the Everyday Wardrobe

I’ve been playing around with knits a whole bunch lately. After my swimsuit, I think I finally realized that knits are a) really easy to sew and b) incredibly forgiving especially as concerns fit. Not only that, but knits are so easy to wear and move around in. I’m so in love with them. I’ve started to hoard knits like they are going out of style now and I’m very excited at the prospect of making pieces that look fabulous and make me feel like I’m wearing pyjamas. Working with knits has really had me analyzing the state of my wardrobe too. This summer, the thing I turned to wearing the most were shorts and t-shirts and I don’t have many t-shirts or shorts, readers. I love the idea of always looking glamorous and stopping traffic, but in reality, my life is not glamorous and I have much less occasion to wear upscale clothing. Yet, this is what I tend to gravitate to when I’m thinking up a new project to make. So, on the off chance that I have a fabulous evening out with the mister to some upscale event – those are few and far between, mind you – I have nothing to wear in the everyday and I’m tired of it.

Still, this does not stop my desire to want to look chic and amazing in the everyday. No more going to the grocery store in sweats or half baked pyjamas! I’ve decided to start a movement. That’s right. A bona fide movement. It’s going to start with me being real with myself. I’m going to create an everyday wardrobe that has the ability to look amazing and flattering, yet also gives me free range of motion and the comfort I need to wear this wardrobe on an everyday level. In addition, I’m planning to spread this desire on to you. I’ll be posting tutorials, giving tips and tricks, selecting, testing and rating sewing patterns and fabrics and interviewing the sewing community about this topic. We’re going to have a lot of fun and we’re going to learn together, how to make and create an everyday wardrobe.

So, if you too, are tired of slaving away making evening gowns and dresses with boned bodices and glamorous clothing that never gets worn, join me. The Everyday Wardrobe is about building that wardrobe that you can wear every. single. day. And feel good in, look good in and still move in. Are you with me here?

If you can bring yourself to believe it, I’ve already started this journey and I have a strategic plan on how it works and I’m seriously excited to share it with you. So excited I can barely breathe! Yay! So here’s to the fall season ahead and a wearable, everyday wardrobe hereafter!



104 thoughts on “the Everyday Wardrobe

  1. OMG. I am so in. I work from home & have a toddler, so my daily outfit consists of raggedy cut-offs and stretched out t-shirts. Not cute 😦 I have a bunch of fabric ready to sew some Kelly skirts as soon as I have time, and I’d love to see what you (and others) come up with. Exciting!

  2. I’m so with you! This is why I started sewing – for everyday clothing (well, mostly work). I recently started sewing with knits and I love it too. It’s so comfortable and that’s important to me. Please take a look at the dresses I’ve made so far on my blog. I definitely want to test and rate more patterns also.

  3. Yay Sunni! I just watched the Craftsy sewing with knits video. I made 3 t shirts and 1 pair of yoga pants last week. So forgiving and so much nicer than store-bought. I’m with you! Kate

  4. this is a great idea! my next 2 projects are knit kirsten kimono tees from mariadenmark’s pattern and i am really looking forward to getting to grips with something as simple as a tshirt (much as i love my dresses!)

  5. I’ve just discovered sewing knits and figured out why my mum was such a knit sewing nerd when I was a kid LOL why don’t we even listen to our mums??
    Great idea Sunni!

  6. I am so in! I have been thinking about this a lots lately, and about what defines my style. I dream of a handmade wardrobe that makes me feel likes million dollars, whatever the clothes I choose, but that is still comfy and practical. I am definetely embarking on this journey with you! This is going to be epic! ( and hopefully largely improve my wardrobe hihi)

  7. I totally get itβ€”I had this same epiphany a few years ago. I almost never wear skirts/dresses, so almost never sew them. I usually make one fancy dress a year that I can wear to whatever wedding I inevitably need to go to each summer. And yes, knits are great. I can’t wait to see what you sew up next, and all the information you will impart. I’ve stalled out in my sewing recently because of holidays and UFOs, so I will treat your new direction as a sew-along on a grand scale and get moving on all of the many many many… many every-day wardrobe sewing projects I have in the cue. Are you planning a wardrobe (SWAP) like Hungry Zombie couture (, or just picking things that inspire you to start off with? I admit that I can’t think that far ahead, and to keep sewing from turning into a chore, I keep it mostly to inspired projects.

