Handmade Wardrobe

One of the things I want to be more intentional about this year is in developing a wardrobe that is useful, functional and that is my own personal style! I have too many clothes I don’t wear so I’ve been focusing on creating a capsule wardrobe (a smaller selection of clothes work together better) but I need a few key pieces.

What better way to create that than to make some of the pieces myself.


I don’t even know where I found this pattern. I think it might have been on eBay or Etsy.

I work in an environment where suits are the norm, or at least separates. But good suits are hard to find! I miss the days of picking up a beautiful Liz Claiborne suit from The Bay.

For a while Evan-Picone suits were a staple in my wardrobe but even those are hard to find. So when I saw this pattern, I thought, why not give making my own suit a try?

I decided to test out the skirt first. It would give me a good sense of fit and let me know whether the pattern instructions were clear and concise, or not.


As with most projects, I procrastinate the most on cutting out the pattern and the fabric pieces. Why is that??

I found this fabric in my basement. It’s a little wintery, but for some reason I have a lot of it and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that you should really test out patterns for sizing, fit and finish before cutting into the good fabric.



I love sewing darts into clothing. It gives it such a nice finish.


It’s hard to see in this dark, woven fabric but the zipper assembly was really easy. The opening is basted to hold everything in place and then the zipper is opened and basted to each side the seam allowance, and then finished with a topstitch on the right side of the fabric.

The pattern called for a hand sewn slipstitch for the skirt hem, but I decided I would use the blind stitch feature on my Janome Skyline S7 to give the same finish.


To do this, I used the Janome “G” foot attachment.


It has a little guide/marker on it.


And I set up my stitch.

Once I have my hem ironed and pinned in the desired place, the stitch and foot do all the work for me!


I’m super excited with the way this skirt turned out. I know there will be more in my future.


The zipper sits nice and flat and lines up perfectly.


I can see getting a lot of wear from this skirt pattern! Time to bring on the fancy fabrics!


Do you do any apparel sewing for yourself? What was the last piece of apparel sewing you did? Do you have a favourite item of clothing to sew?


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5 Responses to Handmade Wardrobe

  1. Chris says:

    Wow! Great work!


  2. Sherrie Johnson says:

    I am just beginning to sew for myself again. When I was younger…even through my 40’s…I sewed most of my clothes…along with our 4 childrens’ clothing. Now I’ll be 74 in a couple of months. I haven’t sewn any clothing for myself in about 20 years!!! I have 11 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren and have made lots and lots of stuff for them all. Everything from crib sheets and monogrammed blankets to nightclothes and robes and a lot of their own clothes and doll clothes and toys. I taught a sewing class at our church last week. It was very successful I might add. However, I realized I had not a single thing to show that I’d sewn! Everything I’d made the past several years was given as gifts for my family 😦 I taught the ladies how to make a lovely microwave bowl cozy. They fell in love with sewing! Some had older machines given to them from family members. Some had newer machines that they’d never really used because they didn’t know how to use them. I brought my new Janome Skyline 9 with all the accessories and they were so excited. (I also brought my serger). Thanks so very much for the encouragement here. I was just reading about capsule wardrobes a couple of weeks ago. That’s exactly what I need. I love reading all of your posts. Your photos are so helpful, too. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with all of us. It just goes to show…and old dog can learn new tricks!! Lol


  3. nunkuri says:

    I haven’t done much clothes sewing since fabric became so expensive and clothes so cheap, but I’ve recently joined a local sewing group who concentrate on garment construction, so I’ve been inspired to make clothing again. I have an MC15000 which I use mainly for embroidery and quilting, but I’m about to invest in a 6050 which will be light enough to take to our sewing group meetings. I’ve been pulling out my old patterns….but…my shape has “matured” over the years and so I’m looking at making some basic toiles to fit me properly. Thanks for this article, as it’s further inspired me to get back to garment construction.


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Nunkuri

      Well done!we are thrilled you have been inspired to get back into sewing. Here in Canada we can still buy good quality fabrics for garment sewing and, quite frankly, even if I had to pay more for a garment made by me than one bought as ready to were, I would still make my own. They fit better, are exactly the colour and style I want AND I have an enormous amount of creative fun making my clothing!!




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