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).

DIY: The Hutch

Not long after I closed my business last summer, I started a big DIY project. To be fair, I started a lot of projects during that time. I spent five years in business completely neglecting a number of areas in my life, including my home. If you know me at all, you know that it takes something major for me not to spend time and energy on the spaces in which I spend a lot of time.¬†Looking back, the business was pretty major and naturally consumed every minute of my day and all the enthusiasm I could muster. Anyway, that’s all behind me now. I’ve always loved making my home pretty, livable, and functional. I’m no pro at it; I just like pretty spaces that make me happy.

A few times a month, I swing by our local Salvation Army. I originally started doing it because you never know when you might find a great piece of vintage clothing, but I kept going back because this particular SA has an incredible selection of furniture. Now, being on a budget (who isn’t, really), this was a great way to score a new little something without breaking the bank–even if I did have to repair a seam or buy a can of paint. I’ve been really, really lucky with my finds. Scroll through my Instagram photos and you’ll see a white and blue striped couch in my studio. $90 (and $50 to have it cleaned), Salvation Army. The big gold framed mirror I take pictures in front of? $25, Salvation Army. (Side note: that mirror weighs about 60 pounds, and I’m pretty sure it’s 50+ years old. It was a legit find, you guys. I love that thing.) Add to that countless pieces of clothing (most with the price tags still attached!), knickknacks here and there, an adorable side table I painted and put in the living room, pieces of art, and, of course, The Hutch.