Sewing Workshop layering wardrobe

We’ve had more snow here (southern UK) than we’ve had in over 30 years. Wardrobe plans with only a couple of layering pieces don’t warm my heart at present. Do any fashionistas mention double force thermal long johns or flannel lined pants. :D

So I was interested to read about Linda Lee’s wardrobe for multiple layers. It was posted by Vicky in the Sewing Workshop thread at Stitchers Guild in April 2009 (page 15), and is based on her notes from a class given by Linda Lee in 2005.

Here is the ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ (edited from Vicky’s notes – thanks to her for posting). I don’t know what Linda’s current views are and hope this doesn’t misrepresent her !

Bottoms :

1. slim line pant.
2. soft pant in a silhouette and length that flatters your figure.
3. skirt in a shape and length that works with all of the tops.

Base layer :

4. basic tee or shell (knit or bias) that has your best neckline, shape and sleeve length.
5. surplice wrap tee or top.

More and more layers :

6. thin, sleek cardigan that goes over the tee shirts and under the vest or jacket.
7. vest/ sleeveless jacket that fits under jacket and coat.
8. shirt jacket, jean jacket, Miyake-esque shirt, or your version of a classic shirt that dresses down everything, works with the tee shirts and tops – ideal if the vest slips under or over this piece.
9. distinctive jacket that layers over cardigan and vest, under the coat.

Outerwear :

10. jacket/ coat or rain coat that goes with everything.

- – -

Vicky said Linda matched this plan up to Sewing Workshop patterns and showed how to alter the patterns for more variety. I (sadly) don’t know what Linda said, so here are my choices :

P.S. The Sewing Workshop site has changed since this post was written, so these individual links no longer work. Start here for Sewing Workshop patterns.

1. Slim line pant
Slim pants are good on me. The Zigzag and Kinenbi patterns are different styles. I would start with the Zigzag, as a contoured waist suits me and those vertical lines look slimming. I would leave out the ankle zip.

”zigzagpant”

2. Soft pant in a silhouette and length that flatters your figure.
There are two groups of fuller leg SW pant styles, ones with straight legs, and ones with a shaped leg, like the Hudson or Trio.

”triopant”

Only a tapered leg pant is flattering on me. Even straight leg pants give me ‘elephant legs’. So this is one part of this plan that I personally would leave out. I might try the Tahoe culottes, though they don’t look as if they would be good on a bike.

”tahoeculottes”

3. Skirt in a shape and length that works with all of the tops.
There are several interesting SW skirt patterns, but they are all ‘statement’ pieces. I think a more background style is needed to fit in to a wardrobe of co-ordinates. So I would pick the Oasis skirt.

”oasis”

4. Basic tee or shell (knit or bias) that has your best neckline, shape and sleeve length
Again there are several T patterns which make a statement in themselves, such as the Teegarden, Trio, and Urban patterns. But I think a simple design is needed to layer under other pieces. So I would pick the MixIt top for wovens,

”mixittop”

and the Milano T for knits.

”milanot”

5. Surplice wrap tee or top.
An easy choice as I love the look of the Salsa pattern.

”salsa”

5a. To fit my own wardrobe style, I would need to add a basic fitted blouse to layer between tee and cardigan, as I wear them all the time.
My favourite Sewing Workshop pattern for this would be the Tribeca.

”tribeca”

6. Thin, sleek cardigan that goes over the tee shirts and under the vest or jacket.
For me this would be a bought knit.

7. Vest/ sleeveless jacket that fits under jacket and coat.
As usual, Sewing Workshop doesn’t provide your average vest pattern. I like the idea of a soft drapey vest like the Poppy or Mimosa. But if it has to be layerable, I would choose the Peony vest.

”peonyvest”

8. Shirt jacket, jean jacket, Miyake-esque shirt, or your version of a classic shirt that dresses down everything, works with the tee shirts and tops – ideal if the vest slips under or over this piece.
This is the basis of Sewing Workshop style : many possibilities. If I had to pick only one it would probably be the Zona (with a bit of added flare for my hips), as those dart and seam lines are so interesting.

”zona”

9. Distinctive jacket that layers over cardigan and vest, under the coat.
Again this is a signature Sewing Workshop style, with lots of possibilities. For this purpose there are two groups :
One is jackets which would not layer over the shirt-jacket. My favourite is the San Diego.

”sandiego”

The other group is those big ‘arty’ rectangular jackets, which might layer over anything. Typical versions are the Ikina and Plaza. The Valencia is my favourite.

”valencia”

10. Jacket/ coat or rain coat that goes with everything.
As the final piece, an outerwear coat. I pick the Soho pattern, as outerwear with a hood fits so much better into my life-style needs.

”soho”

- – -

Well, I have a whole lot of other favourite Sewing Workshop patterns, but wouldn’t it be delicious to have this group :D

Patterns available January 2010

Explore posts in the same categories: my choices, specific capsules, wardrobe planning

7 Comments on “Sewing Workshop layering wardrobe”

  1. Shams Says:

    Yes! Yes, yes, yes! I love how you thought this through. Like you, I’m a huge fan.

  2. Melanie Shelton Says:

    I recently looked at Betzina’s No Time to Sew, and I noticed that it shows a lot of layering options. Specifically, it shows the Tuxedo Shirt button-down over the tee and under the vest, as well as by itself. It also shows a sheer version of the button down. I immediately thought of this post and the layering flexibility you describe.

    • sewingplums Says:

      Thanks for the good point Melanie. It’s the time of year for thinking about layers, but I hadn’t noticed that myself. And I’m writing some posts on wardrobe pattern books !

  3. Laura cheng Says:

    Just found your website, I am hooked on your clothing style and other information for casual and stylish wears. I sew a lot and your web is inspirational.

  4. Pamela Says:

    I am happy to have found your blog, i love the suggestions as I am a returning seamstress that is now looking to sew the basics~ but w/ a different flair than I had before,~ therefore i was happy to find SW patterns, b/c the fit and style was what looking for~

    Love the change I am making , I am feeling good about moving forward in this line, and thank you(!) for listing some of these basics for us to see~ I am glad I am out of the land of negative ease Ts and sweaters and into the land of stylish, comfortable . well made clothing w/ added flair ( Many say the Trio T is worth the price of that pattern alone!
    I was also looking at LC designs but find them to be rather large for me, ( i am five one) so I must be very careful that the pattern and fabric don;t wear me,, but rather ME wear them,~
    I am writing this list down and going thru my patterns, been thinking of addng a few here, , esp the Sand Diego for a jacket/c coat,, and just mulling over the Salsa,,,hmm,,
    Thanks so much for this!!,,, It is,super appreciated~ I just need one more thing,,, a TNT princess dress and i think I have that pattern downpat ~ Peggy Sagers did a webinar on this,,I would have NEVER purchased that SIlhoutte pattern unless I had seen it made up( and fit properly~and I think,,,yes you can do a whole wardrobe on SW patterns b/c one could eliminate my princess seamed dress and do a dress skirt and tank and look quite lovely for an evening out~ I am working on TNT’s from SW this year only~ Good Sewing to you!


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