Autumn 2018 6-PAC (six-piece sew along)Initially the fact that its been 27 degrees here today blinded me to any Autumn sewing, but once the seed was sewn my unconcious brain had a little think about it and I came up with an idea.
Welcome to the autumnal sew-along! It’s the hottest summer in forever over most of the Northern Hemisphere. Here in Sweden it has been over 30 degrees C for a long time (and the most we usually get is 25 here and there). So I don’t blame you if you think that sewing for the autumn is the last thing on your mind.
Nevertheless the world is turning and the seasons changing. And with that in mind, it’s time to sew a six-piece basic wardrobe for autumn. Styles have changed too, with loose and boxy tops now firmly ensconced and long skirts beginning to make a comeback. I continue to hope for the demise of the skinny pant but that doesn’t seem to have quite come about yet. So, review your wardrobe and consider whether you have your six basic pieces ready and what you need to sew. As always, I urge you to concentrate on simple designs and excellent fabric, the best you can buy. Take some time to fit one or two new shapes as well as relying on old friends.
Choose one neutral colour as your base (neutral being traditionally: black, grey, white, cream, brown, tan, stone and various dulled colours such as navy and olive and perhaps even plum or rust). Add to it a colour or another neutral. Choose the neutral and colour to flatter you and to go with the rest of your wardrobe.
RESIST the temptation to splash out on pattern and go for fabric quality instead. For autumn, excellent choices are wool crepe, high quality ponte or double-knit, boiled wool, thicker cottons and quilted cottons.
The basics of autumn:
A jacket or cardigan in your neutral colour. This layer sets the tone for the whole collection, so think it over carefully.
A second lighter layering piece in either a tone of your neutral or your colour- cardigan sweater or shirt for example, or unlined jacket. Autumn is tricky, it’s nice to have layers in two levels.
Two tops – one neutral, one in the colour.
Two bottoms — in two tones of your neutral.
As you plan your wardrobe, I urge to to test it very thoroughly in your mind. Imagine opening your closet door in the morning, getting ready to go to work or go out for the day. How does it feel to reach for these pieces? Are they perfect? A second way to test is to get a sketch program like Adobe Sketch on you tablet and use a picture of yourself as a layer, and, using the line drawing as a reference, sketch the clothes to see whether you really like the look.
The formula is simple but it works well to vary it. For example:
Your budget is tight but it’s important that you look nice at work, although you don’t work in a formal workplace. You choose brown and purple as your neutral and colour. You make a boiled wool jacket in brown, a purple and brown checked shirt, a purple tee and a brown tee in the new square shape, a long brown tweed skirt and a pair of deep brown velvet trousers.
You have to attend a series of functions and conferences for work, so you need a wardrobe that can go from day to night easily. Black is the obvious choice for a neutral, and instead of a colour you pick as second neutral, a very pale yellow. You make a light jacket in black satin with black lace back and sleeves, as well as a black cashmere cardigan. Pale yellow raw silk makes a skirt and tank top that can work as a dress, and you add a second tank of black raw silk and a pair of wide-legged black wool crepe trousers with a detachable sequinned belt.
You will be travelling a lot and you need easy-care basics. You pick navy and pink as your neutral and colour. You make a kimono-style jacket in a thick print Japanese indigo gauze, and a long pink light wool lace knitted cardigan. To that you add a dark pink long-sleeved merino turnip top and a navy short-sleeved merino tunic top. A pair of jeans and a pair of navy ponte leggings complete your wardrobe.
You’re retired and spending time at home where the autumn temperatures are mostly hot until they’re not. You choose tan as your neutral and green as your colour. A natural-coloured linen jacket, unlined, and a long green cotton cardigan hoodie are your layers. You add matching wide-legged linen pants and some tan skinny jeans, as well as a boxy tan t-shirt and a longer lime green tunic t-shirt.
I invite you to think of your own challenges this autumn. Don’t forget to go through your own wardrobe first and see what you’ve got as a basis — once you have your six basics it’s fun to embellish – add a print dress, or a coloured bottom.
I could go back to teal for Autumn as I didn't do as many teal pieces in reality as I planned in my little notebooks.
Teal wool coat
Teal knit cardigan
Teal knit top
Teal woven blouse
If I leave the coat to nearer the end I might be motivated to sew it.
To stay within stash fabrics I might need to have various shades of teal, but I think it is doable