Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sewing for autumn

Although I am hopeful of a few more weeks of at least moderately pleasant and warm weather (she says, hollowly, looking at a weather forecast full of rain...) I have decided I am done with summer sewing for now. As usual, I am just going to feign amnesia about whatever it was I said I was going to make at the start of the summer and thus whether or not I achieved it. Lalala, new season, new plan!
Ottobre 05-2012-05 a.k.a the jacket I swear I am going to try to make this autumn
For the umpteenth time, at the top of my list is outerwear. No, come back! I promise I am really truly going to make a jacket this time! No, really! I have the pattern out ready to trace already! /o\ (Ahem, not that tracing the pattern got me any closer to making outerwear on previous occasions...) 

Seriously though, I swear I'm going to try to at least make a muslin of this Ottobre jacket over the next few weeks. There's some degree of urgency, even, to this plan as we approach the autumn, because my actual outerwear wardrobe situation is becoming dire. I've been holding off on acquiring a new jacket in the hopes that I could make one myself. This means, basically, that I don't have one right now at all. If it turns out that my muslin is a hot mess then I'll probably have to give in and buy something. It would be very sad to have to stoop to RTW, especially since anything I buy would probably last for years and then I wouldn't get to use the fabric I've been hoarding keeping for this very purpose for at least two years. On the other hand, this encourages me to set the bar pretty low for a good jacket outcome: I can make one and even if it's not great, it's better than no jacket at all, right? So: Operation Jacket is a go, and provided my (presently suboptimal, unfortunately) state of health permits, I hope to be able to show off SOMETHING tangible soon.

Operation Jacket aside, while thinking about what else I want to make this autumn I made the mistake of spending some quality time last week while feeling too ill to do more than sit around on my sofa going through all of my (MANY) back issues of various magazines, my envelope pattern collection, my PDF files, and so on. At any rate, as a result I was (as always when I undertake this exercise) overwhelmed with a burning desire to MAKE ALL THE THINGS, but more specifically decided that this autumn I want to sew a bunch of new patterns and some slightly different styles than I have been sewing for the last year or so. As a result, there is SO MUCH pattern tracing and sticky taping PDFs together in my future, you wouldn't even believe it.

From left to right: Lekala 4341; Burda 07-2010-137, Simplicity 1063, StyleArc Demi-Drape; Ottobre 05-2011-11

First, I want to make a handful of knit tops that aren't intended for layering. As previously discussed, I am really very consistent in liking to wear outfits with visible layering. As a result, I do love the many basic tees/long-sleeved tees that I've made that fit smoothly under other layers. In fact, I will also need to make a couple of basic tops to replace some that have worn out over the next couple of weeks, not pictured above. However, I also like the idea of making some tops with more visible design features that I can wear on their own in the autumn or under an open cardigan rather than as a layer. I've picked out four patterns and matching fabrics: a deep cowl neck w/ fake layering, a faux wrap, a layered multi coloured top and a draped front top. I also want to make a knit hoodie, and I'll be using a Lekala pattern for the first time to do that.

Stylish Dress Book. Why do the models always look so desperately glum? Is that just the Japanese aesthetic?
Second, digging through my wardrobe, I came across some leggings I haven't worn in a while. I am not a huge wearer of leggings but I do like to wear them now and again on days when I'm not leaving the house instead of yoga pants. I haven't worn the pair I own recently because the tunic top I liked to wear with them is long gone, so a replacement longer woven top/tunic went on my list.

The biggest departure here is the pattern source: I will probably have a go at a pattern from Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom, which is one of those Japanese pattern books with the miserable looking models standing around in many voluminous layers of cotton holding various unrelated objects for no apparent reason (a purse! a vase full of flowers! some kind of beverage and a ladle! WHY.) It's not my usual aesthetic, and I have to admit I still don't find the books super appealing in either format or presentation. However, I discovered, through Pinterest, a lot of versions of the patterns that were much more appealing to me, and that prompted me to pick up a copy second-hand. It will be an interesting experiment, anyway, and since it's all intentionally for stuff to wear around the house it's pretty low risk.

