Fall/Winter Sewing Plans for 2014

10 Oct

It just occurred to me that I haven’t share any seasonal sewing plans in… well, a while. Which is lame, because these are some of my favorite types of posts (both to write *and* to read) – I mean, who doesn’t like lurking inside someone’s brain, even if it’s just to see what they plan on doing over the next couple of months? Too creepy? Naw.

Anyway, now that London/Paris is looming on the horizon (less than 2 months! Omg less than a month and a half! Eee!), it’s really time that I start figuring out what I’ll be bringing with me (and making, for that matter! Don’t want to end up with another frantic last-minute sewing disaster, ugh). Especially since my luggage space will be very limited – I’m only allowed to bring one suitcase with me overseas (well… I use the word “allowed” loosely here. I can bring two suitcases if I want to – but I get to pay $130 for the second one! LOL GURL NO.), and I want to fabric shop while I’m there! So, I will be packing a capsule wardrobe, one that mixes and matches with itself, for maximum outfit options, as well as warmth. This is much different than how I usually travel (as I fly Southwest, where you can bring 2 bags free – so why the hell not, you know?), but I’m up for the challenge! πŸ™‚ Adulting and all that πŸ™‚

I’ve already made/chosen a couple of pieces to base my capsule around, as well as chosen my theme (like Devon, I think all vacation wardrobes should have themes, because, duh) – Minimalist Parisian Chic. Mostly because my capsule will be very minimal – or, as minimal as I can get it down to, because I am still one of those people who delights in overpacking – with lots of black. Not much on the Parisian Chic side (I’m sure Parisian women will be horrified when they see what I wear to stomp around their city, ha!), but it has a nice ring to it πŸ™‚

Anyway – to start – I have these black Jamie jeans that I made a couple of weeks ago:
Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics
I haven’t decided yet if I’ll be bringing the star sweater. It’s a little bulky! On the flip side, regarding the jeans – I just finished wearing them for the 5th time in a row (sans wash), and they’ve stayed very close to their original shape. No bagging out, woohoo! So that makes me feel good, because I’ll be wearing these a LOT come London.

Stripey Renfrew
I will also be bringing my Imogene + Willie slim jeans (pictured here), because they are basically the best jeans ever. Oh, and probably that stripey Renfrew top. Can’t have enough tshirts!

Now for the sewing plans! Sidenote: By the time of publishing this post, I’ve already finished more than half these makes. Whoops! Guess y’all see where my priorities lie when it comes to posting vs sewing hahaha. Oh well!

Ikat Lady Skater
The Cowl-Necked Skater Dress
I’ve had this idea in my head for a while now – a Lady Skater dress // Renfrew top mash-up! This cotton Ikat knit fabric (purchased at The Fabric Studio here in Nashville) will be the perfect match for this dress – like a giant, snuggly Christmas sweater! I actually don’t know if I’ll be bringing this one to London, due to bulk factor (my capsule really only allows for one dress, which I’m thinking will be the one below – but we’ll see!), but the plans were too good to keep to myself πŸ™‚

DVF Wool wrap
The Wool Wrap dress
Another big mash-up – I’m starting with the DVF Wrap dress pattern, but adding long sleeves (stolen from the Lady Skater, naturally) and swapping out the gathered skirt for a wrap A-line (Miette Wrap skirt – I’m looking at you). The black wool knit fabric was picked up at Mood in NY a couple of months ago – it’s SO soft! Like, cashmere soft. I’m so in love β™₯

Silk v neck
The Silk Button-down
I already have a nice white button-down – made from the same pattern, Butterick 5526 (my favorite!) – but it’s not really cold weather appropriate, due to the length of the sleeves. Since they are 3/4, they don’t really layer nicely with my long sleeve sweaters! I’d love to make another one, but up the ante with some beautiful silk double georgette, and modify the neckline to be more of a v shape (likely using this V-Neck variation tutorial by Jen!)

Chambray Button down
The Polka Dot Chambray Button-down
Another thing I already have one of, but need a winter version. This one will be made using a gorgeous cotton polka dot chambray, picked up here locally at Textile Fabrics.

SJ Sweater
The Wool Sweater
Button downs need a nice sweater, yeah? I want to try sewing a sweater, using the SJ Tee as a basis (with a higher neckline, and omitting all bindings). The fabric I have is a lovely camel-colored boiled wool, that I bought from Elizabeth Suzann (aka I totally jacked her wholesale order hahaha). I think it’ll look equally good over both those button down shirts I have planned!

rigel bomber
The Bomber Jacket
I know – I’m already planning a pretty sweet coat. However, the weather in London (and Tennessee, for that matter!) can be fickle, so I’d like to bring a lighter-weight jacket for days when the temperature isn’t as low. I’ve been meaning to make the Rigel Bomber for, well, months now. Just been waiting on the perfect fabric – and I think I found it! Check out this black wool coating – to be paired with gold china silk for the lining.

