Spring Break - Sewing a Capsule Wardrobe

Planning, sewing, packing and styling a spring break capsule wardrobe

Heading off to a sunny clime for Spring Break?  There’s nothing more enjoyable for a sewist than planning and sewing something new to take on your trip! Science tells us it’s the planning and anticipation that makes us happy, so let’s get really happy and plan AND sew a spring break capsule wardrobe.

We selected 11 pieces that we knew we needed for our trip:

Each of these pieces can be worn mixed and matched with the other and it all fits in a small carryon suitcase. Add a pair of luxe sneakers, a pair of flip flops and a pair of dressy sandals and you're all set!

Top row: Pleat Front Dress, Perfect Pant Wide Leg with Keyhole Top #1010 (tunic length, no keyhole, reversible), Keyhole top again, with keyhole but left open, reverse side of tunic-length keyhole top and shorts from H&M, hat from Sunday Afternoons.

Second row: Keyhole top, shorts.  Tankini (Kwik Sew) with Swing Jacket lengthened to long cardigan, Hat from Pantropic, Three Tees cap sleeve tee, long swing cardi, shorts. 

Third row: wide leg linen pants from Taper & Wide Leg Pants (made in a woven, with tucks at the hem), swimsuit and swing cardi.  Rash guard/swim tee made from Travel Trio Three Raglan Tee, and swimsuit (Lands' End.) 


Sew a Reversible hoodie jacket

Sew a reversible hoodie jacket with the Travel Trio Two sewing pattern

This hoodie is a perfect cozy layer for travel, work or cozying up at home. Double-layered reversible hoodie has a flyaway front with a single-button neck closure, no topstitching required, easy to construct with options to make it long, short or as a sleeveless vest. It’s dressy enough to wear to work with the Ruched Pencil Skirt, A-line skirt, knee-length or midi slim wrap skirt or the Perfect Pants Classic Wide leg pants as an easy ‘suit’ option.



March 4-10

Order the pattern here, get your fabric and cut your size as per the Perfect Sizing Worksheet and the pattern envelope. We recommend rayon/lycra or ITY stretch Lycra. You want a drapey fabric that is not too heavy to make this reversible hoodie. It’s very important both sides / fabrics are the same stretch/recovery and hand or feel, for best results. Print and solid pair well together, as do coordinating prints and stripes. See below for instructions on how the sew along works.

Stretch ruler: download and print one here (with instructions on how to use it.)

Calculate your size:  Download the Perfect Sizing Worksheet™ (paper PDF) or


March 4, 2018:

We cover how the sew along works, how to select the size for your hoodie, how to pair up the best fabrics for the best results for your reversible hoodie jacket.

March 11-18

Sew the Hoodie bodies – you’ll sew the hoodie's body - front, back, sleeves and hood for each 'side' of the hoodie.

In this video, we show you how to sew the body of the hoodie together. We'll have already sewn one side of the hoodie, so if you are following along, go ahead and watch, then sew your two hoodie 'sides' together. 

We’ll sew it together right on video! There are zero hem finishes to this hoodie, and we’ll tackle the easy side seam pull-through method.

Here's the entire hoodie sew along - you can actually sew your hoodie along with us, in this 52-minute video. Gather up your cut-out hoodies and sew with us!

After our hoodie sew along video, here's the finished hoodie!:


March 19-26

Style and modify your hoodie:

We’ll show you how to style the standard hoodie, how to modify it for a long hoodie or a reversible hoodie vest or long hoodie vest. Make one right out of the envelope and then make more, modifying the hoodie to suit climate and lifestyle.


How it works: 

Join the Christine Jonson Patterns Facebook Group

Join the event in the pinned post to participate and see group posts

Sew your hoodie at home on your schedule, following along with videos that will be added to this blog post or LIVE on our Facebook page.

Post on the group with questions or progress photos

Post your finished photos when done!


Travel Trio Two 331
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20% off discount code available from February 12 - March 31, 2018. Get yours by joining the Christine Jonson Sewing Circle on Facebook!

Long swing cardigan with Venetian lace trim: Sewing Pattern Hacks

I saw this Venetian lace trim at the Boho Fabrics.com Instagram feed and knew I had to have it! The collection also showed a blue and white stripe rayon lycra knit and I thought the two of these together would be perfect for a long cardigan.

