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How to Plan Your Capsule Wardrobe Ready to Draft Your Own Sewing Patterns - Part 1: The Wardrobe Audit

Updated: Feb 29


We all know that the biggest and best compliment to receive when you've sewn a garment is... "Where did you buy it?" This all starts at the planning and designing stage but also starts inside your wardrobe too!


This blog is going to help you create garments that you truly love and want to wear. These garments will embody your individual style and will be easy to put together for everyday looks.



❌ No more ransacking your wardrobe each morning to find something to wear.


❌ No more settling for scratchy fabrics, colours and prints that you just don't LOVE.



Yep that's right... we're diving into your closet to do a wardrobe audit. You might not find Narnia and Mr Tumness in there (that would be a little scary actually haha🤭) but you will know more about your personal style by the end of this blog post.



But first... What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of essential and versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create various outfits. The concept is based on having a curated selection of high-quality, timeless pieces that align with your personal style, making it easy to create a variety of looks with a minimal number of items.

An image of my self-drafted and handmade wardrobe
My self-drafted and handmade wardrobe


Here's what we'll be covering below... STEP 1: Reflecting on what gaps you have in your wardrobe to suit your lifestyle STEP 2: Building a colour palette for your wardrobe STEP 3: Selecting your favourite prints STEP 4: Understanding which silhouettes suit you the most STEP 5: Selecting the right fabrics for your capsule collection To help you audit your wardrobe and create your own style blueprint, we've got a FREE Canva template for you which you can gain access to at the end of the blog post! 🥳



 

Wardrobe Audit Guide for Sewists


STEP 1: Reflect on what GAPS you have in your wardrobe to suit your lifestyle

How well-equipped is your wardrobe for your lifestyle? I want you to dive deep into this, identifying any GAPS in your closet. By filling those gaps, you'll always have an outfit to choose, no matter the occasion. I recommend using the Slow Fashion Wardrobe chart which you can download for FREE at the end of the blog post!




Things to consider to help identify those GAPS:


JOB

  • What job do you do and do you need a separate wardrobe for this or do you get to wear everyday clothes to work?

COMFORT

  • Which clothes do you find comfortable and which ones aren't so comfortable? Do you bloat a lot and prefer clothes that expand with you for comfort?

HOBBIES

  • What hobbies do you have and does your wardrobe cater for these?

EVENTS

  • Do you attend a lot of events that have specific dress codes?

SEASONS

  • How many seasons do you need to dress for? Maybe you live in a country where it's warm all year round and so most of your wardrobe needs to cater for this.

VACATIONS

  • Consider your vacation destinations. If you're someone who goes skiing several times a year but lives in a warm country then you may want to factor in a vacation section in your wardrobe to cater for your chillier trips.



REWEAR OR NOT

  • How often do you like to repeat wearing the same outfit?



Here are some of my self-drafted capsule wardrobe makes I created after a wardrobe audit to fill in those GAPS I was missing.

Louis and I try to have a date night together every week so date night dresses are a must for my wardrobe and this is a GAP in my wardrobe I'm still on a mission to fill. I actually ended up getting engaged in the red date night dress above❤️.



We also part-live in the UK (we love to visit our local spa and gym) and part-live in Bali (we have a lovely pool to swim in with our son) so swimproof costumes are an essential piece in my wardrobe but before I only had bikinis. And of course, while working from home and recording pattern cutting tutorials for you, I like to wear comfy loose fitting clothes.




 


STEP 2: Building a colour palette for your wardrobe


Let's crack the colour code for your wardrobe...


Building a colour palette for your wardrobe checklist:


  1. Explore your style by scrolling through Pinterest and trying on different pieces in shops. Experiment with both vintage and regular stores to figure out your preferences.

  2. Consider how colours complement your skin tone. I like it when my skin looks all warm next to the colours. That's why I steer clear of super cold blues or greens but you may prefer how those colder colours look with your skin tone.

  3. Create a colour story and stick to core colours for easy mix-and-match moments. I don't just dive into the rainbow without a game plan. Nope, I like a colour story, a theme if you will. I stick to colours like pinks, reds and whatever else catches my eye. Oh, and black, you know, classics never go out of style. By narrowing your palette down, you'll save yourself from the "What on earth do I wear with this?" crisis. Too many colours can turn your wardrobe into a puzzle with missing pieces. Plus, fewer colours mean you can mix and match like a pro, making the most out of your closet.

  4. Embrace your unique style, making your wardrobe as fun as you! Everyone's got their own flavour. You do you! This is just my colour journey, and it might not be your jam. But hey, sticking to those core colours with the occasional pop of surprise works for me. If you're totally into a colourful wardrobe though then go all out and do your thing!



A capsule wardrobe colour palette
My personal capsule wardrobe colour palette

I like neutrals plus a few pops of colour so outfits are super easy to create and put together each morning!

 

STEP 3: Selecting your favourite prints

Ok, now I know prints aren't everyone's cup of tea so if you love a no-prints wardrobe... skip to the next section but first consider this - a print could be as subtle as a thin stripe or small detail!





Things to consider when selecting prints for your capsule collection:


  1. Try prints on from your wardrobe and notice which ones you wear and love the most. You could even go into the shops and try on all the different prints to see which you're jamming. What sacle do you love, what vibe, what colours?

