Fall Essentials Sew Along 2014

FESA2014Logo copy

Riding on the “yay, I’ve successfully made it through two group challenges this year!” wave, I’ve signed on for yet another: the Fall Essentials Sew Along (FESA) hosted by Sarah and Lisette.

Cold weather clothes have always been a struggle for me, even when I was buying them in stores. In my first few years of sewing I only wanted to sew summer sundresses, but in the past couple of years I’ve been – dare I say it – excited to fill some major gaps in my fall and winter wardrobe. What can I say, it just gets a little tiring to wear the same three cardigans to winterize most of my clothes!

I’m going to keep my FESA plan simple (even so, it’ll be interesting to see what I can get done by November 30th). I find that the following patterns are essentials that fit my lifestyle, which is certainly a motivator.


Pencil Skirts
FESA Category: Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather

I have some wool I bought last year to make some more pencil skirts. Although I’ve made three BHL Charlotte skirts (one of them being the bottom half of my Charmbie dress), I think I may try the bottom half of B5455 by Maggy London, which I found for 30 cents at a thrift store this summer – ca-ching! I like that it has pockets and a vent.

The dress has promise too, but I’m not sure about that midriff panel on the front bodice (the back bodice is just one piece). I like it in the drawing better than in the floral fabric, but I’ll see if I can hunt out other versions to get a better idea of how it looks all sewn up.


Long-Sleeve Shirts
FESA Category: Chic Chemises for Cool Climates**

**I think of a chemise as an undergarment, but Sarah and Lisette show examples of blouses, etc. so I’m going with it. 🙂

I have to admit, I just don’t like long-sleeve woven shirts! I’m fine with them in knits for some reason, but woven shirts…well, I just don’t know. It might have something to do with the fact I prefer dresses to pants (long sleeves = arm pants). Given that, I must be crazy, but I’m going to attempt some with this Vogue 9029 pattern I just picked up.

(Of course, I’m also knitting the Marion cardigan for the fall KAL so technically I can add it to this FESA category as well.)


Gertie’s Wiggle Dress
FESA Category: Fabulous Frocks

I was actually a pattern tester for this dress back in the day (wow, is that really almost three years ago??), but never made one past the muslin stage due to my hectic schedule at the time. I have some navy blue fabric – it sparkles! – that I picked up last spring with this dress in mind, and I have some more “casual” fabrics that would work too. I’ll probably shorten the hemline a wee bit.


Wrap Dresses
FESA Category: Fabulous Frocks

The three wrap dresses I’ve made so far have become wardrobe staples. I have a few thicker knits that would be perfect for cold weather and I just so happened to buy M6884 during the latest McCall’s sale. I love that the bodice and skirt are one piece (rather than separated by a waist seam) for quicker sewing, and I’m curious about that mock wrap design.

Ever since I discovered the amazingness of sweater tights I have been much happier dressing in cooler weather. In the past I’ve worn pants (really, just jeans) all the time and it gets a little boring. Plus, sweater tights actually keep me warmer than pants, even during this past brutal, prolonged winter.


Another Wool Coat
FESA Category: Baby It’s Cold Outside

This one won’t likely be done in the challenge time frame (if I’m being realistic), but I had so much fun making my first tailored coat that I thought it was high time to make another. This time around I’d like to make something more colorful and a little less formal. I found Burda 8292 after checking almost every pattern company site known to mankind to find the style I wanted, which was one similar to the coat Betty wears (top photo) on Mad Men. I still need to hunt for the perfect fabric, but right now I’m thinking something red needs to happen! Red makes me happy, so why not wrap myself in it all cozy like?

Well, these are the ideas floating in my head. If you’ve followed me long enough you’ll notice that none of these choices are exactly groundbreaking or taking me out of my comfort zone. But you know what? I’ll be living in comfort in pieces I know I’ll love, and for now that’s just good enough for me. 🙂

Are you participating in FESA 2014? Or perhaps SESA if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere? 😀 Happy sewing, guys n’ gals!


12 thoughts on “Fall Essentials Sew Along 2014

  1. I love Gertie’s wiggle dress, the only thing holding me back are those underarm gussets. They’re always so fiddly to sew. Cool to hear you were a pattern tester, I bet this will be great on you.

    • Yay! I see you’re planning a circle skirt and trousers. I’ve been meaning to sew a circle skirt, but it always gets pushed back… One day. I look forward to seeing your trousers and other plans too!

    • I so agree! Another summer gal to add to the group. I know Sonja and Kristen from Sew Classic are also on board. 😀 I already miss sitting in the park on a 75-degree day.

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