I chose the Christine Jonson Swing Jacket - this jacket is loose fitting, but the swing starts below the bust so it doesn't overwhelm your upper body. I lengthened this six inches as I show in the diagram photos below. Otherwise I sewed the pattern exactly out of the envelope, omitting the shoulder pads (it's not needed, and the relaxed shoulder line is in style right now.) 

Let's look at this pattern in detail - the original pattern is a slightly above-the-knee swing jacket designed for sweater or draped stretch knits. I wanted the cardigan to come to knee length or below with the 5" Venetian Lace trim. 

First, I planned out my pattern and fabric: 

Christine Jonson Patterns Swing Cardigan Jacket With Fringe Pattern Hack

Then, I modified the pattern by cutting it on the lengthen / shorten line. I determined the length by measuring from my back neck to the back of my knees (with help), at 36". I knew the fringe would hang down even lower.  I made this edit to both the front and back pattern pieces, with 6" between the cut of the lengthen/shorten line.

Christine Jonson Patterns Long Swing Cardi Sewing Pattern Hack

In the image above, you can see that I've not only lowered the pattern on the lengthen/shorten line, but I had to continue the swing on the bottom section as it would not line up. The notch on the outside right, is actually for the pocket, which you will want to omit in this very draped fabric. It hung and distorted the cardigan quite a lot.

Long swing cardigan Christine Jonson Patterns

This is an easy and satisfying project that really has a wow factor. 

The Venetian Lace Trim is super easy to sew on. I simply edge-serged the bottom of the cardigan and placed the lace trim on top. You can use a temporary tape to fasten it, such as Wonder tape, or even Seam A Steam Lite, which will permanently bond. I simply sewed a straight zigzag stitch right across the arcs of the Venetian Lace. I did not curve along the lace's pattern, as it wasn't necessary - the white thread disappears into the lace. 

Long Swing Cardi with Venetian Lace Trim Sewing Pattern Hack

This project took me two hours, including cutting all the pattern pieces on the flat so I could match up the stripes. The side stripes create a chevron detail (as they are cut at angles), which you can see in the video. All in all, a great project to sew for spring and summer! The cardigan is a versatile layer that can go shorter or longer than the pattern itself. In a heavier, more stable knit like ponte, you can add the pockets (which are also serged on). With the exception of the topstitched neck and hems, it's all sewed on the serger - including the shawl-collar style neckline. Follow the instructions for a foolproof squared-off serged back collar.

Swing Jacket 519
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Christine Jonson Patterns Raglan Tee Sewing Pattern

The Raglan Tee Shirt is a classic wardrobe staple. But it's more than just baseball tees - the raglan tee can be a sophisticated base for unique details like shirring and fun details like color blocking. It's also the perfect tee for active sports like running, skiing, cycling and kayaking / paddle boarding. 

The raglan tee shirt can be the workhorse of your wardrobe with some creative options:

Sew the sleeves, body and collar band from coordinating fabrics - stripes, prints, solids

Sew the raglan tee from PolarWool, a wicking Merino wool fabric, for a winter base layer

Sew the raglan tee from wicking knit fabrics for a running or cycling top. If you add a long rectangle to the back, with an elastic casing on the top edge, you can form the three open pocket cycling jersey style pockets on the back. Catch the pocket in the side seams and bottom hem for ease of sewing. Sew the top edge with soft elastic, making the elastic 1" shorter than the width of the tee.

Sew the raglan tee with the shirred inset and collar band OR the turtleneck band for a distinctive look

Sew the raglan tee with sheer, crochet or mesh sleeves for a cool workout top or an elegant evening tee

In our video below, we explore a lower-neck raglan tee - just cut the neckline edges 1" lower on both sleeve and front and back neckline sections, and make a wider neckband. Use a neckband 80% of the length of your neck opening. 


Renee wears a rash guard/ swim tee made from Travel Trio Three's Raglan Tee. Using swim or sun protective nylon/lycra or poly/lycra swim fabric, you can create a comfortable and protective tee to wear in the sun!

The Perfect Beginner Pants Sewing Pattern

Sew the Christine Jonson Perfect Pant Skinny (or Skinny with a Mini Skirt)

If you've NEVER sewn pants before and want to make your own, the Perfect Pant Collection from Christine Jonson Patterns is perfect. 

