Daydreaming about autumn sewing and knitting

Hello hello! As you may recall, I haven’t had a working sewing machine now for a few weeks. It’s not that the shop is even far from our house—I’ve just literally not had the opportunity to take it in! But oddly, that’s been kind of okay (well after I stopped being twitchy about it). Work has been particularly busy so I’ve had less time for anything, anyway. And in the meantime, I’m getting a lot of knitting, daydreaming and scheming planning done instead!

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. It’s when my knitting mojo returns, it’s when I get a little tired of summery clothes and start to pine for tights and boots and wool, and think about switching up things in my wardrobe. So what’s inspiring me right now? Polka dots. Stripes. Bright florals. Plaid. Alone and sometimes together perhaps. Cigarette pants. Relaxed cardigans and pullovers. Full dirndl skirts. Moccasins. Boots, clogs, or brogues with tights. Scandinavian and fair isle colorwork. My head is full of colors and textures.

So here are some of my knitting and sewing plans for the next several months. I’ve got lots more ideas tossing around in my head and of course, it being me, I’m equally thinking about jewelry, purses and other fun accessories (and some non-me-made clothing), too. So there might be a post on that in the future. I love the planning that happens around this time of year!


On the knitting front, this would be a good time to announce that I won’t be repeating Knit for Victory this fall. (Don’t worry, doesn’t mean I won’t do it again, just not this year!) However, I do have a follow-along type of project up my sleeves that I’ll be sharing soon. Hint: there’s colorwork involved. Oooh. 😉

But in terms of other things I might like to knit? I love the look of Kara by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. It seems like a great cardigan to layer over dresses! I typically go for more classic cardigans with thinner bands and buttons, but this one is appealing and a bit unusual, and I think it would still slip into my wardrobe well. (Plus it’s pretty cool that the sleeves are increased onto the body. Something fun and different.)

Kara by Cecily Glowik MacDonaldSource: Kara, copyright © Cecily Glowik MacDonald

But I do also want a green cardigan in a more classic style. I wear and love my Knit for Victory green bolero so much that I’m tempted to knit a cardigan in a similar bright green, too, as I know it would replace the bolero in colder months. Either that or baby blue. But for patterns? I’m not quite sure yet! Perhaps Que Sera by Kirsten Kapur, or Oscillate by Amy Herzog?

Que Sera and OscillateSources: Que Sera, copyright © Kirsten Kapur / Oscillate, copyright © Amy Herzog

In my head, I’m favoring cardigans lately, but I know in the dead of winter I get really cold, and even with layering I sometimes don’t feel a cardigan is warm enough. So perhaps I’ll finish the Stitch Block Cowl I started last year (wasn’t enjoying the third stitch pattern so I lost steam), or I’ll knit another big warm and bulky cowl. The Leftovers Cowl by Wendy D. Johnson would be great and use up lots of oddments of yarn (my favorite term from 40s fair isle patterns). And it would work nicely with my nothing-really-matches and I’m-pretending-it’s-more-boho-than-hobo look that I invariably end up with as it gets colder.

 Leftovers Cowl by Wendy D. Johnson Source: Leftovers Cowl, copyright © Wendy D. Johnson

But when it does get stupid cold here, I’m thinking I’d like to do a a worsted weight pullover as a take on the traditional Scandinavian pullovers that I always admire. I have plenty of suitable fingering-weight patterns, but let’s face it—if this winter gets anywhere as bad as last winter, even stranded fingering weight ain’t cutting it. So I like the idea of it being in a thicker wool. I’m first looking to my vintage booklets for inspiration, but scaling up the motifs would be easy.

vintage booklets

But I suppose before I start planning all the new things I want to knit, I shouldn’t forget about the two sweaters that I started earlier in the year (Vashon, a bulky yellow cabled pullover I was going to finish before our Dublin trip in the spring—oops—and Mary Rebecca, an equally yellow cardigan in an alpaca blend). Now that sweater weather is closer, I’d like to get back to them. Eep!

