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Mel Stevens' Mini Capsule Wardrobe - Cool

Mini Capsule Pack's will be available at Lush Fabrics from 6pm WST Wednesday 12 February 2020: https://lushfabrics.com.au/collections/sew-its-wednesday

Hi I’m Mel Stevens.  I live in Brisbane, Australia and have had the honour of being a seamstress for Lush Fabrics Australia, as part of a team, since May 2019.  My first big project was to put together a Lush Wardrobe Capsule which I have had the most enjoyable time researching, planning, sewing and blogging!   I would be lying if I said I knew what I was doing from the start.  I did a lot of searching in fabric and pattern groups I follow, to gain wardrobe inspiration, and found the most results in US groups.  Tracey and her team at Lush did an amazing job in putting together fabrics which coordinate well.  To be honest I think the job of selecting coordinating fabrics is harder than working out what patterns to use with what fabrics!  I chose the fabric package entitled “Cool”, as in cool colours.  Tracey’s tip was to have either tops in prints, and bottoms in solids, or vice versa, mainly for the purpose of matching your clothing much more easily.  I chose to use patterns from Pattern Emporium (PE), affiliate link http://patternemporium.com?aff=43  I know it is no surprise that I am a huge supporter of PE patterns, for their style, comfort and ease of construction. These were the glorious Lush fabrics in the package:

I only added one non handmade garment to this Wardrobe Capsule in order to increase outfit possibilities.  As we all have a favourite pair of jeans, I chose my basic indigo skinny jeans, but you could add something like a denim jacket, or a denim or plain coloured skirt.  Not all the outfit possibilities are photographed below (you don’t want to see too much of my mug), but refer to the table at the bottom for a complete list of all the options.  For footwear, I chose 2 pairs of my everyday shoes and 1 pair of special pointed heels.

CROC PONTE 2M AND NAVY STRIPED COTTON LYCRA 1M

I had 2m of the Croc Ponte so I decided to use a tube/pencil skirt pattern because of its limited use of fabric, which applies to all size ranges from 6-22.  Frugality in fabric is so me!  (Side note confession, don’t copy me, but I have been known in the past to cut a few casual tees  OFF GRAIN to save on fabric! Of course I only do this when I have odd shapes of large scraps remaining from an original project!!  I also join neckbands so they have two seams when there isn’t enough fabric width.  I am also the type of person who CAN be bothered to pick up 5c pieces off public footpaths when I encounter these sparkly objects).  The PE In My Stride Skirt with classic flounce and the PE Sashays with jean pockets, using Lush Navy Solid Cotton Spandex for the yoga waistband were my perfect wardrobe capsule starters.  I knew they would match almost everything in this capsule and in my own existing wardrobe! With the Navy Striped Cotton Spandex I decided to make a very simple tee, so I went with the PE Allure Top with basic sleeves in a V neck.  I love styling plain tees with colourful accessories.  Laundering tip:  wash your croc ponte fabric in a wash bag using a delicate cycle, to preserve those “reptilian scales”.

CHAMBRAY DOUBLE BRUSHED POLY 1.5M 

No Capsule Wardrobe is complete without a cardi or bolero of some sort.  I decided to use the solid coloured fabric of the package to create the cardi, because then it would match both the striped tee AND the floral outfits.  I used the PE My Embrace Cardi because it is incredibly fast to sew up and I love the simplicity of the cardi’s body.  No set in sleeves and only 2 pattern pieces.  I wear this cardi with plenty of outfits.

