Autumn 2020 sewing and knitting plans

After five years of sewing my clothes, I have been recently inclined to better plan my makes, for two main reasons. First, it means my sewing is less compulsive – I realised that sewing on a whim is actually quite stressful to me. Second, I have recently started knitting properly, which opens-up a wide range of opportunities of clothes-matching – especially as I am such a dress/cardigan girls.

I started properly planning for Spring 2020, using the Canva app because drawing is unfortunately not my forte. But with an unexpected exodus to France for lockdown without taking any of my patterns or fabrics with me, this completely went out of the window and I ended-up going back to my usual compulsive-self, buying far too much fabric and making far too many dresses – which I all love but were definitely not planned!

So back to square one on planning! But at least this time I have quite a precise idea of the main directions I want to follow!

Key piece to add to my wardrobe: a fit-and-flare raincoat

Raincoats tend to be straight-shaped but to match all my lovely mid-season fit-and-flare dress, I have been wanting a fit-and-flare raincoat for ages. I found the perfect water-repellent fabric in my favourite wine colour last year from Croftmill and after years of searching, the perfect pattern appeared in McCall’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection, in the form M8048 – and it has bust cup options, hurrah!!!

Ideally, I would make a matching hat using the free Bob Fauve pattern, but given how much I hate sewing accessories I would not bet on it…

Key knit and sew matches: blue cardi, red cardi, wine skirt

Last autumn, I made two gorgeous dresses which I adore, in two different colour tones of the same Dolce & Gabbana fabric from SewMeSunshine.

They are definitely crying-out for a matching cardigan and now that I am a more competent knitter, I can definitely tackle this gap in my wardrobe. For the blue dress, I am planning a second Belladonna cardigan (see the first I knitted here), in the same glorious royal blue I used for my daughter’s Enchantée sweater.

For the red dress, I have managed to buy some deep red Drops Lace before this quality was discontinued for a Salal cardigan – a very easy knit and I adore the versatility of my powder pink one. After many sample orders for a matching fluffy fibre, I chose the Drops Brushed Alpaca Silk – I usually prefer the Kid Silk quality but the red was for too bright for my liking.

Last match, I want a brocade midi skirt to match the wine Chuck Jumper I knitted last winter. I am keen on a pleated skirt and I have already found the fabric at AmoThreads, I now just need to decide whether I am brave enough to self-draft it!

Key technical challenge: sewing a silk dress

Although I now buy very few dresses, I recently splurged on two Red Valentino beauties – both silk maxi dresses. The only reason to justify the price is that I couldn’t make them myself. This really needs to change so my challenge is to make another M7974 (see my first version here), in silk both for the outer fabric and the lining. Thanks to Bennytex, I have sourced all the silk I need at very reasonable prices so wish me luck!

Key sustainable challenge: more small pieces with fabric leftovers

With my recent love of maxi dresses, I know tend to buy fabric by 3m rather than 2 in the past. I therefore end up with bigger pieces of fabric leftover, which I’d love to use. I’ve been making quite a few summer tops from my girls this summer with the fabric leftover from my dresses. For the winter, I think shorts ar the way forward, using the Pascal pattern by Coralie Bijasson. Here is a quick preview of two recent makes, an article will follow soon I promise!

And a bit of stash busting would be good too! I am very keen to make a long sleeved version of M6696, using yellow piping along the button placket in the same way as I did for this dress.

And a few random projects of course…

Knowing myself I really cannot rule those out. Given the size of my silk stash, do expect at least another silk maxi dress if my first attempt is successful. I need some silk nightdresses toobut haven’t found the right pattern yet. Another jumpsuit may or may not happen, depending on whether I find the appropriate fabric. Many more happy hours in prospect!

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