One of the goals in my sewing life is to, at some point, make some garments that actually co-ordinate. I haven’t particularly focused on this yet, as I’ve preferred to make things that appealed on a standalone basis, to acquire new skills or see how something “worked”. For this autumn/winter though, I’m going to try and make a few items that co-ordinate – both with each other – and items I already have. That will inevitably mean some solids – and Lordy, do I need some interesting solids that aren’t Old Navy t-shirts – as well as a few print pieces and even – a COAT. Duh duh duh! I signed up for a class in October, so I’m hoping that will go well!
Anyway, I decided to set myself a couple of loose rules to attempt to make the process more practical and useful:
- Firstly, I wanted to use as much existing stash as possible, both in terms of fabric and patterns. I have a healthy amount of each and I really must try to make a dent in those piles. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this completely, but wanted to try.
- I also wanted to actually reuse some patterns I’ve already done most of the work with. I haven’t remade anything yet and I have a few good and decent patterns that I’ve been intending to remake anyway.
- I’m challenging myself to only make items that a) match each other in some way (which is obviously the idea of an A/W wardrobe), but more importantly, b) that I can make at least two outfits with, using existing wardrobe items I own. I’m hoping this will curb my tendency to make/buy clothes that I like, but go with NOTHING I own. This will also get easier as time goes on, since they should at least match new items from this group I’ve already finished.
Alright, so that’s the idea. Let’s see how it pans out! Enough waffling and let’s see what I’ve come up with:
So, as mentioned, I’m taking the plunge into the dark art of coat-making. I have a two-session class with plenty of sewing in between, so hopefully I will have a new coat before the end of October. After a fair bit of looking around I settled on the new Lisette B6385 coat. I had spotted it a while ago and liked it, plus it’s a classic style and not crazily difficult (I don’t think, at least) for a first coat. I feel like I’ll get some good coat fundamentals under my belt with this design. I haven’t decided on which collar option I’ll go for and I still need to get fabric (this weekend). It’ll likely be navy/blue/charcoal/wine or similar. So, have pattern, need fabric.
As a second jacket project I’m thinking either the Grainline Morris blazer (that everyone has made) or possibly even a rainjacket. I do live in Seattle after all. I already have the Sewaholic Cypress cape and Seymour jacket patterns, so this might be the way to go. I prefer the Morris as a project, but in truth I’d probably get more use from the Seymour. And they’re both pretty cool rainjackets! This is a second tier make so I’ll make one of them if I have time left. I have olive or navy ponte if it’s the Morris, but will need to buy fabric for the others. Have one of pattern/fabric for each.
So, not to bore you with body issues, but the state of my wardrobe is that I have a ton of nice clothes that are still too small for me, post-baby. I have maternity clothes that are obviously not something I’m wearing any more and then I have the “post-baby” clothes I bought. They are the ones every new mum buys to “make do” until they get back to their pre-pregnancy size. So I have a handful of Old Navy tshirts and some jogging pants, as well as a few non-descript skirts and baggy summer dresses. I know plenty of mums who got back or close to their pre-baby size quite quickly and I find it very impressive. I haven’t yet though and, while I find it a little frustrating, it’s frankly about time I made some decent fitting clothes at my current size. All this is to say that this is the principal driver for some of my choices in this A/W collection: good solid basics that fit me well! Yay!
Linden sweatshirt: I made a short-sleeved Linden earlier this year and I wear it all the time. I recently bought a surprise bundle of terry knit fabrics from LA Finch Fabrics and I was very, VERY happy with what I received. The knits are all great colours and they are such nice quality. There are a couple that are soft as butter – this is a step up from what I’ve seen before, I can tell you. I can thoroughly recommend this pack if you’re looking for a similar lot. Anyway, I’m going to use one for a long-sleeved Linden. Have pattern READY and fabric.
