Here is what Sew Over It patterns in London think are the 5 current key items (City Break e-book with download patterns, bust 33-45″).
There’s a long (22 min.) and chatty video introducing the styles.
I think these are ‘current smart’ style, rather than classic / casual / pretty / dramatic. . . which is interesting, as most patterns from this company are vintage-style dresses.
They suggest this order of sewing difficulty :
knit top / dress, skirt,
shirt / dress (simple style – no collar band, cuff or sleeve placket),
skinny jeans, coat.
Sew Over It claim to write teaching patterns.
If you would like more sewing support, Tilly and the Buttons have online video classes on making an easier skirt and tee, and a more difficult shirt.
Sew Over It have a video class and a free sew-along on fitting and making slim pants.
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Add items to widen the scope
Want a 6 item group of
2 layers ?
Add a moto/biker jacket, such as Hot Patterns 1207.
Goes up a level of sewing skill, though you could leave out the exposed zips and use in-seam pockets.
For my own wardrobe needs I would want a pullover top and some non-stretch pants, such as Vogue 9063.
And a slouchy top such as the Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee.
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A complete 12 item core wardrobe
Those added 4 garments shift things up from the original capsule to a 10-item wardrobe.
A commonly suggested 12 item wardrobe would add 2 more jackets or other layers, for people in a climate with that need.
If you don’t wear many jackets, you could add 2 more tops – tees in your favourite colours, or Sew Over It have several pretty blouse patterns.
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Explore the world of jacket riches !
Starting from (tee + jeans / pencil skirt) or (shirt + jeans / pencil skirt), jackets have huge potential for completely changing the style of an outfit.
As well as waterfall and moto jackets, there are many other current jacket types which would go well with the slim fit of the original capsule.
The first three can look more current at thigh / tunic or calf / duster length.
Kimono, such as New Look 6438.
Classic knit cardigan, such as New Look 6735.
Make longer and at least 2 sizes larger for a ‘boyfriend’ look.
Shawl collar woven, such as McCall’s 6084.
Sleeveless coat / long vest, such as this from Sandra Betzina, Vogue 1528. Or Simplicity 8177 from Mimi G with video tutorials.
There’s an interesting selection of vests in the new patterns for this season at Butterick Fall 2016.
Most of those jackets are too fitted to wear over loose fitting tops. Here are some current styles to co-ordinate with looser tops :
Oversized hoodie, such as Hot Patterns 1179.
Or step aside from fashion.
Well that has got us rather a long way from the practical realities of a compact wardrobe starting with the Sew Over It capsule.
If you had to choose a maximum of four jacket / layer styles which are most true to you, that make you feel at home and at your best, which would they be ?
Your choices may be very different from mine – have you got a favourite pattern company that I haven’t mentioned ?
Hmm, I managed to get my needs down to five. . .
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Some other sources of modern classic wardrobes
Tee, shirt, jeans, pencil skirt, waterfall jacket – the capsule styles are ‘modern classics’. So the Sew Over It patterns aren’t unique, though it’s good to have such basics grouped together. StyleARC and Burda Style are also good sources of modern classic patterns.
BurdaStyle have download groups of patterns which are in the same style, for about $25. Good for wardrobes, and good value if you want to make more than 4 of the patterns. Their knits kit is a bit like the Sew Over It group, with patterns for fitted and loose tees, leggings, and woven shirt and skirt, also drafting and sewing webinars.
StyleARC patterns have pattern bundles which copy celebrity outfits.
The disadvantage of both those companies is the minimal instructions. You do need to know what you’re doing.
Sew Over It by contrast gives detailed instructions with clear photos. Many of their patterns have been tested in face-to-face classes before being issued generally.
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For maximum wardrobe versatility, use your best neutral colours for the first of each item. I like to use texture and tonal variations.
Add accent colours and prints when you make more of the items.
Change fabric types, change hem and sleeve lengths, omit collars, and the alternatives are almost endless. . .
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Patterns and links available October 2016
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