Back to School: Creating an Autumn Wardrobe

One of the many things I love about pattern testing is some of the awesome people you "meet." Melissa of Rebel and Malice is a super cool sewist whom I met recently. Seriously, she is all kinds of awesome -- before I started chatting with her, I thought she would be intimidating [shhhhhh! don't tell her I said that ;-)], but she's so down-to-earth and funny! 

Melissa came up with the great idea of creating a back to school capsule for children, and I was so excited when she asked me to join in on the fun. Since I'm so terrible at wardrobe planning, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try.

So the first step for me was coming up with a color palette. Easier said than done, I realized, after going through my fabric stash. My method of randomly buying fabrics "just because I like it" isn't really the best tactic for creating a cohesive wardrobe. I had so many prints, hardly any solids, and nothing really seemed to go with each other.

Yes, I next project should be organizing my stash. 
These are mostly my "special" fabrics. Ones that I don't want to cut into until I find the perfect pattern. And when I'm much better at this whole sewing thing. One day.
Notice how it's mostly nani IRO and Liberty? Ha ha! And yes, I know you are supposed to keep diapers and things under the crib. I store fabric. Is there something wrong with that? 

The other thing is my daughter wears a uniform to school, so I don't really need to think about being so practical, which gives me so much more freedom! I can go crazy! Well, sorta. She still has to go to gymnastics, and she likes to romp around in the dirt as much as any kid her age.

Soooooooo. My starting point was thinking about what colors my daughter looks best in, and that would be pale colors. She loves blue, pink, and yellow, and while they're not traditionally autumn colors, I think I can make them work depending on the type of fabric I use.

Next, I turned to one of my favorite musicals for inspiration:

You got it. Les parapluies de Cherbourg. Isn't Catherine Deneuve divine? I had originally considered Belle de Jour, but thought the topic was a bit too controversial for a back to school post despite the awesome wardrobe, so I went for something just a bit more benign (sorry, but I just wasn't going to do The Sound of Music). So while I won't be recreating her wardrobe (ha! I wish!), I am using it as a starting point for my fantasy back to school capsule.

I've already sewn up a few items, so those fabrics are missing from this pile (particularly the blues), but this is what I am considering for the wardrobe. It's not everything. I gotta keep things exciting, right? ;)

What's in a capsule, you ask? Yeah, I didn't really know either. I usually just make whatever I like and then when my daughter goes to wear it I panic, saying, "Oh no! Nothing matches!" and then try to whip something up. I guess it doesn't really matter, though, when your kids dress themselves like this or this.

So when Melissa first mentioned 13-15 pieces, not counting shoes and accessories, I balked. How was I supposed to sew all of that in time for the tour?? Did I even have that many autumn-friendly patterns? (Ha ha ha! Who am I kidding? I don't even want to try counting the number of PDF patterns I own...) Could I incorporate items that I'd already made? It's a miracle that Melissa didn't kick me off the tour with how much I bugged her. Of course she was too nice to do that, heh heh, and now I'm planning on a jacket, a cardigan or two, 3-4 dresses, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of pants, 3-4 skirts, and a blouse or two. That sounds about right, I think. If you follow me on Instagram, you might already have seen some of what I am working on.

Also, if you want some really fun ideas, check out Becca's post here. Her blog is so much fun!

Don't forget to join the Facebook group, and the linky party. You can check out Melissa's post on purging your closet and see what's going to be up for grabs in the big Giveaway here!

I would love to hear what you are planning for your kids -- or yourself -- for the autumn!!



  1. Your daughter is going to look so stylish! Can't wait to see the whole thing put together!

    1. Thanks, Diana -- but we'll see, ha ha! I can't wait to see what you're making, too <3

  2. Your inspiration!!!! I knew I liked you. Musical or movie inspiration, always the way to go.

    1. I agree! I think my love of musicals comes from my mother. She started me on West Side Story, which she went to see when she moved to New York from Japan.


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