Winter is Coming …

I love summer sewing. Dresses, lightweight fabrics, drapey goodness. It motivates me. Summer is always my most prolific sewing season. I spend the whole time thinking, oh, if the sun holds out for one more week, maybe I could just squeeze in one more new summer dress.

Here's what I want to sew to keep me warm and cosy through the upcoming winter and autumn


Winter is another story entirely. Historically, my sewing machine is much less active.

You see, summer dressing is about fun. It’s about what I want to wear. It’s about that feeling of being alive that comes from sunlight on bare skin. But in winter, we need to dress to survive. Evidently, this is nowhere near as much fun.

So I’m not one one who gets excited by the prospect of autumn/winter dressing.

Death, taxes and winter…

But there’s no escaping the fact that, in Northern Europe, the temperature feels winter-like to my Australian blood  for around 10 months of the year.

So, I am determined to try to motivate myself for some autumn/winter sewing this year.

Cue my recent fabric/pattern binge!

So the purpose of this post, is actually to try to hold myself accountable. I WILL make these garments. I WILL keep sewing even when we are blanketed in darkness for 18 hours a day. Or, I will at least try…

(This post also has a second purpose. Being a big sufferer of sew-omnia, planning my future sewing is one of the big things that turns over and over in my head at 2am in the morning. Maybe if I get it all down in writing, my sewing plans won’t keep my awake so much…)

So this is what I am foreseeing in my Autumn/Winter sewing plans.

The secret-pyjama collection

One thing that I want to try to find are winter clothes that I can wear to work but which are actually warm, cosy and secret-pyjama-like.

I have a few plans in this regard.

The first is a total rip-off of Heather Lou’s gorgeous Ebony tee dress in scuba, out of this lovely scuba I picked up from the Fabric Godmother recently.

I’ve also got fabric ready for a long-sleeved navy Zadie dress by Tilly & The Buttons. This one has been ready to go since the beginning of summer but I just couldn’t bear to use precious summer sewing time making something with long sleeves! I’m planning on using the contrasting fabric only for the side panels and keeping everything else plain navy.

Next up in the hopefully-secret-pyjamas list is the Gable dress by Jennifer Lauren Handmade. After loving my Laneway dress experience, I am very eager to try another of Jen’s patterns. After sewing too many versions, I am a little sick of Colette Moneta, so I’m hoping to find a cosy knit dress alternative. Plus, the Gable top also looks super classy too! I am also super-excited about my fabric choice for this one. I have had some Atelier Brunette Dazzle Nights French Terry tucked away for a while now. But, it just wasn’t quite enough for a Gable dress. But Atelier Brunette have just released a coordinating range of ribbed knits to match their three French Terry colours. So I figure if I make the contrast sleeve version of the Gable with the ribbed knit as a contrast cuff, I should just have enough fabric to make the ultimate secret pyjama.

And a little more tailored…

I have a navy and white polka fabric waiting to become an Elsie dress by Sew Over It. My rationale here, is that if get the fit of the bodice right, I should be able to wear both cardigans and chunky knit sweaters on top of it, thus extending its life into the cooler seasons…

And a new-to-me indie designer: Vanessa Pouzet

Moving on from dresses, I have a few other goodies planned. I recently discovered the work of Vanessa Pouzet and am planning a denim Fatale Sister pencil skirt and a veste eagle cardigan. Loving the fabrics I have waiting for these ones… A dark Japanese selvedge denim for the skirt and a “warm taupe” ( I would have called it beige-ish pink, but I guess I’m just too literal to ever make it in the world of marketing…)  boiled wool jersey for the cardigan…

The boiled wool jersey is so lovely and soft and drapey. I’m excited to work with and wear it. I’ve always found sourcing fabric for winter sewing quite difficult. I’m not as familiar with what’s what and there just don’t seem to be as many options. If anyone else has the same problem, I was very excited recently to discover the huge selection of wool-based winter weight gear available at Fabworks Mill, with great rates for international shipping too! Could be a very good source for fabrics for the #cosycardichallenge.

