Thursday, 18 September 2014

Fall AKA autumn essentials planning

I happened across Sarah's FESA (Fall Essentials Sew-Along) over at The Creative Perfectionist (formerly Rhinestones and Telephones), and this got me thinking about planning what I will be making over the next few months

I'm not a fan of cold weather dressing, I much prefer pretty summer dresses and sandals to layers of woolly jumpers and boots. It also doesn't help that here in Switzerland they really love their central heating so you're constantly going between cold fresh air and stuffy overheated buildings and buses. So, I need to sort out some separates and layers that fit me and can be mixed and matched. When I came across this sewalong, it helped me put my thoughts in order, which will hopefully give some structure to my sewing plans.

I really don't think I'll be able to make all of these, and certainly not within the sew-along time period, but I'm using this more as a reminder list to keep me on track and try and help eliminate those moments of "I don't know what to sew next".

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather

Trousers, skirts, legwarmers and more! Anything that keeps your lower portion fashionably cozy fits perfectly here! The chilly weather necessitates the donning of bifurcated bottoms and sassy skirts!

This is probably the things I need to sew most. I tend to spend most of the cold weather in jeans and various tops, but one of my favourite pairs of jeans wore out irreparably at the beginning of this year, so I need to at least replace those. It would be nice to have some other non-jeans trousers (and some skirts) too, to break up the monotony of my winter wardrobe, although I think I will need to have a think how I want to style these.

  • Basic ponte skirts in various colours
  • Jeans skirt that fits me now
  • Blue denim jeans
  • Red twill jeans
  • B&W graphic sateen cigarette trousers
  • Woollen wide leg trousers
  • Winter midi- or maxi-skirt

Picture sources: knit skirts, zip-back pencil skirt, light denim pencil skirt, red jeans, b&w trousers, wide-leg trousers, winter maxi skirt

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates

Blouses, tops, vests, cardigans, and sweaters! These wardrobe essentials can carry you from day to night, not to mention provide necessary layering to keep out the chill.

I have a couple of hand-knits that are close to completion, both of them sort of transitional, so my next hand knit will be something a bit more wintery. I also really want to make some more sewn cardigans, as I like wearing these and they're super handy for layering.

  • Knitted cardies
  • Finish up hand-knit yellow jumper
  • Finish up hand-knit blue cotton cardie
  • Sewn cardies, cropped and draped
  • Scarf-neck T-shirts
  • Tunic-length blouses
  • Pretty blouses/woven tops/T-shirts

Picture sources: grey open cardie, grey drape cardie, ikat cardie, black tunic blouse, chevron topblue lace sleeve pullover, dark grey textured cardie, grey v-neck cardie, red and purple top

Fabulous Frocks

Dresses of all styles; mini, midi, or long! Keep yourself warm in your modish designs, layering with tights and boots!

I really like wearing dresses, so would like to have a few more cold-weather appropriate ones (although I hate wearing tights, so this isn't the highest priority category unless I make some more leggings).

  • Chambray shirt-dress
  • Long-sleeved wrap dresses
  • Ponte/doubleknit dresses

Picture sources: grey seamed wrap dress, striped wrap dress, purple sequinned-sleeve dress, red and black dress, ecru sweater dress, chambray shirt dress, plaid dress, ecru midriff dress

Underneath It All

When you're spending months covered from the neck down, a glamorous underpinning of your choice adds a secret, luxurious touch that chases the cold away!

I'd like to make up some Netties as the bodysuits for some extra layers that won't bunch up or be draughty. I also need to replace a lot of my regular wear knickers, and it seems much more logical to make some rather than buy yet more (I even have some too-small vest-tops that I've been saving to recycle too).

  • Nettie bodysuits
  • Cotton jersey knickers
  • Leggings
  • Slips

Tender Tootsies

Let's not forget your frosty feet! Socks, slippers and the like are the order of the day. Keep those tootsies warm and dry!

I have a pair of knitted ballerina slippers that I bought last year that I really like wearing in the winter. I'm planning on making a second pair to alternate when the others are in the wash. Socks aren't a necessity, but are nice small projects to knit in the evenings or when travelling.

  • Knitted or sewn slippers
  • Woolly socks

Those Cozy Nights

Is there anything better than snuggling up in a cozy pair of pajamas with a hot drink and a book whilst Jack Frost works his magic outside? I think not! Sleepwear of all types are the way to go here!

Much of my sleepwear needs replacing, and I have most of the fabric I need for the garments on here from last year's plans.

  • Pretty nightie
  • Flannel pyjama bottoms
  • Dressing gown
  • Jersey sleep tops with shelf bras

Baby It's Cold Outside

Coats, hats, and mittens donned to keep the cold at bay, especially when out enjoying the spectacular fall colours!

My (RTW) winter coat is still going strong, so I don't really need to sew anything to replace this (although I do need to sort out dry-cleaning it and re-sewing some buttons). However, I do need some lighter coats or jackets, but I just need to decide which of the ones I have planned to work on.

  • Plaid flannel hooded jacket
  • Grey wool lightweight coat
  • Purple bouclĂ© wool jacket
  • Green flannel swing jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Leather jacket
  • Parka
  • Jersey blazer
  • Finish up vintage hand-knit grey hat
  • Merino hand-knit hand-warmers

Picture sources: grey jersey blazer, purple tweed jacket, plaid swing jacket, moto jacket, parka

Some of these might seem a bit vague, but I have fabric and patterns in mind for many of them, just don't want to spend the time photographing/scanning these to add here. The pictures are inspirations of the sort of things I want to make and reminders for me. I've also recently just bought myself a (tiger-print!) Fashionary after waiting in vain several birthdays and Christmases for one as a present, so will be using that to plan the clothes in a bit more detail, plus I want to use a couple of vintage patterns for these garments to keep up with my Vintage Pattern Pledge. Fingers crossed, I'll be posting about some of these items soon! Although, as a Brit, I will from now on be referring to these as Autumn Essentials...


  1. I love all your choices-we have another month of 90 plus here in the desert but it does get cold mid winter. I need hats for the windy and chilly winter.

    1. Thanks Mary! Wow, that stays hot for a long time. Are you knitting or sewing hats? We had a surprisingly mild winter last time and I realised I didn't have enough medium-weight clothes, so that's what I'm focusing on here.

  2. Ooh, this is a lovely cozy list! Looking forward to seeing your makes :)

    1. Thanks Sarah! As if on cue it's turned cold and rainy here today to provide some motivation to get going! Fingers crossed I can work through lots of these in the next couple of months.

  3. I'm still in denial that autumn is on its way but I suppose my subconscious is working on it - I have just made a renfrew, I've just got sleeves to go on a knitted cardi and I'm about to sew a Jenna cardi (hopefully this weekend). Your list looks very organised and comprehensive!