We’re in the last few weeks of fall, winter starts on December 21, and the temperature is dropping! Time to work on cold-weather clothes. Yay! Now, I’m not talking about coats. That’s an area I haven’t yet explored. I’m talking about the clothes you wear throughout your day.
I don’t live in the coldest place in all the world, but it does get cold here in Massachusetts. We usually have a respectable amount of snow, and the temperature spends plenty of time below freezing. I get cold. But the Alaskan proverb I used as part of the title of this post has proven true for me. I have learned how to layer, and in order to do that, I need clothes with some room in them, unless they are made of stretchy, warm fabric. So let’s talk patterns and fabric that will work for winter and winter layering!
During the cold months, I typically wear a camisole, t-shirt, sweater/sweatshirt, and then sometimes another sweater, vest, or flannel shirt over that, if I’m really cold. I love the idea of wearing cute woven tops, but I always reach for the knit t-shirts. If you find that you do the same, here are a few to try:
Woodley Tee from Thread Theory
This t-shirt is “a classic relaxed fit t-shirt sewing pattern”, according to Thread Theory’s website. It looks like the perfect everyday t-shirt. Thread Theory pays meticulous attention to detail, so you know that any pattern from them will be high quality. They also have a men’s version of this pattern here.
Not only am I excited about this pattern because I know Thread Theory creates great things, I’m also excited that it’s being shown as a pattern you can do real work in (check out the other pictures in the pattern listing on the site to see what I mean). No, I don’t work on a farm (at least not yet), or on a construction site, but I still like clothes I can “get things done” in. I work in my home, and I need to be able to do a million different jobs in my everyday clothes, not to mention that I love quality workwear as a clothing type for its design and durability.
Another pattern that I have long wanted to try, but haven’t yet is Vogue 8950, which is one of their “Very Easy Vogue” patterns.
This pattern would be great with leggings or if you need a shirt long enough to tuck in. It could also help you use some smaller off-cuts of fabric you might have around for the back, chest, and shoulder sections.
Another top that you could take in a lot of different directions (base layer, fancy top, everyday shirt, sweater) is Burda Style 6990.
This raglan top can have a wide or narrow neckline, mock turtle, turtle neck, or cowl neck, as well as a few different lengths. I wish Burda Style’s size range was more expansive, but regardless, it looks like a good pattern, and is listed as “super easy”.
For a raglan with a few different options, but more expansive sizing, check out the Visby Henley from Itch to Stitch.
I made this last year, and found it to be a great pattern.
Pants and Leggings
I like two types of bottoms in the winter: either woven pants with room for long underwear underneath or leggings–the cozier the fabric, the better.
The woven pants I’m excited about this winter are from Simplicity 8391*, a pattern I have really grown to love.
The pants in this pattern are cropped, but it’s easy to add length. My last pair was made from denim.
It would be a cinch to add another inch or two and make these from velveteen or wool (lined, of course), both of which I have in my stash. Keep the decorative buttons, like I did on my denim pair, for a cute sailor-inspired look, or leave them off and make straight/wide leg dress pants. It would be no problem to wear a pair of long underwear pants, leggings, or tights underneath for added warmth.
For an (almost) all-in-one option, what about the overalls from Kwik Sew 3897*?
I had sort of written this one off as not quite what I wanted until I saw Martha’s version of it on her blog, Buried Diamond. I absolutely love her overalls. In fact, I highly recommend her blog for some major sewing and bright color inspiration.
Now, let’s think about leggings! My favorite leggings in the colder months are the ones made from stretch fleece, like Polartec Power Stretch. I source most of my Polartec fleece online from Mill Yardage. My husband got me their complete swatch pack, since Polartec makes so many different types of fleece, and it has really helped me choose the right fabric for various projects, even when ordering from sites other than Mill Yardage. Power Stretch is one of my favorites.
I think it would be great used in the free Peg Legs Pattern from Patterns for Pirates.
From what I have read, they fit like compression leggings, so if you want that fit, use your size according to your measurements. If you want a slightly more relaxed everyday fit, go up one size.
I really can’t believe I haven’t tried this pattern yet. Not only is the the basic pattern free, they have created an add-on pattern with different options like side pockets, colorblocked side panels, a contour waistband, etc.
They also have a maternity add-on,
and a colorblock pack, with even more options–all for free!
Things to wear over those t-shirts
Now we need something to wear over the t-shirt or over the sweater that’s over the t-shirt. I’ve got it covered! (haha, no pun intended)
One very intriguing sweatshirt/sweater I found is Vogue 1635.
I hadn’t even noticed this pattern until I saw Lori’s version of it on her blog, Girls in the Garden. It’s a really interesting pattern that uses a zipper as a design element along one sleeve and up into the collar.
Just about the only woven shirts I wear when the weather gets cold are flannels and shirt jackets. Simplicity came out with a unisex pattern in three lengths that looks really cool. It’s Simplicity 9388, and I’ve already seen the longer version making the rounds on a few different blogs.
McCall’s 7913* is great if you have a pre-quilted fabric or if you want to quilt your own. This one is also unisex and has a shirt jacket or a vest option.
I love a good vest. Right now I’m in the process of making the Men’s Santiam Vest from The Green Pepper Patterns for myself, since the size range in the women’s version was a bit smaller than what I wanted.
I’m pretty excited about this one, but I seem to be sewing at a glacial pace these days, so it’s coming, but it’s not ready yet. I’m planning to use some insulated Carhartt canvas I got at Field’s Fabrics in Holland, MI this summer, and I’m going to line it in a curly Polartec fleece from The Rain Shed and add wool accents. So exciting!
I’m also interested in The Green Pepper’s pattern for the Plush Polar Jacket and Vest (#507). I have a gray fleece vest from L.L. Bean that I got in high school, and these days it’s a little snugger than I would like. I’d love to replace it with one that fits me better in a fun color. Someday!
If I wanted to dress up, I like Burda 7769, which I have had in my pattern library for a long time, but have never made.
It looks like they have reissued this pattern with updated photos. Wouldn’t it be cool in wool or velveteen? Yes, it would! I don’t need too many nicer-looking clothes these days, but I do need a few, and this would be fun.
One last vest that you could make look sporty or dressy is Simplicity 1499.
I made this once from a quilted flannel I upcycled, but I have never tried View C. That style could easily be made nice for when you want to look a little more put together.
Hopefully this has given you a few more winter things to try. I always love seeing pattern round-ups and people’s ideas of different patterns for different seasons. What are you sewing that you are excited about this season?
For past winter pattern round-ups, check out my “Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas!” from 2020, and “My Favorite Fall and Winter Sewing Patterns” from 2019
*For any patterns no longer listed on their company’s website, I have linked to Pattern Review, so you can see a picture of the pattern with line drawings. This usually means the pattern is out of print. Out of print patterns can often be found on third party websites like Etsy and eBay.