Sewing Bee Breton top: I’ve been thinking about a Breton top for a while, PLUS I received a dare from Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow to sew something from this book. So I kill at least two birds (possibly three or four) with one stone! I have some lovely soft oatmeal and navy striped jersey knit I bought from District Fabrics in a sale a while back . It’s not that original but it will work! Have pattern, have fabric.
Seamwork Astoria jumper: I’ve already made this one! Yay! Again, it was using existing pattern and fabric. It should co-ordinate well with the Beignet and maxi skirt I think. Had pattern, had fabric.
Colette Moneta: My last Moneta was a success, so I’m going to make another, probably in a slightly heavier fabric. I wear dresses all year round, so it will get good wear. Existing pattern READY, haven’t decided on fabric.
Named Clothing Tuuli: I really want to make this dress since it reminds me a little of the Moneta, which worked well. This would be a new pattern though, so I’m keeping it as a second tier make. If I do make it, it will definitely be a print. New pattern/new fabric probably.
I’m trying to focus on separates for this season as that’s what I really need, so I’m planning three skirts:
Liesl & Co Everyday Skirt: A skirt I already made and which was a success. This time I think I’ll go for something like chambray in a solid to make it a multi-tasker. Having said that, so many of the other pieces are solids, there’s a good chance I’ll change my mind. I have tons of nice cotton prints I could use for this. Have pattern READY, have fabric.
Colette Beignet skirt: I’ve had this pattern for a while and have admired many versions of it by other sewists. The truth is I was holding on this one for a little weight loss, but sod it. I have a lovely herringbone blue/black fleece that might work nicely. Have pattern, have fabric.
M6966: I had a black maxi skirt that I bought while I was pregnant. Boring it was, but I wore that thing to death. So practical when you’re on the run and it’s cold outside. I found this pattern lurking in my stash and will make it from some nice soft black rayon knit I already own. Have pattern, have fabric.
Aaahh, trousers. I’m definitely a jeans-wearer, but I’ll save that for a later date I think. The coat is enough! What I would like to do is get a good fit on some trousers and make a couple of “all-round” pairs that I can throw on. It’s been more challenging than I thought finding a pattern! I’ve had some great suggestions from different people (including Kamila from A Swarm of Chickadees) and I now have a little trousers/pants pile to work with. (I probably shouldn’t put the words “pile” and “trousers” so closely together in a sentence). I may write a separate post on the trouser-hunting thing since I found it so tricky, but, for now, I’m choosing some “classic” styles to try and get a good fit going:
Pauline Alice Port trousers: These look like a good all-round chino style trouser and there is plenty of help with the fit. There are some excellent articles on the Pauline Alice blog about adjusting the pattern and this definitely helped sway me. They are ankle-length, which gave me a little pause, but I think I can make that work. I have some nice grey herringbone fleecey/wool fabric from Robert Kaufman, which I’m thinking might be nice. Have pattern/have fabric.
Style Arc Barb: I’ve seen a fair bit written about these and I’ll be honest: they’re not the type of trousers I would normally go for. BUT, I got the pattern free for signing up to the Style Arc newsletter, plus I’ve been interested in their patterns for a while, so it’s a good chance to try one. And, most importantly, I feel it could be a great pair of trousers to practice fit on. Let’s see! Fabric wise – hmm. They suggest stretch
gabardine bengaline (thanks for the correction Siobhan!) and I had to look that up to see what it was! 🙂 I’m not sure what I’ll use yet for these, but I think it will likely be black. Have pattern, maybe have fabric.
I do have quite a few more pairs of trousers I think are great, so if I have some success with these first two, I may move onto those after! One of these is the Papercut Patterns Guise trousers. Gorgeous!
So there you are! There are my plans for the next few months. What do you think? Am I crazy? I have a few other wee bits and pieces in there too of course: a couple of Xmas gifts, sweaters for my boys and I just began construction of a new bag, so maybe it’s a little ambitious. It should be fun though! 😀