So yet another week has rolled on past, and it’s Sunday again. We’re now closer to the coming Christmas than we are to the one just gone. The longest day of the year is behind us, and the days will slowly but surely be getting ever shorter. Although this sounds a bit depressing – summer berries will no longer be in season, vitamin D exposure will go down etc etc – it does bring with it some positives: autumn colours, winter sewing, and a bit of knitting if I can fit it in.
Autumn is definitely my most favourite time of the year. It’s hands down the best season – it’s not *too* cold, and you get the beautiful warm sunlight reflecting off the golden leaves everywhere. I can wear cosy jumpers and winter boots and let the dogs run through piles of leaves in the park.
As I’m looking forward to it so much, I’m already starting to plan my sewing for the colder months – trying to break up the longer, more complicated projects with ones that don’t take as much time. There’s some patterns on this year’s sewing list that were bumped from last year because the warmer weather arrived before I could finish them (or even start them, in some cases…). Sometimes I try to convince myself that I shouldn’t buy more fabric until I’ve used up what I’ve got already, but you know, lolz.
So I’m sharing with you the patterns and fabrics that have made my AW17 list so far, which you can expect to see on the Wanderstitch blog over the coming few months (unless they get bumped due to the most amazing sewing pattern of all time being found… no promises).
VOGUE 1467 ANNE KLEIN DOUBLE BREASTED PEA COAT
I’ve already made one version of this jacket, in red, but I have some leftover purple wool fabric from this coat that I made for the husband (even though I SWEAR I bought the correct amount of fabric as stated on the pattern?!). I wussed out on the first version I made of this jacket and used store-bought bias tape instead of making my own, but this time I’ve put on my big girl pants and made matching bias tape from the uber-slippery turquoise leopard print lining fabric because if I’m honest you can totally tell that I cheated on the first version. This one though will be all match-matchy and profesh, no wimping out. When the going gets tough, the tough isn’t getting going this time.
QUICK SEW 1476 NEON FUR COAT
I bought this fabric last winter but didn’t get around to using it, so it’s made the 2017 queue by default. Kind of like how the London Marathon entries used to be – if you applied every year but never got in you were guaranteed a spot after a while. This is that guaranteed spot. I spent ages trying to find the right pattern for the long-pile fur and in the end had this vintage 80’s one shipped over from the US as I couldn’t seem to find a modern pattern for a fur coat. Are these a thing of the past now?
I must admit I’m not looking forward to unpicking the pile from each seam after it’s been sewn… but hopefully it will be worth it. I’ve got my ballpoint needles and am prepared to cut out the pieces with scissors rather than my rotary cutter to (try to) avoid cutting through the pile where I don’t want to. I’ll be making the coat on the left (the pink one) with the neon fur above, and then for the pattern on the right I have some brown quilted/striped fur to make the husband a 70’s-style pimp coat. You can more than likely expect heeled boots, gold chains and a cane in the photoshoot.
70’s VINTAGE SIMPLICITY 7905
I only have one winter coat, which I bought four years ago now, way before I entertained the fact that I might actually be able to make my own. I’m making this retro Simplicity double-breasted coat in the same purple wool as the Anne Klein jacket above (yeah, can you tell I fell in love with the colour of that fabric?) with a pink paisley lining. Vintage coat patterns are awesome but holy moly the instructions are thin on the ground…’make bound buttonholes at front markings’ a good example. No further instructions on how exactly you go about doing that, and it’s my first time at them as well so I’ll be consulting t’internet for that one. I’m not sure whether the colour is too dark to show the piecing details on the chest, but I wouldn’t really wear a winter coat in a lighter colour so hopefully it’ll be alright. I’ve got little brass buttons to go down the front, pretty similar to the ones that are on the envelope.
GINGER JEANS BY CLOSET CASE PATTERNS
Yep, I’m jumping on the Ginger Jeans bandwagon. Mainly because I’m fed up of not being able to find jeans that fit my chunky thighs but smaller waist. I’m tired of hoiking up jeans as I walk up stairs because the waist is too big and they are falling down, and I hate wearing belts. I need a size bigger on the legs and a size smaller on the waist, so I’m preparing myself for some serious grading between sizes here. I’ve actually had this pattern for a while but I had been struggling to find a suitable stretch denim – I’m very fussy on colour, and I won’t wear blue jeans, but then I found some black stretch leopard print fabric in the Cloth House sale for £2 per metre. It’s softer than denim, so I’ll probably end up with something more resembling jeggings, but hey who doesn’t like comfy trousers?
PAPERCUT PATTERNS OTSU JEANS
Even though I haven’t ever made a pair of trousers, and am therefore unsure whether I’m actually capable of it, I bought the pattern for the Otsu jeans by Papercut Patterns when the new ‘Sakura’ collection was released. It was most definitely an impulse buy – I just really like the way these are pieced together. The whole collection is awesome, I literally could have bought everything (and nearly did). I’m planning to make these out of the same leopard print stretch fabric as the Gingers (because when fabric you like is reduced to £2 a metre you stock up, obvs, and MAKE ALL THE THINGS) and am toying with the idea of putting pockets on the back.
