Of winter wardrobe planning and wool allergies (and a giveaway winner!)

Now that it’s getting to the end of the year, my mind is already turning towards my goals for next year’s sewing. I usually do a post about this closer to the end of December, and I’m sure I still will, but one thing I’ve already realized/decided is that I really need to focus on beefing up my cold-weather wardrobe. This isn’t to say that I won’t sew anything for the summer months, particularly since I have quite a bit in my stash that’s better for that and I still want to stashbust. But I had the very sobering realization recently that I’m already bored with my clothing options for the colder weather. And it’s only November. I may have to do some thrift shopping soon to give myself a few new things to mix in, but of course I want to make some new things too! Though much of this may have to be for next winter. Look at me, planning ahead.
The other complication to my plans, which you know if you’ve been reading this for awhile, is that I get cold ridiculously easily. And I also can’t wear wool. Honestly, I can hardly even touch the stuff, because my fingers start prickling and itching almost instantly when I do. (Ironically, there’s now “wool” in my new last name. Go figure.) So my constant challenge is to try to put together outfits that keep me warm, are still at least somewhat stylish, and won’t make me break out in hives if I leave it on too long.

My big challenge for next year is that my peacoat that I made back in the early days of this blog is getting rather worn out. I can make it through this winter, but I’ll have to make a new one before the next cold season. (Still, 7 years, not bad for my first me-made coat!) To get that coat warm enough, I had to basically make a quilt for the lining with a double layer of batting, under polyester suedecloth. It’s warm, but it’s also very bulky and started off so stiff that it could literally stand on its own. It’s softened since, but I don’t really want to do that again. So I need to figure out a good option for the outer layer especially, and then any underlinings that I choose to do. I actually am seriously considering sucking it up and underlining my outer fabric with wool, in hopes that I might not feel it once it’s completely enclosed by other fabrics. It would be awful to sew, though. My hands are itching just thinking about it. I suppose fleece could be an underlining option too, but wind just cuts right through fleece for me when I’m wearing that as an outer layer.

I’ll probably just go with the same pattern again (view A, in lavender here), since I’ve already gone through making and fitting it once, and it’s a classic style. I’m probably also going to stick with mostly black, since that means I can mix and match colorful knitted scarves on a whim. I think Mood Fabrics is out for me this time, since I haven’t found a coating on their website yet that isn’t at least blended with wool. I have found a few options elsewhere:

Polyester/Acrylic boucle coating from Fabric.com. I like the texture, though it would be quite prone to raveling and would certainly have to be underlined for warmth.

Black Heavyweight Rainwear from Denver Fabrics. On the plus side, it would keep me dry. Though I already have a cold-weather raincoat.

“Poodle Fur” Knit from Gorgeous Fabrics. Though, honestly, I’m not really seeing this as an option. The thought of a fur-looking winter coat just isn’t working for me.

So, yeah, I guess that boucle is the best option so far. Any thoughts about other fabric options/what I should underline and/or line with? I will gladly take any and all help I can get, because my only other somewhat fashionable option is something like this.


And the last thing I want to look like in the winter is this.

On a cheerier note, I did find a solution to another planned wardrobe addition recently. I’ve been thinking that once I finish the cardigan I’m currently working on, I’d like to make a mustardy yellow one next. It would go with this, the two fabrics I bought for Darling Ranges and Reglisse dresses, and my totally wear-again bridesmaid dress from the most recent wedding. (Mine is a charcoal grey.) I’m pretty proud of myself, because even though it took quite a bit of scouring through a closeout section, I found a fully cotton yarn in just the right color, and for half price! I got the “Impala” color. The plan is to make this cardigan, from my Coastal Knits book. I know I won’t have it for this year, but hopefully I can manage to knock this out before next fall, because a cheery yellow cardigan sounds just perfect for combating the winter blahs.

Edit: I ended up having to switch yarns, due to the supplier not having enough. I guess someone else ordered some around the same time I did. So now I’ll be using this, in yellow. The person from Webs who helped me out was great, though–she even offered wool-free alternative suggestions to me! Thanks, Jackie!

Speaking of knitting, I do need to draw a name for that KnitScene giveaway!  I’m a couple of days late. My excuse is that my grandfather passed away on Monday, so it’s been a bit of a rough week so far. Since I’m home alone right now, and dogs aren’t the most helpful name drawers, I’m resorting to the random number generator as usual.

That makes the winner Laura, who said she liked the Rosemary cardigan best. (I don’t blame you. That was a very strong contender for that yellow cardigan! I just loved the Rocky Coast one first. It’ll get made eventually.) So congratulations, and I’ll be in touch with you soon.


11 thoughts on “Of winter wardrobe planning and wool allergies (and a giveaway winner!)

  1. Aww, sorry to hear about your grandfather.
    Hum, about the coat, I've never sewn one but if I had to make a warm coat without wool, my first idea would be to interline it with fleece for warmth, and with an additional layer of gore tex fabric (or something, if you can get it?) for wind breaking. I have no idea if it's a good idea to interline with two layers of fabric, but it's bound to be less stiff and heavy than two layers of batting, I'd think…


  2. I would think that corduroy would be a good option for you. It's a bit more casual than a wool coat but you could probably find the right pattern to keep it from being too casual. I have a RTW corduroy coat with a quilted lining that is surprisingly warm. There's also an underlining fabric I came across a couple weeks ago on a fabric site but I can't recall the name at the moment. It helps with insulating and wind proofing without adding a ton of bulk.

    ~ Brooke


  3. Thank you. I did end up having to switch my yarn because the company contacted me to tell me they didn't have enough of the closeout yarn I'd ordered left. So I'll be making it from a cotton/bamboo blend instead. But still mustardy yellow.


  4. I have considered that. I did have a corduroy peacoat when I was a teenager, and it didn't really do a great job of keeping me warm–but then, it was just a cheaply-made one from Delia's, so it probably wasn't the best example. (I do actually have several yards of a camel-colored corduroy already–maybe I should check my amount. It might only be enough for pants.)

    If you do think of the underlining fabric name, definitely let me know!


  5. I am so excited that I won!! Thank you so much for the giveaway. I hope you find some options for your coat. I get cold so easily, too, but then I overheat as well. I have to wear layers so that I can change depending on my sudden temperature change.


  6. Overheating is usually not an issue for me, lol! It looks like the boucle I was eyeing originally is gone now, but I did find a black and white option of the same fiber content that might be good. Now I'm just waiting for a sale. They were kind enough to tell me on Twitter that they've got some good ones coming up this weekend.

    Also, your magazine is now in the mail, so hopefully you'll get it soon!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s