Other plans I have (no photos, sorry! Use that imagination of yours, ha!)
– Need some thin long sleeve shirts for layering – maybe just a couple out of wool knit, such as this textured black wool jersey (that’s apparently already sold out?! Wah!). I wear these pretty much daily in the winter – and sometimes I like to sleep in them if it’s really cold – so it’ll be nice to have a few to choose from.
– Speaking of sleeping – I need some new pajama pants! Currently lurking Margot pj pants in Tilly’s book, Love at First Stitch, since they seem to be a pretty quick/easy make (I really want to make the Tofino pants, but right now I need quick and easy!). I picked up some really fun orange plaid flannel to make them with – I know, that fabric is ridiculous, which is exactly why I chose it. It’s nothing like I already own! When it comes to pjs, why not, you know?
– I would like to make a flared A-line wool skirt to make as well – thinking about using the Delphine pattern (also from Love at First Stitch), because I love the shape. A little stuck on fabric selection, though! My go-to is usually wool crepe, but that will be too drapey for this shape. Thoughts? I need it to be 100% wool (pretty nitpicky about this, sorry!) and I’m looking for lipstick red. Budget is no more than $25 a yard (and obviously I’d be delighted if it was less than that!)
– Bras! I want to finish at least one bra before I leave – using the Marlborough pattern and one of my kits from Bra Maker’s Supply. Obviously I want new bras, but even more – Norma will be in Paris while I’m there, and you better believe I’m going to drag her into a bathroom and make her assess and critique my fit. Haha! Man, sewing people are weird πŸ˜›

I think that’s it for now! It feels good to get everything listed out in one place. I’m hoping I can get all this done before I leave – but if not, no worries. It’s not like I’m lacking clothing or anything as it is!

As a side note, I was just notified that one of my lovely sponsors, Indie Sew, is holding a pretty sweet contest where you can win a YEAR of free patterns! Fuck yes! You can read all about the contest and the reasoning behind it on this blog post, but the general gist is that Indie Sew wants to help you transform your entire wardrobe into handmade and end the cycle of cheap/fast fashion. And what better way to jump start a new handmade wardrobe than with some FREE FREAKING PATTERNS AMIRITE? Such a cool idea, and I really really hope the winner shares their journey via blog or social media so we can follow along! Anyway, soapbox rant over – go throw your name in the hat!

What’s on the table for your fall/winter sewing plans? Do you have any capsule wardrobe suggestions for me? Tips for packing light? Are you going to judge me if you see me wearing the same thing for 3 days in a row while I’m on my trip? πŸ™‚


101 Responses to “Fall/Winter Sewing Plans for 2014”

  1. Francesca October 10, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    dude, be careful about thinking that London can be changeable – one thing it never is in winter is warm – outside, that is. Don’t make the mistake I had made of taking cosy things for inside and nothing waterproof and warm for outside. Most places are overheated inside, especially shops – and since it’s basically on a river and near the sea, it’s as damp as my little island much of the time, plus there’s that everlovin rain which is the reason the UK’s so beautiful and green! And Paris is much the same. Like most of the continent. When i lmoved to Madrid for a few years I took all my clothes, and ended up taking the warm sweaters back to Malta to wear at home when I went for a short break in winter – as in Madrid, I just never wore them. Too warm for indoors, not warm enough to wear alone outside except for maybe 2 weeks in the year. And even then if you went into a restaurant or face you’d start sweating!
    Ask whoever you’re staying with how their home heating is and what they wear at home and plan accordingly. I ended up never wearing anything except cotton and silk tops.

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 8:32 am #

      All this is super good advice, thank you so much! I admit, I was going based off the weather forecasts/averages for November (which seemed surprisingly mild to me), but I should probably talk to some actual locals πŸ™‚ I really love the idea that the shops and houses are super warm, though! I’m ALWAYS cold, and I hate being cold when I’m inside. So that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned πŸ™‚

      • Miriana October 10, 2014 at 8:55 am #

        London in November is not warm and may well be wet. Bring a hat and scarf and a brollie (or water proof) – in fact it is pissing it down as I write. Not as cold as February, but coat rather than bomber jacket. Not sure about warm houses – depends on the house and the owner’s approach to central beatings. Our pubs, however are cosy and warm. That’s why we’re green, pleasant and drunk.

        • Miriana October 10, 2014 at 8:56 am #

          Heating, not ‘beatings’

        • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:18 am #

          Well now I’m confused haha. The average temperatures I’m seeing for November are around 40-50 F (4-10 C), which to me is light coat (or wool bomber!) weather. Lots of layers so you can unpeel when you get into shops. I’d rather be a little chilly walking to and from, than lugging a giant coat around!

          Anyway, I do have waterproof shoes, which was a feat in it’s own (I usually wear canvas shoes, which do not work in the rain! ha!). Gotta find a good umbrella now. Thank you for your input!

          • Miriana October 10, 2014 at 9:45 am #

            Layers is a good plan. And a hat, scarf and gloves can delay the need for a coat. You’ll cope with a light coat, but definitely no to canvas shoes!

            • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:50 am #

              Oh yes, hat, scarf and gloves are a must! πŸ™‚ and I promise I’ll leave the canvas shoes at home πŸ™‚

      • HJ October 10, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

        Try a MacPac coat (from New Zealand). Like a down duvet but weighs less than a kilogram.

      • HJ October 10, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

        Does this mean you are too busy to blog about Vogue’s new collection?

        • LLADYBIRD October 12, 2014 at 9:08 am #

          I actually had no idea a new collection was out! Whoops! I’ll try to get something up later this week πŸ™‚

  2. Feminizzle October 10, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    I didn’t see you’d be in Paris! It’s where I live (right next to the fabric stores, too!)

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 8:33 am #

      Yep! We are planning a meet-up for the 2 days we’ll be there – the 27th & the 28th – so holler at me if you want to join that list πŸ™‚ Yay Paris!

  3. knitmo October 10, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    My sewing plans are in a lot of ways, similar to yours. Build a capsule wardrobe for winter. For me that means several A-line skirts, most likely from Gertie’s new book, and in wool. I have plans for a couple pencil skirts in wool plaid. In addition I am gearing up for a significant cardigan journey using the Jenna Cardi from Muse. As much as I want to hand-knit them, I just don’t have time. Thus, sewing them.

