In January I started eyeing Pattern Review’s 2016 Wardrobe Contest. The basic idea is to sew a capsule wardrobe of 10 pieces which can all be worn together. I loved the idea from first read, but didn’t seriously think about participating. Ten garments in two months isn’t such a stretch for me, but at the time I didn’t need any new clothes, much less 10 new pieces; and since I don’t have a stash I didn’t think I could afford that much new material in such a short time.
Then it started sneaking up on me: in the first week of February I sewed a dress, one lone little dress:
Then I needed a cardigan to match it:
I’d been planning to sew some brown corduroys for a while, and they would match the cardigan:
I found some lovely black sweater knit and made two toppers from it:
And then I had to balance all that black with some more bright color:
In the meantime, I bought this little remnant and made this pleated skirt:
And then suddenly since I had half a wardrobe already, I figured I might as well enter the contest. Plus, around the same time I got some generous late-birthday gifts, including a gift certificate to my favorite fabric store, and figured I might as well spend the money on something I wouldn’t do otherwise.
I finally got around to making up a plan on polyvore.com, using RTW items similar to mine. The picture of the plan made me so happy that I set it as the background on my computer, and every day I could see my plan and think about what I had finished, and what I had to do.
The last few pieces of the wardrobe were a button-down shirt:
A maxi skirt (this was the only stash piece I used; I bought it for a shirt for Tomi but it’s polyester):
And a waterfall top with an open back:
Despite thinking that I would never be able to sew 10 items in 2 months, I actually finished most of the sewing in February. By March I only had to finish the wine top, and do some hemming and finish some buttons. In early March I had a fun afternoon taking pictures of all the outfits, and then there was a lot of photo editing and pasting to make a collage of all the outfits:
I think by the end of the photo shoot I had gotten a bit silly, and there were some pretty funny outtakes:
And when I realized I had missed one or two combinations, I had fun photoshopping them together:
Overall, I REALLY enjoyed this project. There were one or two moments where I felt like I was sliding towards not doing my best work, just sewing to be finished and take the pictures and be done. But those moments were minimal, and I ended up with 10 (well, maybe 9) comfortable and wearable new garments, and who wouldn’t be excited with that?