Top sewing patterns for creating a casual autumn/winter wardrobe

Top sewing patterns for autumn/winter

I always think it's interesting to look back and see which makes were a good idea - as in, which ones actually ended up doing the job they were intended for. Sometimes I think I have a great idea but in the end it doesn't end up being worn; either the pattern or fabric were not a good choice for what I actually need and wear. On the other hand though, I have some items that I wear so often I need to make more of before they get worn through! These are the ones I reach for most often at this time of year because they are warm, comfortable and easy to wear with other items. Have a look below, and if you have any other suggestions, let us know in the comments at the bottom.

I've treated this collection almost as a capsule wardrobe for everyday wear, selecting one of a few different types of items:

  • sweatshirt
  • trousers
  • dress
  • top
  • loungewear
  • coat


Top sewing patterns for autumn/winter

I have a few different tops that could fall into this category, and most recently they feature hoods as well (I have made two Stella hoodies by Tilly and the Buttons). However, the one that does get the most wear is my Named Patterns Sloane Sweatshirt. I made it in Atelier Brunette Dazzle French Terry, which was a good choice because it has nice detail in the gold elements and enough structure to hold a sweatshirt shape, so isn't too slouchy. The pattern itself includes sleeves that are set in at the shoulders, rather than as a raglan, which is more unusual for sweatshirts. It has dart shaping too. Both of these elements mean that it doesn't fall too heavily into loungewear and can be worn out in slightly dressier outfits. (It does get worn at home for general laying about as well though!). Due to this, it does get more wear and should belong in any a/w capsule wardrobe. It always gets commented on by others too, which is nice!

I've had this three years now and have included my original photo as well as a more recent one from Instagram (click here) so you can see how the fabric has held up to lots of wear and washing.


Top sewing patterns for autumn/winter

To be honest, I spend quite a lot of time in jeans, and stretch denim is always my favourite (obvious reasons I would have thought). I do frequently wear ready to wear jeans in indigo, and my most worn handmade ones are my black Closet Core Patterns Ginger jeans. These are also quite an old make (3 years again) and I liked them so much I made a spring/summer pair. Closet Core Patterns have such good tutorials on their site that I actually did a pretty good job of making these and they not only fit well but have held up to wear over time. I'm wearing them here with a hack of a Moneta top that I made using 1m of Liberty jersey...which could easily be the top sewing pattern for a/w tops too to be honest.


Top sewing patterns for autumn/winter

I made my Sew Over It Molly dress 4 years ago, back in 2016, and altered it last year to make it easier to wear. Up until then, I had worn it a few times, but found the shoulder/top of arms area uncomfortable to wear. Fortunately I still had some of the original ponte roma fabric left over and could sew up new sleeves. I used the Seamwork Astoria pattern to adapt the existing dress to feature set in rather than dropped sleeves. Doing this made the world of difference and I love to wear this dress with warm tights in the autumn, and in the winter will even throw another sweater over the top if I'm cold. It's so easy to wear and what I really need is more of them in some lovely autumnal shades. 


Top sewing patterns for autumn/winter

Although I am sorely tempted to put in my slash neck Breton top, I can't overlook how many versions of the Seamwork Astoria pattern I have (7, at last count). I have adapted this pattern for casual wear and work wear, using a variety of fabrics including ponte, jersey and light weight sweatshirting (and not forgetting, hacking my Molly dress above). Long sleeved tops are handy to have and this pattern lends itself to so many different fabrics. It's such a simple pattern (long sleeved top with neck band and hem band) that it's easy to play with. My most worn version is the lengthened style (below), though I do like a slash neck (above) and adapting in this way has added a bit more variety into the collection. I don't think many people would know that all 7 of my versions were from the same pattern, because it does show off fabric well. 
Top sewing patterns for autumn/winter


Top sewing patterns for autumn/winter

There has been a lot more staying at home this year, and though you can see that I like to have casual clothes that aren't too slouchy, there definitely is a time and a place for slouch! That's where the Tilly and the Buttons Stella Joggers come in. They can be made in a variety of jersey fabrics and are super simple. I made mine in a sweatshirting fabric so they are very comfortable and warm. Lighter weight jerseys could work too, but I think that warm and snuggly is the name of the game here. This pattern is only available as part of a book, 'Stretch! Make yourself comfortable sewing with knit fabrics'. However, what you can then have is a paired hoodie and there is also a pattern in the book for a turtleneck top, if the Astoria doesn't take your fancy.


Top sewing patterns for autumn/winter

My go-to coat for this season is the By Hand London Rumana coat. My version is made in a wool coating fabric with a satin lining, and is knee length, so it's got enough warmth in it to cope with the falling temperatures. What I like about this coat pattern is that it includes features of ready to wear coats that I like and it has a flattering shape. This can be used for more formal wear but goes very well with jeans and boots for an autumn walk. The only drawback is that it isn't designed for waterproofing, and for that you would need an anorak pattern instead. I have ready to wear waterproofs, but tend to wear this more often as I can also wear it for work as well.

I can see that my go-to colour also happens to be GREY!!!

What are your top sewing patterns to wear at this time of year?


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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