  2. Think about their mix-and-match potential for effortless, everyday looks. Are they easy to style with your core colours or are the print garments in your wardrobe going to be your statement pieces you like to wear on their own?

  3. Think about whether the prints are suitable for multiple seasons. Versatile prints can be worn throughout the year. TOP TIP: If you're new to wearing prints, start with small and subtle patterns. This could be through accessories like scarves or socks, allowing you to ease into the world of prints without feeling overwhelmed. Once you feel comfortable with prints, experiment with mixing different patterns. Follow some basic guidelines, such as choosing prints of different scales and ensuring they share a common colour, to create a harmonious look.



 


STEP 4: Which silhouettes suit you the most?

When sketching, I lean towards floaty, free-flowing frilly styles, but honestly, I prefer wearing column-like silhouettes with a defined waist to give me some curves. After a wardrobe audit and creating my own blueprint, I adjusted my designs to align better with my personal style. When crafting your wardrobe, consider the silhouettes you enjoy wearing, as they might differ from your artistic preferences.


Choosing silhouettes that work for you checklist:



Analyse Your Wardrobe:

  • Notice which silhouettes you naturally lean towards—Is it the breezy flowy vibes, a bit of structure, or maybe something cinched at the waist? It's like your closet has its own little style party going on and you're the VIP guest list manager.


Reflect using photos:

  • Take a few photos of yourself standing naturally from different angles.

  • Use these photos as a canvas to draw on and experiment with various silhouettes.



Head to your Pinterest board for Inspiration:

  • Create a Pinterest board dedicated to silhouette inspiration.

  • Pin a variety of styles, noticing recurring themes that catch your eye.

  • Use these boards as a springboard for your own designs.




Unleash your creativity:

  • Scribble, doodle, and let your imagination run wild.

  • Don't be afraid to mix and match elements from different inspirations.

  • Remember, there's no need to be a professional illustrator; it's about expressing your unique style.




Be open to trying new styles and remember that personal style can change over time! Enjoy the process❤️




 


STEP 5: Selecting the right fabrics for your capsule collection


It's time to talk about the fabrics that will bring your sewing patterns to life. After all, comfort is key, and we want your handmade garments to be pieces you can't wait to wear.


Fabric swatches next to buttons and organic elastic
Fabric swatches for my wardrobe collection

Here's everything you need to consider:

Sensitivity check:

  • Sensitive to Fabrics? Choose Wisely! Avoid fabrics that cause discomfort or itchiness. If wool makes you itch, it might not be the ideal choice for a cosy sweater or a skirt.

  • Consider linings for fabrics you love but find scratchy. If you're drawn to the texture or appearance of a specific fabric, consider using it as an accent or with a comfortable lining to avoid direct contact with your skin.

Say no to synthetics:

  • Steer clear of synthetic fabrics (polyester, nylon) for a more breathable wardrobe. These materials trap heat, making you feel sweaty and uncomfortable.

  • Opt for natural fibres (cotton, linen, silk) that allow your skin to breathe. Even in sportswear, where breathability is often advertised, it's achieved by creating holes in the synthetic fabric. Opting for natural fibres provides a more comfortable and enjoyable wearing experience.




Consider your lifestyle and preferences

  • Reflect on your daily activities and choose fabrics that align with your lifestyle. Are you constantly on the move, requiring clothes that offer flexibility and comfort?

  • Identify favourite fabrics from your current wardrobe for inspiration. Do you prefer lightweight fabrics like silk for a luxurious feel or do you lean towards the breathability of cotton and linen?

Create a fabric dictionary

  • Make a sketchbook with swatches of fabric you love

  • Include the ones waiting to be used in your stash and note down where you got the fabric from, how much of it you have and the type of fabric for quick reference.


This fabric book will be super handy when designing your next make. Instead of rummaging through drawers, you can flip through your fabric dictionary and quickly identify the perfect material for your design. TIP 1 You may have fabrics in your stash that you now realise you won't like once made up into a garment. We recommend using them for toiles, taking them to the charity shop or popping them to the bottom of your pile for now if you're struggling to let them go. Put the fabric and colours you love at the top of your stash. Avoid buying fabrics in colours you don't like to wear.

TIP 2

If a particular fabric intimidates you, don't let fear hold you back. Experiment with samples, try different stitches and play with tension settings on your sewing machine. Take the time to understand how the fabric behaves before committing to a full garment. This not only reduces the pressure but also expands your creativity when designing!


 


Now for the super fun part... 🥳

It's time to get creative and sum up your wardrobe audit with a moodboard!

Here is my Slow Fashion Wardrobe chart and Capsule Wardrobe Blueprint moodboard! We love to use Pinterest for inspiration! These are really going to help when it comes to designing your makes.


A graphic of free Canva templates for a wardrobe audit


Ok, it's your turn! 😁

Download your FREE templates here. They're all ready for you to start editing today!


A graphic of free Canva templates


Happy creating! Sarah xxx


P.S. Don't worry! We're not just sending you off into the wilderness after you've created your moodboards. We're already on it and creating part 2 of this blog series! It's all about how you take your moodboard and start designing your dream capsule wardrobe ready to bring it to life.


P.P.S We'd love to see what your wardrobe blueprint looks like. Tags us on Instagram if you share it or send it over to us.




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