I’ve really enjoyed my summer sewing, but as I look at the roundup of projects, it occurs to me that none of them are particularly well-suited to colder temperatures (well, maybe the maxi dress, but I’m still not sure if that will remain “maxi” or if I’ll chop it up to knee length!). Anyhow, between the cut (lots of sleevelessness going on here!) and the fabric (unlined quilt-weight cotton, which is not known for its cuddly warmth), I think most of what I’ve sewn in the last few months will be too light in just a few short weeks.
With that on my mind, I started to think about fall and winter sewing. I decided that I’d like to try making some of the wardrobe essentials that I never quite manage to buy (mostly because I’m really really picky when it comes to fit and style, but I have complete control over both those things if I make it myself!). So I sat down with my pattern box and started scheming! I knew I didn’t want to buy a ton of new patterns, so I limited myself to no more than two new patterns (both on the far left below). I knew I wanted some top layers that could do double-duty as top layer and jackets. I also have been wanting to try my hand at making pants. And I wanted to tackle sewing a nice wool skirt. Nothing too ambitious! Well, a little ambitious, maybe!
After hemming and hawing (ha! hemming! ha!), I finally settled on six projects I’d like to tackle before next spring. I feel simultaneously excited and over ambitious, but time will tell, I guess!
- Colette’s Lady Grey coat, a nifty looking 3/4 sleeve (wha?) wrap coat with pretty pretty princess seams (I keep hearing how flattering princess seams are…we shall see!).
- A lined blazer from Simplicity 4044. I love the retro look of this blazer (though I will not be doing it up in anything resembling plaid!). I have a hard time finding ready-made blazers that I love, so I’m hoping that fitting my own will produce something I’ll actually wear!
- Yes, another Crescent skirt (but in a fall/winter appropriate fabric). I’m not 100% sure on this, but I think it would be fun in something like tweed.
- And another old favorite here, but this time I’m going to do the version with sleeves and the elastic waist (why can’t I ever make this pattern as drawn? I don’t know!)
- I’m a tad undecided here…it could be either skirt, though I’m leaning toward the pencil skirt since I don’t have a single one in my wardrobe. On the other hand, a nice A-line in wool could be all sorts of fun, too!
- Sewaholic Thurlow trousers. I’ve been tempted to try making fitted pants for a while now, and these look super cute (and my experience with Sewaholic patterns has been nothing but good!).
Once I figured out generally what I wanted to tackle, I (of course!) had to buy some fabric! One of my “complaints” with my summer sewing is that the fabric I’ve used is very, well, summery! Which is/was great for the season, but makes it hard to wear when the temperatures cool and I’m craving warmer garments and darker hues! (I do think my last Crescent skirt will do nicely in early fall, though…so not everything is “too summery”!).
There’s a magical mythical discount fabric warehouse on the far western edge of the outer ‘burbs called SR Harris, where they sell every fabric you ever imagined and then some (seriously, it’s an industrial warehouse jammed floor to ceiling with high-quality discount fabric). The thing I really love is that they carry really nice apparel fabrics (think 100% wool that is soft and smooth, cashmere, coating fabrics, leather, gooooood denim, etc.). Things that are more difficult and certainly more costly to source from my local fabric shop (which, to be honest, caters more to “craft” sewing than “apparel” sewing).
I had a list based on my pattern picks above, and I told John if he helped me stick to my list, he could buy as much windblock fleece and cordura as he liked (he makes bike-related stuff, so this is right up his alley!). It worked really well!
Here’s what I ended up choosing for fabrics:
Clockwise from the top left:
- A really soft pink/purple woven 100% wool, and bright purple lining! The wool is a loose weave, though, which I think might be a challenge to sew.
- Blue & white striped rayon…it’s got a lot of stiffness to it, which I think will work well for a blazer (and I’m thinking of doing bias-cut pockets for some visual interest!).
- A super super soft 50% wool/50% bamboo that’s almost houndstooth, but not quite. It’s sooooooo soooooooffffffttttttt.
- This portrait fabric is sooo halloween-ey, and I think with a nice plain black knit for the top of the dress, will be just the thing to wear to my halloween party!
- And both the pants and the pencil skirt will be denim. I’m 100% certain on the pants, at least. The skirt may end up being a light blue wool that I bought almost a year ago, or a fabulous yellow wool (also in the stash for nearly a year).
So, like I said, I’m excited, but I’m also a little afraid of being over ambitious. But I’ve got my plan and most of my materials, so the only question left is: Where to start?!