I should preface this post by noting that what is “frosting” in my closet may be cake in yours. My cake is jeans, t-shirts and sweaters/sweatshirts. I live a simple life and anything outside this small box is outside my comfort zone, aka “frosting”. You may need to get to ball gown status before entering frosting territory and that’s okay! We all live different lives, we are all different people.
I sewed up this Closet Case Kalle Shirt for the Seattle Frocktails event in October. I wanted something to wear with my Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes I had made at the end of the summer, but had yet to wear. After poking around at all my choices I landed on this amazing Japanese Linen. Anything with a watercolor print is usually an immediate yes from me, plus the color was perfect.
The Winslow’s are definitely fancy for my lifestyle. I sewed them up in this great bottom weight Tencel Twill that was perfect for giving the culottes a great drape and flow without adding too much bulk to my waist. I followed Helen’s hack to turn them into fully elastic waisted pants (hello, secret pajamas) and ended up trimming off 4” from the width of each leg to get the silhouette I wanted.
For the Kalle, I did a couple of muslins before I cut into the linen. I ended up doing several adjustments, including following Closet Case’s tutorial for doing a dartless FBA, so I’m glad I spent the time muslining before cutting into my treasured Japanese linen.
I fully expected the Kalle to be frosting. Fancy linen? Frosting. Cropped top? Frosting. Can only wear with certain bottoms because I’m not a “Hey world, here’s my stomach!” type person? Definitely frosting. But then I looked at my closet…
Without consciously meaning to, over the past year I’ve been sewing a capsule wardrobe. I’m sure a lot of us end up doing this when we sew mostly cake. I sew things I want to wear, and I buy fabrics in colors and fibers I love. This ends up making practical and fairly cohesive outfits. What surprised me about my new cropped addition, was how it bridged the gap for so many things.
The texture and structure of the linen paired with the shine and drape of the tencel twill makes for a nice, sophisticated outfit for an event or a night out to a nice dinner. The hand sewn snaps as the closures keeps the whole look simple and streamlined.
Switch up the pants to a pair of high-waisted khaki pants and a cardigan, and this is a very appropriate outfit for a day at work (my work at least!). The pants and the cardi in the photo are RTW, but will be replaced with handmade when they need to be retired. Maybe the new Papercut Patterns Fjord Cardi? (Those pockets!) Any high-waisted pant would work, but I think the True Bias Landers would be a great choice.
Another effortless outfit I could make is this edgier, party look. I’m not much of a partier, but I do love live music, so going to a pub to listen to a band no one has heard of is just up my alley. Swap the cardigan for a leather jacket, shimmy into some black skinny jeans and toss on some great boots and I’m ready to go! Again, pants and jacket are RTW but the Closet Case Gingers are definitely right choice here. I treasure this jacket, but a cropped Grainline Tamarak or Style Arc Ziggi Jacket in a faux leather would give the same vibe!
This is what a capsule wardrobe should feel like! Change up one or two items, change your shoes and throw on a necklace and you’re dressed for a completely different situation. A capsule wardrobe always seemed like so much planning and self-discipline that I never tried it, but stumbling into this one changed my mind. I want to sew more pieces like this Kalle—something a little out of my comfort zone that as a pop of spice to my everyday wardrobe! I expected to only wear this piece to the few special events I go to a year, but find it seamlessly (ha! See what I did there?) slips into my more everyday life and events. An effortless frosting and cake mash up!
** I use the terms “frosting” and “cake” way too many times in this post, (sorry!) but if this happens to be the first time you’ve heard of these terms in relation to sewing, check out these posts. These sewing terms were originated by Tasia (founder of Sewaholic). There is currently much discussion and even a #sewfrosting challenge happening right now! Check out the hosts of the challenge Heather of Closet Case Patterns and Kelli of True Bias for more details. We (Style Maker Fabrics) are one of the sponsors for the Couture Award!