Trying to find inspiration for fall & winter

My American readers, are you voting today, or did you early vote? Yes? Good. Moving right along…

Cold weather is setting in. And I’ve found myself absolutely floundering style-wise this fall! Being inspired by knitting projects but not sure how they’ll fit into my wardrobe. Being inspired by certain vintage fashions but feeling very ho-hum when wearing them myself. Being inspired by other vintage fashions but not if the styles will work for me. Wanting to sew more of my wardrobe but not really sure what I want to be sewing and wearing. Not having any idea what would be appropriate fabric to sew with for fall/winter, other than wool. I’m such a fan of wash and wear fabrics like cotton (wool being an exception), as well as the accompanying prints. Satins, silks and chiffons don’t usually do it for me, even when brightly colored. Hell, right now I can’t even decide if I want to cut or grow my hair. Help, I’m style paralyzed!

So let’s break it down. Fair isle sweaters and tweedy A-line skirts are always a winner in my book (not that I have enough of either). But right now I’m also drawn to big floral-print dresses (not that I can find any fabric that fits the bill), brightly-colored cropped cardigans and belted sweaters (oh but my belt collection is shabby!), and more full skirts, pencil skirts and cinched waists than I have leaned towards in recent memory. Perhaps I’m wanting the bright and lively colors and more defined lines and styles to punch up the dreary weather that’s setting in, especially as our house doesn’t get a whole lot of natural light as it is! But almost none of these are things in my current wardrobe, so there would be lots of work ahead of me in the sewing, kniting and hunting departments. One step in the right direction: I’ll be following along with Tuppence Ha’Penny’s pencil skirt sew-along to make a lined pencil skirt. (And no, I haven’t decided on fabric yet. I’m sure you’re surprised, given the nature of this post.)

While I sort myself out, I’ll leave you with a few little goodies from my sewing pattern files as inspiration for your sewing…

              
        

Sources: Advance 3659, Vogue 6329, Advance 5117, Hollywood 1200, Simplicity 4992

Any of these strike your fancy? What would you do to make them fall or winter appropriate? Where are you finding inspiration right now?

And a p.s. for those of you who expressed interest in a knit-along—I’m still definitely thinking about it. I have a couple of projects I want to finish up first that will probably take me through the next several weeks. That will give me some time to plan. Any ideas welcome!

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Golly, 26 Comments!

  • I would make ALL of those! I am struggling with autumn and winter appropriate clothing as this is my first a/w sewing. I spent the summer making cotton dresses and I’m at a loss for a/w fabrics. I plan to layer up thinner blouses and dresses with a highly attractive thermal vest underneath and then a cashmere cardi on top. I’m on the hunt for opaque stockings that actually stay up to wear under knee length skirts. Good luck with your wardrobe planning!

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    • I will definitely be wearing my non-exciting-but-warm silk long underwear top under some of my outfits, and I need to invest in a V-neck one too so I can wear normal blouses with it!

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  • I hear you loud and clear, as this year, more so than perhaps ever in my adult life, the balance of my wardrobe has shifted and warm weather pieces now outnumber those for nippier months (not that great of a spot to be in when you live in snowy Canada! ;D). Fortunately though I think that with some layering, tights (need to buy more heavy weight ones), hopefully finding a pair of vintage or vintage appropriate snow boots, and perhaps scoring a few more heavier weight sweaters, I’ll be able to get through the next few months without wearing the same outfit day in and day out.

    I really like the classic pieces you highlighted here, and would wear the skirt in the top row with a thin to medium weight knit top over a vintage blouse with a collar, perhaps with a fitted blazer over top, if it was an especially chilly day or I was going to be spending a lot of time outside.

    ♥ Jessica

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  • The pieces you have here are great. I’m going to start a sweater soon. Maybe it’ll be done in a couple of months. I have a few sweaters but need to add more trousers and skirts that will keep me warm. I’ve also been keeping my eye out for a some nice grandpa sweaters. I LOVE grandpa sweaters.

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    • Hmm, that’s not a term I’ve heard before.. is it kind of like boyfriend jeans? A little bigger and more casual?

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    • I’ve called them that since high school. They’re looser and have a vintage look/feel to them and usually come to my hips. They’re what I wear around the house with jeans. Of course all of the grandpa sweaters I own are vintage men’s sweaters.

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  • Oh god I love every single one of your inspiration pics, especially the green polka dot shirt dress and the first blouse with the bow at the neck – GORGEOUS! This is not a very practical or economical suggestion but I wore a silk dress recently when it was quite cold and was pleasantly surprised by how warm silk actually is. You get that lovely swooshing sound when you walk as well!
    Good luck with your autumn sewing, I think you’d totally rock the floral frock, cropped cardigan and belted waist look. x

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  • I’m leaning towards high waisted slack and long sleeve blouses this winter as you saw in my Katherine Hepburn post. I also like to wear cardigan over my dresses, I’m not a big tights fan, I wear knee high sox! Hope this helps. I would just get a lot of light weight flannel material and sew away.

