fall wardrobe: skirts

I live in Texas, land of never-ending summer, where we’re lucky to get a month or two of truly cold weather that requires a heavy jacket or coat. Let me go ahead and put this out there: I love it. I lived in the midwest for a couple years as a teenager, and I grew to hate it. Hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. I can’t handle constant grey skies, ice and dirty snow, being stuck indoors, and uncomfortable layers–just to name a few. More power to those of you who flourish in parts of the country with cold winters. I want to like it, I really do, but I’m a weakling who needs sunny skies and moderate weather. Living here does pose a few challenges when it comes to dressing for the season though (no need for big coats or heavy cardigans, thankfully). I’ve been saying for years that updating your closet for a new season is all about colors, not clothes. For me, my fall style looks a lot like my summer style; I just swap out my pastels for more navy and olive and rich, saturated earth tones. This year I’m being very intentional with wardrobe updates, primarily because for the first time in about six years I finally have the time to sew for myself.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of weeks thinking about what my needs are for fall, and I’ve come up with a few lists of things. For the most part, I’m using McCall’s patterns, so I’d love for you to sew along with me! Some items on my list are my own designs from previous collections, and I’ll do what I can to include tutorials for those patterns as well. First up, skirts. (I’ll go over dresses, tops, and jackets later this week.) I need a number of basics, in colors that will go well with denim blouses and my leather boots (one of my favorite looks for fall/winter).


Butterick 5929: I like view A, but maybe an inch or two longer. Navy sateen. Can you believe I don’t have a navy blue skirt? Me, whose favorite color is navy. That’s about to change!

Vogue 8882: I love the fullness of this skirt, and I think it would make a great foundation piece. I’m going to make this in olive and khaki sateen, keeping it knee length (25″ for me) so that my boots don’t get lost in all that skirt.

Butterick 6179: Another great foundation piece, and a great transition piece at that, as it’s unlined. I have a forest green linen blend that would be lovely for our Texas fall weather. I can see myself sewing this one quite a few times just because the skirt is so classic and versatile.


#1. This is the ‘Mae’ skirt from my Fall 2014 collection. I have it in khaki, but my heart is set on having it in navy. I’d like to re-work the embellishment. (This is a half circle skirt with slanted side seam pockets.)

#2 and #3. This is the ‘Louisa’ skirt, the very skirt I already have in eight colors, which is hilarious to me. Eight of the same skirt, and I’m about to make it 10. Surprisingly, I don’t have it in many basic colors, so I plan to whip it up in navy and red. The pattern is a half circle with pleats and slanted front pockets. It’s fully lined, and I’ll probably shorten it to knee length for fall. If the skirt is too long and you’re wearing knee high boots, it can sometimes look like the skirt is overwhelming you. Not always, but I’m mindful of that for autumn/winter.

#4. The ‘Emma’ tulle skirt. I have it in white, but that’s not a great color year-round. Champagne was the best selling color in this skirt, which would also be a great option. I just happen to have some navy tulle left over. I will do a tutorial for you on this one!


This is the ‘Nellie’ skirt from . . . 2013? 2014? Actually, I think it first came out in 2012, but I brought it back a few seasons later. Who knows. Anyway, I like this skirt because of the suede waistband and accents at the pockets. It looks really, really good with boots. (Side note: it smells really good too.) I’d like to make this skirt in both olive and navy. I’d get a lot of wear out of both. It’s a half circle with pleats and side seam pockets.

So, that’s my list of skirt must-haves for fall. It’s 10 in total, and that’s not including the “extras” on my list. Because I’m going to have so much extra time and all.

Even though we Texans have a few more weeks of hot weather ahead of us, I’m excited to add these pieces to my closet. I hope you can sew along with me!


  1. Michele Svedberg | 17th Jun 17

    Your dress linings always look so nice and crisp. I’m particularly interested in the white linings on your gingham dresses. What fabric do you use for them?

    • Emily | 19th Jun 17

      Hi, Michele! Thank you for the comment! I’m kind of crazy about the insides of my garments and making them as clean and pretty as possible, which is why I line most things. For the gingham dresses, I’m using a lightweight cotton lining. There’s a collection in the quilting cotton section at JoAnn, “Country Classic Solids”, and I use that in white ALL the time when it’s appropriate. It’s 100% cotton, so I definitely recommend pre-treating it, but it’s so nice to sew and it makes for a really, really nice lining. If I ever need a solid color lining and I can use cotton, that’s the first place I check. Rarely have I not found a color that matches nicely. Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. Abigail | 2nd Apr 17

    Emily, I just stumbled on your blog and I love it. You make the most beautiful skirts and dresses! I’m so disappointed that I can’t order a Emily Hallman original for my wardrobe. Have you considered producing and selling your collection patterns? I would love to sew a Louisa skirt of my own.

    • Emily | 2nd Apr 17

      Hi Abigail! What a lovely comment–thank you so much! Great question about the patterns. I have considered selling them, yes, but that might be something I do down the road. I’m still loving not having the pressure of selling things on my plate! For now, I can certainly show you how to make a Louisa skirt of your own. I’m planning to do a tutorial for that pattern later this month. If you ever have any other questions, let me know! Thank you again, and have a great week ahead! 🙂

      • Abigail | 3rd Apr 17

        Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve subscribed to the blog, and I can’t wait to see what you sew up next. 🙂

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