McCalls 7193, which I hope to buy in a sale since LOL NO to full UK prices
Third, I want to make some more woven tops that aren't classic button-fronted. Not that I think I'm expert at button-fronted yet or anything, but I don't need every woven top in my wardrobe to be a classic shirt so it's time to branch out. I've made a shortlist of options from Burda back issues, but I'm also waiting (and waiting, and WAITING) for McCall's patterns to go on sale in the UK again so I can pick up one of the new season's patterns.

Other than all of that, I have vague plans to make a zippered tote bag, and a couple of other little non-garment things. I have a BUNCH of plans for embroidery and fabric manipulation experiments, but I imagine that if I get to them at all in the next three months or so it'll just be to make samplers.

Finally, I have already picked out a winter sweater to knit over the next few months, fired up by my continued success at knitting my Backshore sweater (latest update: half-way through sleeve two, will probably finish this week, in LOVE with it). I also promised a scarf to my mum, which will actually probably be my next project since I need a quick and mindless knit after working on the Backshore sweater.

Phew. That's a lot of plans. I wasn't kidding when I said I felt FIRED with enthusiasm to make all the things at the moment. I feel like if I were actually healthier I'd be on an absolute creative rampage at the moment. As it is, since I've had a bad couple of weeks health-wise I've apparently channelled it all into wildly ambitious sewing plans. :D I hope I do get to do SOME of it at least!

PS. Did everyone see the new Ottobre magazine is out? My copy (on subscription) came earlier in the week. Nothing is jumping out at me as a MUST MAKE, unfortunately, although I find that Ottobre tends to be more of a sleeper hit for me. I'll think there's nothing in it and then three months later half the issue is on my wishlist.

PPS. Speaking of which: I LOVE the new Burda (September 2015), which arrived at my house this weekend. That is the first time I've said that about Burda ALL FREAKING YEAR. Unfortunately, the stuff I am completely nuts over is nothing I need for my current boring lifestyle, so I won't be making any of it soon, but omg, so happy that ONE issue this year excites me after months of just side-eyeing every issue going "really? no, I mean, but REALLY?"

PPPS. OK, terrible admission time: I was feeling really fed up with Burda and after I picked up a recent issue of Knipmode, the Dutch pattern magazine, I was impressed enough to struggle through the subscription-from-outside-of-the-Netherlands process. It starts this month -- in fact, I should get the September issue this week, all being well. I... really don't need any more magazines, but it's a sickness, apparently. /o\ I'll report back!


  1. Get cracking on that coat woman! =) I seem to be in coat mode since nothing else really fits right now.

    I like your fall plan and have to give Ottobre a second look.

    1. I will do -- I should trace out the three million jacket pattern pieces while I am feeling enthusiastic about the process as often that's a hold-up.

      I really like Ottobre and highly recommend it. It's not perfect, but there are some really solid, basic patterns in it. They are reliably well drafted and consistent in sizing, which is always nice.

    2. If you want, we can sew a coat together. =) I traced and muslined the Jamie Christina Abbey Coat and it looks good so far. I now have to transfer the changes to the lining pieces (or create new lining pieces). Yeah...sitting on my hands now. =)

  2. Your plans are fantastic!!! I love all the ideas. I agree, get cracking on that jacket! :)

    I really liked this issue of Ottobre and may pick it up. I'm still waiting for my September Burda, which I LOVE.

    1. Ooh, what grabbed you most in the Ottobre issue? I liked the sleeveless hoodie thing the most and briefly thought about throwing over my Lekala plans in favour of it. However, I think a long-sleeved hoodie would be more useful right now.

      I am crazy about the September Burda! The only real disappointment is that that pea-coat pattern is unlined and the pattern is written for a raw hem (!!) because it's made with some kind of non-fraying boiled wool.

  3. I have sewn a pattern out of the japanese book - the patterns run huge - beware. I love my knipmodes - every issue I own I could make several of the patterns whereas I usually only find a couple of patterns in Burda. I think knipmodes are easier to trace as well.