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Category: sewing

fall wardrobe: tops & coats

Today, we top things off. (See what I did there? Good one, Em.)

I wear a lot of tees with my self-made skirts, but I’ve found that I have a lot of holes in my closet when it comes to tops and blouses. A few years ago I had this pussy bow blouse that I loved. I think it was the wrong size to begin with, so somewhere along the way it got donated or sold. Fast forward to present day, and I still adore that style. I’ll be making at least three of them this fall. Vogue has a great pattern for that particular design. The best part is that it also comes with a standard collar option, so it is one seriously versatile pattern that you’ll use again and again. I know I will.


Vogue 8772: This is the ultimate blouse pattern. I’ve cut view B in three fabrics: olive poplin, navy chambray, and burgundy. I’ll be making views C and D as well. Also, I love the darts in this design. It will be nicely fitted.

Vogue 9002: I love the simplicity of this top, and I also love the raglan sleeves. Won’t it be lovely under a blazer or long, textured cardigan too? I have a couple challis prints that will be lovely in this design, and a quick sew at that.


Butterick 6385: I bought some coral wool in London last spring, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect coat pattern, and this is it. Another classic design that I know I will still love in a few years. I already have the lining, shoulder pads, buttons, thread, and fabric for underlining. I know I live in Texas and won’t get as much use out of this as some of you might in other areas, but I am really, really excited about this one. It’s been too long since I made a coat!

Butterick 6382: I love jackets and blazers. When it’s tailored and the quality is top notch,¬†there isn’t much a good jacket can’t do for you. I took tailoring in college, and it was one of my favorite classes. Building shape into a garment and investing the time into the stitching and foundation of the garment is so rewarding. I have a blue wool that I think would be great for this (view A), or maybe a forest green gabardine that I’ve had for ages. Of all my projects for fall, this is the only one without a dedicated fabric. Suggestions welcome!

So, there we have it. I have a ton of projects on my list for fall–let the sewing begin!

fall wardrobe: dresses

Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of September? I’m always sad to see summer come to a close, even though we get a few extra weeks of warm weather here. When back-to-school season rolls around, I can’t help but look forward to a fresh start, a new season.

I have a lot of projects on my list for fall, and the list of dresses is no exception. I re-read yesterday’s post and laughed a little because, for the most part, the skirts are pretty basic–and in basic colors. That’ll happen when you go for five years without buying new clothes, selling or giving away what you have, and essentially starting from scratch. You need the basics! Anyway, while some of the dresses on my must-have list are great foundation pieces, most of them have a little more personality than the skirts. I’d like to whip up eight new dresses, with an eye on one or two more, time permitting. For now, I’ll focus on the eight. Pattern and fabric choice are included, so feel free to sew along with me. I’d love to see your projects!

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).