Whew, these last 2 months have been a haul!  I didn’t expect or plan at first to enter this contest.  10 garments seems like a really big commitment, but in the end, the projects that I’ve been working on kept fitting in the same color scheme.  Aside from writing and picture taking, the pace of this contest hasn’t felt too overwhelming.  Unifying a capsule wardrobe by color is a good strategy, and it worked out well for me here.  First, here’s my grid for Wardrobe Sudoku 2017:


Wardrobe Sudoku is really an exercise in combinatorics. My PhD in Physics/Programmer/Math Man husband informs me that there’s 256 different ways to pull a set of 4 out of a grid of 16.  He wrote out a simple formula in Excel, and indeed, there’s 256 combinations.  No doubt some of these will work better than others, and you may not get as many real combinations if your items clash somehow.

Klarisbet got me thinking about “advanced” Sudoku, and I think it’d be a fun thing to explore.  I came up with nearly 60 different possibilities on paper before we turned to Excel to generate the rest of the combos.  I photographed 30 combinations.

Across combinations:

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Down combinations:

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Diagonals and corners:

wardrobe sudokuwardrobe sudokuwardrobe sudoku

Quad combinations:

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Split quad combinations:

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Monkey business combinations: because at some point, it’s all bananas

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In case you missed them, here are all of the items that make up my grid:


  1. Burdastyle 2-2013-109 striped asymmetric top
  2. Hummingbird tee (Burdastyle 2-2011-106)
  3. Ottobre 5-2007-15 cotton lawn tunic with pleated trim
  4. Lace bodysuit from Jalie’s Bella


  1. Nanette Lepore Giraffe Sateen Ottobre 5-2014-19 skinny jeans
  2. Burdastyle 1-2008-111 denim skirt
  3. Burdastyle 8-2017-105 asymmetric skirt
  4. Pale blue Designer Stitch Alyse pants


  1. Burdastyle 12-2009-111 blue twill motorcycle jacket
  2. Itch to Stitch Lisbon Cardigan with fringe trim
  3. Reverse Applique Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan
  4. Burda 7018 sea glass denim jacket


  1. Bleached Canvas Dritz Espadrilles

  2. Bare Traps Adalia boots in cognac

  3. Toffee wedges

  4. Nine west cream flats

Is anyone up for a Wardrobe Sudoku wearing challenge?  I’m thinking about doing something with this for Me Made May.



  1. Wow, this is such a fantastic wardrobe with really great colors that suit you perfectly. I particularly love those yellow pants. I hope you don’t end up wearing the 4-shoe combination too often. 😉

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Thank you Helene! I’ve really loved those warm tan pants–they’re starting to be a bit lived in, and I will sorely miss them! 4 shoes would be a bit of a crazy wardrobe choice for the day! 😀 Actually, with my husband’s formula, it doesn’t seem possible. He did it algebraically, (top 1 is A1, bottom 1 is B1, foot 1 is C1, extra is D1 etc.), so every combination has to have an A, B, C, and D. I was really surprised to see that 256 combinations had generated with those constraints, but yet they did. I’ll have to find the time to make sure there’s no repeats in that. The math here is definitely interesting!

      • True! I belive there are 16 choose 4 = 1820 total combinations. If you instead constrain yourself to 4 possibilities for the first choice, 4 for the second, etc, you get 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 = 256. But it doesn’t specify which 4 are acceptable for each choice! Ok, I’ll stop now, haha. Math is fun!

        • elizabethmadethis Reply

          That makes sense. I was trying to figure out how you could get 256 combos with all the non-working combinations (like 2 bottoms, shoes, with no top and an extra). This branch of math is very fascinating for sure!

  2. You definitely nailed the color unity! I didn’t see a single combination that didn’t work. Such a great way of maximizing your wardrobe! I’m very tempted to try something like this, if the stars ever align enough for me to have busted enough stash to justify multiple fabric purchases and get my weight stabilized. (Can you tell I’ve been spending the end of my pregnancy longingly drooling over my fashion Pinterest boards?)

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Thanks Becky. Someday! I remember feeling like that for many years and hoping for the day to finally be done with the pregnancy body changes. Ultimately, it’s good to be able to sew and cope with whatever state we find ourselves in. Lord knows once 40+ and menopause comes there’s probably a whole other set of issues to deal with! 🙂

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Thank you Faye! It came together better than I was hoping, which was a nice surprise!

  3. What a lovely colour palette you chose. It looks so serene. My favourite pieces are your jeans and the trim cardigan. Such a great mix and match wardrobe.

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Thanks Katherine! I really like your wardrobe too. I love how you used selvedges in your jeans–I love doing that with my belt loops too. I’ll have to try that with the back pockets–it looks sharp on yours!

  4. Fantastic job! Standing ovation for this capsule wardrobe! I really love the colors you picked- they really compliment you well! The patterns you picked are fantastic too. I really love the bodysuit shirt especially and I think someday I will have to make one too! This is so inspiring! I will hopefully have some capsule wardrobe items sewn by May so perhaps I could join in any Me Made May challenge you might have going on!

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Thanks Sarah! The bodysuit was a nice surprise–I had no idea how useful of a style it could be. I’d love to see your capsule pieces–your color palette looks like it’s going to be a great choice for your coloring!

  5. What a HUGE amount of work–I can’t imagine making 10 garments (including a jean jacket) in the 2 month period–AND photographing–AND writing 11 reviews–that seems like more than a full time job honestly. My favorite piece is your jean jacket. I’m going to make those giraffe pants out of the Jale Eleonores sometime this year!!

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Thanks Kyle. I think the jean jacket’s my favorite too. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. On the sewing end, it felt just a little more than usual, but the writing/photography end was definitely a lot! I’ll be waiting for your Eleonores!

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