Category Archives: Wardrobe sewing

My Simple Closet: September

I started a little experiment this spring.  A simple closet, AKA wardrobe capsules.  I was inspired by this pin and this pin and this pin and this pin and this pin, among others.

I’ve spent the past few months choosing a select group of pieces from my closet (usually 19-22 pieces including  shoes) and those have been my wardrobe for the month.  Here’s how it works for me:

What it includes:
  • 5 tops
  • 5 bottoms
  • 2 dresses
  • 2-4 jackets, sweaters, cardis
  • 1 pair each boots, sneakers, flats, sandals, heels
What isn’t included in the count:
  • workout/gardening/swim mom tees and running shorts
  • my funeral dress
  • jeans for the farm
  • my Saints jerseys
  • camis and tights
How I choose my pieces:

I start with the obvious things:  the season, Sundays, activities already on the calendar…Then, I pick a piece or two to build around.  Sometimes, I pick a few colors that carry through the wardrobe.  The pins above really do help me to plan outfits.  Once I’ve got a few pieces selected, I start tossing things together on the bed until I get a pile kind of like this:


My rules:
  • Every top needs to go with at least 4 of the 5 bottoms.
  • The cardigans/jackets must go with at least 3 tops each.

Please note, these are my rules and I can (and do) break them all the time.  At the end of the day, this is merely a practice to simplify my life.  If I need to dig a tee shirt and jeans out of the drawer to make the day happen, so be it.

September’s Simple Wardrobe

So what does September’s line-up look like?  Pieces to layer in hopes that Fall will eventually arrive, football season (purple and gold and black!), church, PTA meetings, sewing classes…  I’m not showing you pictures of everything because I think you know what blue jeans look like!  Smileimage


  1. leopard print tank (Made by Me)
  2. elephant tank (Made by Me)
  3. blue chambray button down (Target Spring 2015)
  4. purple and gold varsity tee (PersonaliTy Children’s Clothes)
  5. coral pull-over (Stitch Fix)

Bottoms: (I’ve opted for 4 instead of 5)

  1. dark straight leg jeans (Target)
  2. dark wash boot cut jeans (Target)
  3. khaki rolled crops (Gap)
  4. black skirt (Made by Me)

Dresses: (I’ve picked 3 instead of 2)

  1. teal tankdress (Made by Me)
  2. navy sweater tank dress (Banana Republic)
  3. black dress (Target)


  1. Green cardi (Stitch Fix)
  2. Grey Granny Sweater (Old Navy)
  3. Denim Jacket (Levi’s )


  1. hot pink Converses  (Converse )
  2. leopard flats (Target Fall 2014)
  3. nude heels
  4. Cowboy boots
  5. sandals
Two Notes:

#1.  Even though we are moving into Fall and my toes will be covered much more frequently, I still want them to be cute when I wear sandals.  I love choosing a Jamberry Nail Wrap that coordinates with my monthly closet.  Here’s my September choice.  It was a Hostess Exclusive last January.


#2.  There are lots of links in this post.  Some link back to this blog.  Some link to things I love and just want to share.  Some link to referrals for which I am compensated.  For more info, please check out my Shipping Links and Disclosure Statement.


A denim skirt refashion


The facts:

  1. I needed wanted a new denim skirt.
  2. I have a straight one that I’m constantly tugging on.
  3. I’m trying not to spend any much money on my closet right now.

The solution: 

    A trip to Goodwill, my scissors, and my sewing machine!

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t enjoy thrift shopping.  Sure, the prices are great, but I just find it kinda icky to go through someone else’s clothes.  However, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to look.

On first glance through the racks, I found 3 denim skirts that held potential.  One was a straight skirt, in my size, $4.  The second was a mid-calf length straight skirt, in my size, $4. The third was a mid-calf length fuller skirt, in my size, $2. 

Score!  The third skirt fit the bill—cheap enough I could mess it up, not straight so I wouldn’t be tugging on it, and my size.  Here it is:


Not cute, is it?  Yep, that is an elastic waist band you see.  But, look at those pockets.  This thing had potential!

So, how’d I do it?

1.  Wash the skirt.  Twice.  Told you I have a thing about other people’s clothes.IMG_5290

2.  After pinning up a few lengths and checking it out with a mirror, I decided I needed the skirt to be about 9 inches shorter.  Figuring a 1/2 inch hem, I chopped off about 8 1/2 inches.  Since my skirt had a little curve to the hem, I was careful to measure up 8 1/2 inches from the hem and draw my cutting line.  Just cutting straight across would have cause the skirt to hike up in various places along the hem.IMG_5291

3.  I decided to serge the bottom edge of my skirt.  Just ‘cause I don’t like ravels and such.  If you don’t have a serger and you wanted to finish that raw edge, you could use an overcast stitch along the edge, zig zag along the edge, or just cut it with pinking shears.IMG_5293

4.  I pressed up my hem.  Basically, I folded up 1/4 inch (the width of my serged edge) and then folded it again another 1/4 inch.  I made a narrow hem because the skirt is so full.  Had this been a straight skirt, I probably would have used a deeper (1 to 1 1/2 inch) hem.IMG_5296

5.  I stitched my hem in place with a straight stitch.  I chose to use a yellow thread that matched the top stitching on the rest of the skirt.IMG_5297

6.  All done!  I paired it with some cute flats and a wide belt to hide the elastic waistband. 


Having now worn it for a day, I can assure you, it was wonderful to not have tug on my skirt all day.  And those pockets—worth every penny of my $2!


Pattern Choices for my spring wardrobe—a few anyway

It looks like the weather is going to get cold and yucky again.
That’s okay.
I can still plan for spring.
For this:
I think I’ll aim to make:
  • a pair of skinny capris
  • a pair of shorts
  • a white shirt
  • a boat neck tee
  • and a little black dress.
These two patterns have made their way to the top of my sewing table.
I love the sleeveless version of this dress. 
I will have to figure out the size though, as this one is a mite too small.
I will try these pants, and I may try the top too.
For my shorts, I’m leaning toward this pattern
I’ve seen it made up into really cute shorts.
I’m still looking for a boat-neck tee pattern and maybe a pattern for the white top. 
Now, what about those fabrics………

Fall Mini-Wardrobe

Orange you glad it’s fall:

I promised you a mini-wardrobe using these great fabrics:

Well, here it is. (In bits and pieces.)

Dress (Butterick 5259) + Turtleneck (Vogue 7799)

Turtleneck + Black Pants (Butterick 5259)

Great Orange Coat (Vogue 1068)

Plus, I could do:

Black Pants + Orange Coat

Dress alone

Dress + Orange Coat

I’ll be adding or updating reviews on PR this morning. As for old posts, these links take you to the coat, the lining, and the typo in the pattern.