I have far too many plans for Autumn. If you didn’t think my Fall Planner was long enough, my sewing goals, alone, are rather extraordinary. Then, why not dream? Strangely, I think the theme of the season is already forming. My Fall Sewing Playbook 2022 will be a “Season of Secret Embellishments.”
Sewing for Others
One of my main goals for the season is to sew more for others. I made cross-back aprons for friends in late summer. And, in September, I made a navy linen, bracelet-sleved, half-width-collared Wiksten Unfolding Jacket* for a good friend. Next up: a trio, or “coven,” of unlined Wiksten Unfolding Jackets for my best-people from grad school. They all asked for black. [I had to let them in on the secret in order to get everyone’s measurements.] So, I’m planning on diversifying these makes by varying the collar width as well as the pocket shape and placement, and pretty-little pocket linings & hanging hooks. Hidden, personalized embellishments will be my trademark! I’ll make these to fit generously, comfortable enough to lounge around in, but sleek enough to dress for success. And the long, rollable sleeves should take this unlined linen piece through all four seasons. [I’ve also got something beautiful and cozy in the works for another dear friend, but that’s super top secret….]
*The Wiksten Unfolding Jacket pattern, formerly known as the Wiksten Haori, is no longer available for purchase. The Helen’s Closet Moss Jacket is quite similar, with an even lovelier back yoke, a more inclusive size range, and well-written instructions.
An Old Coat, Reinvented
I once had a favourite fall-weight black wool coat with gorgeous embroidery across the front yoke and snap placket that I wore for more than a decade before deeming it too worn to hang on to. [The only picture I have is the fuzzy one above, top left! It was from Contempo Casuals in the States! Gosh, how I loved Contempo Casuals!] Giving this coat away, to no one in particular, or to no particular good cause, was one of the biggest mistakes of “my fashion history.” Now, I’m aiming to create something similar with the Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle and some Brushed Wool Blend Coating [which does not require pre-steaming or other preparation] which I picked up from Blackbird Fabrics a few seasons ago with this very task in mind. The Cascade pattern has the added bonus of a hood! Now, I won’t be embroidering the wool. Embroidery just kills my hands. And I don’t have the kind of embroidery-specific machine that would make this possible. So, at first, I thought I’d apply a pretty ribbon across the front yoke of the coat and along the tops of the pockets and the hood, and perhaps, I’d add a colourful lining. But now, I’m not so sure. Even with the all-black project that awaits for my lady friends, and all of the eye-strain black-on-black sewing creates, I’m pretty sure I’d get the most use out of a black coat. If anything, I might enjoy more secret embellishments – perhaps colourful lined pockets and ribbons therein, or a hint of contrast or colour along the zipper placket.
Yellowstone Slip-dress, or Mammoth Curveball
I had a summer cold and, while I was laid up, I binged all available seasons of Yellowstone. I’m obsessed with Beth’s outfits, most particularly, the bias cut plaid Vince slip-dress she wears with a long open cardigan in S01E05. During a recent sale, I purchased the Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan pattern for the topper. But I’m having trouble choosing a pattern for the slip-dress that I’d like. I’m still deciding between the Papercut Maya Dress, the Maisin Siciliy Slip Dress, and the Friday Pattern Co. Saltwater Slip. In search of the perfect plaid for me, I fell in LOVE with the Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel in Coastal Fog. My local stockist only had a small square. But I actually sourced three yards from the States because I loved it so much. The problem is, the fabric is only 44 inches wide, and cutting a dress on the bias, except, perhaps the Maya, would require a wider fabric, unless I wanted to do some wild piecing & pattern-matching. Um. No! Also, while I LOVE the idea of making a super cozy style for something that’s typically summery – then layering an even-warmer turtleneck underneath – I’m also super nervous about using such a thick fabric for a pattern that would be much easier to pull off with rayon or cotton blends. So, while I look for a more appropriate fabric for my Yellowstone dream, I’m thinking I’d like to use the flannel to make an elongated Paper Theory LB-Pullover to go with a slim skirt – perhaps adding two large buttons on the right side of the neckband as well as a waistband piece, also with large buttons. Alternatively, I’d love a full skirt like the Peppermint Pocket Skirt or the Merchant & Mills Shepherd, with some sort of crazy contrast secret pocket lining, naturally. Also, seeking cowboy boots to hide beneath my long skirts…Well, maybe someday.
I finally found a replacement for my long-lost winter beanie at Collected Joy. And it’s a wonderful mustardy COLOUR Blondie toque. So I’ve decided to create an extra-long scarf to coordinate. [I like the looks of this scarf diy from tidbits, shown in the top right photo, above.] I found a lovely Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in “Spice” up the street at FabricSpark. And I grabbed a softer, lighter teal cotton blend [not pictured], which matches many of my blue-green makes while providing a nice contrast to the gold. With these in hand, I’m going to make my own fabric scarves, perhaps with a few pretty pintucks at the ends and along any necessary seams. I’m thinking these will be the kind of tiny pintucks you’d only see if you got up close, because, secret embellishments. And I think I’ll even have enough fabric left to knock another item off of my Fall Planner by making some lovely cushion covers for the living room. [My models, here, would be these amazing, out-of-my-price-range beauties spotted and very much felt-up when I was last in Stratford’s Wills & Prior.] When in doubt, coordinate your garments with your home decor…or your horses!!!!