So many of our online sewing friends have made these pants without ever having made pants before (or not having sewn pants in 20 or 30 years!)

Why? They're drafted amazingly well! They have wonderful details that make them suited for everyday wear - including to the office.

  • Fold over stretch fabric waistband hugs you for a no-muffin look
  • Front & back seamed details add a polished look
  • Front inset pockets are chic and deep (large enough for the largest smartphone)
  • Available in classic wide leg, flare leg or skinny leg

Sew Along with the Perfect Pant Skinny 2018:

January 2-5:

Download the pattern, get your fabric and cut your size as per the Perfect Sizing Worksheet and the pattern envelope. We recommend 2 or 4-way stretch Ponte knit (4-way is better but more expensive). This pant uses negative ease to fit you - the pants are smaller than you are at the waist and high hip, so that they stay up without elastic. A fabric with good recovery (snappy recovery) is required. Use the Perfect Sizing Worksheet to help determine the right size based on the amount of stretch. 

Stretch ruler: download and print one here (with instructions on how to use it.)

Calculate your size:  Download the Perfect Sizing Worksheet™ (paper PDF) or

How to use the Perfect Sizing Worksheet ™ here


January 8-12:

Sew the pockets and seams

In this video, we show you how to sew the pocket and the front seams. It's EASY to sew these polished, deep pockets, large enough for your largest smartphone, your keys, ID and even a smaller wallet. 


January 15-19:

Sew the waistband and hems of the Perfect Pants Skinny and the Skinny with a Skirt

How it works: 

  1. Join the Christine Jonson Patterns Facebook Group
  2. Join the event in the pinned post to participate and see group posts
  3. Sew your Perfect Pants at home on your schedule, following along with videos that will be added to this blog post or LIVE on our Facebook page.
  4. Post on the group with questions or progress photos
  5. Post your finished photos when done!
 These are the Perfect Pant Skinny samples we sewed in our Sew Along together. The top is the Shirred Top 426. The pants are in a pink 2-way stretch Ponte from SpandexHouse.

These are the Perfect Pant Skinny samples we sewed in our Sew Along together. The top is the Shirred Top 426. The pants are in a pink 2-way stretch Ponte from SpandexHouse.

How to sew a turtleneck/cowl neckline

Quick and Easy, good for one-off cowl turtlenecks:

  1. Sew up the tee shirt pattern as instructed, leaving out the neckline binding. If you're using Travel Trio One, omit neckline binding. If you're using Three Tees, do not finish the  neckline.
  2. To make a deeper cowl, you'll want to have the neckline lower than the typical tee shirt. Remove 1"  from the neckline all the way around. Continue to the next step

Hack an existing pattern for a cowl turtleneck, good if you want to re-make this turtle/cowl again:

  1. Using your flat pattern or a traced copy, Measure 1.5" below the neckline at the CF fold, the shoulder and halfway between. Connect these lines in a curve mirroring the neckline shape. Repeat for the back neckline. 
  2. Cut the pattern out 1/2" ABOVE the line you just marked (so you'll have a 1/2" Seam Allowance for the cowl.)  You'll trim off the top of the pattern piece at the neckline, so make a copy of the pattern pieces first.

For both methods:

  1. Measure the new neckline circumference after your tee is sewn, but BEFORE you finish your neckline
  2. Make a cowl/turtleneck pattern, using your measurement from Step 1 X 18".  We like 18" because it's nice and deep, and will make a 9" folded cowl when finished. You can adjust this if you wish - go up to 12" for a super draped cowl, especially in a soft knit. Make sure the stretch is going crosswise along the neckline measurement when you are cutting the fabric. You want the stretch to go around your neck (not up and down.)  
  3. Fold cowl/ turtleneck in half, right sides together, pin and sew back seam
  4. Turn the cowl/turtle out and fold in half, WRONG sides together, matching up the bottom raw edges and enclosing the back seam. Try on your cowl to see how you like the fit and depth of it. 
  5. Edge serge the raw edges together
  6. Line up the turtleneck back seam with the center back neckline of your shirt
  7. Pin around, pinning the raw edge of the tee and the edge serged edge of the cowl/turtleneck together. 
  8. Sew the cowl / turtleneck on to the tee using a serger, zigzag, or stretch stitch. Press seam down and edge stitch the seam allowance down with a long straight stitch to secure seam in place.