Morning uniloops! You fierce mythical beasts and stand-ins for D-rings. I’ve been waiting ALL DAY to call you uniloops! Yesterday at the shop Drew, the owners son (he’s 14! he makes quilts!) was making a purse for his mom (awwwww, right?) and it needed D-rings or UNILOOPS!! I’d never heard that word before and it put me in mind of Aurthurian adventures. Uniloops, related to gryphons. Pure like unicorns, but comical. Like basset hounds.

I am SO sorry to do this to you with more than a week left in July, but today I’m all about fall sewing. Much like Lucy, who, when woken from a dead sleep at 2 in the morning will be convinced it’s breakfast time, the recent ‘break’ in the hot, steamy weather put my in a fall frame of mind. Never mind that the break just means that the current 7 a.m. temperature is 73 with a dewpoint edging in on 70 and a forecast of 91 as a high for the day. It was a sauna out there a few days ago. It’s not now. It’s TOTALLY fall in my head!

Last year I planned out my fall sewing during June – partially to distract me from last minute wedding planning obsession. Pattern Review was hosting a wardrobe contest and that goaded me into action. Since I was planning a wardrobe, I picked a theme (vintage, natch. Don’t you HATE when people say ‘natch’?) and a color scheme (goldenrod, dusty rose and celery….another one for Laura**) and patterns. Here’s my kick-off inspiration board for last fall’s wardrobe planning… [for all boards, click to see a larger image. Click at your own risk, there may be some pixelation and double chin-action…]

**OK, here’s the thing with colors and Laura. Laura and I work together at Sewtropolis and she is a master of pulling tin-foil-hat-crazy color names out of thin air. I, on the other hand, believe that the 8 count box of crayolas contains all the color names required for daily use. But since she’s enthusiastic and fun and I’m grouchy and cantankerous, I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone and use better color names. For those of you who are more like me, last fall’s color palette was yellow, pink and green.
Fall 2010 Inspiration Board

That was a good plan. I should just redo that plan again… here’s what I got done. A true testament as to why a tripod was one of the best purchases made in the last 12 months…

Anyway! Like many of you I joined in on the Colette Spring Palette Challenge. The planning process for my spring wardrobe was a bit more theoretical than applied compared to the fall planning. I started out with a painting that I liked, then pulled other images that were more around the feel and colors I had in mind. Here’s my initial inspiration board for spring…

spring 2011 inspiration board

And here’s what I made. Not exactly what I started out for, but that’s why it’s an inspiration board and not a work-order, amiright you little uniloops?

So now I’m on to fall, and again, I am starting from a new angle. This time, it’s all about wardrobe basics. Last year I wasn’t sure if I was going to return to the suit-wearing-skyway-walking-downtown-everone-wears-black scene or stay in my south Minneapolis neighborhood where bright yellow leggings and polka dots are fine for day wear (and evening wear, for that matter!) Well, I’m still in south Minneapolis, and slowly losing my patience for locating parking downtown, so this fall I thought I’d try to build up a funky, classic, practical in heels up to 2″, fall wardrobe. Like a lot of (wise) women, I prefer wearing skirts and dresses, but, alas, those are hard to wear through Minneapolis weather from mid-October to March. I need pants. As such, I started with a swatch of fabric that I’m in love with (from the new Joel Dewberry fabrics we got in at the shop!), pulled some colors from that, just to have in mind, then I scanned through the likely suspects (Anthro-Banana-Gap-Hepburns-Ann for looks that I like. Here’s the highlights of all the images I saved…

all image sources | Pinterest board "fall 2011"!!

OK, to distill… things I for sure need to focus on…

  • Jeans: I’ll be loading up on skinnies when the snow flies – you know, for the wearing of with boots. BEFORE then, I’d like to continue the quest for not-bellbottoms-not-too-floppy wide legged jeans that don’t burn out my eyes when I look in the mirror.
  • Trousers: Again, trousers are an earlier fall thing unless I can locate some knee high boots with a magical heel height that’s high enough to make me not feel like I’m wearing clodhoppers with wide legged trousers and yet are not precarious in snow. Before then (aka the 8 weeks of non-snow cold I am expecting) I’d like some trousers, please! I found that great picture of Katherine Hepburn (black and white right in the center) that looks like a belted cardi over wide legged pants. I really like the cropped over palazzo look, but don’t want to show off my belly button, so I’m loving that belted short cardi over trouser vibe!
  • Layered skirts: Anyone else check out Fashion for Nerds? Audi is great at layering fluffy under sleek skirts and I’m jonesing for something pencil-like and tweedy over frothy ruffles!
  • Shirtwaist: I’ve also been jonesing for a nice shirtwaist dress – you know, swingy skirt, buttons down the front.
  • Duster: Apparently, dusters are in. Who knew? I’m not really interested in a duster per say, but I did see a drawing of a SLEEVELESS duster that I found intriguing. I like the super-long layers of sweater coats, so I think a flowy duster type thing suitable for indoor wear might be something I’d get a lot of wear from!
  • Maxi skirts/dresses for fall: I’m still on this bringing the maxi to the colder months. Love that long, dark skirt and sweater look (upper left ‘quadrant’, white background) – although that would NOT be the way for me to wear a belt. I’d look like a plumber!
  • Knits: I live in cardis and long-sleeved, scoop neck T’s in the colder months. I will continue my search for brightly colored cardi’s and interesting knit fabric.
  • Scarves: I love ’em. Who doesn’t? I’ll be adding to my vintage collection and making my own from pretty silks I come across. I’d also love to find a nice cashmere knit fabric in a good Lucy-fur-repelling color to make into an Anthro-inspired outdoor scarf to replace the one that I had, loved, and (of course) lost somewhere the winter before last!

So there’s my fall plotting! I’ll probably bring this down into more of a plan with patterns and my ridiculous photoshop sketches similar to what I did last spring. I’m hopelessly behind in my blog-reading – I’d love to do another fall palette challenge like Sarai did in the spring… are there plans in the works for that? I know, I know…I could stop typing and just go read the Colette blog, but, well… This is why I’m behind in blog reading!!

PS… I couldn’t bring myself to list out all the links on my most recent inspiration board – but if you head over to Pinterest, all images are on my ‘Fall 2011‘ board and you can get to the originals there! Plus, there’s some more stuff that I liked but didn’t include on the board. The Louis Vuitton fall RTW line is probably not the most practical of wardrobes for my south Minne lifestyle!

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