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    • Ooh, I totally forgot about flannel! I know in my vintage travels I’ve encountered some flannel (I want to say 50s) skirts. I’ll have to keep my eyes open!

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  • Oh yummies! I too need more winter pieces! So much of my closet (and stash) is summery! Layers are always a good idea so stock up on cardigans, sweaters and tights. Sometimes when it’s really cold, I wear leggings over tights under my skirts for some extra coverage.

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    • I’ve done that too! I definitely need to start thinking about layering. And I think knitting up a couple of worsted or even bulky weight cardigans that would be quick to knit and add some warmth!

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  • Yes! I voted this morning! Whoot! I love them all-honestly I do. I say any of those outfits with a cardigan aka knit or jumper would be so lovely to wear. Honestly, I would wear them all!! xox

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  • Oh my goodness, I love all the blouses. They would certainly work great with button sweaters or cardigans. Paired with skirts that are circular, pencil lined, six gore or high waist trousers. My inspiration mostly comes from old fashioned photos, old fashion Sears catalogs, and from other bloggers, one being you. I love the combination of colors you incorporate in your garments, making any outfit work very well. I remember you did a post back in June of this year about a 1940s house dress Simplicity pattern 4660. I didn’t have the pattern, but you inspired me to sew the dress, just by using the image you posted as a guide I sewed the ric rac version. It is not perfect, but I was pleased with the end result. Once I get a battery for my camera, I’ll do a post…

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  • Absolutely love the pussybow blouse but I am quite a fan of them I must admit! I think they go with skirts and trousers equally well and can be worn under a waistcoat or vest too.

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  • The green polka dot dress at the end. In a nice herringbone tweedy thick polycotton. Wash and wear is my motto!

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  • Oh, I love the mustard skirt, the red printed blouse, and the green shirtwaist for you. You look fantastic in your side button corduroy trousers, too. I always like you in strong clear colours, like chocolate, emerald, cherry, sapphire, and plum. All the colours in your most recent fair isle jumper are so pretty. How about a sewing up some cute skirts in solids pulled from that sweater? I think you’d look great in the pencil skirt as well as this Decades of Style pattern: http://www.decadesofstyle.com/vintage-patterns-1930s/3004-1930s-shaped-seam-skirt

    Wash and wear is my motto, too, which is why corduroy plays a heavy role in my cool/cold weather wardrobe. I am a huge cotton fan, like you, and layer like mad during the cold months (I’m Canadian – brr! LOL!) I am also going to be diving into ponte knits this year. Warm dresses and tights work for me, too.

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    • I’m going to have to investigate ponte knits as I don’t really know what that is, I admit. I have to remember the joys of corduroy, especially now that I have a serger! And at least one skirt to go with my fair isle pullover is definitely in order.

      I love that skirt pattern you linked to, but I sometimes have a hard time with that type of style on me. Love it on long-legged gals! Of which I am not one. lol

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    • Ponte knit is a lot like double knits. Easy to manage and toasty warm! Why don’t you shorten the skirt pattern to suit your frame? I have to do it for me, too. No mama long legs here! LOL!

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  • I definitely struggle with dressing vintage once the colder months approach. I’ve been scouring the internet in search of inspiration. Mostly now it’s just a lot of knitting and sewing to do. I’m also willing to look into investing into some reproduction pieces as well but I don’t even know where to start. Do you have any favorite places to shop for that? I’m eye balling at some Freddies of Pinewood jeans, too!

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  • I have a dozen things on my list of things to make, including a couple of pairs of trousers and a couple of skirts. In fact I am thinking of joining in Charlotte’s pencil skirt sew along too 🙂 I have a couple of fabrics in my stash I am considering…
    I’d like to knit some more as well. So much to do…
    As far as a knit along…. hmmm… OK I really have no good ideas for that LOL

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  • All the skirts are good for either season just use darker colors and heaver fabrics. I just made 6 new winter skirts. Nothing beats a skirt and a sweater set.

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  • Love that last green polka dot dress! It’s getting pretty chilly here..I’m thinking I may have to knit up some wooly tights 🙂

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    • Speaking of woolly tights, I discovered a 1940’s knitting pattern the other day, with a couple of patterns for knitted stockings in it 🙂 So I had to buy it 😉

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    • Such a great idea! Though I’ve barely been able to complete knee socks, let along stockings. lol I hope both of you knit wooly stockings though, I’d love to see it! 😀

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