Summer 2017 Capsule Wardrobe Planning Recap – Template Included!

Capsule Prime Planning Template by Mac of Harper+Lu

If you missed it, yesterday I posted a template I have been playing around with this summer to help me to narrow in on a seasonal wardrobe for Summer.  I realized that between sewing most weekends, and buying new clothes, that I was quickly going to need a plan so that I didn’t end up with too much of either (too many handmade or RTW garments).  I’m a visual learner, so in case you are too, I thought I would demonstrate the process in this post.  Obviously, I didn’t have the template available when I created (or purchased) the clothes here, but I certainly was going for the “spirit” of maximum versatility, and am pretty happy with where I landed organically!

Capsule “Prime” Wardrobe Planning Template

First of all – you may be asking yourself (or me or our best friend Mr. Google – or “Mr. G” for short, as I’ve come to know him) – “what IS a capsule wardrobe, and WHY do I need one?”  My simplest way to describe it, is that its a garment collection built with intention around a set number of pieces – this number ranges SUBSTANTIALLY depending on source – that go together to amplify the impact of a limited set of items.  Through mixing, matching and layering pieces, you can create visual impact (and remove feeling of “I have nothing to wear” in the morning) without having to have a SPECIFIC garment for every occasion.

At the bottom of my post, I’ve included some links to some great blog posts on Capsule Wardrobe Planning (if you are interested).  I’m aiming for 17 pieces for the Fall, and hopefully will have a couple carry over from the Summer (to save me time and money).

…So, back to the template – you can grab a copy of my Capsule “Prime” Planning Template here.  It gets its name from using the first 4 prime numbers (2, 3, 5, 7) – which is just a super nerdy (and fun?) way to develop a template.  You may find that these number are just right for you (or too many/few), so I would recommend filling in the rest of the white space with additional ideas or crossing out the boxes you don’t need.

I’ve reversed engineered my summer wardrobe to give you a sense for how this might have looked, had I started with pen, paper, and a pile of clothes/fabric (don’t laugh at my sketches, y’all!):

Mac's Capsule "Prime" Template Filled out for Summer 2017
Mac’s Capsule “Prime” Template Filled out for Summer 2017

I will walk through each section below to give you a sense of what it looks like in action!


There are 7 tops in heavy rotation right now (well 8 if you could the one in my “freebies” list) and they are all handmade – YAY!  In order, they are:

  1. New Horizons Dublin Dolman (Tan cotton interlock from Jo-Ann’s)
  2. Itch to Stitch Chai Shirt (sleeveless olive linen blend from FabricMart Fabrics) blogged here
  3. Made by Rae Beatrix button back top (in monochrome printed rayon challis from FabricMart Fabrics) blogged here
  4. Hey June Union St Tee (sleeveless hack with b/w striped Knitpop DBP) blogged here
  5. Pattern Emporium Spellbound (tank top hack in nude DBP from Sly Fox Fabrics) – never blogged
  6. Hey June Union St Tee (in Mauve rayon lycra from Stitch Sew Shop – its like BUTTER) – never blogged
  7. Closet Case Files Sallie/Patterns for Pirates Favorite Tee Mash (in F/T So Sew English Print) blogged here



For bottoms, I have been wearing mostly jeans (when I’m not wearing dresses) with the 5 below in heavy rotation (admittedly I still have other pants/skirts/rompers – but this is a process, and I am sure I will continue to whittle down the list to what I want to wear most over time):

  1. Jalie Eleonore Pull On Jeans (in a denim ponte from Spandex World) blogged here
  2. Patterns for Pirates Sunshine Dress (skirt hack, SBP fabric from Sly Fox Fabrics) never blogged
  3. True Bias Hudson Pants (woven hack, in olive linen blend from FabricMart) blogged here
  4. RTW Distressed Denim Jeans (Target)
  5. RTW High Waisted White Skinnies (J. Crew)


For my freebies, I made a classic black dress, a fun tee shirt dress, and a SUPER fun stripe on stripe on floral top!

  1. Hey June Charleston (Black baby french terry from Sly Fox Fabrics) – blogged here
  2. Love Notions Laundry Day Tee (Striped fabric from Sly Fox Fabrics) – blogged here
  3. Shwin Kaleidoscope Top (Striped Floral from So Sew English and small stripes from Knitpop) – blogged here



Its Summer, I get it – no one is REALLY trying to wear too many layers (its been a cool hundred degrees-ish for the majority of the season here), but I did have two that I have gotten some wear out of and that I hope will transfer well into the spring when it’s time to break them back out (I don’t know that the vest or the scarf have enough depth of color for Fall for me, but we will see):

  1. RTW Utility Vest (Target)
  2. DIY Infinity Scarf (Rayon fabric from Sly Fox Fabrics) – tutorial blogged here


Phew – that was a LOT!  I would write more, but this is already a wordy post!  Feel free to share thoughts, questions or anything else in the comments – or write to me on facebook! I’m excited about trying this out for the Fall – and would love to have some friends join me!

Until next time,


Capsule Wardrobe Planning Links:

  • Unfancy:
  • The Blissful Mind:
  • Free Notion:

11 thoughts

  1. That’s a great template! i’ve been thinking about making a mini-capsule collection for fall (more for the blog than for real wear – it’s just a concept I want to explore!) I like your visual layout, but I’m trying to think how to reduce the number of each items! Maybe a 2, 3, 5 “prime” capsule with 2 bottoms, 3 layers, and 5 tops? (I’m in Canada, I need those layers!) Or along the math theme, I wonder if a Fibonacci sequence would give good numbers somehow? Thanks for the inspiration!


    1. Haha – you brought me back to high school with the Fibonacci reference! I love the idea of the 2-3-5 prime – it could totally work! Make sure you let me know when you post! What kinds of layers did you have in mind??


    1. Yep – a freebie is legitimately whatever you want – it can be an extra of a listed category or a new one altogether (dresses, vests, costumes? 😜) – fill it with what you like!


  2. Hullo, Thank you for the brilliant advice. I find that younger people often put things into context in a way that is helpful.

    I am older than everyone else taking part – at least I get that idea. I am just over 70!! I am planning to sew my Winter wardrobe and also clothes for my daughter. I am looking for simple patterns because I am in the middle of a diet. Any suggestions?


    1. Oh gosh – there are so many options! Perhaps something with some flowiness and drape and a more structured Cardigan over? I can give you pattern recommendations


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