Then for cosyin’ up on the couch

For more casual winter goodies, I am planning a colour-blocked Geodesic sweater by Blueprints for Sewing in these lovely colours from Guthrie & Ghani. Still deciding whether to go cropped or longer lengthened…

As for my big personal challenge, I think I am ready to tackle some Ginger Jeans. Still haven’t decided between mid or high-risk version… I’ve loved everything I’ve sewn by Closet Case Patterns so far, so here’s hoping this will be the same…

For ages, I haven’t had any jeans which fit me. So I was determined that I would sew some Gingers once the weather cooled. Then, over the summer, while in France, I was able to go to a few shops that don’t exist in The Netherlands. Nothing fancy, just GAP and Uniqlo. I picked up a few pairs of RTW jeans that fit well enough. So I thought, ok, one less thing to sew. Then I read somewhere (sorry really can’t remember where) someone talking about how their ginger jeans were great because it was actually possible to have jeans that fit around the butt and hips, without being too big at the waist, creating the possibility of  belt-less jeans wearing without having to constantly tug your jeans up, even after climbing stairs. This was a complete revelation to me. It had never actually even crossed my mind that it was possible to have jeans that you don’t have to constantly hike up to get them back onto your waist. Every pair I have ever worn has this problem! So, I have decided that Ginger is back on the agenda in search of this jeans holy grail!

And elastic is my friend…

In contrast to a challenge like jeans, I also need some simple makes to mix it up a bit. Recalling, again, my desire for cosiness, another look I am digging for this winter is a midi-length skirt paired with a chunky knit. I have a couple of great fabrics that I want to use to make up some warm, simple, elastic waisted skirts. The first, is this awesome reversible knit that I bought in Japan. It has the weight of a heavy scuba and is breton striped on one side and grey marle  on the other. I am imagining this as midi, box pleated skirt, fully reversible… I always love me a good two-for-the-price-of-one deal!

The other fabric just begging to be made into a cosy, warm skirt is this pink pre-pleated velvet again from Fabric Godmother. I loved it the moment I saw it but I had recently been buying a lot of fabric… (in case you didn’t already get that impression from this post). But then my Mum asked me what I wanted for my birthday… So I figured it is not illegitimate fabric hoarding if it’s a gift? Right? (Well, technically, I guess it’s not fabric hoarding ever as long as I actually get around to sewing it…)

And one last challenge…

Finally, a pattern which has been in my stash for years, but I have never gotten around to is Papercut Patterns’ Watson Jacket. Since the autumn rains will soon start to fall in the Netherlands, I have brought a lovely waterproof Mac fabric from Merchant & Mills. Ahh, isn’t every fabric on their website just to die for…

So I’m hoping to maybe even tackle this one. Since the Mac fabric is lovely both sides and I really want it more as a cover-up in rain than a winter coat, I am hoping to be able to modify the pattern and make it unlined. I still haven’t totally decided though whether to make it up in the tan or navy side. Oh who am I kidding? Can I ever say no to navy?

As I write this, I realise maybe it looks like a huge ad feature. Just to be clear, I have purchased myself all the fabrics (well, except for the one my mummy bought me!) and patterns referred to above. And none of those links are affiliate links. This is just the stuff I like at the moment and I want to share …

So I fear that this is already enough sewing to last me through until next summer. There’s a high chance that I won’t manage to get through it all, but darn it, I will give it a shot!

So what’s on your sewing line up for the colder months?

5 thoughts on “Winter is Coming …

  1. What a fabulous set of plans. Love your fabric choices! Particularly the scuba, the pleated velvet and the mac fabric. I’m being slowed down by a bad back at the moment and I’m itching to get going, so I’ll live vicariously through you until I can get my back to full strength.

    1. Oh no! Best of luck for a speedy recovery!! Some of my most productive ever sewing periods have been those that follow a forced break from the machine!

  2. Wow, I love how you have such clear plans for a whole seasonally wardrobe! I suspect the Ginger jeans won’t disappoint – I don’t wear belts so I never even bother with the belt loops, and I’ve never found myself hoiking mine back up! Looking forward to seeing all these makes in the coming months.

    1. We’ll see if I manage to stick to the plan though! And exciting to have more proof that this holy grail of non-slipping down jeans can actually exist. Re-reading your great post on your ginger experience will be essential when I get to that one!

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