    1. It is very similar, but on a much smaller scale and utilizing what’s already in your closet. My biggest problem I think is that I have several great pieces, but I have nothing that goes with them and thinking on such a huge level like Hungry Zombie would have me defeated before I even started – which is not to say that I don’t think her plan is fabulous because it is! I just can’t do that – well at least not yet!

  8. Well, I just love this new project. I’ve been sewing for about 45 years, and for some reason I stopped sewing knits about 15 years ago. Why? You’ve just reminded me that I have a wonderful stack of vintage Stretch-and-Sew patterns from the 80’s. I used to make those all the time with never a hitch, without a serger, mind you. I’m now a grandmother, and I spend most of my time in casual clothes. Time to take my faded, raggedy wardrobe up a couple of notches (or maybe more). Thanks, I’m in with you.

  9. Me too. This does not mean I will stop making retro-dresses and maybe a Rococo-stay (or corset in modern lingo) which is what I started sewing for. But I want a nice, wearable everyday wardrobe without shopping in places where everone shops and where I don’t get the “everyday but totally me and somehow special” that I want anyway. And I definitely need some nice knit shirts, too.

    1. I’ll still be utilizing much of my wardrobe in the process, but I think you’ll find a variety of makes for all different types and levels of style and comfort. Yay!

  10. Count me in as well!!! While I have not made any evening gowns to date, I have made a variety of things that are somehow not practical or easy for me to wear in everyday life (particularly since biking is my main mode of transportation – – sadly, all of those sexy pencil skirts I made just don’t work on a bike).

  11. Colour me excited! In the past couple months I’ve been sewing with knits almost as much as with wovens. I’ve also got about 4 yards of this kitschy nineties-print knit that was on mega-sale, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect inspiration.

  12. Looking forward to your new endeavor! I’ve been afraid of knits, too. In a couple months, I’ll be a nursing mother, so knits would be terrific to have. Your gray surplice top just came to mind. I think that would be a great nursing blouse with style. I’ll have to look that over!

  13. Yes!!! This makes me so excited! I am SO all about sewing for your everyday wardrobe, I haven’t sewn a fancy dress since, well the wedding dresses I was hired to do, but for myself it’s been about 7 years. Why? Because I don’t wear them EVER! My new goal is to also start working with knits a bit more so go team knit. I can’t wait to see how this series unfolds, for real so excited!!

    1. I couldn’t agree more! Things I’ve made have just hung in the closet gathering more dust as I constantly reach for the same ratty stuff to wear on an everyday level. So tired of it! All going to change! Yay!

  14. Great, great, idea. I have been feeling this, as well. I have been trying to learn more about knits and lingerie sewing. I really don’t “need” alot of fancy dresses, but I do need t-shirts, casual pants and underwear! I have been trying to simplify my life and making more clothes that have limited use is not a viable part of that plan. I can’t wait!

  15. Fabulous idea! I love reading posts about making complicated clothing, but I’m happiest wearing jeans and a t-shirt. (Ah, the benefits of being a freelancer.) But there is a big difference in wearing t-shirts that fit and those that don’t. Knit fabric as a limited ability to compensate for a poor cut. I’m looking forward to your series.

  16. I totally need an everyday wardrobe that’s flattering, restricting (movement wise ha), and machine washable! SO EXCITED for what you’ll share; you’ve got great taste!

  17. I’m definitely in! I’ve sort of started doing this already, but you sound like you have a much more structured plan and I can’t wait to hear it and follow along and be part of it!

  18. As you already know, I’m a big fan of sewing clothes that i’ll wear on an everyday basis. I can’t wait to see what you do with this plan!
    I’ve also recently “discovered” my love for knits. Right now I’m working on a ponte knit dress. Oh that fabric is heaven!

      1. Yes! A ponte knit blazer! This is exactly the project I’ve been wanting to make too! I’ve been holding out because I’m almost at the sleeve section in class and then I can use my own drafted pattern but I’m so anxious to get started.

