Design Notebook: Autumn Sewing


Amy Butler – Corduroy from the Soul Blossoms Collection.

I’m feeling the urge to sew again for the first time since spring –  fall and winter skirts in particular are calling to me, the occasional dress, capes and coats – though I can’t imagine where I will find the time in this busy September that is unfolding. (Oh, who am I kidding, I always find time when I really want to do something!)

In particular I am thinking stretch jersey, wool, corduroy and denim – but I am refraining from any purchasing until I first go through my fabric and pattern stash (this weekend) and determine what I already have that can be pressed into service for the fall. Then there is also the matter of pulling out some pieces for quilting and other handmade gifts for Christmas.

Since paring my stash in half during our spring clean-up, I really have been working on only purchasing yarn and fabric for specific projects and only one at a time, lest my good intentions for keeping down the clutter go awry. I’ve been “frogging” crochet projects I don’t like rather than letting them rot and thinking up new uses for the yarn that results. But at the same time, there is something nice about having a pile of fabric waiting for me to pick through this weekend – I’m envisioning a short cape for my vintage blue wool, and I’m sure I’ve got enough grey wool (a Value Village find) to make a Mandy Patullo-inspired collage skirt. Not to mention the red jersey knit I want to print with black paint and turn into a comfy shift dress. For new fabric this fall I think I would love a skirt of the above amy butler corduroy, some more orangey flannel to make a hooded pull-over, and a piece of denim to make a basic skirt from. What is that now – six pieces? If I’ve got time, a new lined-winter coat will definitely be in the offing. I love the one I made last year but without a lining it’s more of a swing-season affair.

Not unreasonable. But then again, probably more ideas than I will get time to work on. At the very least I will make the cape out of my vintage wool as I’ve found a pattern that doesn’t use too much fabric – and I’ve only got a little bit (hopefully 2 and 1/2 so I can make the version of that with the hood). This seems to be a straight-forward affair and I’m pretty sure I could knock it off in a day at home. Which is the ticket really – projects that can be easily pulled together in a day or two of work. That’s going to be my sewing focus for the fall I think…. easy patterns with quality finishing… and using the stash as much as possible before buying new fabric.

Time to retire the garden so I can get sewing again…..

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