spring mini-capsule wardrobe

There’s snow on the ground, but I’ve been slowly making some inroads into some much needed Spring sewing.  After The Day and Night Dress Challenge, my family and I all came down with a really nasty fever, hence my absence here.  Getting back to health and strength has taken some time, but here are my pink jeans and ivory tee that’s part of my Spring mini-capsule wardrobe.

Spring Mini-Capsule Wardrobe: pink jeans and ivory tee

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

I never really intend to go about sewing capsule wardrobes.  Projects that sound interesting to me, or fabrics that are exciting to work with will always take priority in my work over embracing the minimalist nature of a capsule.  When I’ve made capsules in the past, even after meticulously working out all of the various combinations, everything ends up feeling like varying shades of same.

That being said, I always try to make sure that any separates that I’m making don’t end up as wardrobe orphans.  This combination is a good example of that.

[yikes-mailchimp form=”1″ title=”1″ description=”1″]

Pink jeans

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

Unadorned jeans are not usually how I roll.  After a frustrating round of fitting with the Otsu jeans, I just wanted to make a pair of jeans that fit.  I turned to my trusty Ottobre 5-2014-19 skinny jeans pattern.

All of my jeans are wearing out.  My two most heavily worn pairs, the giraffe sateen skinny jeans and my side buttoned Jalie 2908s are literally on their last legs.  It was good to make up a quick pair from one of my favorite patterns in this peachy pink stretch cotton from Colorado Fabrics.  The fit is pretty lived in and not perfect, but sewing up a fast pair of jeans was definitely more important to me than getting ultra picky about every last little wrinkle, especially given how much this cotton wrinkles all on its own volition.

Back gap

I’m starting to believe that most women have to deal with back gap in their jeans.  I don’t have no sway back and genetics has dealt me a rather flat-ish backside, and still there’s always a back gap.  Given the 7M hits you get when you Google “jeans back waist gap”, I don’t think I’m alone on this one.

For conquering the gap, I love a good contoured waistband.  For years, I’ve been using a contoured waistband from a Burda pattern that fit me really well and taking it with me to every other pants pattern I use.  This particular stretch cotton had more stretch than I anticipated.  As such, I still had a back gap even with my altered, much loved contoured waistband.  Maybe it’s time to reevaluate that one…

Darts, smoke and mirrors

To fix the back waist gap, I added two 1/2″ darts when my gappiness tends to hang out–about 4″ on either side of CB.  To disguise the darts, I centered a belt loop right over the darts.  It’s not a perfect solution, but I never wear belts or tuck in my tops.  For the added comfort of a pant that’s not drifting forever downwards, I will take that little bit of messiness that 0% of people will see.

Fringe makes it better, especially if it’s lazy fringe

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

My only real embellishment on this pair of jeans is some fringe trim under the edges of the pockets.  I call it lazy fringe because it’s actually the selvage which had a nice little fringed edge to it.  No needles and pulling threads were required here as in other fringed projects like this dress or this cardigan.  I cut 1/2″ strips of the selvage and fused them to the underside of the pocket with Steam-a-Seam before topstitching the pockets down.

A fun clothespin print makes up the fly shield and pocket bags because it went so well with the pink.

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

Ivory top: Valentine & Stitch Cassandra dress hack

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

This ivory top was my muslin for my coffee dress.  I wanted to work out the back keyhole and also the width of the sleeve flounce.

On this version, I cut the sleeve flounce 1.5″ wide.  I think it’s a good scale for a top, but I widened it on my coffee dress for a little more drama.  I got this ivory cotton yarn stripe knit from Cali Fabrics store in San Francisco a couple years back.  It’s plain to be sure, but it’s soft and a great fabric for Spring as it adds a little warmth in long sleeves but doesn’t trap in heat either.  I love layering tees like this.

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

Creating a cohesive wardrobe with color

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

Color just might be the best weapon in creating a wardrobe that works.  You’d be amazed at how seemingly disparate silhouettes and styles can suddenly make sense together when they employ a similar color palette.

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

I’m utterly determined to pair my faux fur motorcycle vest with everything in my closet.  The contrast of the aqua against the peachy pink is totally my style. The matching hat was definitely a bonus on this cold, windy first day of Spring when I took these pictures.

spring mini-capsule wardrobe

One of the things I love about using a color palette is being able to go way back in time in my closet and find some older makes to pair with some of my newer projects.  I’m starting to think that this might be a good way for me to challenge myself with Me Made May this year.  This gold rose cardigan made a comeback in this outfit.  I’m pretty sure I had forgotten all about it which is a shame because I’ve always enjoyed wearing it!

How about you?  Are you a capsule wardrobe believer, or do you approach outfit making more casually?


  1. These are adorable–great job, love the pockets, and the color is perfect for your complexion!

    • Thanks Elisa! I love this shade of warm pink, so I tend to nab it whenever I can! This particular one jumped into my cart. 😉

  2. I love your peachy pink ensemble Elizabeth. I also love the idea of a cohesively planned wardrobe capsule but for some reason I cannot see it to completion.

    • Thanks Faye! That’s a great point about capsules. I think they look great on paper/Pinterest, but the day to day may not work for a lot of people. If a capsule is that good old reliable PB&J, I’d still want to have room for the occasional over the top ice cream sundae with extra chocolate, whipped cream, coconut, and cherries on top–whatever the wardrobe equivalent of that is!