  19. I love the idea of making the effort to sew things that will be on heavy rotation as opposed to things that are pretty but not extremely functional. I love wearing dresses, which is why I have a closet full of them and have made a few, but what I really, really need are pretty tops that I could wear with cropped pants or jeans for a casual vibe, or dress up under a skirt suit for work. I’ve been sketching at work and looking at J. Crew for inspiration on things to make, focusing on pretty tops.

    I’ll still make dresses, of course πŸ™‚

    1. “pretty but not extremely functional.” That says it all right there! I love dresses and will continue to sew them and wear them, but its time I rethought how these items work in my everyday life. Oh yes, there will be dresses, but there will be many more tops (Yay) and many more pants and versatile bottoms. Hallelujah!

  20. I love the idea of this! I have been coming to terms with the fact that 3 days a week I work from home, and don’t have a zippy night life, so lots of the times I’m wearing jeans and a tank top. Not exactly high style. I’m looking forward to get some inspiration from your journey on how I can infuse some comfy+cute+stylish into my daily wardrobe.

    1. I’m right there with ya! I work from home nearly everyday day and I feel like such a slob in jeans and tank – literally what I wear too. This journey has really really worked wonders for me already and I’m so excited to share it with you all! Yay!

  21. This is where I am at. I’ve been trying to get it together for a few years now with mixed success. Watching you for ideas and inspiration will be fun. I’ve finally started using Pinterest, and seeing all my ideas in collage form, really makes the bad ideas stand out. Fingers crossed, this is the Autumn I drop my kids off at the school gates without embarrassing them!

  22. I am *so* with you on this. I am planning a wardrobe audit – from a quick glance I would say I wear about 5-10% of my clothes. The rest no longer fit or are no longer my style. I’ve started sewing recently and I want my makes to be useful for everyday wear. Your post couldn’t have come at a better time for me!

  23. This sounds great Sunni!! I actually JUST wrote down my “to-do” list for fall/winter but this Everyday wardrobe idea sounds GREAT! I NEED knit in my life and a sweater dress is on my list BIG time!

    1. I think everyone could use a little knit in their life – I’ll still be working with lots of wovens, but I have a new love affair with all things knit!

  24. I love this idea! I’m all about making clothes that are comfortable and will be able to wear on a daily basis. I think I have done pretty well so far with a couple exceptions maybe… But I also do love the fact that sewing allows me to create garments that a) i can’t find in stores or b) i wouldn’t buy due to the price their sold in store…Meaning I probably won’t be making t-shirts and shorts any time soon as those are pieces i could for cheap…But i’m all for sewing flowy shirts and comfortable dresses (I have 3.5m of stretchy rayon waiting for the perfect dress pattern) that I can wear to work feeling both stylish and comfortable… So I’m all in!

  25. YEAH!!!!! Finally…….How many of us really need all those fancy clothes. Let’s get real
    people. Comfort with Class.

  26. I’ve been browsing your blog for some time but never commented. Seeing your post today gave me that little ‘push’ I’ve been needing. I’ve been wanting to update and add to my wardrobe and having someone else do the same at the same time will be really fun!I ‘m really looking forward to your future posts!!!

  27. I’m excited to read your thoughts and tips on this subject! For the Spring/Summer seasons I sewed multiple pieces that work together to give many different wearing options. It worked really well. I sewed fewer but higher quality garments that I got tons of wear out of. I am planning for my Fall/Winter wardrobe now.

  28. I don’t make a lot of evening gowns or boned bodice dresses, but I do wear what I make all the time. I think a lot of it is in styling — you can dress it up or dress it down. I did however go through a 3 month period of just making knits all summer when I was in my black modern fashion phase.

  29. Love this idea! I’ve always been more into making separates than dresses anyway–they just seem way more practical. And at heart, I’m really a jeans and t-shirt girl. So I’m all for joining in the movement….once I finish (or start) that wedding dress, that is!

