fall wardrobe part one | planning + illustrations

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about people’s wardrobes lately between Self Stitched September, the Colette Fall Palette Challenge, the 30 For 30 Remix and general autumn time posts and it’s making me seriously jealous/bummed about my closet (and the fact that I either missed out or don’t have enough clothes to participate in these things). You might think as a designer/patternmaker I would have a closet full of at least my collection items but true to the saying, the cobler’s children have no shoes, I have hardly any clothes. In an attempt to remedy this I’ve put together some sketches of what I think I could really use/would really like in my closet this season. I used to make more things for myself and that has slowly faded away, so I’m hoping this cute little grouping of rectangle-legged, armless, headless ladies will help me get back into it!

Look 1 | woven t-shirt in Wiltshire Red Liberty Tana Lawn from a personal pattern, a denim mini-skirt in some sort of army green/grey fabric I found in one of my many boxes, also a personal pattern.

Look 2
| same woven t-shirt in navy lace I have yet to purchase, jeans that I will not make but instead possibly purchase depending on how they look on non-model sized people.

Look 3 | woven t-shirt again but with a pocket added on in red wool crepe (if the swatch I ordered isn’t creepy), black jeans I already own.

Look 4 | pine green melton wool cape with welt pockets and tortoise shell buttons. Fake tortoise of course, do they even make real? Creepy. I bought this fabric randomly last year and never knew what to do with it till now…hopefully I bought enough!

Look 5 | grey wool toggle coat with a hood (!) and salmon + grey plaid flannel lining. I have the grey wool already but still need to get the lining. It will also be my first experience with toggles.
These two items will come in handy because, besides my puffy coat which I save for the dead of winter, I’m sporting a 5 year old h&m number with holes where my elbows are jammed against my sides from the cold. I’m so stylish. Both these patterns are my own as well.

Look 6 | this dress is a pretty non-subtle copy of this $325 dress I cannot afford to buy. Totally scored some Liberty Tana Lawn in Black Edenham so the plan is to make the top from a bodice I have and pop two gathered tiers on the bottom for the skirt. I should save somewhere around $295.

Look 7 | this is my icelandic alafoss lopi sweater that I am terrified to finish. For some reason I cannot get myself to attempt the colorwork section, I am convinced it is going to fail and have totally psyched myself out. What is my deal?


Accessories | Here we have my golden cabled mittens that I REFUSE to give up on no matter how many times they trick me, the Herringbone Cowl from Purl Soho in all it’s wooly glory and a pair of pretty generic thick woolen socks which I have yet to find the perfect pattern for. The knits will hopefully be accomplished while watching Downton Abbey, which I have never seen but have been ordered to watch by multiple parties.

So, we’ll see how it goes! I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t get everything done,  I will probably be pretty pumped if I get half done! I do really really want to participate in a me-made-something-or-another at some point, it seems so fun and I want in!

* I just realized that in typing my post first in Microsoft Word it autocorrected Downton Abbey into Downtown Abbey…whoops!! All fixed.

24 replies on “fall wardrobe part one | planning + illustrations

  • Vivi

    I’ve just gotten some yarns to knit that herringbone cowl! Cozy scarves and nice clothes are the things that make me accept the cold season. (together with tea, always!)

  • martha

    Ooh your outerwear options are awesome! And you have to finish the Lopi sweater, then you won’t have to pull the heavy coat until the dead of winter. And the colorwork won’t be hard!

  • Beth

    All these ideas look perfect for fall in Chicago, and I love the headless, rectangle-legged models. How did you make them? (And I also love Downton Abbey–it always makes me want to sew.)

    • jen | grainline

      Just drew them in Adobe Illustrator, nothing too fancy…I took a pretty extensive class in school. Glad to hear another vote for downtown abbey, I need to get watching!

  • Carolyn

    I love that cowl also! Its on my knit list -as soon as I get the right wool (a similar colour I think) and finish my current scarf. Good luck with yours!

  • Julie

    what a clever idea! Those accessories are cute and I love that grey coat. Hey, if it’s any consolation I’m doing the 30 for 30 and finding it really challenging. I look forward to the days when I can just grab some clothes and walk out the door again!

  • michael ann

    here’s another vote for downton abby, haha. i am more than a little obsessed with bbc shows right now, unfortunately for my mr… i know exactly how you feel about being a seamstress but not making anything for yourself. this is an awesome list, good luck with all your sewing!!

  • indigorchid

    Yey, we’re all agreeing on brithish shows, tea, and knitting this fall! I’m a week shy from moving into a new apartment… with a wood stove! So excited!!

    And you can do the colorwork, I promise! Just take it a little bit at a time, and make sure to count so you know you have the right number of stitches / start in the right place, until you become more confident. I will happily hold your hand if you want! It will have to be a virtual sort of handholding, haha..!

    Love your little ladies, and your designs, and your scheming! Can’t wait to see them come to life!

    • jen | grainline

      Oh the new apartment sounds like it’s going to be amazing! I wish so badly that we had a fireplace or something here, but lofts in old lithography factories are not so lucky. I will also probably be taking you up on this virtual hand holding…I can’t believe I psyched myself out so badly!

  • Ina

    i really like this. Not only because it’s pretty but because you’re adding stuff you’re in the process of making. And because you seem aware that you might or might not make these pieces. Love the green cape.

  • melissa

    I love this post! I have often dreamed of making myself a cohesive fall collection of hand made items! I love all your woven shirts. I’m totally with you on the hand knits too – my big herringbone cowl is currently blocking and I’m working on my third pair of warm woolen socks!

    Oh – and Downton Abbey is EXCELLENT! Make sure you watch the series before it starts up again in January 😉

    I’m looking forward to seeing your drawings come to life!

  • christine

    this is great, I love your little drawings, it’s so useful to have a plan when sewing! I tend to work on a project that catches my attention without considering how it will fit with the rest of my wardrobe. And then there’s always a skirt that will not go with a certain kind of top for some reason or other, etc. Getting dressed in the morning can be so hard!
    I also can’t really afford to buy new clothes either (and I try not to shop at the cheap places any more), so I’m trying to not constantly want new things, but to make a few key pieces that will fit well with the rest of my wardrobe. Lets see how that goes.
    as always, thanks for the inspiration, I love your blog!


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