You probably have a full closet. I do too! But finding tomorrow’s outfit in that can sometimes be hard. You gravitate toward what you wore with what last time, and you sometimes stand in that packed closet, full of things you’ve lovingly made, and can’t find a single outfit you want to wear.
Here are five suggestions to organize, build and curate smaller sections of your handmade wardrobe to create capsule wardrobes.
Organize your closet by type and then by color. So, shirts in a section, from light to dark, blazers, soft jackets and cardigans you have hung up in another, light to dark, same with pants, skirts and dresses. Sweater shelves, drawers, same. Each section of the closet (by clothing type) and then by color gives you a better view of what you actually have to wear. It also helps you from making that next garment when you already have a similar one in a similar color.
My sweater drawer is a rainbow from light to dark, same too, with my turtleneck knit top drawer and my tee shirt drawer. So if I want a lighter weight turtleneck, it’s not mixed in with heavier weight sweaters. This helps with getting dressed in the morning because most of us check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.
Once you’ve got your closet organized (regardless of how full)…you now have a base from which to make outfits.
Build outfits in twos or threes. Top, bottom, accessory. Or dress + accessory as your base. Then layer on based on weather and style: blazer/jacket/poncho or wrap, sweater, etc. Assemble the outfits on hangers (I just hang them on hooks on the back of my closet door) and take a photo. Save the photo to an album so you can reference it later. If you use Command hooks, put one up toward the top of your closet door and one toward the middle. Then you can hang the top (top, sweater, jacket, cardi) and bottom (pants, skirt) as an outfit for the photo. Likely your closet door is white making it a good base for photos. If you don’t want to photograph them, just pick and go.
When deciding what to make, grab the worksheet here. It’s designed to build your wardrobe by taking one thing from your closet and making one (or two) things to coordinate. This is easier than sewing a whole capsule and you’ll find it more targeted to sewing what you actually need (e.g. a mock turtleneck sweater to wear with this casual blazer over these jeans.)
You’re not limited to sewing a monochrome wardrobe if you plan only smaller capsules within your wardrobe
Because I love a lot of color and some of those colors don’t go with other colors, it’s not a problem. I don’t have to make my entire wardrobe a capsule, just parts of it need to coordinate. I can feel free to sew a spring green pair of Pietra pants and a coordinating Nikko mock turtleneck, knowing full well in another section of my closet is a brown blazer with purple and dark mustard plaid colors in it and these garments never have to meet each other in real life! LOL. But those spring green pants look awesome with a poncho I’ve had for years, a new cropped striped summer top and my favorite sandals.
I mean if you LIKE monochrome or mostly neutrals, sew those, of course!
You can keep your stuff with this method!
I’ve gotten rid of garments I’ve sewed because they “didn’t go with anything I had” and I WISH I had those back. Waah! Who knows where they ended up after I donated them. While I love my organizing business clients and friends, there’s really simply too much ‘getting rid of’ – and a lot less ‘using what you have’ in those processes.
If I’d have had the organizing friend who said “you know, you can wear this blush / Millennial pink Shirred Turtleneck with a wrap that you can sew from your stash fabrics and your favorite jeans” I’d have kept the darn thing, ran down to stash and sewed something to go with it. It’s been such a popular color the last 5-6 years and I gave it away a decade ago! It’s that kind of closet regret – especially when you made it yourself – that you won’t have to deal with.
As you build your mini capsules, you can work with what you have, sew things that coordinate and not expect everything in your wardrobe to match each other. Just enough to mix and match so you’re not wearing the same exact thing all the time (which is boring and causes us to say “I have nothing to wear!”
Sewing a wardrobe of our own puts us entirely in control – you decide what colors and what garments, and how they work together, you’re not dependent on the ready to wear colors of the season (this year it’s an orchid pink/purple.)