  30. As a newbie sewist I’m very excited for this. I can only do so many pillows & totes. I hope there will be a few easy knit shirts that will actually get some use! I just found your site. so excuse me while I quietly stalk you : )

  31. this sounds like a GENIUS idea! GENIUS!!! what you described is me…EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!
    so happy for this! thank you, thank you! can’t wait to see where this journey will take me πŸ™‚

  32. This comes at a perfect time. I am trying to take a break from making the kids’ clothes and focus on my own closet for awhile. I am starting with a trip to Portland in October in hopes of a little relaxation and fabric shopping. I am surrounded by quilting stores but no place to buy apparel fabrics. I find it easier to shop online for the kids but not myself.

  33. I agree! Even working at home – everyone needs pretty shirts (and they seem to be the hardest thing to find good patterns/fabrics for)

  34. i’ve been doing the exact same thing! (mostly) i just finished work on a knit blazer that i’m super excited about! after making some shorts this summer (and them getting worn a lot!) i realized how great it is to have the everyday stuff. can’t wait to see yours!

  35. Fun! I’ve been having similar thoughts — I love to sew pretty things, but then my everyday life of bike commuting and housework and hot weather a large part of the year means I don’t wear alot of the nicer things … I’m looking forward to your thoughts inspiring my plans!!

  36. Oh. My. Goodness. Perfect! As a stay-at-home mom, I live in casual wear… BUT… I am so tired of wearing the same couple of outfits all the time. To be comfy and stylish would be a dream come true, instead of feeling like a frumpy, middle-aged housewife. While I AM middle-aged and a housewife, I’d much rather get rid of the frumpy look and feeling. I know my hubby would be grateful also LOL!!

    I have no idea of where you live – are you entering the colder seasons now? Just wondering what kinds of clothes are at the top of the list…

    1. I live in Utah and we are heading into the cooler weather, but not until the end of this month, early October – you never can tell with Utah. So fall appropriate clothes are at the top of the list right now, but its still blazing hot too. Still, this is a journey that will definitely take a long time and so expect to see all seasons in the next year!

      1. Yes, I went back and realized you are in Utah – felt silly that I had forgot that! I am your neighbor in Nevada. Hot weather definitely, but cooler weather is coming along. I am SO excited by this clothing journey!

        My only question – how soon can we start!???!?

  37. I’m with you on sewing the everyday wardrobe! Last year when I started thinking about sewing clothes for myself, it just seemed that most people sew skirts and dresses (or cute girls dresses!), and though I wear skirts and dresses, I don’t wear them frequently. And I’m a fairly active person, so all my clothes need to move and be comfy. It has only been recently that I’ve been inspired to make my clothes, since finding patterns that suit my perceived style. I do need my style to evolve, though! Look forward to following your everyday wardrobe sewing (and joining in, if I can)!

    1. I agree! I think that’s part of my problem. I will still continue to wear skirts and dresses, but I think the part that I’m missing is how to wear them in the everyday, how to pick sewing patterns that are both comfortable and my style and flattering.

  38. I agree totally, except for the fact that I have been working on knits for 4 years now and I have decided to go back to wovens. Perhaps because knits don’t fit my style or because I want linen and cotton.

    1. I’m totally into wovens – definitely will not ever stop sewing with wovens. But it feels really great to incorporate knits into my wardrobe planning and sewing too!

  39. This is a great idea and I’m really interested to read more and take part. Even though I’ve been reading yours and many other sewing blogs for a couple years, it wasn’t until this spring that I finally started sewing for myself for real (aside from a choir gown in December). And so far I have gravitated to sewing skirts and one summery maxi dress. They were great pieces that I have worn A LOT, and that is the fun right? At least for me. I am a huge fan of pretty tops and blouses and think I will enjoy sewing those, too. My only problem is a huge lack of things to wear on my bottom half hence the start with skirts, and I have many more in my queue.

    1. I think that’s totally fine. This whole movement is about whatever floats your boat and I believe that people have their own view of what is and is not comfortable. I know I have mine.

  40. Please count me in… an everyday wardrobe is what I need!

    – Different type of knit tops: short sleeved, sleeveless, long sleeved, slip etc

    This is what I’ll be working on.

  41. This is great – I have just bought a whole load of fabrics to suit my everyday wardrobe requirements so I will be joining you on this journey. I look forward to seeing your upcoming projects.

