Wardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet

HelenHelen's Makes14 Comments

Back To Black : Wardrobe Basics

Wardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet

Now that we are fully into the fall season here in the pacific northwest, layering is essential for surviving the inconsistent weather. One day it’s cold enough to see your breath and the next, you’re wishing you had worn shorts!  I’ve recognized a few holes in my layering arsenal and taken steps to compensate. Are you excited to see my basic black sewing projects?  I thought so…

All of these projects were made from Telio Black Bamboo Knit from Fabric.com.  It has a wonderful feel and drape and is really nice to work with.  It also comes in many colours.

Grainline Lark v-neck tee

I have made the grainline Lark three times previously, and I love the way this pattern fits.  It is form fitting without feeling clingy or revealing, and it offers so many variations in one pattern.  For this version, I made the v-neck and the cap sleeve combination.  The Lark is naturally a very long shirt, perfect for layering. I made a straight size 14, no adjustments necessary.

Wardrobe Basics by Helen's ClosetWardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet Wardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet

Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee

The Mandy Boat Tee is another pattern I have made before, and it gets a lot of wear.  I like the way it looks paired with jeans and I have recently been wearing it with my new Emerson Pants for a chic, casual look.  The Mandy Boat Tee is a free one-size-fits-most pattern, and the cut is perfect on me.  I did not make any adjustments to the size and I usually wear a size 14/16.

Wardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet Wardrobe Basics by Helen's ClosetWardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet


Self Drafted Little Black Dress

I have been wanting to sew something like this for a long while.  It’s a simple sleeveless A-line design, and the front and back pattern pieces are exactly the same.  I think when I make this again I may make the shoulder straps thinner and the back cut lower, but other than those details, I am very happy with this make.  I definitely see myself getting a lot of use out of this style and already want to make some coloured versions too.
Wardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet Wardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet Wardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet Wardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet


True Bias Hudson Pants

I love that the casual jogger look is still going strong and I can wear something this comfortable and still be considered fashionable! If you haven’t made a pair of Hudson’s yet, DO IT! They are so awesome.  I also made Sam 2 pairs of the men’s version and he practically lives in them.

I was worried that the black bamboo would be a bit thin for this style, but it worked out just as I had hoped. They are so soft and the little bit of drape makes them look almost fancy…as fancy as joggers can get!

Wardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet Wardrobe Basics by Helen's ClosetWardrobe Basics by Helen's Closet


I hope you enjoyed this thrilling post on wardrobe basics.  Do you have as much trouble getting around to sewing basics as I do?  I think now I’ve realized that I love having these items in my wardrobe so much, and I need to start prioritizing them more.  


About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

14 Comments on “Back To Black : Wardrobe Basics”

  1. All of these pieces look great–I especially love your Hudson pants. I made a couple of shirts from the same fabric and it is so, so good. It’s soft and has a great mix of body and drape. And it wears really well too. My shirts go through the wash about every two weeks and they haven’t faded or pilled at all. Basics aren’t the most fun to make or photograph, but I’m always so glad to have them once they’re done!

  2. Oh man, this kind of post is my all-time favourite.Boring things that make a wardrobe work! Bamboo jersey was a great choice – it is so luxe and holds up really well. I’ve been enjoying seeing the Telio fabrics pop up on Fabric.com… I don’t know why, but it makes me more confident when I order that the fabrics will be good quality! I guess years of Tasia talking about Telio has convinced me! 😉

  3. Just this weekend I was lamenting that I really need to stop procrastinating on making some basics… only got 1 black Santa Fe tank done so far…. I’m just such a sucker for the pretties! But then when you only have pretties, you will need some solid basics to balance those out…

  4. You must have gotten A LOT of that fabric! 🙂 I love bamboo knit so I completely understand 🙂 I really like all of your makes! They are so versatile and will be worn all the time, I am sure. I do enjoy sewing basics! Especially since a lot of them do not take a lot of time. But then there are days when I just need to make something more fancy.

    1. I totally agree, and I’ve taken to just deciding what I want to make in the moment and not planning toooooo much (although your podcast episode made me think I should plan more, haha). I got 5 meters of that black fabric and managed to squeeze everything out of it 😛

      1. I think it is nice to just decide in the moment sometimes! I use my planning as a guide but I still allow myself some freedom if I want to 🙂 Oh wow! that’s awesome 🙂

  5. You did a great job with all of them! 5 meters doesn’t sound like much at all. I don’t think I have ever sewn with bamboo and I’ve never bought fabric online. But these kind of projects make me think I should buy online sometimes, so I could decide exactly what my basics would look like. Then it might be easier to get around to sewing them…

  6. These all look great Helen! I especially love how the Mandy looks with your Emerson crops – very chic! I bet everything feels amazing in that bamboo too!

  7. I’ve been listening to a few of the Love to Sew podcasts this past weekend whilst sewing, and came to here to search for the pattern of the t-shirt you’ve mentioned in one (or two) of the podcasts. Must have been preoccupied just a bit, because I was looking for the “Mandibo” t-shirt. Anyhow, glad to have found the podcast and the Mandy Boat Tee pattern, thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *