Stitching in Seclusion

Isolated by the COVID outbreak, I’ve resolved to sew a garment each day using only materials I have on hand.  (In addition, of course, to making protective gear to donate.) Do I really need new clothes right now?  Of course not!.  But I DO need the mental health benefits of exercising my creativity,  focusing on a project and comparing tips with a community of like-minded women. Even if you don’t sew, you’ll learn from the wardrobe rationale of these garment choices.

Day 1 – Green jersey top – for those who sew, I’ve included links to pattern details and construction tips for each project on  This one is HERE.

RULE (self-imposed): each new addition must work at least 3 ways in my wardrobe. I planned this green bamboo jersey for my green tweed  skirt, but it’s also great with brown separates and with navy bottoms or dark-wash jeans.

Day 2 – A single-layer cascade front jacket is perfect for the weight of this black/ivory tweed and fringing the fabric meant no hem edges to finish.  A mix-match no-brainer over all black bottoms. Black, ivory or bright shell underneath.  And check out that shoe, would you?

Day 3 – Gray/cream print jersey wrap dress modified to mock-wrap to avoid the dreaded “fly-open”.  Test-drive of techniques for my upcoming article in THREADS magazine. No coordinates, but wearable for lots of occasions, right?

Day 4 (also 10 and 11) – crazy-fun print scrubs for my kiddos who work in the healthcare system in Boston.  They sent me the fabric – recycling curtains from their younger life. Anything to brighten their challenging days.  Here’s a sampling:

Day 5 – Cascade cardigan in blue/green reversible knit.  I got all excited when one comment on Pattern Review referenced “perfect backside” … until it became clear she meant the fabric.

Days 6 & 7 – two versions of the same draped cowl-neck shell in wardrobe-expanding prints.  Each one works year-round with a variety of bottoms and over-layers.

Find more of my Project Per Day Challenge HERE.

About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Peggy Anderson, CMP on April 21, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    What fun looking at your one a day project. I have been trying to use up some of my “carefully curated fabric collection” aka stash during the shelter in place as well. One (Livermore, CA) fabric store did a shelter in place mystery quilt, so I used my fabric to make it. I still need to figure out outer border and backing. Take care, Nancy. Stay safe and enjoy your projects! They look fabulous and provided me with some ideas.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on April 21, 2020 at 2:57 pm

      It’s just a much fun “MacGyver-ing” sewing project as it is putting together meals from random ingredients on hand. My daughter says somebody should start a TV show called “This Old Food.”

  2. Becky Alejandre on April 21, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    In the Day 1 photo, did you make the jacket which has the scarf around the neck edge? I like the shoulder
    to waist drape. Which pattern is this? Thank you

    • Nancy Nix Rice on April 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      I’m sorry Becky but I can’t figure out which one you mean? Can you give me some added description – color, etc? – so
      I can give you the right info.

  3. Suzanne on April 21, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Nancy! Love your print mock wrap dress. Saw it on Pattern Review. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with it. I am back to sewing apparel after a 20 some year hiatus. Thanks for your inspiration. I first found you a few years back when I bought your wardrobe planning Course on Craftsy. Now I am retired and enjoying your advice for sewing. Thanks for being there for all of us during this difficult and unpredictable time. Suzanne

    • Nancy Nix Rice on April 21, 2020 at 6:55 pm

      Me too – getting back into serious sewing after a long hiatus. Isn’t it fun?

  4. Melissa on April 23, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Nancy these look wonderful! Can’t wait to get my sewing room back. Two kids hime from college and hubby working from home has turned my world (and house) upside down. Lol. Love the tops and dress. Couple questions though. For the pictured with the shell, pictures 3-5, two red jackets and the grey one. What are those patterns? Love their fit on you and they look like they are very versatile. Also which sewing classes would you recommend on bluprint/craftsy?? I have some credits I need to use.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on April 24, 2020 at 8:02 am

      I’m sure it’s lovely having your family under one roof, but not being able to sew – ouch! The jackets you asked about are RTW. I sew about half of my wardrobe and buy the other half – primarily from a direct-sale company called Cabi ( I also get ideas for some of my sewing projects from combos they do. For instance my upside-down border print jumpsuit was inspired by this top and its matching pant
      I’m sure there are patterns similar to those jackets and they wouldn’t be that tough to make – all are unlined except the shorter red one. If you want more close-up pics I’m happy to email them to you. Just let me know using the CONTACT form on the website. Or you can call me. The number is all over the website and I wouldn’t put it there if I didn’t want people to use it.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on April 24, 2020 at 8:31 am

      Oops – forgot to address your Craftsy question. There are so many great classes and it depends a lot on the interests of any particular viewer, so I’ll make recommendations by instructor instead. For fit, I love the Pati Palmer/Melissa Watson ones. And I always enjoy anything by Katrina Walker and Pamela Leggett. Aside from sewing, I’ve enjoyed some of the healthy cooking ones, and that seem especially apt these days.

  5. DENISE on April 27, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Looking great Nancy! Thank you for sharing your inspirational projects!! You look awesome with bright color & white next to your face!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on April 27, 2020 at 9:10 am

      Thanks Denise. You’ll notice though that I always to try to choose whites that are softened a bit – more ivory or winter white – or diffused in some way, like the open-knit duster sweater for example or the tiny dots in the background of the print cowl-neck shell in my second week of projects.

  6. Lindsay on January 30, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    I’m late to your blog, but just wanted to say that my absolute favorite piece from this post is the black and white cascading jacket with the fringed edges. Wow!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 2, 2021 at 11:52 am

      Such a fun and easy pattern – can’t wait to be able to wear it someplace special.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.