January 15, 2016

Winter Wardrobe Planning

You all know how I like to plan, I am an expert to-do list maker! I always have my sewing planned several projects out, and when I say several-- I mean months at a time planned out. I thought today I'd explain my wardrobe and sewing planning for the rest of this wintry season.

Here in Colorado I have a lot of winter still ahead of me, even if my silly brain is already dreaming of spring fashions! As I noted in my recent goals post, I want to make more dresses, suiting, and 1940's styles this year. Well to this end I have many dresses sketched and in the planning stages.

When deciding what to make this winter season I took a long look at my closet to see just what I felt was missing. The first thing that stood out to me was my lack of 1940's dresses. I have a few 40's appropriate summer dresses, but nothing I can wear in fall and winter. I added a basic 40's black dress to my mental to sew list. Which is why when I saw the perfect dress below on Etsy I nearly faltered and just bought it!

This lovely black number is just what I am after, something that could be styled up or down, and with any color in the rainbow. Still the bust measurement was an inch smaller than my own, so I knew it wasn't destined to be mine. Instead I invested in some seriously pricey black rayon (it was hard to find some that was opaque) at $19 dollars a yard to make something similar! That trip to the fabric shop (the priciest and most unique shop in town mind) was rather painful! I know it will be well worth it to finally have a great 1940's basic. Since I wasn't able to get a ton of fabric, I probably will have to forgo some of the pleated details at the neckline, but I don't really mind. 

The next 40's basic dress will be in navy lightweight wool and is very simple in its design. Though I sketched the planned navy dress above with short sleeves, I think I will actually go for 3/4 or full length sleeves for winter wear. The side darts being moved up to the neckline is really the only vaguely "special" thing about the design. I want both of these simple dresses to be very versatile and I feel like simple lines will lend themselves well to this end. I also want to add these to my wardrobe ASAP so I'm trying to minimize the amount of time it will take to make them!

Two more dresses on my to-sew list are this 1950's wiggle dress (with the same neckline I just used on my plaid taffeta top) which will be in dark green cotton sateen, and a black rayon or wool 1930's dress. I have found a lovely fabric for the green dress at Mood.com and as I am terrible at making solid colored dresses this will be another versatile dress for my wardrobe. I tend to gravitate towards prints, meaning my closet is severely lacking in solid colored dresses. As you can tell from these sketches I am planning to rectify the situation soon! The black 30's dress will have bishop sleeves with long cuffs (you all know how I love me some bishop sleeves) and a high neck for showing off my ever growing brooch collection. I plan on doing covered buttons and loops in the back instead of a zipper and that ought to be an interesting adventure! Another semi-goal of mine this year is to take more time with my sewing and do nicer finishes. Oh and perhaps actually perfect zippers...finally...

The other thing I take into account when planning my sewing to-do's is what fabrics I already have in my stash. I have a (probably vintage honestly) length of bright turquoise/teal thick wool fabric that screams early 60's to me, so I've planned a simple late 50's/early 60's sheath dress. The other dresses I've been talking about I will have to buy fabric for, so much for stash busting! I made a lot of progress using fabrics in my stash last year and actually don't have a ton left now. The other wools in my stash are going to my plaid and grey suits I have talked about before. The last dress above will be done in a gradient of grey lightweight suiting wool and is inspired directly by a suit Sean Young wears as Rachel in Blade Runner. Slight shoulder pads will be included in this graphic design, and I can't wait to wear this dress with my hair up in a full front roll a la replicant.

As you can see, it's dresses I have planned, not a single separate to been seen! I do want to make one skirt though, a circle skirt in black wool similar to the navy one I made at last fall. I have so many pencil skirts that I really need to expand into new silhouettes. Then of course I am already working on my suiting projects, which are separates in some ways as they can be worn with their matching skirts or apart. I may try and make another suit (perhaps in light grey) later in spring. I should say I have my spring sewing completely planned too...I cant help myself. Depending on if you all like this sort of sketches/planning post I may share my spring sewing plans later down the line. 

Do you plan your sewing or wardrobe additions for the coming season? Or do you just see what speaks to you as you go? I plan, plan, and then plan some more!


  1. Ooo Bianca, I am so excited to see all your dresses come to fruition! I'm wondering if I can pattern a dress (unfortunately all my vintage patterns...or regular pattern supplies aren't with me) and sew it up in a week before school. Hmm
    I tried to plan by season, but it didn't work, I might try it again for summer/fall though!

    Carla, Tiny Angry Crafts

    1. Thanks Carla! I've said it before, but I never managed to get any "me" sewing done when I was in fashion school. They keep you too busy! Good on you for the perseverance!

  2. That is one seriously fantastic mid-century black dress. Wowwwww! I especially love the neckline. Just gorgeous!

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you Jessica! Its funny you like the neckline as I think that is the one area I'd change on the dress as it is a bit wide making hiding bra straps a bit annoying!

  3. What super additions these would be to any wardrobe! I like the sound of all of them. I enjoyed seeing your sketches, I am so impressed that you can turn a drawing into an actual outfit!

    1. Thank you Kate! I would say it was certainly my greatest strength back in design school, taking a sketch and nearly replicating it in the actual garment. Mostly they wanted me to make my sketches looser and more "artsy", but I kept (and still do) my sketches more practical!


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