    I also plan to make a couple Mabel, Jenna Cardi matching sets, and some lovely shells. I am also fulfillin my life-long quest for button up the front shirts that fit well and don’t gape. I’m still muslining that though.

    I am about 75% of my way through a totally hand-made professional wardrobe. I must yet tackle Jeans and a bras, but there rest I’m well on my way — including socks!

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      That is so impressive! I think sewing a handmade professional wardrobe is a pretty big deal – it’s not like casual wear, where you can get away with stuff that looks a little “off.” The fact that you’re going all out with bras and jeans and socks is fucking awesome! Go you!! πŸ˜€

  4. claudia October 10, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    No need to fret about chic Parisian women. IMHO they’re among the worst dressed there are, and not in a fancy “I don’t care about fashion” way. I’ve been to Paris many times (it’s a 3 hour train ride, sorry) and always wonder how they manage to keep up that image of the effortlessly chic Parisian. If you want to see really well dressed women, you have to go to Italy (I’m neither French nor Italian, in case you wondered).
    Most of central Europe is cool and rainy in November, so be sure to pack some good waterproof shoes. Also, I totally love theme dressing (I made a tiki dress for Hawaii…), but for most locals it will just scream “American tourist”, as do white running shoes. Having said that, I think your outfits in the pics look just fab. I’d wear that bulky sweater on the plane.

    • francescapia October 10, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      LOL I totally second everything you say!!!!

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:20 am #

      Haha! That’s so funny about the Parisian women πŸ™‚ I’ve been to Italy before (MANY years ago!) and I can totally agree that those women are super well dressed.

      I just bought some leather boots that should be nice and waterproof – and no white running shoes for me! You’re the second person to tell me not to wear those, btw πŸ™‚ haha!

  5. Jennifer October 10, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    yeah all the shops in london will be super warm which is a pain coz you get all wrapped up for outside then end up lugging a heavy jacket round all the shops :-(. Your best friend in the UK is definitely a brolly πŸ˜€

    • Miriana October 10, 2014 at 9:13 am #

      Ditto the tube. Constant wrapping and unwrapping.

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:23 am #

      I had to look up what a brolly was! Haha! I’m looking for one of those right now (need one that is small enough to fit in my purse, but won’t fall apart the first time wind strikes – any suggestions?). And, see, my solution for not carrying the heavy jacket is just not wearing it! I’d rather be cold for a minute, than lug it around for hours (this is the same way I feel about umbrellas – sorry, brollys πŸ˜‰ – which is why I don’t already own a small one. Here, you can just run to your car very quickly hahaha. Might not work the same in London, though, since i’ll be doing a lot of walking!).

      • francescapia October 10, 2014 at 9:28 am #

        No! Don’t even think about it! don’t you have something lightweight – maybe something quilted? I find running around on my travels is best with a longish waterproof jacket with down filling. At a pinch, synthetic filling. I have one of the first I got from Mango on sale with a hood which is perfect and wasn;t pricey, and another with synthetic filling i bought about 10 years ago from H&M in New York for peanuts – my long fake fur coat was great to go out at night but for running around looking at fabric and wool and book shops and markets, no way.

        BTW – when I came back from NY there was no restriction on weight as it was intercontinental. The restriction was on the weight per suitcase. Which meant, in my case, that they made me redistribute my 2 big bags as I had loads of books in one of them and it weighed over the amount. So do check your flight policies really carefully….

        • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:47 am #

          Nope! The only raingear I own is the polka dot trench I made earlier this year – which is nice, but it’s *very* lightweight and not at all warm (and I can’t really wear it over my heavy coat). I can’t speak for other Tennesseans, but this Tennessean doesn’t use rain gear because of the running to the car situation πŸ™‚ We’re not a very walkable city here.

          I guess I could buy something in a pinch, but honestly, as long as my head is dry I’m pretty ok with rain.

          • Heather M October 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

            My opinion is You will not be ok with Europe rain because it is bone chilling @ 50 degrees F. And clothes don’t dry out overnight. I was in Paris & London + last Apr / May for 18 days, it was what everyone said was chilly, but I lived in a Papagonia zip front & underarm windproof “plastic- y” hooded shell very light but surprisingly warm jacket, the version about $75. Plus a sleeveless (Target) black / red reversible zip vest 1/4 ” loft down; 2 wool blend pants nicer looking than jeans (& pack smaller) because of my schedule in black & Brown, 2 cotton black sweaters – 1 tneck, 1v neck & 1 Brown t neck; a patterned bl/ brn / blue L sleeve putter sweater, a blue, a white & an orange tee. An orange crocheted top for the dressier event, over a sweater. A brn & a black pair of leather oxfords. Plan to throw away underwear & socks & t-shirt PJs as you go – adds space, no laundering. I will email you my very travel knowledgeable friend’s packing list – it is what I used. She even threw out 1 pr of shoes before coming home.

  6. smonakey October 10, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    I’m a bit more energized about my sewing plans, thanks to your kind pep-talk yesterday. I’ve got 4 pairs of flannel sheep print jammie bottoms to finish for a knitting retreat that my friends & I are attending in a couple of months. Yeah, they’re far from perfect, but they’ll be cute, & as you said, damnit, I’m making clothes!

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:24 am #

      Hell yes you are! And flannel sheep printed, no less? Those sound ADORABLE!

  7. onejolie October 10, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    I wear my bulkiest things ON the plane, which gets them out of the suitcase. Sometimes this means that yes, while boarding I’m sweating in a jacket, sweatshirt and sweater, but whatever. I have “pillows” and “blankets” for when the plane is FREEZING and I have bulky items that didn’t have to be packed πŸ™‚

    Also, sometimes its cheaper to ship things home than it is to fly them home, especially if you aren’t picky about it taking 6 weeks!

