adult's clothing · capsule wardrobe · sewing

Warm Weather Work Wardrobe

A couple of months ago I spend a week working interstate – where it was warm.  Since I have put on weight over the past year, I thought that it would be nice to have some new clothes that fitted me.  And then I embarked on a weekend of sewing.

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe

I started with two pairs of Style Arc Barb pants, in Style Arc bengaline. This is a woven with loads of stretch, and I’ve sewn them before. This meant that the pattern was already altered to fit me lengthwise and so these were cut out and sewn very quickly.  They are a great mid-weight for wearing in air-conditioned buildings. I have a dim memory that one of the colours is “Nutmeg” and the other “Tobacco”. Don’t quote me though.


I then shopped the stash for knit fabrics that would coordinate with the pants.  Because I was aiming to sew a number of garments, I selected patterns that I had used before and that had a small number of pieces.  I started with the Style Arc Ginger top.

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe


The fabric is a stable John Kaldor knit that originally came from my mum’s stash – so I suspect that it could date back to the 1980s?  Mum, did you buy this at Naughton’s back in the day?  It coordinated perfectly with both pairs of pants, and contained tiny dots of other brighter colours.

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe

I sewed it in size 12, and feel that this top is a great summer style for me. I will definitely be using this pattern again. The next top on the agenda was the In House Patterns Kimono tee.

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe


I used scraps of a viscose/spandex knit from Tessuti for the body of the top, with scraps of bengaline left over from one of the pairs of pants for the yoke and neck band. I did have to do some judicious fabric piecing to have enough of the viscose, and only just managed to squeeze it all out.

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe

Since the yoke and neck band were from the same bengaline as one of the pairs of pants, this top coordinated beautifully!  Next on the agenda was a Style Arc Maris top.

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe


Last time that I sewed this top I used linen. This time I used printed knit scraps for the yoke and lower band, and Style Arc jersey for the body. So fast to sew!

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe

The fourth top on the list was the Iconic Patterns Yalta top (I think it’s currently being redeveloped?).

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe

I used a viscose/spandex knit that was a generous gift from a friend Sue. There is a lot to like about this top. The cowl sits beautifully, the extended shoulder line makes it work appropriate, and the drawstring that gathers the bottom into a circle at one side is really pretty.

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe

The draping really works nicely on my pot-bellied, thick waisted figure. It’s also very comfortable. Nothing clings, yet I’m not swamped in fabric. The top is cut on the bias, even though it’s in a knit. It all works really well.

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe

So that was two pairs of pants and four coordinating tops. Then I started to get concerned about air-conditioning making me cold. So it was back to the fabric and pattern stash I went! I found two solids that I thought would work well for simple cardi-jackets.

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe

This is a fairly thin crepe type of knit and I have no concrete memory of where I bought it. I used Simplicity 1945 (possibly OOP) for the cardi. This cardi worked well over the Ginger and Maris tops.


Lastly, a simple cardi using Kwik Sew 3819 in a cotton/spandex knit from Super Cheap Fabrics. It went nicely with the Yalta top and the In house Patterns Kimono tee.

Warm Weather Work Capsule Wardrobe


I packed two pairs of shoes, a few accessories, and fitted everything into a carry-on suitcase. I also managed my pyjamas, toiletries and a couple of knit dresses to wear for dinner in the evening. This was during Me Made May, so I took selfies in the disabled/unisex loo each day.

Me Made May 2016

Me Made May 2016

Me Made May 2016

Me Made May 2016

It was surprisingly enjoyable and relaxing making this little capsule wardrobe.  Because I chose patterns that I’d used before, that all had minimal pieces and only simple details, it was very fast to sew them all.  Because they were all knits or stretch wovens almost all assembly was done on the overlocker, and I used the machine for hems.  I also liked the process of auditioning patterns and fabrics. Usually I make “one-off” outfits rather than focusing on coordinates, so this was a pleasant change.  Now these clothes all wait until Spring when it will be warm enough for me to wear them again.



30 thoughts on “Warm Weather Work Wardrobe

  1. So happy to see the Barb pants, I have the pattern but haven’t tried it yet. You made me add three more Style Arc patterns to my wish list! I think it brings the total to 11 and Im not counting the four I already have. I really like how you pieced together the fabric for that top…just masterful!

  2. I am in awe as it takes me so long to decide which fabric with which pattern! Do you have any recommendations for what to do with a metre of a very good quality interlock with a very bold pattern?

  3. Omg I am so impressed! All looks great especially the cardis which I love. And you’ve done a fantastic job with coordinating the fabrics…….. And in such a short time? My favourite fabric is the one from your mums stash. I’m sure the week away working was so much more productive in new gear…….one always works better if they look good. Jane

  4. That’s a fabulous co-ordinated wardrobe. I love the tops, it’s given me a few ideas and I’m off to buy a couple of the patterns now, so thanks!

  5. I love all of the outfits and the lovely photos are a superb conclusion to a wonderful post with great information. you are an inspiration!
    linda in Melbourne.

  6. Wow, I am impressed! The Barb pants are very flattering on you. What a great collection, and I can’t believe you completed all those pieces in a week (without getting distracted like I would). You inspire me! Thanks!

  7. O for the days of John Kaldor in the 80’s.I had the same colourway in a wavy stripe. My most favourite outfit. We used to get his fabrics from Silk & Textile factory shop in Hobart for a pittance.

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