ways to fill them
- Enjoy yourself – sometimes the process can be just as rewarding as the product
I took part in Seamwork’s Spring/Summer Design Your Wardrobe course and I’m planning my next seasonal capsule using the MyBodyModel 3×3 template again. I am already dreaming about floral cottons, dresses, and a spring color palette.
Ready to plan your own mini-capsule wardrobe, 3×3 style?
The latest season of #mybodymodel3x3 challenge is underway! Check this post for challenge guidelines, prizes, and your free 3×3 planning worksheet.
Want to learn how to draw clothes digitally or paper doll style? Check out MyBodyModel’s new beginner drawing courses at Illustrated Style School.
Alyssa started sewing about 5 years ago, but only recently began sewing her own clothes. Her first two items of clothing were sewn with the help of her mom and grandmother, and she is constantly learning new sewing skills through indie sewing patterns and fellow sewists in the community. She loves playing with fabrics and patterns, and designing clothes that fit her body and show off her personality. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in environmental science and is often thinking about sustainability and preserving the beautiful outdoors for future generations to enjoy. When she is not doing science and sewing, she can be found hiking in the Maine woods, playing board games with her partner, drawing outfit inspiration from TV series, baking and dancing, and spending time with her cat, Henry. You can find Alyssa on her Instagram, or blog, where she writes about her sewing plans, inspiration, and creative pursuits.
6 thoughts on “Sewing a Capsule Wardrobe, from Sketch to Finished!”
Enjoyed your blog. You did some really nice outfits with your 3 x 3. I can see that you put a lot of thought and time into this. Excellent work!
This is super cute! I love how you planned from an original mood board–it makes everything look like part of a season or line. The finished pieces turned out great, and it’s nice to see the photos, too–how it all came alive. Adorable!
Awesome choices and beautiful sewing job. I am slow going as I am finishing a t-shirt I started in the fall. Where did the striped v-neck t-shirt in your mood board come from? You are an inspiration!
Thank you for posting. I have been wanting to make some pinafores and leggings and now have the focus.
Ah I have serious autumn envy. This is a gorgeous collection. I hope Alyssa is super proud!
So well done! I think I got to about 52 outfits from this 3 x 3 collection, and I hadn’t even considered the leggings under the dresses extending their season. Could easily be 60 or more! Really great job.