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      That’s definitely what I plan on doing! Try to keep the suitcase as empty as possible for all the STUFF I PLAN ON BUYING haha! πŸ™‚

      Will look into the shipping! That’s good advice πŸ™‚

  8. sewcookgardenrepeat October 10, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Can’t wait to see the Lady Skater/Renfrew mash up!

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      It’s going to be soooo snuggly!

  9. Amy W October 10, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    For packing light- Every article of clothing (besides pjs and under things) needs to go with two other items. Every top needs to be matched to two bottoms. If you’re packing a skirt that can only be matched with one top then it needs to stay home or find another top to match with it.

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      This is great advice, thank you so much!

      • Amy W October 10, 2014 at 10:25 am #

        My first trip overseas I was embarrassingly over-packed. I was ready to drop everything except my day bag. My next trip was much better. England and Scotland with 2 friends for 10 days and I had a small day bag and a duffle bag. Jeans were wore multiple days. One friend and I shared toothpaste, shampoo and body wash. On work trips I’ve packed using only 4 colors- black, white, gray and red. It makes it so much easier to pack when I set that restriction.

        • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

          I ALWAYS overpack, so I hear ya! I’m trying to stick to the 4 colors thing too, I think that’s the key to mixing and matching success!

  10. Anna October 10, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    London in the winter is *damp*. It might not even be that cold, temperature-wise, but the damp seeps insidiously into your bones (seriously, I’ve felt colder in London above zero than I have in places that get below it, because they have a drier cold) — and November is kind of the worst time of year for the damp! Layering makes loads of sense (I find wool keeps me warmest in a London winter and that way you can carry less layers).

    If you want to be a total tourist and buy a really expensive umbrella that will probably last forever, then go to James Smith near the British Museum http://www.james-smith.co.uk/ (at least go and have a look at its lovely shopfront, anyway!)

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 9:53 am #

      Very good point about the damp, I will keep that in mind πŸ™‚ I am planning some thin wool layers, because I figure it’s easier to add/remove than to deal with a big bulky something! Thank you so much for the advice πŸ™‚

      Also, ahhh those umbrellas! Probably won’t be able to justify the price, but I might go have a look anyway because they look amazing πŸ™‚

    • Indoor Kitty October 10, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      They have parrot head umbrellas! Do they talk? Please tell me they talk. And allow you to fly.

      Once again, sincere apologies for Dick Van Dyke’s accent. (Although whatever Sarah Caufield was doing in the eighth series of Spooks should even the score a little.)

      • Anna October 10, 2014 at 10:54 am #

        Haha! All together now: “Oh, hit’s a jawlly hawlidai with Laur-ren” πŸ™‚

        They used to sell swordsticks too, you can still see the sign on the window. I always thought it was where Steed bought his *special* umbrellas…

  11. devon October 10, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    OOOOH this is making me re-inspired for my travel sewing…so far i’ve only made one solid black plantain. womp womp.

    also after reading this i now wish we called suitcases capsules instead. β€œI need to pack my capsule.”

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Maybe we should do another sewing party, but have it the travel-planning edition πŸ˜› ha!

      I’m down with calling suitcases capsules. Then it sounds like we are going into SPACE or some shit!

  12. Anonymous October 10, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Second the reading luggage policies carefully. US airlines usually let you carry on your handbag and a carry on suitcase. European flights count your handbag as your carry on. The shift to metric also means that your check luggage has to be lighter than the 50 lbs. we are used to. This shouldn’t be an issue across the Atlantic, but within Europe it’s a big problem.

    Think of London as Seattle. That’s the best analogy I can give you. (I’ve only been there in the summer, and the heat island effect threw off my wardrobe planning the first time. I wound up going to Camden and buying a several pairs of shorts of dubious provenance. Then I went to the Lake District and froze my ass off. In June.) Buy your umbrella once you get there, but waterproof your shoes before you go.

    If you have time for touristy activities (and the weather cooperates,) take a Fat Tire Bike Tour. You hit all the major sites, and you get to see how everything is connected. Traveling by tube throws off your brain’s geography centers. (Excuse me, centres. πŸ™‚ )

    • Indoor Kitty October 10, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      Umm. That’s me ^^^. No idea why I came up anonymous.

    • Anna October 10, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      Everything from Camden has dubious provenance. Including me! πŸ˜€

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      I’m flying Air Canada, and last I checked their luggage policies I was allowed 1 carry on (+ a personal item; i.e, my purse) and the checked bag could weigh up to 50 lbs. I may call their customer service line just to verify that this is correct, though. Once I get into London, I don’t have any connecting flights, so it should be good!

      I’ve never been to Seattle, so it’s a good analogy, but not very useful to me πŸ™‚ Will definitely waterproof those shoes, though!

      And thank you for the tip on the Fat Tire Bike Tour! I LOVE stuff like that, so I’ll definitely look into it πŸ™‚

      • Indoor Kitty October 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

        Well, the Lake District in June was like Seattle in August, which was like Knoxville in February. Middle Tennessee tends to be drier than Knoxville, in my experience. (My mom’s from Sparta.)

        I take it you are going to Paris via Eurostar? Unless something has changed St. Pancras and King’s Cross are the same tube stop. If you have time, you can pop over to King’s Cross and have your picture taken a Platform 9 3/4. (Also, there’s a Paddington Bear statue at Paddington Station, but a shocking lack of marmalade sandwiches. I tried starring at the shop workers, but it made no difference.)

        • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

          Yep, we are taking Eurostar! I think we are actually getting on the train at King’s Cross, so I’ll be on the lookout for some photo ops πŸ˜‰

  13. rycrafty October 10, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Hahaha, I’m currently wearing my Margot PJs in a crazy orange Fair Isle print! Just say no to boring jammies!


    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      Oh, I remember seeing these on Tilly’s Pinterest board! SO jealous of that awesome fabric! Your PJs look great! πŸ˜€

  14. sputniksong October 10, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Fall sewing, you say? I just finished V8519, a crazy-awesome claire schaeffer jacket. Other than that, I currently have a LFJ about 80% done, and I’m going to make the Ralph Rucci coat πŸ˜€

    Your capsule wardrobe is mighty sharp-lookin’. I can never hold my attention on one theme for a capsule wardrobe long enough to actually make one. I get one or two garments pumped out then go “OOH LOOK A COTTON WITH A PIZZA PRINT ON IT I NEED TO MAKE A DRESS OUTTA THAT LIEK RITE NAO” lulz.

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

      Diverted attention is usually my issue too! I’m trying to stay focused, though – in it to win it! πŸ™‚

  15. Chickeys October 10, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    I LOVE these planning posts, and I was thinking, “Hrm, where’s Lladybird’s?” Friday prezzie in my email! πŸ™‚

    I’m jealous of your trip, but only a bit because I’m going to Germany in 3 weeks, EEEEEEEEEE! I have like, 2 shirts in the works but the time has crept up too fast for me to really sew a travel wardrobe, sadly. (I might be eking out some pj pants though, I don’t want to buy them!)

    Non-travel fall/winter sewing plans include more solid-colored day dresses that I can wear with tights and boots, and more non-knit shirts. A cobalt blue D+D Sureau Dress is on the top of my list!

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

      Yay! Happy Friday! haha! πŸ˜€

  16. Elle October 10, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    Hello, never commented on your blog and I hope this isn’t too personal a comment but I’m a bit of a bra evangelist. I know you want to make some of your own underwear but you have to visit Bravissimo when you are in London, they have a massive selection of bras in so many more sizes than are available in the US and they are great at helping you with fit issues. They will also be much cheaper than you would pay in the US. I read your recent post on making your own bra and the way you size yourself is totally correct, the old method of adding 4″ to your underbust doesn’t work with most modern and luckily in the UK there are loads of Bravissimo shops who actually fit properly. I don’t work for them by the way, just really evangelical about good fitting bras πŸ™‚

    • Kelly October 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

      Haha, I second the Bravissimo recommendations – I went there for the first time a year ago and it has changed my bra-life! Went down two band sizes and up 2 cup sizes from what I’d been wearing, and it has made such a difference!

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

      Not too personal for me! That’s a great idea about checking out Bravissimo – they’ve been on my radar for a bit, but I *completely* forgot about them! So thank you for the tip! I do want to make bras, but I’m not opposed to buying if I can find ones that fit well/I like πŸ™‚ Even just seeing what they have and getting re-measured would be worth the trip alone πŸ™‚

  17. Indoor Kitty October 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    Apparently I’m going to post on this thread 800 times…

    Nature’s Fabrics (http://www.naturesfabrics.com/wool-fabric.html) has some gorgeous wool. The target cloth diaper sewers who want to make wool covers, (the feltable wool interlock is their signature item,) but they have a nice selection of boiled, jersey, and crepe.

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Oh no, why did you link me to this site? They are going to take all my money now… πŸ˜›

  18. Andrea October 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    My advice to anyone visiting London is this: Do not bring an umbrella, bring a coat with a good hood. It is super windy in London, and usually it is what I call ‘misting’ – not really raining enough for the trouble of a brolly, but moist enough that your hair gets soaked. Also brolly dripping all over the tube and everyone on it is no fun, and neither is having a wet brolly in your purse. Waterproof shoes are also a good idea. Having said that – I’ve lived here for six years and still have neither a hooded coat nor boots, but I always wish I did!
    I agree with whoever it was that said the damp seeps in – it does! I’m from Iowa originally so used to really cold but London, with the wind, rain, damp, and never having a chance to warm up is really really difficult. (I don’t know who these people are that think inside is warm – I’m always freezing!) I’m usually wearing my winter coat in November – not a puffer or anything but a wool coat. Plus remember you’ll probably be outside a lot more that you’re used to – there is no quick running in and out of places here, getting anywhere is a slog!

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      Ha! In those situations, I usually just wear a hat πŸ™‚ Regardless, that’s a great tip (as is everything in this comment), so thank you! πŸ™‚

    • HJ October 10, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      Good advice. A brolly should only be used by a person of over 6 feet, think Patrick of The Great British Sewing Bee (ok, try to stop thinking of him now girls).

  19. Kelly October 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    I have things I want to make to take to Paris when we go, but I keep not finding time! I really want to get on a make a coat (probably a Minoru as I haven’t found fabric I like for a Robson yet), and I feel like I ought to make pyjamas – it just feels wrong to go on a sewing road (ok, train) trip and not have homemade pyjamas!

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      Ooh, make some jammies and let’s have a SEWING SLUMBER PARTY OMG.

