• Tara Deighton

Sewing My Dream Wardrobe ~ A Winter Capsule Collection

I recently took some time off with the aim that I would read books in coffee shops and pretend to be on holiday. However, when I went to dress myself for my coffee date with my current read, I was totally uninspired by my wardrobe's offerings. So I decided to raid my fabric and pattern stash and get sewing a couple of pieces for a new outfit.

I got rather carried away and ended up with more of a capsule collection than just the 1 outfit and I have to say, I'm very pleased with the outcome!

I chose patterns that I've made before to keep the production process as smooth as possible. I didn't have time to toile and do lots of adjustments as I wanted to make up the garments well but fast. Sometimes you just want to sew and go, you know?!

I already had the black cord 1940's trousers and wanted to make a plain blouse to match. This 1940's blouse from Simplicity is a favourite and I think I need to make a few more in other colours although I would like to make the sleeve a little more fabulous.

The blouse also matched the lovely wool tweed circle skirt I made using my own Circle Skirt Guide. I live in my circle skirts and it's always a good idea to simply replicate your most worn garment in other colours and/or fabrics to keep your wardrobe interesting.

The other blouse I made was this rather brilliant vintage Style pattern that I picked up for pennies in a charity shop. It was the only pattern that I hadn't tried out before but because I have developed a whole measurement system which I have been teaching in small workshops locally, a lot of the risk is removed. The fabric is a vintage cotton, probably from the 1940's and how epic are the sleeves?! I absolutely love this one! And, of course, I will have to make more, but I think I'm going to alter the collar to make it more Peter Pan than Superfly!

The skirt is my Dita Skirt and you can find the video tutorial for this on YouTube . This skirt is especially flattering if you have tummy that is tummylicious like mine!

I had some of the black jumbo cord leftover from making my 1940's trousers and knew I wanted to make another waistcoat. I've had this pattern for years and the original size I cut no longer fits so I had already pattern cut a copy in my size. It's a quick and very satisfying make and I love the fit. A really good tip for when you're using a solid colour palette is to vary the textures of the fabrics you use. This creates depth and interest and simply elevates your outfits significantly.

I accessorised my accidental capsule collection with my ruffle clutch bag and Hildy Bow Tie, both have full video tutorials here. And I've been making these little mushroom brooches as a workshop and this one in silk and Swarovski crystal beads matches so perfectly with my outfits! And you know, mushrooms are MAGIC!

I gave myself a strict time frame within which to sew and a few things fell by the wayside. I had wanted to sew up a Greta dress for myself in this glorious leopard print, but ran out of time. I styled it as a blouse {but with the intention of completing the dress later!} and found I loved it so made the decision to leave it as a blouse and use the skirt panels to make one of my Calypso skirts and that way I'd have a Co ~ Ord set, worn together a dress, or separately in other outfits. Sometimes when things go a little wrong, they're actually going a little more right!

I accessorised my collection, which I've named 'The Evil Librarian', with accents of pearl jewels and my 1940's style suede peep toe platforms or my 'rebellious' brogues. I made a whole video about My Week of Selfish Sewing if you'd like to see the Evil Librarian in action!

I'm just thrilled with my new pieces and how they've come together. It felt like such a treat sewing for myself, using treasured fabrics and favourite patterns from my stash. I will definitely be sewing this way again in the not too distant future!


I'm off to punish people being naughty in my Library! Whatever you do this weekend, I hope it's fun!


Tara x


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