For a year and a half in grad school, I cataloged my university’s art collection. The school was one of the first colleges to have a study abroad experience, and for years had a program in Florence, Italy. Seeing all the beautiful pieces of art in the university’s collection that showed Florence or the area had me dying to visit! When the chance to go to Italy for ten days with some family friends arose, it was an absolute YES from me. Now the only thing to do was to sew the perfect wardrobe — and that’s where JOANN came in!
*this post was sponsored by JOANN. the experience and my words are my own!*
A Capsule Wardrobe for Italy
This is my first post as a brand ambassador for JOANN, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. For the next few months I’ll be sharing one project every month that’s been sponsored by them. Thanks, JOANN!
When thinking about what I wanted to wear in Italy, there were a couple of things I really wanted to focus on. One: the fabric had to be light and breathable. Two: the clothing had to be easy to chase kids in. Three: the outfits had to be versatile and relatively modest. I think we’re going to the Vatican Museum and maybe some sightseeing beyond that. It’s important to me to feel comfortable and respectful if we end up in a church or something.
So what did I end up with? A lot of linen, and a lot of flow! Taking these photos, I felt very Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday,” so I guess I nailed the Italy aesthetic. My little capsule wardrobe has two skirts, four tops, a dress, and pajamas. Let me show them off!
My Capsule Wardrobe
I started out with two button-front midi skirts. The inspiration was equal parts vintage appeal and the desire to make basically anything that replicates Madewell. I used the midi skirt tutorial from Merrick’s Art as the base for mine. I’m thinking the elastic will be key for all the pasta I plan to eat. Her instructions are a little lacking in the waist steps, though, so I kind of winged it. Would people be interested in a tutorial for that? If you’re not in the mood to hack, this New Look pattern is a pretty close dupe.
My green skirt is this linen, and the rust one is this linen. The green is heavier than the rust, which made it harder to gather and a little poofier, plus it’s more green than olive. But, I think it’ll be a little more wrinkle-resistant which is nice! The rust color is a lighter weight, and they’re both super gorgeous. My buttons are a shell style (like these, but smaller and in a packet), and they were the perfect choice. They look organic, which works so well with the linen.
I made two styles of tops for my capsule wardrobe. First up were two Ogden camis. I love the Ogden — it’s lightweight and easy to style. I left out the lining on both and bias bound the edges. It was so fiddly, but it’s worth it to not deal with another layer! My Ogdens are both a size 4. You can’t see, but I did add three inches to the length, #sewingtall folks.
The other two tops are both New Look 6434. I wanted a shell-style top that would cover my shoulders. They’re both View A without the sleeves (or View C without the ruffle, I guess), and I’m really pleased with them. I made a size 14 with no fit adjustments, and bias bound the neckline and armholes. They’re super cute, and they’ll do double-duty as a work blouse.
The black linen is this one, and is the same style as the green linen above — so, a little heavier. The cream linen is the same as the rust linen. The color of the that linen seems more like a mix of the white and ivory colors on the website. I really like it, but if you’re looking for a true white, ivory, or cream, I recommend you view the fabric in person.
Yes, I made another pair of Carolyn pajamas! Since I just wrote a big post about my flannel Carolyns, I won’t spend a ton of time on these right now (maybe another day). But they are EXACTLY as I envisioned them! The fabric is a natural linen (same weight as the rust and the white), and I finally bit the bullet and tried my hand at piping. Way easier than I expected! I also used Allie’s tutorial to draft a back neck facing. They feel so 1950s-masculine chic, and I’m in love. I may end up adding some embroidered details to these, too.
I kind of feel like this dress is my piece de resistance. It’s one of McCall’s newer patterns for the summer, and it’s seriously adorable! Since I made some substantial adjustments, I’m going to be spending a whole blog post on it next week. But here are some details to pique your interest!
The linen is the same creamy/white-ish linen from above. The pattern actually calls for a lining, but I skipped it and bias bound everything. As long as I’m wearing neutral colored undergarments, I’m not too worried about anything peeking through.
My favorite detail is definitely the back. I must have a thing for tie back dresses! I love that this one covered the back of my bra with no adjustments or special straps. How often does that happen?!
My little capsule wardrobe has eight skirt/top combinations, an adorable “night out” dress, and some cozy jammies. I’ll throw in a sweater or two, and I’ll wear jeans and a tee on the plane, but otherwise I’m ready to go! I’m so excited to test out my capsule wardrobe and to eat my way through Italy with my friends! Check back next week for a detailed post on my McCalls dress, plus a tutorial on how I softened the linen without having to wash it a million times.