Gray Linen Half-Circle Skirt

So, um, this wasn’t on any of my plans–not just the Wardrobe Architect plans, but even my random other-stuff-to-sew plans. I was just craving a maxi skirt in linen and fabrics-store.com put their Asphalt linen on sale and, well, my impulse control was lacking that day. 

But, wait! you might say. That’s not a maxi skirt. Yeah, uh, I miscalculated how much I’d need. Oops? So I just made it as long as possible.

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(Yes, I’m wearing knee highs in 90-degree weather. I don’t even own sandals.)

I didn’t use a pattern for this. It’s a half-circle skirt with a 1-inch waistband, in-seam pockets (of course) on the sides, and an invisible zip closure in back. I feel like I’m getting the hang of this invisible zipper business! It sits below the natural waist, which I debated for a while (since almost everything I have cinches in at the waist–but I’m happy with the finished shape. It’s comfy and flowy (there’s nothing better than linen in hot weather).

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(What expression is that??)

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Also, look at this fucking hem. I’m weirdly proud of how well it turned out (if you could see my horrendous first attempt at hemming a linen circle skirt, you would understand–trust me). This lovely finish is courtesy of a tip I learned at Workroom Social’s Weekend Dressmaking Intensive: serge the hem, then fold over twice. The serged edge is ¼ inch, so it’s a perfect guide for a narrow hem. And a narrow hem is an easy way to finish a curve like this.

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Some might consider this below-the-knee length a bit “matronly” I think, but it does have one major advantage over knee-length (or shorter) skirts: when I sit down, it doesn’t ride up enough to expose my skin to the subway seats. Shorter skirts are okay when it’s cool enough to wear thick tights, but for warm weather my germaphobia appreciates the longer length.

I confess: this doesn’t really fill any hole in my wardrobe. I have to cut myself off from skirts! Well, after the next one–which IS for a costume and therefore totally okay. I have one other skirt to blog about, but it’s already finished and DOES fill a hole! It’s just so autumn-y that I’m having trouble gearing up to take photos in this heat. Soon.

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The Made Up Initiative

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A few days ago, Did You Make That launched a charity challenge: The Made Up Initiative. Participants make a donation to the UK National Literacy Trust and pledge to create something (it need not be sewn!) by September 10. Anybody who completes the challenge is entered to win a bunch of sewing goodies! (And, of course, they’re supporting literacy in the UK . . . but, c’mon, PRIZES. 😛 )

Since I love both reading and sewing, I figured signing on was a no brainer. I’m pledging to make a handkerchief hem skirt (or dress–depends on how it goes!) since it’s something on my to-do list and I have all the materials for it already. (I’m trying not to spend any more money on sewing stuff until September, so fall capsule wardrobe stuff is on hold for the moment.) (Though I have completed one skirt for it! And one other skirt . . . that was not on any to-do list . . . oh well.)

Other Sewing for Fall/Winter

Besides the capsule wardrobe sewing, I’ve got a few more items on my list to work on in the next months.

First, there’s one outfit that I definitely need to sew for the fall: a ballgown and matching bolero for an event in early November. I’ve got this one pretty much planned out already; will need to start work in September or early October at the latest.

I also still have Ren Fair plans for the end of November and there are a number of items I’d like to sew for that one, too. I really need to get this finalized!

And, lastly, there’s no rush on these, but I really want to get started on some Victorian clothes! I keep finding out about Victorian costume events too late to make anything for them, so I should just make some outfits when I have the urge so that they’re done whenever I might need them. There are three outfit ideas percolating in my brain right now: a navy/white striped “seaside” costume, a blue/white/plaid fancy dress ballgown (more details if this comes to pass!), and a mourning day dress. All of these will be rather expensive thanks to the amount of fabric and accessories I’ll need to buy, but I’ll try to chip away at it by getting individual pieces done over a few months. (First up: petticoats!)

Wardrobe Architect: Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe Plan

Okay, here are my preliminary plans for fall/winter capsule wardrobe sewing. I live in a place that gets snow, but where I’m often inside in heating that is too warm, so layering is generally the best idea. This means I need a few more tops and dresses than I had for spring/summer since I’ll want some with short sleeves and some with long.

