August and Autumn start the same way

The first days of August have begun with heavy fog. It’s not that delightful sharp-edged winter mist which drapes over the valley in feathery swathes like an image from Lord of The Rings, it’s a dank, cold, thick fug. Guaranteed to turn my hair into a fuzzy ball and cause my car to stop and start, stop and start all the way down the farm road. It’s enough to give me Seasonal Affective Disorder!

But it’s a definite warning that autumn is on its way. Time to put away the patterns for cute halter-neck tops and check the stash for tweeds.

I remember purging my wardrobe when I performed the Seasonal Switchover. I already know that I need to replenish my stock of thermal vests. But I think I need a more planned approach to my cold-weather wear. I know that I need layers… so maybe I should sew items that are intended to be worn one on top of the other, but which still work independently?
The latest Wrap catalogue came through the letterbox the other day. I haven’t bought anything from them for years, because they suddenly developed a very beige aesthetic and multiplied their prices by a factor of 4. But this time, a few intriguing pieces caught my eye.

Exhibit A: Long sleeved peter pan double-collared blouse with matching camisole undergarment: Liv, £79. Also in khaki or purple.

Through the joy of the zoom facility, I can see that the back frill, camisole and under-collar are a plain-weave fabric, while the body, sleeves and upper collar layer are in a fabric close to a dobby dot. I suspect that it was dyed after it was sewn together.

Ooh! I still have a large piece of white swiss-dot leftover from my Portfolio blouse, and plain white cotton isn’t hard to find. I could make something very similar and over-dye it with that interesting murky brown dye I found in the kitchen drawer the other day!
Which brings me to Exhibit B: The over-dyed linen jersey lace sampler top, Kristy, £55

I have never seen linen jersey for sale by the yard, but Wrap seems to be keeping the factory in business this season. This one has stripes of different laces hooping the body. They also do a very simple lace-edged tee in this fabric.

By dye-ing the garents after they are made, all the trims match perfectly – well, duh! I can learn from this!

So I have two inspirations whirling round my head right now:

(1) To take a series of natural, differently-textured fabrics and trims, sew them into a set of layered garments, then overdye-ing them all the same colour.

(2) To take a single fabric and sew several mix-and-match tops that can be layered over each other, dye-ing some and leaving others natural.

What do you think? It’s worth a try!

P.S. have you seen Colette pattern’s autumn sneak peek? Could it be that they are going to release the pattern for the perfect Capri pants? And a boat neck dress? Swoon!