Sewing Projects

Heather’s Capsule Rome Collection

Hey y’all! Heather here to share my own personal capsule wardobe from our Rome Collection. When we’re developing patterns, I try to make everything in my size before things go to testing so I can go over the instructions one last time AND make sure everything is working, both in terms of proportion and style and actual wearability. A lot of times we’ll draft something and fall in love during the sample making process, only to find issues once the garment is actually worn in real life. Maybe a pocket isn’t as functional as we’d like, or a neckline is too wide, the sort of things you only really pick up when you’re wearing something all day. In the case of the Rome Collection, I tried to make nearly every view and option for every pattern, both to road test the designs AND create a summer wardrobe for myself.

For my capsule, I set myself a challenge and tried to only use fabrics from our stash. It means it’s not quite as cohesive as it would have been if I shopped for new fabrics, but I was excited to use stuff that had been sitting around for a while. It’s no surprise that I’m a fabric addict, and between the business and my own personal stash, it’s getting a little out of control. This year I’m going to try VERY hard not to buy new fabric and really make a dent in some of the gorgeous materials I’ve acquired over the years (so I can just make more room for fabric next year, I suppose).

We’ve been experimenting a bit with video around the studio. It turns out Amy has a total knack for video editing among her many other talents, so we made this fun video of me trying on all the outfits I made with my capsule:

Alright, let’s dig into some of the pieces I made! First up: our Cielo Top and Pietra Shorts.

The top is made from heavyweight linen leftover from a Fiona Sundress sample (this linen from The Fabric Store). I had just enough to scrape out a Cielo from it, and I love how structured it is because of the weight of the linen. The chambray was another scrap leftover from shop samples (the Kalle tunic here) and I added some contrasting topstitching details around the seams. These are my favouritest shorts and I’ve been wearing them a lot since it got steamy here in Montreal. Both of these patterns are great for those 1-1.5 yard pieces you may have kicking around the stash since they don’t take a lot of fabric.

Next up is another Cielo top, again in a fairly heavyweight white linen. This was another scrap from the stash but I don’t remember its provenance. The Fiore skirt is a pretty cotton/rayon blend I’ve had foreverrrrr. I think it came in one of the lots of vintage fabric I scored when I first started sewing. It felt so good to use something that’s been sitting on a shelf for almost a decade!

Party pants! Is there anything better? These are the slim-legged Pietra Pants in a bold floral rayon. I got this fabric from a wholesaler years ago and never had the right project for it. I’m not generally a huge floral person, but I love this modern print. I brought these to the UK on my trip last week and wore them multiple times; they don’t wrinkle at all which is great when you’re living out of a tiny suitcase.

This was the first Cielo Dress I made myself. The final dress is a bit shorter – again one of those little changes we made while road testing. This is a lightweight linen/rayon blend from Blackbird Fabrics I bought last year. It’s the perfect “it’s so hot I could die” summer dress.

Another Fiore skirt, the asymmetrical wrap in an upholstery weight linen I’ve had for years. We loved this so much we basically made the exact same thing for our model Sheenah when we shot the final collection. I knew we had a winner on our hands when I wore this to Susan Khalje’s couture class in March. All the couture obsessed ladies I was with loved it, which made me feel great considering this was designed as a more beginner-friendly pattern.

Another Cielo dress, this time in a beautifully embroidered rayon. This was the only “new” fabric I bought for my capsule. We needed to test some changes to the dress and didn’t have enough yardage of anything so I picked this up from my wholesaler. I made it in sewing panic before we went to testing so it’s not as meticulously sewn as I would like, but you can’t win em all.

Another pair of slim Pietras, this time in a linen blend from Blackbird last year. This was the first pair of wearable Pietras I made; I ended up taking the leg in quite a bit after wearing them from a few days, which was a change reflected in the final pattern. Another summer favourite; they are so light and breezy!

These are two of my absolute favorite pieces from my capsule. I had juuuust enough of this beautiful Workroom Social rayon challis to eke out a Cielo with full sleeves and the Pietra shorts. I love this as a matching set – it kinda looks like a fun jumpsuit and I think the volume of the sleeves is nicely balanced by the shorts. I didn’t have enough fabric to do the inner cuffs as well, so used a scrap of another rayon we had in our scrap box and I’m obsessed with the contrast. Such a fun little detail I highly suggest trying if you make up this version of the top!

The only thing we didn’t shoot was a wider version of Pietra. I made a great pair in this camo print cotton but we tore them apart when we were refining the leg shape and I have to put them back together again. I think they’ll be great for early fall, and I’ll try and get some pictures once they’ve been fixed. I also haven’t had a chance to make the dress with the full sleeves, but hopefully get around to doing that later this year. I’d love to make it in some of the gorgeous silk prints i have languishing in the stash. That said, I’m pretty thrilled with my capsule wardrobe – I haven’t felt compelled to sew too many other things this summer since I’m feeling quite covered in the clothing department.

Have you ever made a capsule wardrobe before?