handmade fall/winter wardrobe

Earlier in the fall I was given some money for my birthday.  I decided to stretch it as far as I could and buy enough fabric to create a whole new wardrobe for fall and winter!  It has been a slow process, since fall is the busiest time of year for us.  I wanted to share some of items I have sewn myself so far.

This is my first attempt at sewing with plaid fabric, and I tried SO hard to match it up!  I love how this dress turned out, though.  It is made from a pattern I drafted myself, and I have used it to make a few other dresses. The plaid is a soft flannel, and is nice and warm.

This orange dress is made from a Butterick pattern, but has a modified Peter Pan collar.  I freehand drew the shape of the collar and just played around with it until it looked decent, although I didn’t iron it well for this photo!  Like the plaid dress, this one has pockets!

This wine-red fabric is sooooo nice! It was in the dressmaking section of the store, and it is surprisingly warm.  It is soft like cotton, but thick like wool.  I used a  discounted pattern, and it was quite easy to follow.  Overall, I am pleased with how this top turned out and plan to make more from the pattern.

A few weeks before my big birthday shopping trip I saw this polka dot chambray fabric, but it was waaaay too expensive for me.  Thankfully, the store had a 50% off sale later, so I was able to purchase enough to make myself a maxi skirt.  No pattern was used here, since I have made many skirts like this before.

This lightweight charcoal grey knit was supposed to be a cardigan, but I decided later that it was too thin for cold weather.  I had planned to make it a long sleeved top instead, but David suggested short sleeves.  I have worn it a few times over a long sleeved shirt, and it looks quite nice!  I imagine wearing it belted over a maxi skirt.

I have mixed feelings about this plaid blouse.  The pattern I used specifically said not to match the prints, but I wish I had!  I also think it is a little too baggy on me, due to the cut of the blouse, but I am just going to take it in a bit more.  I like the fabric, though!

I picked up this interesting wool blend fabric in the scrap bin without really knowing what to make from it.  In the end I decided to go with an open front cardigan, but it wound up looking more like a blazer (no, the neck area is not crooked…the mannequin is!!).  I have yet to wear this creation but am planning to do so with a pencil skirt.



Similar to the other grey short sleeved top, this one is in a fleece lined knit fabric!  It has a wider neck and cap sleeves, and it is so cozy.  It was also from the scrap bin and there was not enough to make a full length cardigan or sweater.



Need I say more?!  I will anyways. I tried my hand at making leggings since I am quite fussy with them, and store bought usually disappoints.  Originally I wanted to make footed tights but this fabric didn’t stretch as much as it should, so I opted for leggings instead.  They are made from a fleece lined knit that looks like a sweater, and I love it.  They are warm and cozy and ridiculously easy to make (from a pattern I bought). They took me under an hour, from start to finish, including cutting out the pattern.

Can you tell I am loving the sweater knits? This cardigan is made from a beginner pattern, but I chose it because the cut of the cardigan is simple and unfussy (you can see a close up of the fabric here).The cardigan has dropped shoulders, a modified shawl collar, patch pockets, and a single button.  Oh, and by the way…this shot was taken by Amanda, from A Pinch of Faith.

But more on how that came to be in another post!

Not pictured are three other dresses, and I still have more fabric to be used!  Here is what else I plan to sew:

  • long sleeved gathered blouse (like the reddish one earlier)
  • two maxi skirts made from wool
  • maxi skirt made from fleece lined knit
  • cotton dress similar to the orange one
  • matching articles for David and in Christmas prints
  • leg warmers in sweater knits

Many people are surprised that I sew so much my clothes, but it is really not that complicated.  I began by experimenting with drawing my own patterns based on clothes I already had, and then I used store bought patterns for more complex garments.  I have gone back to self drafting, but i also enjoy using premade patterns for certain things.  The patterns I use are all quite good, and fairly straight forward.  If you are interested in sewing your own clothes, I suggest looking for patterns marked “easy” or “beginner” and then asking for help picking fabric from the store (sales associates are always happy to help!).

In other news…I was recently listed as one of the top 50 Fashion Blogs by an independant source!

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

8 comments on “handmade fall/winter wardrobe

  1. Lovely clothes Christina! Goodness, I can’t imagine doing what you do. I still remember the top I tried to make in grade nine home ec. Let’s just say it didn’t go well! I recently bought the “Sewing For Dummies” book and am being given a sewing machine so we will see what happens.
    Looking forward to hearing about your trip to Vermont!

  2. My favorite is the very first, the plaid dress, it’s lovely; 2nd is the blue maxi skirt!

    I cannot believe you tried sewing leggings; I like the ones from the Lands End girls’ dept; they run really large and at 5’2″ and 110lbs I fit into the L, as does my 21yo daughter. They are substantial and warm. I can usually get them for about $7-$10/pair at the end of the season or w/ a coupon – I am sure you could easily fit into the XL or even the L. (Girls’ are cheaper than Womens’ even though they are the same thing.) Just passing on a tip. :)

  3. Where, oh, where did you get the pattern for those lovely leggings?!? I’ve never managed to find one and, as you say, shop-bought leggings are always either disappointing or impossibly expensive. Could you share the pattern link?

  4. I absolutely LOVE the first two dresses you shared in this post. Seeing all the beautiful clothes you create makes me wish I could sew! Excellent job on these, Christina. And thank you for sharing outfit posts. Those are my favorites. :)


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