Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Winter wrap up and planning for spring

Still alive. Things have been kind of odd as of late. I have been trying to prioritize things in my life and make lasting changes. I have not however figured out how to fit everything in. I am not talking about being one of those supermoms who make their children's bento lunches every morning in cute shapes and love notes with fresh veggies from the garden, keeping the house immaculate, going to all school and church events, making the children's clothes (before they grow out of them - I did make one of my daughter's a dress during this last hiatus), etc. I am not that delusional, but I would like to figure out how to fit in working out and having a little me time (to sew/knit/read/blog) and a little more cleaning time into my schedule without turning to sleep deprivation.  But enough of why it has been so long (since this is an ongoing problem with me, I will try not to post any more about it unless a miracle happens and I get a solution of sorts).

So, my fall/winter sewing plan did not go that well. I did however buy a couple of things so that I am able to make it through fall and winter and be able to wear vintage the whole time. 

Fall and winter have always been my vintage wardrobe's strong suit because I love layering and skirts are perfect for cold weather because you can have wool leggings with over the knee socks and not look bulky, if you put long johns under your pants, you will be warm, but will be either bulky or feel constricted. 

There are a few problems with my fall/winter wardrobe (which may warrant a post of it's own when/if it eventually warms up and I prepare to pack them away and bring out my spring/summer clothes).

1 - I do not have many warm dresses that fit (and by that I mean none). 
2 - A vast majority of my skirts are grey. I did buy one dark wine colored wool skirt (that is now my favorite), but I was in a hurry washing and ruined another skirt (last year's favorite) on accident because the wine color bled really bad! 
3 - I need more sweaters. I have two nice heavy cardigans that I love and two sweaters. That is not enough for outside of work wear (that is plenty for working because I have to wear company logo shirts)
4 - All of my heavy tights (or all of my tights period) are either black or grey (but I do have several textures/patterns) which is good because they match everything, but might want to add a little color.

So I will need to deal with that before next late fall/winter. I traced and cut out the pattern for the Colette Peony dress, but that is as far as it made it sadly. I am not sure that I will get around to making that before spring or not, because since I have been wearing my warmest winter clothes so much this winter, many of them are in need of repairs. Nothing too huge, 1 zipper, 1 ripped lining, 2 needing dyed, and several buttons need sewn back on.  So I am planning on working on those before they get packed away so I do not have to worry about that to start next fall (and so that I can wear them until spring decides to show up). 

All I have planned for the rest of winter is to repair those items and look forward to spring. 

I am planning a lot and know that I will not get around to making it all, but it is something for me to think about and have a direction for my wardrobe to go and I think that is important. 

I have decided is that I should stick to patterns I own and free patterns, that way I will not feel bad about buying patterns and not getting around to using them. I also want to use my fabric stash to start with. I have some decent stuff in there, not really high quality, but I do not think I am really ready for high quality anyway, I will get there.

So here is the plan so far....

1. Skirt. I may not fit into many of the skirts I had from last year, so this is probably going to be top priority. I am thinking at least one fitted skirt and a couple of flowy ones. Plus I put away my circle skirt without re-hemming so I have that to look forward too LOL. 
I have a couple of fabrics in my stash that are only a yard long, if I can test and make sure I can do a pencil skirt in 1 yard, I will have to decide between these fabrics...

Maybe I will use the pattern from Gertie's book.

I don't think I have any fabric in my stash for a circle skirt or even a aline though. I have tons of aline skirt patterns, but I will make sure to make one with a waist band. I hate where they decided to get rid of them in the 60s, I have several 60s skirts that I do not feel comfortable in because the lack of a waistband. I don't know what it is but a waistband makes me feel more secure and makes me feel that my figure looks better.

2. Blouses. I do not have many blouses to wear outside of work that I can think of. I did buy one, that I am excited to try out 

But I will need some more. The afternoon tea top from last year was out of terrible fabric and it did not make it sadly. Here are some of my choices for blouse patterns.
As you see I am big on sleeveless. It just is so much more comfortable for me, plus no sewing the sleeves hehe. I would like to do a white eyelet like Claire did here, but only making it button down instead of pull over. That would match everything! 

As far as my stash goes. I have this, that might make a nice top
3. Pants. I would love to have at least one pair of pants/capris that were flattering. These are adorable.  I have quite a few pants patterns, but this one looks promising. 

4. Dresses - The shirt waist dress I made is my favorite summer thing. It is light weight and very versatile because I can  wear it by itself, with a cardigan, or with a circle skirt over it. 

However, that is the only dress I wear in summer. I would love a collection of summer dresses, but I think that two more are necessary

I am thinking of using the blue and white searsucker that I have in my stash and Casey's tutorial where she made this beauty..

 The second, if I get around to it (after the other things) would use a sheet set that I have in my fabric stash and I might treat myself to this pattern unless I find something in my pattern hoard that I have forgotten about (Planning on organizing that soon too, many another post).

So, that is what I would love to do. I hope to get at least a few things done and show them to you. Wish me luck :)

* All photos came from my Pinterest, if you want the original links


  1. Good luck Brandy. I am now finding how hard it is to balance work, cleaning house, raising a child and everything else life throws my way. Start with something simple that you know will be a success - like something you have already made and liked. That's my advice, but I need to work on listening to that advice as well and not overwhelming myself :)

    1. Ah, thanks. I will try that. I know that I have been missing your posts, but I am certain you are busy with your little bundle and that is definitely more important!

  2. Brandy, I have been cleaning my sewing room. Mike took it over last time I made room in it and that is not ok because I could not get to anything, I have old patterns if you want more to choose from. Mine are different sizes.

  3. Winter weight vintage or vintage repro/inspired dresses are not easy to find - take it from a Canadian! :) Someone could make a killer just selling those and nothing else, I tell you!

    Wishing you all the very best with both your cold weather wardrobe building and finding a greater sense of balance in your life, dear gal (it's a never ending juggling act there, isn't it?).

    ♥ Jessica

    1. I was lucky to find and purchase two wool dresses (one vintage, one repro) that I think are great pieces and work well layered with cardigans, however they no longer fit. I have only worn the one twice and the other one has never gotten worn :(
      They are hard to come by which is why I am planning on just making my own. Then I only have to worry about finding fabric that will work and that I like, not sure how big of a feat that will be. I have noticed that the patterns I like do not call for heavy fabrics, but hopefully I can work around that.
      I agree with the never ending juggling!! When I get things where I think things are working out okay something changes drastically and I have to start all over again. It is weird, I just thought by the time I was this age (or my children were this old) that I would have figured it out by now. LOL.