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Fall Fashion Inspiration - Sew a Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Ann Siegle

Screenshot 2019-09-24 15.43.50.png

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What I’m sewing for fall

By Ann Siegle

Customer Experience Evangelist, Christine Jonson Patterns

Fall is my second favorite time of year. I’m a summer beach girl at heart, but my birthday is in the fall, so I harbor a love for autumn. We all live in Michigan, which has spectacular autumn weather. September is warm with temps in the 70s and maybe low 80s (seems like more low 80s the last few years), with brilliant blue skies, light winds and low humidity.  October is when our autumn really starts.

If we get a cold snap (with night time temps in the low 40s) it starts the trees turning, and we have a LOT of trees to turn. I joke that, if left unchecked, Michigan would reforest itself in a generation (as evidenced by how many maple, oak and poplar saplings I yank out of my garden every year.) When the leaves turn, they turn Michigan ablaze in color from north to south. It’s quite spectacular. Add to it our Mediterranean-blue lakes and fall is when Michigan shines!

It’s also the season we like to refresh our wardrobes. Maybe those years of starting a new school year with the autumn colors conditions us to desire a change in our closet. With warm temps during the day and cool to cold at night, we have to layer for the seasons.

Here’s what I’m sewing for fall:

A glen-check Boyfriend Jacket. Plaid jackets are all over the place this fall and for good reason, they’re stylish, look great over a graphic tee shirt and jeans

A pair of Perfect Pant Skinny pants – you can’t go wrong with a pair of skinny knit pants that you can wear to a meeting, and these fit the bill. I’ll make them in black ponté knit, of course.

A sweater knit dress – fall is for cozy layers, and I’m looking for something above-the-knee that I can wear with leggings and a puffy vest for casual days, and under a blazer for meetings. I am going to make a sweater knit version of the Multi Tie Dress – only I don’t plan on tying it, just wearing it as a funnel neck dress. I am modeling it after a very similar one with an asymmetrical (diagonal) cut hem that I saw in an atheisure clothing catalog.  If you’re not tying it, you can be a bit more lenient with the stretch percentages, going down to a 25% stretch knit and sizing up instead.

A long cardigan – a cozy top layer in a sweater knit is perfect for fall – ideally this coordinates with the sweater knit dress too (see above). I’m going to make the 519 Swing Cardi Jacket

A cape/wrap – I have a blue knit plaid that is begging to be a fall/winter wrap. I may even convert the Travel Trio Three Ruana to an asymmetrical poncho by cutting two (not just one) sides on the fold and finishing the neckline and edges with a curved hem.

A turtleneck – a well-fitting turtleneck! I’m looking for more than a ready-to-wear shapeless turtleneck, but I don’t want it to be skin tight either. I’ll make either the Travel Trio Two Raglan Turtleneck or the Travel Trio Three Funnelneck (with long sleeves.)

I believe in mixing things with my current wardrobe, so besides my jeans and skinny cords, I also planned my outfits to work with several other garments. I always choose stash fabrics to coordinate with at least 2-3 things I already have. Making one-off garments is fun but it sets your closet up for the dreaded “nothing to wear.”  Each of these pieces goes well with what I have already.

My perfect fall day is sunny and in the 50s or low 60s with a brilliant blue sky – perfect for sweater or wrap weather, but still warm enough to not have to wear a heavy coat. What’s yours?