winter wardrobe planning

winter wardrobe plans

so, in the Bay Area “winter” is pretty mild. I grew up in New England where winter meant a heavy parka and mittens knit by my grandma, and ice skating on the pond near my house. But my partner Jenn is from Berkeley and reminisces about going “to the snow” (a.k.a. Tahoe) which always makes me laugh. It’s cold here at night, but during the day you can get away with a sweater, light jacket, and scarf, so my “winter wardrobe” plans are staples I can probably keep in rotation year round. I’ve been keeping a running list of things to make on Pinterest but for winter, here’s what I’m dreaming of:

// tops

1. long sleeve stripey tee inspired by First Rite Clothing. I saw this shirt at West Coast Craft in December and needed to save my money for holiday shopping, but I think I found the exact fabric online at Fancy Tiger Crafts and plan to modify the Hemlock tee pattern to create the shape.

2. a sutton blouse in luxurious printed cupro that I got at the Feral Childe sample sale. I’ve been checking out #suttonblouse on instagram to see how the pattern looks on different bodies and in different fabrics and I think I’ll probably lower the v-neck and lengthen the body so it’s almost a tunic.

// dresses

3. an alder shirtdress in a cotton woven print from Feral Childe, probably view A plain & simple as directed. I’ve actually already made a view A and it’s a really satisfying garment to make because Jen’s sew-a-long is so thorough that you learn great tips for all the new skills (making a collar, button & button bands, etc.). I also have plans to make a view B shirt in a silk/linen blend but that may not appear until spring.

// bottoms

4. a classic pair of black leggings with a little bit of personality from the saucy seam lines in the Ooh La Leggings. It’s kind of silly but I had a lightbulb moment when I was making my list and realized I could make a pair of high-waisted leggings with extra long legs … it might be hard to tell in photos but I’m very tall (just over 6 feet!) and have perpetually bare ankles due to short inseams.

5. a pair of ginger jeans! this seems really ambitious to me right now, so this may be a winter/spring/summer plan … I want to make view B with the high waist, inspired by Imogene & Willie Elizabeth jeans, and am excited to be able to make a super long inseam and possibly raise the waist as well (another peril of being tall — “high” waisted often is more of a mid-rise on me). I jumped at the chance to get my hands on Cone Mills denim and bought a ginger jeans kit, so I’ll definitely be making a muslin before cutting into that.

// layers

6. a “winter” (see above ;)) jacket with A Verb for Keeping Warm’s Uptown Top pattern and some vintage Pendleton Wool. I actually took a class to make this jacket and it was amazing and all that’s left is to set the zipper and then I’ll post all about it.

7. my first hand-knit sweater! I’m almost done with this too… It’s the Hayward pattern by Julie Hoover for Brooklyn Tweed, and I’ve been knitting it in Twirl Petals which is an incredible local northern California yarn.

// extras

8. cozy hand warmers in this sophisticated seed stitch pattern. I know I said it’s not that cold here but my hands are getting chapped by the wind on my bike commute and I swooned when I saw these mitts on a friend’s instagram. I have some hand-spun local alpaca that will be sumptuous.

9. a slouchy knit hat with Purl Soho’s boyfriend hat pattern and local pure black alpaca. This has been on my “to knit” list for some time and got sidelined by my holiday knitting, and then I kept seeing versions popping up on instagram and I’m itching to make this!

10. a watson bra — I love this pattern! Well, the look of it, at least. I’d love to make both versions but will start with the longline. I’ve been mulling over what might be an eco-friendly option to the synthetics that dominate the 4-way-stretch market, and then I realized I could repurpose an old American Apparel dress that I never wear. Not sure what to do for notions, though.

OK so that’s my big list of selfish sewing, but I have some un-selfish plans too. Jenn’s birthday is in late January so I’m hoping to bust out a few makes for her. In the same way that I’m excited to custom-make super-long pants for me, I’m excited about all the possibilities to custom-make clothes for J because masculine styles that fit her slim build can be hard to find in stores.

A. a strathcona henley from Thread Theory in a stripey hemp-cotton knit. I’m hoping to have this completed in time to outfit the rustic birthday getaway I’m planning for J.

B. a zippered dopp kit with this simple Purl Bee pattern. I’m hoping to scrap J’s old canvas backpack for fabric and zippers and make this as a repurposed gift.

C. a pair of Hearth Slippers in AVFKW Pioneer. It might be sort of cheating to put these on my “winter plans” list because I actually already knit them and gave them to J for christmas, but they’re not completely done because I’m going to add the leather soles.

Beyond all these sewing/knitting plans, I’d like to work on wardrobe planning using Wardrobe Architect or maybe following the capsule wardrobe model. And, since I’m on a roll with plans and dreams and 2015, I definitely want to challenge myself to make one outfit this year that is sourced from my fibershed, as proposed by this is moonlight. My sweater (#7) will contribute to that, but I’ll have to figure out a dress or skirt and top or something.

one year one outfit

What do you think, will I finish my winter wardrobe by summer? Anyone have a good way to assess how much is reasonable to make in a given season?


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9 thoughts on “winter wardrobe planning”

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you initiated the challenge. I don’t think I can fully commit to not buying any more fabric but I do want to be more mindful of my stash and using up what I have before buying more.


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