My Autumn Makes

Happy Sunday everybody and in fact Happy September! This year has flown by, I have just past my six month probation at work, Adam has started a new job, we’ve changed over to the winter duvet and the weather has almost definitely turned which means its time for my favourite season, Autumn! I have to say that in fact i love all seasons for different reasons, I love the freezing cold sunny days in the winter with a clear blue sky that remind me of skiing, I love those first warm days of spring when the clocks go back and we start getting sunny mornings again, I even love the intense heat of summer, albeit preferably somewhere with aircon and stone floors, but autumn is special for me. Down here in the south they get a couple of days of proper autumn where the trees go brown and everything looks golden whereas in Perthshire, where I am originally from, the trees turn slowly and you get weeks of golden leaves falling and Autumn really does last a couple of months.

I love the colder weather, I love guy fawkes night, I love going for really long walks and needing to warm up when I get home and I love love love the fact that I can go back to wearing ankle boots(my spiritual shoe), jumpers and coats. Whilst I adore the heat of summer I hate dressing for it as its a nightmare trying to look professional but stay even vaguely cool, whereas in Autumn I can go back to wearing big scarves, cosy knitwear, tailored coats and I only have to worry about staying warm when I go out. It’s the dream!

This Autumn is particularly special for me in terms of sewing because I have never actually made autumn/winter clothing. Autumn and Winter clothes tend to involves more knits, stretch and wool. More sleeves, large silhouettes and more comp[lex techniques. I am generalising here as there are definitely some beginner friendly patterns out there but even if you find a beginner friendly pattern, chances are that once you go beyond medium weight stretch knits a beginner machine can’t handle the fabrics. My old John Lewis machine certainly struggled with anything remotely bulky. Now armed with my new machine, so beautiful patterns and some stunning fabric I am ready to take my first forays in Autumn clothes.

My September Makes

My September is going to be very busy with work starting to pick up speed a little and the fact that I am starting a part-time MA alongside my job I felt like it was a good idea to plan what I want to make this month so that I can work my way through project I actually want to do and not lose my sew-jo along the way.

Make 1: Amaya Shirt, Made My Wardrobe

As I publish this post I am actually tidying up the remnants of this project. I’m a little late writing this post and my first make of the Autumn is complete. It’s a gorgeous peasant style blouse with a keyhole neck and flared sleeves and I made it in a bright red spotted cotton from The Rag Shop. It’s a versatile statement piece that can go day to evening with ease. I love it and what’s more there’s some complex sewing in there that I’m really proud of. It also represents my shift in focus towards making high quality statement pieces that go with my existing wardrobe.

Make 2: Raglan Dress, Trend Patterns

I’m super excited to make this. I’m nervous because its not a style of dress I’ve made before and not one I wear often but its a stunning pattern and I have a gorgeous dark viscose covered in little red roses from Rainbow Fabrics Kilburn that will suit the pattern perfectly. The fabric has great drape which I think will work really well with the full sleeves on this pattern and I quite like the high neck with the tie. This dress will probably need a belt on it for me and I will probably make it a little shorter than the pattern suggests to accommodate my height.

Make 3: Cocoon Cardigan, GBSB

This make will be my first knit make! I have a lovely mid stretch pale grey knit from the Maker Merchant and I will be attempting a Cocoon cardigan from one of may GBSB books. It’s meant to be a three hour sew so I will do a vlog and see if I can make it in under that time. I’m excited to start working with knits as they form a big part of my wardrobe.

Make 4: Square Neck Dress, Unknown

This make is definitely the most free-form as I know roughly what I want to make, I’ve got a couple of patterns that would work and the fabric is stunning. I’m hoping this make allows me to exercise my creativity a little more and make something beautiful. It will definitely need a toile so I will keep you guys up to date with what I’m up to and fingers crossed I’ll end up with something great.

As I’ve been at home for the past five months and I’ve not had costs of commuting and general work life, I have almost definitely spent too much on sewing. Now I have set myself a monthly budget and costed up my September makes. With one exception I had already bought all of the fabrics, patterns and notions that I’m using at some point over the summer. I’ve definitely spent more than I meant to but writing all the costs down is a really important first step to controlling sewing spending. It’s definitely not a cheap hobby but as I’m not going back to gym anytime soon I’ve redistributed some of my budget so I can have fun sewing. For the sake of transparency, I give myself a £50 per month budget for sewing but I obviously don’t use all of it some months and I will use more other months depending on the fabric I’m using and patterns etc but it balances out to about this much over the year. I want to show you guys how I cost my monthly sewing, this month was more expensive that usual because I lost track slightly but now I’ve found a costing system that works for me so there we go.

September
COSTS
Amaya
Shirt
Raglan
Dress
Cocoon
Cardigan
Square
Neck Dress
Total
Patterns£12.50£14.20
(sale)
£0
(already own)
£0
(already own)
£26.70
Fabric£17.00£0
(Gifted)
£11.50£0
(Gifted)
£28.50
Notions£1.50£1.50£0 £1.50£4.50
Pattern Printing£4£0£0£0£4
Equipment£0£0£0£0£0
TOTAL£35.00£15.70£11.50£1.50£63.70

As you can see my biggest expense is fabric, this month I’ve actually bought a few patterns but normally I try to work through one’s that I already have. When I do buy patterns I try to take advantage of sales, offers and free patterns to reduce costs. I rarely have to buy notions because for some reason I have a lot of back stock that I bought years ago. When I do buy notions I try to buy a lot at once as a restock and because they are cheap and if I’m paying for delivery I might as well make it worth it. Anyway, I’ve included this as I’ve been having lots of conversations with other makers recently talking about budgeting for sewing so if this is a helpful table/split please do use it, its definitely helped me to gain awareness of what I spend.

October & November Thoughts

I’ll see how I get on with my September makes but below are a few things I want to have a go at for each month.

October

  • Anorak – Tilly And The Buttons Eden Coat
  • Cowl Neck Knitwear Dress – Sew Over It
  • Jersey Skirt
  • Wrap Dress

November

– I then have to make two more anoraks for my sisters this month!

– long sleeved top

– A line skirt

– sheer chiffon blouse

So there are my plans! If you found this pose useful then let me know in the comments below. I can do this monthly or seasonally if that would be helpful. It certainly helps me to plan my makes like this to ensure that I don’t spend too much and also that I have projects to work on when I’m stressed from work.

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