  3. Love your capsule!
    I try but my eclectic style tends to buy fabric with colors and textures that catches my eye. So of course, not much goes with anything else. Lol!

    • Thanks Carrie! I’m with you. There’s always that funky 60s silk scarf or in your case those beautiful Ankara prints that catch your eye!

  4. I think I like the vest with the jeans best, It’s a great contrast! I like the idea of capsules, but have determined that I need multiple ones to accommodate our seasons and me not getting bored by wearing the same five things all the time. I also have trouble finding inspiration for mixing in prints, and those are what I get most excited to sew.

    • That vest is literally accessorizing everything Becky!!! I had no idea when I made it it’d be such a transitional season workhorse. That’s such an excellent point about seasons and capsules. I tried my Wardrobe Sudoku for MMM last year and towards the end, it felt so restrictive. Can it work? Yes. Do I want to have to dress like that? If I’m being honest, I don’t think so, and with weather unpredictability, I’m not sure that it actually works in the end. Perhaps it’s good to experiment with these things so that you can figure out if they work for you in the end.

  5. This looks lovely Elizabeth! I discovered that sewing a piece of wide elastic on the back of the inside waistband with zigzag just very very lightly stretching it does wonders with the gaping and the outside doesn’t look elasticized at all!

    • Thanks Georgia. I debated about the elastic. I try and get pants with buttonhole elastic (or add it) for my boys–they all have such narrow hips, and it works so well for taking care of the problem. I will definitely give it a go the next time I encounter this. I feel like I need to have an informed opinion of a different way to tackle the problem!

  6. PsychicSewerKathleen Reply

    You are so pretty in pink Elizabeth! Love your jeans – that detail on the back pockets is gorgeous as is the colour of them. I have gapping too and flat bottom so I always have to wear an elastic belt (my favourite belts are from a company in Edmonton (unbelts.ca) – they work like an elasticized waist but look cooler 🙂

  7. Melody Srygley Reply

    Love your peachy pink jeans! I wear jeans 99 o/o of the time, so pretty much any top I make/love usually “matches”. I’ve just realized that most of my cardigans need to be replaced. What type of knit do you think would be best for a first cardigan?

    • Thanks Melody! I love more stable knits for cardigans if you prefer a classic button down style–something like a ponte, wool knit, or something refashioned from an existing oversized sweater would all be good choices. If you like more drapey style open cardigans that’s not necessarily warm, just about anything is game. Rayon jersey, bamboo, ITY, poly blend sweater knits that tend to be thin and rather fluid all work really well for those types of cardigans.

  8. I have never been able to get behind the idea of capsules, but I’m definitely with you on the idea of similar toned colours going together well. If they are of similar saturation and tone then your wardrobe should work well.
    Love this Peachy pink ensemble and especially the frayed added extra on the pockets.

    • Thanks Diane! Capsules always feel so restrictive to me. I’m starting to believe they work for a few people with a specific personality type, and I’m not of them! You’re totally right about saturation/contrast level. I don’t have a lot of contrast in my personal coloring, so when a given ensemble stays within that lower contrast zone, things tend to look more harmonious even if I’m not wearing my specific colors in my palette.

  9. I love those jeans! Using the fringe from the selvage is just brilliant! It looks so good with the top and your faux fur vest. I love to sew color coordinated seasonal capsules- mainly to help me plan my sewing. It’s not that I would necessarily feel restricted to wear the items together, as usually there are lots of other combinations to try with other pieces in my closet.

    Selecting my fabrics and patterns for the next few projects all at once really helps me to spend less time flip flopping on what to make next, and actually sew something! Plus, there’s less time involved in re-threading machines if you are using the same color!

    I usually will treat myself to either shoes or a new accessory that goes with everything as my reward for completing the plan. 🙂

    • Thank you Ann! So many denims have such nice selvages, I always try and incorporate them if I can even if it’s just on the belt loops. That’s a great point about similar thread colors. I think mini-capsules are definitely more open to coordinating with lots of other things.

  10. Great-looking jeans Elizabeth:) The pink definitely suits you! The clothes-pin fabric is too cute! I’m not on the capsule-wardrobe bandwagon, but I would like to make a few seperates for the coming season that will go together. “Wardrobe orphans”, lol. I tend to gravitate towards different fabrics & unique items that wouldn’t necessarily go together. Glad you all are feeling better. We got a deluge of rain last night so I wonder if there’s a speck of snow to be found now??

    • Thanks Rikki! I do wonder if the capsule thing is just one of those trends right now. I do wonder what idea it’ll be replaced with. Smaller scale separates that go together are smart for sure. Our snow is now gone and green is starting to happen, though there’s snow predicted for tomorrow–such is Spring here (and really Fall too and every other season!). LOL. Maybe capsule wardrobes work better in places like Los Angeles where you have pretty much 1 season.

  11. Great jeans and top. I love the colour on you and also love that you made basic separates that are still interesting.

    • Thank you! That is always my goal when making basics. I figure if it looks like something I bought off a rack, I could have saved myself a whole lot of trouble by just going to the store in the first place. For other people, that is the aim, and that’s totally okay too.

  12. The jeans are absolutely adorable! I’m not a lover of fringe in general but it works so well with the pink jeans! The monochromatic look at the end with the rose cardigan is absolutely gorgeous.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.