Oh, and in case you’re curious if I’m planning to release any patterns: I’m really quite behind on this, I admit. But I have two slowly in the works that may or may not make it out this year. Stay tuned…


Onto sewing. My biggest sewing goal this fall is to learn to sew with knits. No reason for it to be a “big” goal, people sew with knits all the freaking time, right? But I haven’t been one of them, yet. I’d been toying with the idea for awhile, and having recently seen Liz (omg her latest dress!) and Michelle learn to sew with knits thanks to the help of unafraid Meg the Grand, I was doubly convinced I wanted to try. It’s been harder for me to envision sewing with knits as I don’t have a lot of non-wovens in my wardrobe: vintage, me-made or otherwise. But I do have a couple of vintage-inspired fit and flare knit dresses that I adore, and of course who doesn’t have armfuls of t-shirts (mine are mostly striped *cough cough* I’m the perfect candidate to sew a Coco *cough cough*). So I’ve become a woman obsessed. I can sew knits, and I can make them work for my style!

Moneta and CocoSource: Moneta pattern / Coco pattern

I’ve ordered the Moneta, Coco and Lady Skater patterns, and have been devouring Alyson Clair’s book with Colette Patterns, Colette Guide to Sewing with Knits. I’ve also been arming myself slowly with information and supplies. Since I can’t sew right now anyway, it’s actually good because I can’t just dive right in and get frustrated! The more I read and learn in preparation, the more comfortable I’m already starting to feel. And when I started to see things like polka dot jerseys, striped ponte knits and floral French terry… I’m in trouble. That’s all I have to say. I’ve been bit, and I haven’t even started!

fabricsSources: polka dot jersey from Harts Fabric / French terry fabric from Etsy / striped ponte knit from Girl Charlee

On the non-knits front, I definitely want to sew another pair or two of pants, so I see more Gertie Butterick trousers in my future.


I’d love to do a pair in stretch corduroy, and I already have some lightweight stretch denim I’d like to try, too. I could pretend I’m not obsessed with finding a stretch polka dot bottom weight so I can be twinsies with Lauren (one, two, gah!) but that would be a lie. In fact, these Sew Over It photos of their Ultimate Trousers pattern started my lust over polka dot pants and re-invigorated my desire for cigarette pants period, so I can credit that for me ever finishing my red ones above in the first place! (And I’d still like to try their pattern, too.)

Sew Over It Ultimate TrousersSource: Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

Beyond that… I’m not sure! I know I have more knitting plans than one human can possibly manage in a season or two, but I think my sewing goals are pretty reasonable. I guess we shall see where the knitting and sewing winds take me!

So what are your fall plans??

Filed: Knitting, Sewing, Vintage Wardrobe

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Golly, 23 Comments!

  • And just like that, it’s fall! I couldn’t believe the temperature when I woke up this morning! I’m trying to be a bit more organized with my knitting plans this year too. I sat down and narrowed down a ‘realistic’ list of sweaters and cowls that I want to knit. As far as sewing. I really want wide leg trousers this season.

    You’re going to be a natural at sewing with knits! I surprised myself when Meg came to teach us how to sew the Renfrew. I had completely over-thought the whole process of working with knit fabric. It was much easier than I’d expected. I do feel like I have a lot to learn about the different types of knit fabrics. I think the trial and error of experimenting is going to be the most frustrating part for me moving forward.


    • I know, how did that happen with the weather?!

      I know my knitting list isn’t very realistic, so I’ll be lucky if I finish at least two of the things I’m planning. 🙂 I’m sure I’m over-thinking sewing with knits, too. The large variety of types does make me also feel concerned about trial and error, which I admittedly haven’t had to worry as much about up to know as there are a lot of fabrics I don’t like to wear, and thus don’t sew with them. I will hopefully take it as a challenge and less as a frustration! 🙂


  • I’m a converted knit sewer. My daughter has gotten me into it and although I still love working with cotton more I’ve been adding a few knit things to the wardrobe. Coco being one of them. I can’t say enough great things about this pattern. I made it as a top in some 60’s looking knit and it was super fast and easy.
    Looking forward to see what your knitting projects bring. I’ve read and reread a lot of your posts on knitting and have learned a great deal!


  • Yay for Knit Sewing! heh The more I see Moneta the more I’ve been feeling drawn to it. It’s a great classic shape, seems perfect for beginners.

    Have you ever sewn with double knit fabric yet? I’ve done a few items in that long before I did any knit sewing. It’s a good intro and I bet you could do the Coco top in a double knit with no problem whatsoever.

