More fall inspirations: Boden

OK, first things first: Boden has a series of outfit/wardrobe ideas which is great for SWAPpers and wardrobers and … well, everyone. Lucky had a similar “30 items for 30 days” spread in their new issue, but it was way too east coast and dressy (and skinny girl) for the way I dress, so Boden’s is much more me. It would be faster for me to pick out the pieces from Boden that I *don’t* like, but here are a few that particularly caught my attention.

This dress reminds me of something Cmarie would sew – classy and interesting.

The ‘smartish’ and ‘favourite’ tops this fall have gathered sleeves at the cuff, a nice up-to-date detail.

Related to the Duro but not so overused. I have a couple of short-sleeved solid-colored tops shaped like this that I’ve worn like crazy this summer. If I were to make this I’d eliminate the ties – I find they are just something to fiddle with and annoy me.

I love the shape of this, and the button placement.

With its bubble hem and gathering, this would be a great LBD for holiday parties.

I bought a top at H&M in London similar to this, but with a different neckline, that I’ve been wearing to death. I’d make this in cotton or rayon, though, not wool.

Don’t you have some knit remnants to use up?

More fall inspirations: Garnet Hill

Not a lot of specifics from this catalog, but the general vibe of their “winter warm-up” catalog is very nice. I’ve been thinking about an achievable ‘feel’ for my SWAP collection, and a lot of GH’s Eileen Fisher and EF-like pieces have a great uncomplicated, simple but luxurious feel.

This sweater is the kind of thing I could never buy RTW, thanks to my pear shape – what fit in the shoulders and torsos would cling unmercifully on the butt and hips. I’m still not sure it would suit me, but at least I could get the right amount of ease everywhere if I made it myself.

Looking for a way to use up your orphan button stash?

For you quilters and quilt-fanciers: I thought this was a nice take on the cathedral window, with tea-stained-esque dark cream muslin, and cotton velveteen in saturated country colors.

More fall inspirations: Soft Surroundings

The Soft Surroundings catalog kinda cracks me up. It’s the kind of thing that’s a bit overblown and rarely seen anywhere else; kinda like the International Male catalog for women over 30. It has pieces with shapes that you don’t really see a lot of other places – which can be bad if they’re out of style, but good if they suit/fit you. A lot of it is easily sew-able, too.

Is velvet back? Looks cozy in any case.

This would be killer in a felted or boiled wool.

The Duro has been done to death, but I think that in solid colored jersey and in a tunic length it’s still really flattering to most. This is a lot like the Hot Patterns duro-esque top (which I still have unmade somewhere in my pattern stash, tsk).

I’m seeing a lot of tucks in jackets and blouses this fall.

I never know what to do with any of those many brocades that JoAnn’s sells, but this would be a good use. Quick to make up and would really make a semi-formal outfit pop.

Fall inspirations, round 2: Boden

I love Boden’s clothes and hope to visit their store when I’m in London in a couple weeks (woohoo). But they’re rather pricey (ok, I’m cheap) so I don’t own that many of them yet. Here’s some of the nice stuff in their fall catalog:


Cozy wrap sweater livened up with a contrasting stripe tie. You could do this with the kind of ribbon used for ribbon belts.


Finally, a shrug with some length, that won’t make anyone C-cup and over instantly look like mound-o-boob.


You knew you kept those fabric scraps for a reason, right? Super-easy to do, even to a purchased top.


The godets are made of a contrasting fabric – anything too bright would be clownish, but these earthtones make it work.


Who doesn’t love a peplum, and the front pockets (or maybe they’re fake welts) incorporate gathers.

Fall inspirations, round 1: Coldwater Creek

It’s nice to look through magazines and catalogs and think “ooh, interesting” rather than “ugh.” I always have a better response to fall styles & colors than anything for the spring or summer, for whatever reason. I suppose that means I should move to the Yukon, but don’t hold your breath.

From the new Coldwater Creek catalog (here’s all of their new fall looks):


I’ve seen that gathered shoulder bit a lot for this fall. It’s an easy way to spice up a top, and there’s a BurdaStyle free pattern just listed that does a similar thing.


This sweater looks almost Anthropologie-like to me; it’d be easy to reproduce with your own color palette.


Again an instance of a little detail adding so much – the squared-off sweetheart neckline bound with a pleated neckband.


I’ve always loved space-dyed fabric, and I’m tempted to buy this one myself. If you found a similar fabric, it would be easy to sew. (Wouldn’t it be great as the print in a SWAP?)


There are a lot of sweater jackets this fall, and the boucles up at Timmel Fabrics right now would be perfect for this.


I like the smocking on the neck of this mock turtle.


An interesting, drapey take on the sweater vest.


Next time you buy border print fabric, consider making pants rather than a skirt.


Easy to pull together with a kimono pattern and some crinkle fabric – wouldn’t this be great for traveling?