Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

A/W ’16 Burgundy


All this fabric was bought in July and is only being sewn up now, but then again it was always intended for this autumn/winter’s wardrobe, so I suppose it’s timely. For once there was a little bit of forward planning that might have actually worked out. I’ve been busy doing other things for a few weeks but I’m back home now and – sewing!


The two fabrics on the right are from Minerva and generously gifted from my very dear friend Caroline on the day we went shopping with Mags. The far left fabric is from Fabworks and the burgundy ponte is a long forgotten purchase from somewhere, just patiently waiting for its time.

Lea wrapped dress already completed and worn multiple times – featured on Fabworks’ Customer Catwalk.

DSCN6504Eventually I actually got started on the A/W ’16 wardrobe, though it has been late because of the mild weather here and a personal reluctance to admit that summer has left.

One pair of cropped trousers – cropped because I bought only 1 metre planned for a pencil skirt and in real life I realised that trousers would be more practicable. (Fabric on the far right).


Pattern: Vogue 1508, Zandra Rhodes.

I added front welt pockets and, obviously, shortened the length to suit the available fabric rather than style. They are lined, elasticated waisted and although made from polyester they look like  tweed and hence there is no wrinkling or shrinking, or wet-dog smell when wet with rain. I’d just like to point out the relative width difference between the pattern envelope and my actual trousers………

Worn firstly with some delicious silk from Joel & Sons (bought in a sale), and the fabric design and colour reminds me of autumn leaves, firesides and fireworks. This top was made in a very haphazard way – using a basic block and then sewing on the leftovers as a sailor’s neck and front tie and asymmetrical hip edges: just trying to use up every last scrap of this relatively expensive silk.



Next, the trousers are paired with a fine mesh polyprint (second from right) and made up in McCalls 7247. This pattern is intended for jersey/stretch but I took a chance and it worked.

View D, at the bottom is the one I made.

While I added bands to the neck and cuffs I left them with raw edges so that they fray. Heck, un-hemmed edges are all over Vogue magazine; if it’s good enough for them, it’s certainly good enough for me.

If I wear it with enough panache, then it’s ‘designer’.



I do need to wear my very reliable, RTW and cheap  burgundy cotton sleeveless T-shirt underneath but, heck, it’s winter and it’s going to get cold and your Mother always told you never to leave the house without clean pants (knickers), a handkerchief and a vest, just in case you were in an accident. Hopefully, I’m safe.

Then I added to the burgundy stash and purchased some jersey marl that I think is from MyFabrics but I’ve fallen out with them recently, so they are absolutely last-resort now. This was transformed into a Vogue 9193, a Marcy Tilton tunic.


Trying to replicate the Tilton sisters, I tried to do a bit of artistic-stuff around the neck  with a double layer loose neck edge, which I’m not quite convinced worked out but then again this is not intended as a spectacular designer top, rather as a normal, everyday pull-on type of top. With the leftovers I sewed up a scarf-like thing, basically a couple of rectangles sewn into a hoop (worn on the right pic) and looks like a cowl neck.

So, one pair of trousers, three tops, a dress and a bit of ponte left to sew. Those of your follow the Vivienne Files will be capable of calculating how many outfits that will make. Personally I just reach into the wardrobe and hope for the best and not an orphan in sight!


Next, I’ll move onto another A/W ’16 colour……..guesses?



37 thoughts on “A/W ’16 Burgundy

  1. I love these colours! Not sure about your next colour Teal?

  2. Mustard! Nice outfits. The silk top is gorgeous. You lined a pair of ordinary elastic-waist pants? I’ve not yet seen pattern instructions for that.

    • Now. how did you know? Are we kinread spirits or something Felicia?
      Just ignore the instructions and do what feels right- if the fabric is cheap, then line it and it becomes expensive….

      • Actually, you wrote on your blog not that long ago that you were planning a burgundy and mustard wardrobe for this fall/winter. They make a great combination. Still, we could be kindred spirits …. 🙂

  3. Looking at the V1508 pattern, with the wider legs – did you increase the width, or is that the as-is width? I’ve got the pattern in my current stack…

  4. I like burgundy, love your fabrics, I think, maybe purple colour would look nice or nice royal blue, not too dark.

    I am waiting to see your choice. Fay

  5. Lovely especially the “autumn leaves” silk top. AND your knickers comment so brought back an (Irish war bride) relative, who deeply puzzled me when I was little asking if I had clean knickers and vest on – in my part of the south US a vest was what Granpa wore to church and knickers were completely unknown. She was such fun and so loved, even when we were separated by linguistic differences!