    All of a sudden it’s fall!! I’m not quite ready for chilly weather yet. I have to hunt down all of my winter clothes and tights still. You should see my fall knitting list – all I can think about is cabled pull overs & your cabled pull over from last year. I have wollmeise and it needs to be used. 😀


    • The Moneta is just the kind of plain-with-gathered-skirt shape that I’ve been loving so much this year, so I knew right away it would be one of the first I have to try. I actually haven’t sewn with double knit fabric! I owe you an email but what color Wollmeise did you end up getting? You’re going to love it knit up! 🙂


  • I love all of your goals, and how organized they are! I have “goals”, but they aren’t nearly so organized – more like a kid with a sugar high running around a toy store. I WANT THIS AND THAT AND THAT OTHER THING AND THIS ONE RIGHT HERE AND I WANT IT ALL NOW. 😀 Might need to take a page from your book and organize my thoughts into a blog post.

    I really like that leftovers cowl – stunning and fun, and I love leftover yarny projects. The Oscillate is my fav out of those three, but probably because it reminds me of Tanis Lavallee’s Reverb – I really should get back to mine that went into hibernation last winter!

    Anyways, I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with this winter! Your projects are always inspiring. 🙂


    • Ha ha, I definitely know that EVERYTHING I WANT YOU RIGHT NOW AND THAT ONE TOO feeling! lol Reverb is a very pretty pattern, love that one too.


  • Another kick in the pants to make myself some cigarette pants! I have only ever made one pair of pants for myself and following the pattern exactly I needed to alter them about 2″ on each side. But I love yours!


    • Thanks Erika! I could still stand some tweaking (for both the non-stretch and stretch versions), but they’re definitely going to be my go-to pants pattern for awhile, I think.


  • I suddenly started thinking about picking up my knitting projects again. One being my unfinished knit for victory sweater from last year.
    And I’ve been inspired, like many others it seems, by the knitted cowls and shawls and capes on Outlander. I don’t have much everyday use for the tiny, awesome, shoulder capes but a chunky cowl goes with everything and any era of dress.


  • Thank you for introducing me to all these lovely knitting patterns! And yes, Liz’s dress is awesome!

    Can I make a suggestion for sewing with knits? Using stay tape along the bottom hem and along the bottom of sleeves has been really helpful. Without it my stitches look wavy and my twin needle stitches tunnel. I got some from A Fashionable Stitch and I really love it 🙂


    • Thanks, Erin! I had read that about stay tape too. I think I may have the same one you do (I use it to stabilize zippers)– fusible knit stay tape? Do you just cut it in half (mine is 1″ wide) and fuse it to the free edge, then fold up? I’ve read a lot about tunneling so I’m prepared to be aware of it when I get some twin needles and figure out how to outfit my machine for it (I’m missing one little piece, lol).


  • I love Autumn too bringing out all my vintage suits in wool and tweeds with felt hats in all the fabulous rich colours.

    I really must learn to knit so I can make some of the wonderful patterns you have shown.

    Enjoy Autumn dressing.


  • My fall plans are to make my first coat, and to finish this sweater first and foremost. I also would like to pepper my wardrobe with cute wool skirts!


  • I love all of your goals! I, too, make plans in the autumn. It really is the new year to me (I am a teacher by trade-maybe that’s why!). I was sad to hear you needed to get your sewing machine repaired. Is that the vintage one you purchased a few months ago? That brought back a lot of memories because my Grandma had one exactly like it-even the same drawer pulls, etc. Well, I love keeping up with your vintage adventures. Happy Fall!


  • What a great assortment of plans and projects – the Nordic sweaters in particular make my heart skip a few beats at least, as they tie straight into my perpetual passion for vintage ski appropriate garb.

    Happy sewing, knitting and start of fall, dear gal!
    ♥ Jessica


  • Teresa Ayerra Ballesteros September 17, 2014 at 2:17pm

    I love to follow your post are adorable.


  • I have recently found your blog. I have also recently fallen in love with it. I have only this past year started sewing my own vintage reproduction clothing. I have also taught myself how to crochet hats as well. I look forward to reading more from your blog. 🙂 PS: I have a vintage red scandinavian sweater identical to the photo with the Buck with Antlers on it..too funny!



  • […] some new inspiration to play around with, along with some old, and that’s exciting! I was already planning to conquer sewing with knits (oh oh OH how I have loved how comfy these two dresses are). Now I […]


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