Kristi McDonough from Schnitzel & Boo is here with her favorite Indie patterns for a handmade spring-to-summer wardrobe. What’s on your list? What’s your next must-sew pattern?

You can find Schnitzel & Boo on Etsy, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out Kristi’s patterns, tutorials and more at Schnitzel & Boo!

Have you heard of a “capsule wardrobe”? It seems to be the latest and greatest in the fashion world. (Depending upon who you ask and their perspective, of course.) A capsule wardrobe, according to the dictionary, is “a collection of clothes and accessories that includes only items considered to be essential.” Usually these types of wardrobes are between 24-33 pieces from jeans to blouses, necklaces and shoes, sweaters and skirts.

I can easily see the appeal of a capsule wardrobe; it’s purpose is to simplify your routine and take the stress out of getting dressed-and paying for it! I am all for that! Saving money? Not having to go shopping? Sure! But now here’s an idea… What if my capsule wardrobe was handmade? So, now I’m saving money, I don’t have to go clothes shopping and I get to sew? For me?– Heck, yes! Where do I sign up?

Spring is here with summer around the corner, so throw open those closet doors, toss out everything you don’t wear, strip it down to the bare minimum and then get started fresh with these picks featuring some of my favorite independent pattern designers.


Kate & Rose Zsalya Top & Dress: This is such a versatile pattern. You can easily make the top with short sleeves, or add embroidery to the yoke. (Kate & Rose Patterns offers some beautiful embroidery patterns that you could try.) Make this pattern out of gingham for a fresh, modern spring time look. Pair it with leggings on cooler days, and shorts when it gets warmer. You’ll definitely have to make both the top and the dress.

By Hand London Elisalex Dress: Oh my, the Elisalex… Where do I start? Short sleeves, seersucker and espadrilles for a baseball game or farmer’s market? How about sleeveless in Robert Kaufman’s metallic Essex linen, with wedges for a date? Or maybe you have a job interview and only long sleeves and chambray will do. In any version, this dress is perfect.

Meteore by Aime Comme Marie Front: I love a unique pattern, and this is definitely unique! You could make this from just about anything and the results would be stunning. White poplin sleeves and bodice, with black duchess silk for the skirt? Divine!

Or use a nice terry cloth sweatshirt fabric for the entire thing, throw it on with some cute Chuck Taylor’s and go run your errands. I have to make about fifty of these. Will that disqualify me for my capsule?


Saltbox by Blueprints for Sewing: How cute is this top? It’s just screaming for some Cotton + Steel, isn’t it? You could try making the top portion with knit and the rest with voile or lawn. It would be so comfortable, and so perfect with jeans. It’ll soon become a staple!

Gibson Blouse by Skinny Bitch, Curvy Chick: Here’s another casual date night stunner. Lawn, voile, a lovely bamboo knit? Yes, yes and yes. I will take all three!

Pants & Skirts

Manhattan Trousers by Skinny Bitch, Curvy Chick: What a nicely designed, elegant looking pair of pants. These are perfect with the Gibson Blouse! Try them in a soft pink linen, or even a large buffalo check. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Birkin Flares by Baste & Gather: Yes, you can and you SHOULD make your own jeans! Lauren at Baste & Gather has taken all the fear out of sewing jeans. Give these a try, then toss your Saltbox Top on with them and go out to dinner to celebrate!

Oceanside Pants & Shorts by Blank Slate Patterns: These are a tried and true, classic piece for a spring/summer wardrobe. These are for those days where you just keep hitting the snooze button and, when you do get up, you don’t even want to wipe the sleep from your eyes. These are so comfortable and easy to wear… Should you not have a reason to get dressed you could swap these out and still feel like you’re wearing your pajamas. Win!

A-Frame Skirt by Blue Prints For Sewing: Need a quick skirt for church or are you meeting with your parents? Try this one in lightweight denim, linen, quilting cotton, corduroy… If you can name it, you pretty much have it, right? And then top it off with the Gibson Blouse for a little retro 40’s flare.

Sallie Maxi Dress & Jumpsuit: Laundry day, meet your match! All you need is a clean pair of undies and a pair of flip flops and you’re done! In silky rayon or a soft cotton voile, the look is classic yet trendy, and very easy to wear.

So which one is your favorite and what will you make first? I think I’ll start at the top and work my way down.

Happy Sewing!