  20. puu October 10, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    loads of great advice here, and i completely agree with all of the recommendations about temperature. the temps look mild, but you will be shocked by how constantly damp and chilly you will feel. that said i think all of the items in your capsule are exactly the types of items you should be taking – comfy and stylish all at once! i hate to be the girl who looks like a tourist so i always pack super-carefully. when i lived in london i had a yellow hello kitty brollie and a red raincoat and i just splashed around loving life. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

      Everything about you is adorable, and I can totally see you with a yellow hello kitty brollie and red raincoat! omg I just love you so much haha

  21. Katie Lynn October 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    I would make sure to bring a lot of accessories. I would dress in layers, the more basic the better, a thin tee under a sweater, with a colorful scarf or interesting jewelry. That way you can remove pieces and add as needed for weather. Plus things like scarves take up very little room in your bag, but can make an outfit look pulled together or like a completely different thing (especially with something like a sweater you’ll be wearing multiple times). I would recommend staying away from patterns in your larger pieces, it makes them too memorable that you’re wearing the same thing. Outer layers should be neutral, and things worn under them and scarves and such colorful. I live in a cold climate, and this is how I dress normally, but I’ve found it to be especially helpful when trying to pack for long trips. I did a week in Minnesota (including a wedding) with a single medium duffel bag in the spring using this method.

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      Great advice! I’m sadly lacking in accessories, so I’m trying to pick up more (while still being mindful about what I’m buying – not buying just to buy, you know?) because you’re totally right about them changing up an outfit. The coat I will be bringing will not be neutral, but I’m ok with that πŸ™‚ I like a statement coat haha

      • Katie Lynn October 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

        Actual outer layers can be whatever. I love a great print in a jacket. What I meant by outer layer was your outermost indoor layer should be a neutral. I’m super picky about what scarves I make or buy, they have to fit into my wardrobe’s existing color palette and I refuse to pay upwards of $30 for a flimsy bit of material with shoddy workmanship. I get a lot of things on clearance or at marshall’s/tj maxx type stores, where they’re marked down into more reasonable territory.

        For jewelry Forever 21 is surprisingly a great resource for fashion jewelry. Decent prices, and a great selection online. I just don’t recommend getting too attached to any one piece as it’s not the best quality. I bought this amazing tiered enameled necklace from them this this spring, and the chains that hold the enameled crescents ended up losing their gold cover. I’m researching replacing the chains with something nicer, because the enameled bits look like a much more expensive piece and I quickly fell in love.

        • Katie Lynn October 10, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

          Have you looked into buying some gauzy material and making scarves or cowls? I know they’re a pain to sew on the machine, but I imagine hand sewing the seams would work well, or using a different material to cover the raw edges with lightweight bias tape.

    • Heather M October 10, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

      I forgot to say in my mini novel above that I had a lightweight wool challis black & orange/ rust scarf & a melon 1I bought, both oblong that were daily accessories. Warm & color.

  22. symondezyn October 10, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    I do love seeing other people’s plans!! I would love to blog mine (I love lists and planning) but personally never blog mine anymore because I always overestimate my productivity and then end up changing everything anyway – ha! ^__^ Your plans, and especially, your fabrics sound delicious and I would totally happily and unapologetically steal all of them! LOL.

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

      I totally understand! I usually end up scrapping about half my plans too – these have a real purpose for me now (and a deadline!) so I’m actually inclined to bust my butt and get them done!

  23. Ryan October 10, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    Not lipstick red, but I keep looking at this <a href="http://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/Carnelian-Red-Multi-Herringbone-Stripe-Wool-Shetland-59W.html"stripped herringbone red wool trying to decide if i need it for…something. I need to plan a mix-and-match capsule wardrobe for my normal life. i’ve gotten so lazy about dressing for work and it would be easy if everything coordinated.

  24. Jet Set Sewing October 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Sounds like your wardrobe plans for Paris are spot on, as they wear a lot of sleek pants and tops in the winter. Black wool knit is great in that it won’t reveal red wine spillage. Paris is chilly damp which is why they’re so obsessed with scarves. Best to make a few colorful ones to bring along.

  25. michirusuz October 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    Oh, fun! I just went to London and Paris myself a couple of months ago and posted my Paris fabric shopping experience here. http://urbanrecyclist.blogspot.com/2014/09/paris-fabric-shopping.html Not sure if it’s your first time, but if you want some survival tips, practical ones, I learned a bunch this time around and will be glad to share… Always fun and inspiring to see what you’re sewing, and your sewing plans for each season!

    • LLADYBIRD October 12, 2014 at 9:03 am #

      This will be my first time. Thank you so much for linking up your post – I see lots of useful info/tips in here, which I will for sure be putting to use πŸ˜€

  26. tiz October 10, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your sewing plans, you inspired me! In my plans there is a white button-down shirt to make but I didn’t find the right pattern… And you give me the idea to try with Butterick 5526, thanks!

  27. V Reed October 10, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    I am so insanely jealous of your tip to England. The land of Whittard Tea. Hold on a moment while I have a sip from the steaming cup of Spiced Imperial sitting next to my computer. Ah! Bliss! πŸ™‚ If you aren’t a tea drinker, find a shop and wander through. The smells alone are worth the tour and Whittard of Chelsea also carries coffee if you’re a fan of that instead.

    Winter sewing plans for me revolve around skirts. My work wardrobe is loaded with skirts and because I’m in Ok where winds not only sweep down the plains, but up the hems of skirts, I prefer a-line, straight or pencil. Circle is only reasonable if you take the time to weight the hem or only wear it on a windless day, which is often akin to a cold day in hell or so it seems. I love heavy weight denims, snuggly flannels or corduroys.

    First out of the gate, however, is a drapey bias a-line in a lovely navy. Gosh, I really should start blogging about this stuff again. πŸ™‚

  28. Anonymous October 10, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    I just did a DVF…used the Plantain sleeves, doubled the width of button cuffs (for the flip cuffs), and now I need a good black one. πŸ˜‰

    Roll your clothes, they take less space.