DEER AND DOE BRUYERE SHIRT
I was planning to make this shirt last winter, but I searched for hours on end for the perfect flannel plaid and never found it. I was trying to dodge the ‘christmas’ vibe and didn’t want anything that screamed ‘tablecloth’ either, and never found The One. I’m determined to make this shirt though, so I will keep looking. I’m sure there’s fabric out there for me somewhere. I really want to make it in plaid fabric rather than plain because I love how the waistband and placket is cut on the bias. Deer and Doe patterns always turn out pretty well for me (I’ve made their Chardon skirt, Belladonne dress and also the Melilot shirt) so hopefully this one will too – I love the fitted waist on this shirt and feel that if it turns out alright it could well be a winter staple for me.
VOGUE //DKNY V1462 IN LIBERTY SILK
I prefer looser fit shirts these days. I used to love a good fitted shirt but now they just feel so… formal. I think it’s because I now work in a more expressive, creative environemnt rather than a corporate one and my true colours have been allowed to come out. This Vogue/DKNY pattern is the perfect combination of smart and casual that I’d be happy to wear both at home and to work. I’ve made a couple of versions so far, both also in Liberty print cottons – a classic William Morris one and a Liberty Rocks one. I own a few RTW silk shirts but have never made one myself, now I feel ready to accept the challenge with this beautiful silk satin which I’ll be starching the hell out of to make sure it stays where it’s meant to when I’m cutting it. At the full price of £55 per metre (which I most definitely did NOT pay) I’m determined that I’m not going to hash it up.
ALEXANDER HENRY ‘DEADWOOD SALOON’ // FOLKWEAR FRONTIER SHIRT
I bought this Alexander Henry ‘Deadwood Saloon’ fabric for the husband. I knew in my mind that it would become some sort of shirt… but what? Then I remembered I had the Folkwear ‘Frontier Shirts’ pattern, put it under his nose and then things got totally out of hand and we now have suede and piping thrown in the mix. I drew the line at his suggestions of suede fringing and hand embroidery. I’m told there will be some re-drafting of yoke shapes also. Yee hah.
DOLORES SKIRT – LA MAISON VICTOR
French sewing mag La Maison Victor have just released their first English edition, and it’s definitely much cooler than the other sewing mags I’ve seen here in the UK. I don’t usually buy sewing magazines because the projects in them are just not my style, however this one has some trendy stuff. If you haven’t seen it yet, get yourself out there and snaffle yourself a copy – it’s £5.99 and WHSmith are stocking it. As I need some winter skirts, I’m going to make their ‘Dolores’ skirt (the yellow one on the cover) from a £3 remnant that was originally destined to become a toile of a summer skirt but is now destined for this instead. It’s probably more of a winter fabric anyway, which I reckon would look fab with a black pair of Dr Marten’s and an oversized knitted jumper.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST… A WINTER COAT FOR THE DOG
Yep. You read it right. A winter coat for one of the furkids. My dogs were born in Borneo, where the coldest it ever gets is about 25 centigrade. My girl dog, Leela, is the biggest spoiled princess on the planet (husband, this is totally your fault) so you can imagine how much she loves life when it’s below freezing in the UK winter.
Actual town in Borneo where Leela grew up:
Actual picture of Leela in UK winter, wondering why she has been so viciously wrenched from paradise and taken to the coldest depths of the universe:
To be fair, she has a thin wiry coat which is definitely more suited to warmer climates so she probably does feel the cold, but sometimes I feel like she shivers just to be a drama queen and get cuddles and a blanket. As she’s a total street mongrel, she’s a really weird shape that you just can’t buy a coat for – believe me, I’ve tried hundreds. On vets advice she has to have one that covers her chest and vital organs when it’s proper cold, so that narrows down the RTW choices considerably. She has a coat that *sort of* fits ok but is a bit short in the body and not deep enough around the middle (and it’s a horrible green tartan) so the plan is to take that one apart, trace it, and make the adjustments that are needed to fit her properly. And of course it will have to be made in luxury Italian fabrics and hand sewn with gold thread by fairies at dawn to meet the haute couture standards of Her Majesty ?
There are of course many other things on my sewing list, but you’d be here forever reading about them, so I’ve cherry-picked. And let’s not forget about those projects that will hijack their way onto my sewing list because I saw an amazeballs fabric on sale somewhere and just had to buy it. I’m not kidding myself that this won’t happen. Writing this post I’ve already remembered two patterns I bought last year that I have forgotten to add to the sewing list ???
I’m surely not the only one that’s thinking ahead to winter sewing already… if you’ve been planning too, I’d love to hear about your methods for planning and also what’s on your sewing list so drop me a comment below to let me know what you’re most looking forward to making!
Coming up next week on the blog… my wearable toile of the Seamwork Catarina dress in an aztec print viscose ?
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