CATHERINE FLORAL GREEN DOUBLE BRUSHED POLY 2M

I was stoked to hear that the Catherine DBP was in this capsule package.  Lush Seamstress Beck did a great job showcasing this fabric early last year.  With 2m, that was plenty to make a slimline dress and a top.  I wanted a summery dress so I chose the PE Every Me Tank, but slightly hacked it to have an elastic waistband and faux drawstring.  Pairing it layered over the skinny jeans would mean I can wear this summer dress when the weather is cooler.  I played with the idea of sewing up a maxi dress, but then I realised the outfit possibilities would lessen, because the only capsule garment the maxi dress would match would be the cardi and nothing else.  I used the PE Endless Summer cap sleeve tee to create a second t-shirt.  The Chambray cardi compliments Catherine perfectly! (Apologies for accidentally photographing two different pairs of skinny jeans here).

WONDERWALL HACCI SWEATER KNIT 1.5M

Oh my, this was my absolute favourite print in the Lush Capsule Package!  I love Hacci Sweater Knit!  It looks great made into a tee, a dress, or a cardi.  If I am going to wear this warmer fabric during a Brisbane summer, it’ll have to be sewed up into a loose flowy short sleeve top.  The PE Starstruck Side Tie Top was perfect.  I made a boo boo and cut the boat neck with the wrong back bodice, but after some fiddling and face palming, it all worked out.  Doesn’t it pair wonderfully with the Croc Ponte Flounce Skirt?  The Wonderwall Top with the indigo jeans and Chambray cardi (middle picture) was my fave outfit of the entire capsule.

COLOUR BLOCKING WITH WONDERWALL SWEATER KNIT, CATHERINE GREEN DBP, NAVY STRIPED CL, PLUS I ADDED SCRAPS FROM LUSH BLACK AND WHITE STRIPED SBP.

I am completely new to colour blocking!  I’ve come to realise that colour blocking works well for frugal fabric lovers.  We all have those larger scraps of fabric that we love and want to utilise!  It works best with tee patterns that are not overly fitted, because if it is fitted, you have two extra seams on the front and back of your body which your delicate skin mightn’t like the feel of.  Basically colour blocking means taking your favourite tried and tested tee pattern, marking out the hem allowance (this is optional), then dividing the remainder into thirds or halves by drawing in horizontal lines, then cut your pattern.  Don’t forget to add the 1/4” overlocker seam allowance where required.  For the pocket, make a rectangle 6”x7” and fold the edges in 1/2”, and sew it on over a boob before sewing up side seams, I think this is where pockets might go? 😊   The PE Be You Tee works perfectly with colour blocking because of its easy fit.  I made two colour blocked tops with the remaining Catherine, Wonderwall, Stripes and (added) B&W Stripes.  I paired them with jeans, and the Ponte bottoms.  The Cardi doesn’t go to well over the top of this tee because of the loose fit of the tee.

I would love to help bounce ideas around for anyone who decides to make themselves a Lush Wardrobe Capsule!  Happy Sewing everyone!

Here is a summary of the 9 garments I sewed up for the Lush Wardrobe Capsule. 

1 Croc Ponte In My Stride Skirt

2 Croc Ponte Sashay Shorts

3 Catherine DBP Endless Summer Cap Sleeve Tee

4 Catherine DBP Every Me Tank dress

5 Chambray DBP My Embrace Cardi

6 Wonderwall Hacci Starstruck Top

7 Navy and White Striped CL Allure Tee

8 Catherine Colour Blocked Be You Tee

9 Wonderwall Colour Blocked Be You Tee

10  Store bought skinny jeans

Below is a table of MOST of the outfit possibilities. There are a whopping 26 possibilities listed!

3 comments

  • Wonderful inspiration. Thank you

    Bernice van Esch
  • Wonderful, Mel! I love the look of the croc ponte – I’ve never used that base, time to break out of my rut! I have the Sashay and My Embrace patterns but haven’t used them yet. Soon to rectify that situation!! Great work on the colour blocking- you’re a woman after my own heart ❤️

    Chrissie Lewis
  • Fabulous capsule Mel! Thanks for sharing it with us. It has inspired me to go through my stash and hunt out some coordinating fabrics and give it a try. I’ve got so many PE patterns too, so visualising them in your capsule has been great :)

    Belinda Ezzy

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