Back in December, my friend Kirsten approached me to participate in the Sewist 10×10 challenge with her. (Kirsten has blogged about her experience here). The idea of the capsule closet caused a lot of discussion in the sewing world when Colette Patterns release Wardrobe Architect in 2014.
Following on from this concept of a capsule wardrobe Lee Vosburgh from Style Bee developed the idea of the 10×10 wardrobe challenge. Author Anuschka Rees has written a whole book on the Curated Closet.
Sewing and podcast babes Helen and Caroline from the Love to Sew podcast recently took part in their own sewist 10 x 10 challenge.
The 10×10 challenges you to style 10 items from your existing closet in new and unique ways. Shoes are included in the 10 pieces however accessories are not. In my case I allowed myself to use a raincoat as an extra on the one occasion I required it.
I was really excited about the prospect of challenging myself with styling. I have been thinking more about a capsule closet now that I’m closer to creating my dream wardrobe.
The items that I initially selected for the challenge were :
I chose items which would tone well together to create a mini collection. You can see my key colours are black, grey, silver, gold, blue/greens. Three of my eight garments included prints.
After the challenge had started I ended up switching the pink silk cami for my chambray Dd Melilot blouse. This was because there was a change in the weather. I thought a top with sleeves would be more useful than one without. Also, the chambray top wouldn’t get crushed in my gym bag.
I also decided to just partake in the challenge on a Monday to Friday basis. One of the challenges of the 10 x 10 is having enough clean clothes to wear! So this was a great way to get around this.
I brainstormed a few different outfit options for the challenge. But ultimately I decided to take a ‘go with the flow’ approach to choosing outfits.
At the end of the challenge I was really pleased it was over. I had fun playing with styling options but I felt bored having to limit myself to a few items. I think it’s good as a sewist to participate in a challenging like the 10 x 10 or Collette’s wardrobe architect. It’s important to create items that work well together, so you don’t end up with lots of unworn handmade garments.
I’ve only been sewing for around three years. In that time I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made towards making a handmade wardrobe. Naturally, over time I’ve developed a key colour palette black, green, navy, grey with pops of red and white.
Now that I have a good base of clothes in my wardrobe I’m going to continue to work on making garments that will become classics. Like Kirsten, I don’t want my sewing practice to become a replacement for fast fashion.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the concept of a capsule wardrobe. Does it squash the creativity of a sewing practice?