    • And we always thought that if you were ever in an accident then the last you’d be thinking about would be your underwear! Is it just an Irish thing then Ceci?

  6. Lovely. The colour really suits you. Great trousers

  7. Great colour and you are all set for the cooler weather.

    • And the weather is just starting to cool down right about now Vicki. It’s unusual for me to sew the right clothes for the right weather just when I need them… Thank you

  8. Lovely, especially love the silk top. I’m making mine up as we speak, a Selene skirt and pussy bow blouse. And as you know I’m obsessed with mustard so loving your next choice. Hope your student wins again so we can meet up next year! X

    • Let me know when you wear yours and I’ll wear something different then! Pussy bow blouse would be ideal and it had crossed my mind. Mustard it is and I’m loving it – it actually goes with so many other colours. Thanks Mags.

  9. What great combination of fabrics! I do admire the fact that you seem to always “think ahead” and make items that work together. (I could learn a thing or two!)

  10. I find your posts so inspirational, thank you for sharing. I am only just starting back in dressmaking after a long absence doing other kinds of sewing. I have drafted a trouser pattern for myself and almost finished the first pair. I was about to order fabric from Myfabrics for the first time but am hesitating in light if your comments. Would you advise not to order from them? It would be a shame because they have such great fabrics.

    • Brenda, I have always had very good service and quality fabrics from MyFabrics, but this time I had ordered 3m of velvet, which turned out to be NOT velvet but moleskin and hence I was very disappointed. It was intended for a fab party dress but will now be used for jeans for something. My fault – I should have asked for a swatch. MyFabrics have great fabrics and I will continue to buy from them, I’m just sulking at the moment. Don’t let this put you off. I would recommend them.

      Good to hear you are back at sewing and I hope you are reaping the fruits of your labours. Thank you very much.

      • Thank you so much for your reassurance. It is easy to get carried away with the delicious fabrics that we just can’t wait for a swatch, we want it now!!!
        I’m not as productive as you but hope to have some nice outfits now that I am back in the swing. One thing though, not dressmaking/tailoring for so long means I have forgotten soooo much.

  11. You found the dress pattern! Not only found but made – and looking fabulous along with all of its garment pals. Well done with the advance planning.

  12. Love the way each piece flows into the next–coordinated without being matchy-matchy. Just went to the Joel & Sons website–oh my–such beauty!!

  13. All great garments. I love how they all match each other and work together. As you say ‘no orphans’. Excellent planning…something I need to work on.

  14. Hi Ruth, you look great in those outfits, I’m so envious of your ability to wear trousers with such style, and those boots are divine. Love the silk top (Joel & Son) especially, I’ve bought from their remnant section occasionally when I’ve got somewhere nice to go. Sometimes only the best will do! Did you ever find out where that other Lea dress went?

  15. Loving the wrap dress and the Tilton tunic, especially…but the whole collection is gorgeous.

  16. I’ve been a reader of your blog for a fairly short time and I am always impressed with the garments you make so quickly and how well they fit! How did you get to this point of being able to go from pattern company to pattern company and fit your clothes so, seemingly, easily?! Do you do a muslin for each new pattern or do you base everything from a prime sloper? Would love to know some of your behind the scenes secrets!

  17. Mustard and pink. This is gong to be wonderful. You really are very good at colours!

    The clean underwear thing in case you’re in an accident? Not just an Irish thing..

  18. I like that drapery McCalls top. I’ll have to go take a closer look at it on the website. Thanks for showing us all your makes!

  19. I agree that the silk top is outstanding. I love what you did with the neck and draped front piece. No waste eh? There is lots of burgundy in the shops and it is not an easy colour to combine with – in my opinion. I think it works great with navy, and the neutrals, but your blouse shows it works well with red and yellow too. I have a yellow blouse which I wore with my Finery burgundy trousers, and that looked nice, although a bit unusual.

  20. What a great demo on how to take so many colors and make them work with so many different designs…how do you get so much done? No matter what you put your hand to…everything you create…you conquer! I have beautiful fabrics from the 80’s still waiting for their big moment to be be turned into clothes instead of being folded in a drawer. If you have ever worked in an ER or X-ray department and seen the state of new patients’ underwear, you would never leave the house without wearing your best. Men out on the town and secretly wearing women’s undies never figured they would have to “bare all” in the ER after a surprise auto accident.

  21. Pingback: A/W ’16 Mustard | corecouture

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