Sew Your Capsule: Capsule Wardrobes for the modern sewist is officially set to release at the beginning of march y’all! Writing the E book has been such a labor of love and I am so excited for you all to be able to read it and (hopefully) love it as much as I do. Throughout the six chapter in the book I will walk you through the journey of creating and planning your first self-made capsule wardrobe, from figuring out your style, cleaning out your closet, making your actual plan, and finally sewing it all up in a completely honest and straight forward way.
Since an E book isn’t like a traditional book where you can flip through the pages and read the covers to decide if you are interested in reading the whole thing I wanted to share a free chapter out of the book with you all here on the blog! (Plus, keep reading until the end for a chance to score some of the free printable worksheets that will also be included in the book!)
One of the most common questions I see in the sewing community about capsule wardrobes is simply, “what are they?” and usually that question is closely followed with “how do they work?” Well in chapter one of Sew Your Capsule I answer those two most basic questions and cover the two most common types of capsule wardrobes in the sewing community (with a bonus section on how I plan my own wardrobe). Capsule wardrobes really aren’t as hard or scary as they seem if you put the work in to plan them perfectly from the start!
(The following has been condensed from Sew Your Capsule for ease of reading)
Capsules wardrobes. Minimalist wardrobes. Curated wardrobes. Styled wardrobes. They all really mean the same thing, a collection of clothing that is made of up of pieces that interact well together, giving the most possible outfit choices from the smallest number of clothing pieces. So call your wardrobe whatever you like! (To keep is simple though we are just going to use capsule wardrobe as a blanket for all of those terms from here on out.)
At this point I am guessing you have a lot of questions. What should your capsule look like? How many pieces should it have? How long should you keep it for before you move on to your next capsule? Well all of that is totally up to you! A lot of “how-to” capsule guides that you are going to find will try to constrict you to a certain set of rules and say you need to follow them exactly to get the most out of your wardrobe. But you won’t be getting any of that nonsense here.
There are many different capsule wardrobe “systems” out there and they all are great in their own ways. Some are very rigid and structured, which is great for those of you who may need to get dressed super quickly for the same type of day every morning, and some of them are much more free-flowing, allowing you to swap out items from your capsule daily if you really want to. In the end, you know your life and your wardrobe best and finding the perfect capsule wardrobe outline that will work for you is the first step in planning your dream capsule wardrobe!
We are going to talk about two (and a half) of the most common capsule wardrobe formulas but if none of these feel right for you, take what you will learn in the rest of this book and go with what feels natural.
Sudoku capsule wardrobes are one of the most popular, simple ways of setting up a small capsule wardrobe. Sudoku capsules work by combing three bottoms, three tops, and three layers in a very structured, strategic way to create as many outfits as possible different outfits.
The structure of the layout is what makes this capsule so unique. Much like in the game Sudoku, each row in your chart can have only one top, one bottom, and one layer. You then read all of the different rows in the chart to find all of your wardrobe combinations.
The greatest critic most people have over this capsule system is that it only gives you seven wardrobe combinations; three vertically, three horizontally, and one diagonally. That’s not true at all however! In fact it can give you many more than that once you look a little deeper. They only see seven combinations because they are reading the chart like traditional Sudoku, an easy mistake, but if you get a little more creative there are many more wardrobe combinations lurking in there. The chart below shows fifteen different ways to combine the nine pieces into different outfits and I could have added even more but the lines just started to get too hard to follow. That’s half a month, or three work weeks, worth of outfits from just nine pieces of clothing!
If you are just starting out with capsule wardrobes this is a great way to get started the hang out planning a cohesive style for yourself! The limited number of pieces of clothing involved makes Sudoku capsules much more simple to plan and execute than some of the other capsule wardrobe methods out there. It also makes them especially helpful for people who want multiple or different mini capsules for a wide range of life activities, or places they need to go in their daily lives and / or traveling.
The 4X4 is another fairly structured capsule wardrobe system but it is laid out complete differently than the Sudoku capsule. It uses almost double the number of clothing pieces as the Sudoku capsule and therefore tends to stretch a little farther but can also be more tricky.
In this set up you would group your clothing items into four groups of four, organized by color. Your first group of four is your staple items, two bottoms and two tops, all in a neutral color that will be the basis of your wardrobe. The second core is two more bottoms and two more tops in a different neutral color that coordinates with your first four color. The third group of four is more tops/layers in coordination but different colors to your first two groups of four. The final group is like your “bonus” group. This is where fun extra like a top that doesn’t really do with more than one pair of pants would go. It’s kind of like a free space.
Simply because of how many more pieces of clothing there are in a 4X4 there are more outfit possibilities, which makes it more appealing to many people. The addition of “freebie” items is a great benefit to this system as well, we all have (or have had) that one piece of clothing we can’t get rid of even thought we know we can only wear it one way!
So there you have it! A (shortened) excerpt from Sew Your Capsule which will be releasing in just a few short weeks!
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