Enhance Your Closet with Sew My Style 2020

Cropped image of Laela Jeyne Reed Trousers with text overlay that reads How to Enhance Your Closet with Sew My Style 2020

Sew My Style 2020 launched with the clock striking midnight on January 1st and it’s a great way to enhance your closet this year. As of today we have nearly 3,500 people subscribed and many of them are new to sewing. It’s an exciting way to get into garment sewing.

But what if you already have a full closet? How do you incorporate another 12 to 24 patterns into it?

That’s one of the few reasons most of the patterns in Sew My Style 2020 are pretty basic. Basic patterns are the basis of any wardrobe. Want to build a capsule wardrobe? Here’s a whole host of patterns to start with!

While sewing “frosting” or those super special garments once in a while is fun, it’s what you wear from day-to-day that you need more often.

Another reason for using basic patterns is that they are absolutely ripe for hacking! If a pattern is really not your style, what could you do to it to make it more so?

Curly haired brunette in shortened and narrowed Orchid dress

Hack away!

Last year when the very popular Chalk & Notch Orchid was part of the pattern line-up, I knew right away I would never wear a dress that length. But I was assigned that pattern as a leader, meaning I still had to make it.

So I hacked it 3 different ways to make it more me. They weren’t outrageous hacks, just a few minor changes. Yet they totally made the dress into something I wanted to wear.

It became my style.

There was another pattern a few years ago that I thought on first glance was ugly and so NOT my style. I’m not going to lie, I had NO love for the Named Saunio cardigan.

I was still new to sewing and I did want to learn how to make what looked like an easy blazer/cardigan. I was so green at the time, I didn’t even know what kind of adjustments I needed for my body! But that didn’t matter: the muslin became wearable and it completely turned me around on the pattern. I ended up loving it!

There are now 4 in my closet. Sometimes a pattern simply surprises you once it’s actually on your body.

But how do you take all of these new patterns and make something that fits into your existing closet? How can you create a more cohesive look instead of making one or two statement pieces?

Enhance Your Closet: Look for Holes

One way is to look at your closet and see what’s missing.

Where are the holes in your wardrobe and which of these patterns can help fill it?

Need more t-shirts? We got that!

Man in a blue hat and blue with grey accents Love Notions Game Day Tee

Want more pants? Choose from these 4: Sew House 7 Free Range Slacks (expanded sizing coming soon), Laela Jeyne Reed Trousers, Rad Patterns Long John Jammers, Made by Rae Rose Pants.

Maybe it’s a jacket you need. Don’t like buttons? Try Pona. Ready for buttons on a boxy silhouette? There’s an Ilford for that.

Need a secret pair of shorts look like a skirt? Tania can do that for you. Or just plain shorts because it’s sweltering where you are? The Rose pants above also come in a shorts option. I bet you could hack the Free Range Slacks shorts too.

Enhance Your Closet: Create a Collection

Another approach to incorporating these patterns is use the super popular “capsule wardrobe” method. And that’s possible with the #sms20 patterns! Think of it as creating your own mini collection.

If you’ve ever watched Project Runway, you know that this is the penultimate prize of the show: to create a collection that walks the runway at New York Fashion Week. The contestants have to go through 15 or so grueling weeks of challenges to get to that point, and then are only given about 2 months to do it. You get a whole 12 months!

How do you build a collection? There are so many ways to go about it! Here’s a great resource for starting a capsule wardrobe. I like to ask these questions:

  • What do you wear? This will help narrow down your pattern choices.
  • What colors do you like? This will help you create a color story.
  • What material do you like to wear? This will help decide which fabric types to use.

When I was participating in the SWAP challenge, the rules limited you to a certain number of prints and a strict color palette. Setting parameters like that is a solid way to approach it.

If I were choosing my patterns for the year, I’d concentrate on the garments I wear most. I’m a separates girl, so my collection would have a mix of tops and bottoms with a dress or two. My color palette would be bright. I need bright colors this year since I have too much black and grey in my closet. I love red and it has a surprising number of complementary colors.

Color palette consisting of 5 columns of color: maximum red, medium vermillion, blue green, medium slate blue, and pale chestnut

These all pair well with lots of neutrals for balance. Think camel, classic blue, cream, some shades of pink (and of course my existing black and grey).

Color palette consisting of 5 columns of color: maximum red, wood brown, dark cerulean, dutch white, and pastel pink

Blue is my least favorite color but it’s great in certain things. Like indigo denim. I could make the Ilford jacket, Scoop pinafore, and any of the trouser patterns in denim, depending on the weight.

We have 2 blouse options and a t-shirt currently. Here’s where I can use some color! One of the blouses can be a great print (I have so many chiffon prints in my stash), another might be a bright red.

The tee can be anything, since t-shirts are what I basically live in and I like them in all colors of the rainbow! And they will ALL go with blue jeans!

Then there are skirts and dresses. I need more “everyday” dresses and we have a few options for this too. The Gelato and Marigold patterns are both dresses or blouses. Meg from Sew Liberated hacked her Lichen into a wrap dress!

This category is where I can go with either color, print, or neutral. If I make a red Gelato blouse, maybe I’ll make a Marigold dress in the same material. And maybe another Gelato dress or a hacked Lichen in a print.

The possibilities are endless!

The thing to remember with Sew My Style is that even though it is time-based for prizes and reveals, you can sew up as many different versions of each pattern as you want whenever you want.

If one month you love both patterns and the next month you don’t like either? Make more of what you liked! I certainly won’t have time for all the patterns this year, and that’s okay! Instead I’ll concentrate on a few extras of what I need and want, and maybe surprise myself with another this pattern year, too.

How are you approaching your sewing in 2020? Are you participating in Sew My Style this year with the other 3,500 of us?

New to Sew My Style? Learn more and join in here.

Sew My Style 2020 includes these talented sewists, catch up on their #SMS20 posts:

Aaronica @ The Needle & The Bell | Leanne @ Thready For It | Ari @ Max California | Minna @ The Shapes of Fabric | Carol @ Chatterstitch | Michele @ WinMichele | Julian @ Julian Creates | Florence @ FTMom3 | Kelsey @ Seam Lined Living | Kris @ Sew Notes | Laura @ The Specky Seamstress | Samantha @ The Rural Sewist | Sarah @ Haraz Handmade | Shelby @ Handmade Shelby | Simone @ Intensely Distracted | and SMS20 Coordinator Paulette @ Petite Font

To stay up-to-date with all the #SMS20 news, pattern discounts and inspiration, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter at Sew My Style 2020.

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3 grid image of various pattern options for men and women with text overlay that reads Create a Mini Collection with Sew My Style 2020,
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