  42. Great idea! Love it! I’ve been sewing for this goal for over a year (yup, I’m slow) but it’s more of a holistic take. I’d like to sew all the cloths I feel my wardrobe is missing, which is primarily everyday wear but also a couple of fancier pieces. I made a huge list just last week, from the starting point “How would my perfect wardrobe look, based on the everyday and special situations life usually presents?”. It became a loooong list, and my plan is to clean out my closet in accordance to this list, and then sew new things, and – hopefully – have a wardrobe where I want to wear every single piece, everything fits, and the ratio workwear/dance clothes/fancy stuff/homewear etc are in proportion to my actual living situation. No more boring clothes, no more “I have nothing to wear!” while looking through an overstuffed closet.

    The fun thing about this is that the sewing gets so much more versitile! I’ll get to play around with knits, wool, silk etc, all depending on what part of the list I’m working on. My plan is to alternate, not just for example only sew workwear, and then only dance wear etc, but to make maybe a wool dress for work, a pair of cute sweats for home, a slip etc. And then start over. It’s ambitious, but I think it’s going to work a lot better than my current spur-of-the-moment approach.

    Anyway, good luck, and I’m looking forward to reading about your journey!

  43. I’m with you! This past winter has been all about merino knits for me, and I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner! Admittedly I wasn’t too adventurous, sticking to a basic top pattern that I then hacked to mix it up, so I’d be interested to see what you have to share with us all!

  44. Yes!! I have long been trying to make a more wearable wardrobe for myself! Party dresses are great and all, but why am I wearing the same pair of ill-fitting jeans and smelly t-shirt day after day? Chic and wearable. I’m on board!! Can’t wait to hear about your strategy.

  45. I think this is a common conundrum for many seamstresses, at least is is for me. I love to sew for my “imaginary life” and make nice things. But unfortunately these aren’t the items that I wear everyday. I gravitate towards jeans and t-shirts (although I am trying to get away from my jeans coma….albeit slowly). So I decided to alternate my sewing. I’ll spend a month just sewing jeans and knit shirts. Then I’ll spend the next month on that slow, tailored project. Then I’ll go back to sewing basics. When I sew my basics I use TNT patterns, so I don’t have to spend much time fitting and can be much more efficient. This is more utilitarian sewing. But when I do my nice, big projects I spend a lot of time fitting and fussing and trying new techniques.

    It really helps me to mix up my sewing a bit, and for me it is important to sew both kinds of garments. I’m excited to see what you will be sewing next, as I enjoy seeing all the projects that you make.

  46. I think this is a great idea Sunni and I’m excited to see all your posts on this. Since I started sewing I’ve been trying to keep focussed on things I know will get worn loads. Why put so much work in if you’re not going to reap the benefits, right? Plus it means I get to feel that ‘I made this’ bounce in my step more often.

  47. ~ * β™₯ * ~

    What a great idea Sunni! I love my vintage dresses, but they just aren’t practical around-the-house wear. Not because I don’t find them comfy, but more because I can’t stand the idea of ruining them ~ and if I made it myself… Gah! Don’t want to wreck all that hard work!

    But if I made some ‘dedicated’ house wear, maybe that would work. Call me crazy, but I am dying for a few pairs of vintage slacks in a nice comfy track pant knit… Can you say stylishly practical much? πŸ˜‰ But then, like I said, I might just be crazy. > U <

    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * β™₯ * ~

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  49. Yayy. Totally agree. Comfort and wearability doesn’t have to mean frumpy or lacking in style. I have recently been making big efforts to look my best for the everyday while still being dressed for the practical realities (toddler wrangling and domestic drudgery mostly, sad to say) and it makes such a difference to my overall psyche. I’ve also got stuff in my closest that I hardly wear because I need something else to make the outfit. Really looking forward to the next series of posts.

  50. late to the party here … but, what about your denim dress last winter? I recall that dress as being an excellent everyday outfit that is comfy and stylish. I do plan to copy it and sew one for myself, btw. Great concept and I sooo onboard!

  51. I just want to voice my full, appreciative support of your new every day wardrobe plan… I came to sewing because it was cheaper for me to make my clothes rather than buy them, and so I fully appreciate nice, EASY TO WEAR, sensible clothes that can be made by me in our tiny little apartment… I just discovered your blog and I look forward to watching the clothes appear in your posts!

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