Fall Sewing Plans

Charlie Caftan in wool // Closet Core Patterns

Fall makes me want to sew everything. I always feel a little underwhelmed by my options when the cooler weather comes, and I like adding a few new pieces to make getting dressed every morning feel like less of a chore. While I make a project list every season, this time around I’ve been a little more thoughtful about what will give me the most bang for my buck and time. This means lots of basics and a few workhorse pieces that will help me build lots of outfits to keep warm.

Since moving out of my studio, I’ve had to readjust my sewing practice. My new apartment is on the small side, so I don’t have a lot of dedicated space for a sewing room. This means no serger, and no counter height cutting table. Since I do most of my sewing on the weekend, I have to plan ahead and make sure I’ve cut everything out at work before I take it home, and anything that needs to be serged needs to be done back in the office. I’ve found my favourite thing to sew at home is bras; they take up so little room and can be sewn start to finish on my vintage Bernina. I’m trying to get more organized since it’s super frustrating to dive into a project only to realize I didn’t bring the right thread or interfacing home with me. Logistics aside, I thought I’d share my fall sewing plans with you. I’m going through a  bit of a magazine editor phase, which means lots of black and simple, classic shapes. Here’s what I’ve got planned.

Up first? A Charlie Caftan in a thick wool. I drafted this pattern for the warmer months, but I can’t stop thinking about how cute it would look in something thick and warm, layered over slim pants or paired with tights and a turtleneck. The pleated version would be fabulous in something more structured; if I can find the right heathered grey wool, this will be a rockstar garment for me.

Pendleton Wool Coat // Closet Core Patterns

I’d like to add a new coat to the collection as well. I treated myself to a few yards of this magnificent Pendelton wool, and am trying to settle on the right pattern since I have more than enough Clare Coats and would like to try something new. I love the Sapporo Coat from Papercut Patterns, but it’s not the most practical for Montreal winters (no closures means its only wearable maybe three months out of the year). I am considering drafting something myself but I’m not sure I have the energy for all the muslinning given our pattern schedule for the coming year. To be continued…

Maxi Cardigan // Closet Core Patterns

Next up is a maxi or duster cardigan. I bought a RTW one in Paris this summer and wear it all the time; it makes even the most slovenly outfit 100% more elegant. I plan to draft this using our knit block. I’m thinking about a deep autumnal wool jersey or slightly drapey ponte for a little heft.

Lander Pants in twill // Closet Core Patterns

I love, love, love the new Lander Pants pattern from True Bias. I’ve already muslinned the first pair, and am halfway constructing some in a bold mustard yellow. I also have a super beefy olive cotton twill I’d like to use. I’m planning on widening the leg a little and pairing the cropped version with knee-high boots.

Ebony Tee in black bamboo knit // Closet Core Patterns

I just picked up a few yards of super soft black bamboo knit, and I’m going to make our Ebony dress with it. Paired with tights and flats it’s an easy to wear Little Black Dress, of which I shamefully have none.

Great British Sewing Bee Knit Dress - Free pattern! // Closet Core Patterns

I am also SUPER excited to make this clever drapey dress from the latest book from the Great Britsh Sewing Bee. I saw Melissa of Fehr Trade wearing it in London and practically ripped it off her body – the neckline is so pretty! Love Sewing offers a free download but I had trouble with a corrupted file and got in touch with someone at the magazine; let me know if anyone else has success downloading it! It calls for drapier knits but I want something structured, so I may use ponte, or perhaps a gorgeous forest green scuba I bought on Goldhawk Road to bring it full British circle.

Cropped Quilted Jacket - McCalls M7549 // Closet Core Patterns

Carrying over from my spring sewing list is this cropped quilted jacket from McCalls. The quilting design is absolutely perfect, and I’m hoping to use some of the stretch black denim from our last Cone Mills kit. I think this will be a slightly more sophisticated, “evening” version of my Tamarack Jacket.

Cline Sweater in Tov II // Closet Core Patterns

I’m planning on hopefully actually finishing a sweater this year. I still need to finish Snoqualmie (hey remember when I was going to host a knitalong for that? HAHAHAHA) but I tried on a sample of the Cline Sweater by Julie Hoover at Fancy Tiger Crafts this fall and fell in love with the silhouette. It’s so chic and kinda French, non? The lovely people at Woolfolk have sent me some of their new Tov DK yarn in charcoal to knit it with, and my skin is already swooning at the thought of that silky merino all up on my upper half this winter. It looks easy to knit; I’m just hoping I don’t get bored of all the stockinette. I was tempted to go with a bolder hue but knitting takes SO much time, I’d rather invest in a colour I know I’ll want to wear all the time. Because apparently, I’m goth now.

Black Stretch Trousers // Closet Core Patterns

Desperately, desperately missing from my wardrobe is a pair of slim fitting black dress pants. I get bored of wearing jeans every day, and these are so easy to dress up or down. I’m torn between using a stretch wool or gabardine with poly; either way, these pants will be self-drafted.

Kalle shirtdress in Mammoth plaid // Closet Core Patterns

Last but not least, I’m hoping to make a few Kalle Shirt and Shirtdresses in flannel. I wear flannel shirts at least once a week, and I want some tunic-y ones to wear with leggings. There are about forty different versions of the to-die-for Kaufman Mammoth Flannel on the market now so I’m going to have to Sophie’s Choice a few options; a black and white buffalo check is on the top of the list.

All of this may be a little ambitious given our upcoming studio move, but one of my new work resolutions is to carve out more time during the work day to sew for myself, so I’m hoping I can tackle a good chunk of this before spring comes and I have a whole new list of things I need to obsessively make.

What’s on your fall sewing agenda this year?


Core Fabrics


Hi! I'm Heather Lou, a pattern designer and sewing educator for the modern maker. At Closet Core Patterns, we transform your imagination into step-by-step implementation that helps you create a wardrobe you love - not one you're limited to buying off the rack.

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