Featured Fall Projects

Do you know how many amazing sewing patterns there are out there?

I've been adding pattern selections to the Hartford Stitch Project Catalog more or less at random over the past two years. Maybe it's a project that I have enjoyed for myself or kids, like the Geranium Dress by Made by Rae. Maybe it's a project that can be completed in a certain time frame, like the One Hour Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts for my Knits 101 Workshop. Maybe it's a project that covers an essential skill, like the Sigma Dress by Papercut Patterns.

So when it came to determining the fall patterns, I had some vague parameters:

1. I wanted a bag, a project with woven fabric and a project with knits fabric.

2. Each project had to add an essential skill that wasn't offered by other projects in my Project Catalog.

3. Ideally, thought not required, the patterns would be by Independent Designers and available in a print copy (I know how annoying it can be to assemble those pdf patterns!).

Then I started thinking... what if all the patterns worked together to make a cohesive outfit? What if the bag and garment pattern classes I offered were the foundation for an entire handmade wardrobe?

I was grateful to finally have that direction because with all those gobs of fantastic patterns out there I was overwhelmed with narrowing down the choices.

So I present you with the 3 Featured Patterns for this fall: (((drumroll please!)))

The Alberta Street Pencil Skirt by Sew House Seven

The Drop Pocket Cardigan by Jalie

The Traverse Bag by Noodlehead

I dressed MiLady at the studio in the samples. She got some great feedback, but most of it centered around "business dressy" or "if I worked at an office...".

And I get that, pencil skirts immediately conjure the same image for me. But I realized I may need to spell out all the versatility that these pieces have when put together with other patterns we have in the Hartford Stitch catalog.

So I dragged a bag of shoes and shirts and accessories... and my husband and kids to Auer Farm for a "photo shoot"

Have you ever had an idea in your head that you're sure will work-- so sure that perhaps you don't think it all the way through? Or, say, scout it out?

This was my idea.... See that funky barn in the background? I was sure this was going to be the perfect location for our photo shoot. I once saw someone taking photos out there in a ballgown and that's the part I remembered. Not how far it was from the road. Or how tall the grass would be.

Yet, somehow, even when I did see that I was undeterred and dragged my kids and husband through that grass to take photos.

Around this point I gave up and realized it wasn't quite the look I was going for and that grass would completely obscure the outfit. So we trudged back and I promised they could see the animals as a peacekeeping offer.

BUT! Then I spotted a red barn and stopped everyone to take photos. While these may not be the best photos ever, I give my husband tons of credit for taking them with a baby strapped to his chest and two others chasing each other around with plastic beach tent stakes they found in the car.

So without further ado....

Outfit #1: The Date Night Version If I wore anything with a heel, outside of the most dressy occasions, this would be my go-to. Actually, some girlfriends and I have plans to go to a cider brewery next weekend. I think I may just wear this. Casual enough for a brewery, nice enough to say "I'm actually outside my house without my kids and that alone is occasion enough to dress up!"

Fabric and Accessory details:

Sweater- Drop Pocket Cardigan, fabric is a lightweight knit from Affordable Fabrics in Rocky Hill, CT

Skirt- Alberta St Pencil Skirt, fabric is a stretchy denim from Affordable Fabrics

Shirt- Wiksten Tank, fabric is a lightweight blend from Affordable Fabric

Bag: Traverse Bag, fabric is a home dec (Free Spirit I think?) weight from... Affordable Fabrics (see a pattern here? I probably spent $15 on fabric for this outfit!)

Necklace: Picked up when I traveled to Santiago, Chile years ago

Shoes: Toms Desert Wedge

(PS- Like the wet toes on those shoes? I'm telling you: that barn was a trek!)

Let's talk about this cardigan for a minute. I'm in love with it. It's cozy, but the pocket construction gives it a great style. I already have another on my cutting table (especially since I really need to return this one to the studio). Obviously, it goes with everything and you should make one every color. AND the pattern has girl sizes for about 2years old - 13 years old and women's sizes up to a 50" full bust. All in one pattern!

All you really need is a basic understanding of working with knit fabric (say, from our Knits 101 workshop) and ideally, an understanding of patterns (Patterns 101 or Garment 101 will work perfectly!) to make this beauty.

Remember how we had a week of glorious cool fall weather? Well I chose the 80 degree return-of-summer Labor Day to take these photos, so the sweater was quickly discarded and you won't see it after this outfit-- just use your imagination that it goes with most outfits!