Layer Up with Autumn and Blakeley
Hello! I feel honored to be able to write my first blog post for Simple Life Pattern Company. First, let me introduce myself! My name is Kaitlin Maus and I have been sewing since I took fashion design class in high school (10 years ago.) I mostly sewed quilts until my beautiful children came into my life. I sew for my son, Cameron (4) and daughter, Ella (18 months) and maybe something for myself, if I get time!
As summer is ending and fall draws upon us, I started thinking about my daughter’s fall wardrobe. I know I am late to the game! The difficult thing is that we are from the Midwest so that means a lot of cold days and always the chance of snow! In the past, that would discourage me because I would only be able to use patterns that had the option of long sleeves or dress her in a cardigan. But, there is another option…ding, ding, ding here comes the concept of layering for the win! Now, I don’t have to exclude patterns one would consider being for “warmer weather”. I can make any patterns that I would normally make in the spring/summer, but add a complimentary pattern to go underneath it. Because you are able to have three different looks only using two patterns, the possibilities are endless.
Before I start any project, I always make a mockup of what I would like to do. This ensures that the fabric combinations are complementary, and it helps so I don’t miss any steps. I usually mash different patterns together, and making a mockup reminds me of what details I wanted to use from each pattern.
Blakeley is an elegant woven pattern. For this dress, I used quilting cotton. I love the different options for tying the straps, with all options ending in a beautiful bow. The ruffled flutter on the straps make the dress delicate and feminine.
The possibilities to customize this pattern are endless. I chose to add gold piping on the bodice instead of the ruffle. The bodice panel also leaves the opportunity to add embroidery to make the dress unique.
In addition, I like to go big with my woven dresses by adding a sewn-in petticoat with lace (tutorial to come!).
The Autumn pattern is great for any time of the year, but my look is inspired by the pattern’s lovely name. The large ruffle that covers the front and back of the bodice adds a contrast that is very pleasing to the eye.
I chose the vintage length so it could be a standalone item, as well. I also love how you can finish it with binding instead of lining. It is such a quick and easy sew! I used cotton lycra to make this dress because it has great recovery.
Layering patterns is perfect for the patterns whose straps are not thick enough for school dress code requirements, as well. You can layer any sleeve length of Autumn under Blakeley to meet the requirements and still look fabulous!
Do you have any ideas for patterns that would layer nicely? If so, please share your ideas in the Simple Life Patterns Fan Group! I am looking forward to seeing the combinations that you can come up with!