  29. B. Morgan Joy October 11, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    Ahhhhhhhh okay I ordered 3 kits (well, 3 fabric kits and 3 findings kits) from Bra Maker’s Supply’s US store, Sweet Cups, ’cause I was like 3 weeks out from my trip to S Korea at the time (now I am but 1 weeks out oh gosh augh I’m so nervous) and I didn’t want to wait on customs and everything and it’s the same stuff anyway, just a narrower selection. It arrived really quickly (yay!) and I’m up to “sew on the underwire casings” in the Marlborough pattern so I went through the findings bag and
    that’s not much strap elastic at all
    it’s, like, stingy on the strap elastic front
    Maybe 2 feet of strap elastic, that’s not enough elastic for the Marlborough where almost the entire strap is elastic.
    So I’m going to have to recut the powerbar with an extension at the top so there’s enough fabric strap to compensate for how little strap elastic there is. BE ADVISED.
    It’s tons of fabric and lace though, WAY more than I need to make one bra, plenty to call this one a muslin and just cut a new one and still have enough to make matchy underpants.

    • LLADYBIRD October 12, 2014 at 9:05 am #

      OH yeah, I heard that about the elastic! I forgot to order more (the US site actually doesn’t let you order just elastic), so I had to scramble around Etsy and find 5/8″ elastic that matched my kids (red and black). I wonder why the kits don’t include much elastic? Is it because they intend for you to make the bra with a partial fabric strap??

      • B. Morgan Joy October 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

        Yes, I think so! After trying on my muslin and deciding where I needed to adjust things, I thought I’d just make the strap extension longer on the powerbar. But I measured the actual length of elastic (22″) I had, then the length of the straps on my Current Best Bra, and decided that since I needed at least 7″ more on each strap I’d be smarter to make a separate strap piece. I ended up just cutting a pair of rectangles 8.5″ long and the width of the top of the power bar + underarm elastic width + .25″ SA. I’ll attach it to the top of the power bar where I cut down the SA to .25″, after I’ve assembled the cups but before topstitching the cup/powerbar seam. I’ll press that open and topstitch just as with the bridge/frame seams to minimize bulk.
        Just, you know, future reference–I’m starting with beige so I can at least finish a bra to wear under light tops before my trip, and since BEIGE IS NOT A REAL ACTUAL COLOR WORD THAT MEANS ANYTHING
        it is very tricky to find elastic to match.
        Plus, dope that I am, I forgot that even though 32D is a pretty small size, the pattern’s drafted for all D cups to use 3×3 back closures and I ordered SMALL findings kits with 2×3 closures. (I just drew a deeper scoop in the band while I was redrawing seam allowances for the actual elastic I have, it’s going to be fiiiiine. Even needing fitting adjustments and having no straps or elastic, the muslin fit more comfortably than anything else I own.)

  30. Rachel October 11, 2014 at 3:19 am #

    What fantastic plans you’ve laid. Your capsule travel wardrobe will be epic. I also like to do this and, like you, give each one a theme – it’s like getting to play at being a fashion designer doing their latest resort line lol. Traveling light is so good (thanks Meet the Parents), especially when there is a chance to buy fabric souvenirs! Fabric is heavy though πŸ˜₯ I have two tips for you: 1) wear any bulky, but comfy, items on the plane and 2) bring loads of layers for London because the tube gets rank hot. Can’t wait to see these plans come to fruition. Rachel ☺

  31. Elisabeth October 11, 2014 at 3:30 am #

    I am so impressed at how organised you are about what to make and how to match it with other makes! I’m probably the least organised person in that regards. It seams like a very good thing to do though.

  32. Sarah - Fabrictragic October 11, 2014 at 4:33 am #

    Love planning posts! Am planning my spring summer wardrobe, but as one of my last cold weather makes I made a wool Jersey wrap dress (vintage vogue, sadly not DVF but that’s what I was aiming for) and I love it – so easy to dress up and down! And yes, heed the advice of locals re weather!

  33. helen October 11, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    Lady skater with Renfrew cowl – that’s on my to do list to! Just trying to decide on fabric. I’ve never made the cowl version the Renfrew and thinking do I need to cut that cowl in two pieces? I’m going to adjust the pattern to avoid this.
    I’m up in Manchester UK and it can rain a lot. I never both much with an brolly, I just have a good waterproof and put on the Hunter wellys.
    Have a great time in the UK.

  34. Fiona October 12, 2014 at 5:19 am #

    First post here, although been reading your blog for a while … so – Hi.

    Very much hope you enjoy your trip here. London is a great city with lots of interesting things to see and do – don’t miss the Tower of London with the Crown Jewels display. Talk about OTT.

    Yes, it’s cold and damp here, particularly now it’s autumn, and the weather is “changeable” – sunny and warm one minute, cold and downpour the next. A fold up brolly is something no Londoner would be caught without now. Cheap and cheerful, you can find one in most chemists/pharmacies – Lol! I know that will be surprising to you! – and department stores. They fold up to about a foot or less in length and roll up tightly, so are easy to fit into the corner or outside pocket of a bag.

    Just a couple of practical tips: get a pay as you go mobile phone (cell phone). I generally keep a spare one on hand for visiting American friends but you can pick one up for Β£10-15 in any supermarket, plus a tenner top up. Roaming charges in Europe are horrendous, so get one here!

    Most Londoners travel around by bus and tube using an oyster card, available at tube stations and some newsagents. You’ll be whizzing around a great deal, so the oyster card will cut travel costs dramatically. Also you’ll avoid queues.

    Have a wonderful trip!

    • LLADYBIRD October 12, 2014 at 9:07 am #

      Those are both great tips! I’m already planning on the prepaid sim (I used to work for TMobile back in 2003 and that’s what we advised all our international travelers to do to avoid roaming fees), and just went through hell to unlock my phone (which is a whole other story in itself, ugh AT&T ugh). I will definitely be picking up an Oyster card, don’t want to stand in line/pay more if I can help it!