As for actual garments to sew, I’m trying to make sure this time that they not only fill a hole in my wardrobe but also get me excited to sew. I found that my spring/summer plans included a few too many TNT (tried-and-true) patterns that, while quick to sew, were less interesting (and thus didn’t always come to pass, haha). This time I’m trying to make sure each thing I’m planning to sew is also something that I’m really excited about.

So, in that vein, these are the items I’m planning to make:

  • Wool dress: Giselle view A in gray wool (fully lined, perhaps in purple with purple binding at the neckline and sleeve ends?)
  • Long-sleeve fit-and-flare knit dress: McCalls’ 6951 view D in black interlock (perhaps with raised neckline & Nevermore collar)
  • Corduroy A-line skirt: Ginger version 2 in brown corduroy
  • Turtleneck: Vogue 8670 view E in cream jersey
  • Hoodie: Simplicity 1251 view B in black sweatshirt fleece–would redraft hood based on another I have and add a center front separating zip

And here’s my complete capsule wardrobe! Stuff in bold is stuff I’m planning to sew; italics indicates items that need to be purchased.

Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Dresses

  1. Gray floral Lady Skater (short sleeve)
  2. Black Weekender dress (short sleeve)
  3. Green purchased dress (short sleeve)
  4. Gray wool Giselle (3/4 sleeve)
  5. Black knit dress with Nevermore collar (long sleeve)
  6. Red purchased dress (long sleeve)

Skirts/Pants

  1. Brown tweed Hollyburn
  2. Black wool Walking Skirt
  3. Corduroy Ginger
  4. Jean Hollyburn
  5. Nevermore skirt
  6. Jeans

Tops

  1. Plain black T-shirt (short sleeve)
  2. White sweetheart T-shirt (short sleeve)
  3. Gray cropped V-neck (elbow-length)
  4. Black wrap top (elbow-length)
  5. Cream turtleneck (long sleeve)
  6. Black Bronte (long sleeve)
  7. Black Weekender tunic (long sleeve)

Outerwear

  1. Black corduroy blazer
  2. Pumpkin corduroy blazer
  3. Black fleece zip-up hoodie
  4. Bottle green wool sweater
  5. Black or gray wool sweater?
  6. Heavy black wool coat

Accessories

  1. Slips
  2. Tights & socks
  3. Black boots
  4. Brown oxfords
  5. Scarves
  6. Brown satchel
  7. Black She Who Sews Dottie bag
  8. Black leather gloves
  9. Brown leather gloves

You will notice I included shoes and accessories this time. I had informally kept them in mind for spring/summer, but fall/winter is when I wear really functional accessories so I wanted to make sure I have what I will be using and make informed decisions on replacements.

Wardrobe Architect 2015: Fall Planning

I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and go through the Coletterie post “5 steps to plan your fall sewing.”

Step 1: Review Your Core Style

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Lookin’ good. Pretty autumn-y already. 🙂

Step 2: Make a Fall Moodboard

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A mixture of favorite fall-flavored images and things I’m thinking about making or buying, collected over at Pinterest.The board is too big (and still growing) to capture the whole thing here, so visit it at Pinterest.

Step 3: Choose Your Fall Silhouettes

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A few new silhouettes here: the A-line skirt (spoiler alert: I’m actually almost done with this one), jeans(!), and the empire waist dress (which, okay, I had on the spring/summer silhouettes, but didn’t end up using at all). That last is really just included because I have one (purchased) empire-waist dress that I loooove and wore all last winter and I expect I’ll be doing that again this winter. As for the jeans, I don’t really like wearing pants and I’m not interested in sewing them, but I’m hoping to go horseback riding this fall and, well, I need jeans for that! But those will be going on the to-purchase list. (I do like the look of jeans, though! I just need to find comfortable ones. . . .)

Step 4: Form Your Fall Palette

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Yeah, mine is . . . exactly the same as it was for spring/summer. #noregrets

I’ve also been thinking about some fall/winter fabric patterns that I would like to use–namely, plaid and argyle–but I haven’t yet figured out if they’ll fit into my capsule wardrobe.

Step 5: Make a Project List

In progress. It currently includes 5-6 sewing projects and a few things I need to purchase. I’m actually mostly with one new item for fall. Write-up tk soon!