  35. hannah October 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    I really want to get a list of my potential future projects together in an organised fashion like this!


  36. Mandykimuk October 12, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Wow thanks that’s a great post. I really enjoyed reading about your capsule wardrobe. You’re going to have a great time. I’m a blighty and for what it’s worth I hate brollies, they blow inside out, break, stab people in the eye etc so I’m a fan of wearing a hat under my hood. It’ll probably be perishing by the end of November but all last winter i wore winter dresses with thick tights, cardies and boots (with socks on too!) & was pretty ok….. Toastie gloves and scarves are an essential but hey I’m all for buying holiday souvenir clothes….. “Oh yes this is the scarf I picked up from a little street off Camden etc…etc…” πŸ™‚ And by then mulled wine will be on sale in the pubs!!!! I’d love to come and meet up with you if you are arranging a sewing rendezvous while in London. Happy sewing!! Mandy x

    • LLADYBIRD October 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      MULLED WINE!! ummm, yes please!!

      And hey, we will totally be meeting up that first Saturday I’m there (11/22). If you’d like me to add you to the group email list, just send me an email (lladybirdlauren at gmail dot com) πŸ™‚

  37. BusyLizzie October 13, 2014 at 1:51 am #

    I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and always try to have one when I travel. But, I end up throwing loads of extra thing in an over packing anyway! I was in Paris a couple of months ago and wrote a blog post about it, including a couple of knitting shops, here: http://busylizzieinbrizzy.com/2014/08/27/shopping-for-fabric-in-paris/
    If you have time I really recommend spending a day out with Barbara of Stitching up Paris (link in blog) as she has loads of secret spots that even some locals don’t seem to know about.
    November is a funny time to be in Europe. Sometimes it is warm-ish sometimes freezing. I am also from a warm climate and last time I went in November I thought it was going to be cold and wet and it wasn’t at all. Layers are your friend.

    • LLADYBIRD October 13, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      Oooh, thanks for linking up your post! Love these sorts of round-ups πŸ™‚

  38. Francesca October 13, 2014 at 4:02 am #

    First comment and right now last:) – I’ve really enjoyed reading all these comments and learnt a bit for my next trip to London, it’s been ages…. not so Paris, but last time I went was August, Make sure you eat macarons in Paris…. preferably the caramel with salted butter at La Duree – omg they are totally over the top divine!

    Lauren – hope you don’t mind, I have a question regarding your interfacing – I’ve just been reading through all the comments on the post you wrote on how the hell you manage to sew so much and am about to order some fusible interfacing thanks to you from fashion supply – I mostly buy it on line from the UK as here it’s pretty much crappy papery stuff or proper tailoring stuff (at least!) – no knit, so soft woven, etc. Anyway I wanted to order the stuff you say you pretty much use for everything except for men’s shirts and tailoring – but I wanted to double check the product, because this is the product that comes up with the link – “Pro-Weft Supreme LIGHT-weight Fusible Interfacing is of the highest quality brushed weft-insertion interfacing available for tailoring applications.such as underlining and collar/lapel” – also says can only be used for shirts if they are to be dry cleaned.
    So – is that the one you use, or is it this one – Pro-Sheer Elegance Light Fusible Interfacing – ? Please?

    • LLADYBIRD October 13, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      mmmm mararons! That’s a GREAT tip, I am gonna try to scope some of those out!

      And yep, you’re right – the Pro Weft Supreme LIGHT is the exact product I use on nearly everything. I’ve been using it for about 3 years now – and I launder all my products at home (or, lately… at the laundromat. What i mean is, no dry cleaning! At all! Don’t have time for that!) and I’ve never experienced an issue with the interfacing.

      I also like the sheer light fusible, and the tricot, but for a good basic goes-with-everything interfacing, the Pro Weft Supreme LIGHT is your best bet πŸ™‚ Hope this helps!

  39. lifeisjustduckie October 13, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    I always pack outfits in ziplock bags, you can squeeze out the air and make more space. Also when I was in Belfast for two weeks, I packed 1 week of unders and washed things in my sink for the next week.

  40. Kim October 14, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    Love reading about your sewing plans! Makes me wish I was back home and thinking of plans too.. I do think I need to start planning my winter sewing soon, so I can buy some good fabric in LA!

  41. scooterphoenix October 15, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    What ambitious goals!! I’m slightly jealous that I’ve not set similar ones for myself. Good luck & happy sewing. I’m especially excited to see your jacket when you finish it.

  42. Laura Beth November 7, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    Love your blog…I always save it for last reading like a great chocolate dessert πŸ™‚ I noticed that you call the button front shirts “button downs.” I randomly heard on the radio driving to work that only shirts with button down collars are technically button downs, the rest are button ups….not a criticism, rather an interesting tidbit πŸ™‚ http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dress_shirt

    • LLADYBIRD November 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

      That’s pretty neat! I honestly had no idea the difference between button down and button up – and have always struggled with what to call them. Very interesting tidbit indeed, thank you! πŸ™‚


  1. Completed: A Black Wool Jersey Wrap Dress | LLADYBIRD - October 14, 2014

    […] keeping my fingers crossed that I can prolong both situations for a very very long time). My upcoming trip kind of sealed the deal for me – well, that and this fucking fabulous fabric. It’s like […]

  2. My Trip to London & Paris! | LLADYBIRD - December 8, 2014

    […] my capsule wardrobe ended up being a really great decision on my part. I made everything I had planned and wore almost […]

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