Must Haves for winter 2011-12

Some months ago, published a list of Top 10 Must Haves for the winter season.

Time to catch up while winter is still in the future ? . . .
How many of these items have you added to your wardrobe 😀 There are several patterns available for most of these styles.

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Warm Outerwear :

Posher Parka


Yes I love a parka and have a post about parka patterns. The parka picked out by UK Elle was more ‘street’ style than this image. I always wear a parka anyway, so can’t claim it as a high fashion item 😀

Coloured Fur


I’m making a cosy vest of pinky caramel fake fur. Not a bright colour. But it is a type of fake fur you can get in ‘fashion colours’. Anyone want a colour blocked fur jacket in purple, orange, and lime ! It is possible 😀

Waist or high hip length jackets are also in fashion (this one by Michael Kors). Not so good for warmth. And not flattering to my body shape. But marvellous if you have got slim hips ! Several short fur jacket patterns available, such as Simplicity 2150 .

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Indoor Clothes :

Novelty Sweatshirt


I’ve written a post about patterns for these. Part of the Sports Luxe style is the non-sporty trims. This Jason Wu top has wide sleeve stripes in lace rather than athletic fabric. I love wearing loose comfortable tops anyway, so again it’s fashion catching up with me, rather than me following fashion 😀

Pencil Skirt


I would wear a pencil style if I wore a skirt. Bright prints may be fashionable but are too assertive for my taste (and the size of my hips !). And I certainly haven’t got the legs to celebrate with a high thigh slit. Though with my lumpy knees I like the longer length. Try Vogue 8773.

Skinny Ski Pants


Another way of getting a slim leg line, a winter version of ‘jeggings’. Not for me, I haven’t got the legs for skin tight pants. No shortage of slim patterns, especially among McCall’s pants.

I show the whole outfit from Jil Sander. Because may not mention them, but big patterned ‘Nordic’ and fair isle sweaters are fashionable this season.

Something Sixties


Such as a shapeless shift dress rather than a fitted sheath. This was a ‘new’ shape for the season. Not many patterns available, but I’m planning a post on them.

Notice the odd way of carrying the bag, which at the time of the shows was considered a high fashion point. Don’t know if it has caught on in high fashion circles.

Several of the season’s garments are straight rather than fitted. And suggest a change of proportions, to wearing large tops over slim bottoms. Which hasn’t been so prevalent for a couple of decades. Hopefully this will be a choice rather than a dictate. So people who like to wear straight clothes will not feel guilty and under pressure to change because they’re not wearing tightly fitted ones. Or vice versa.

Anything Patchworked


Wear an interesting combination of prints. I’m a quilter and love making multi-fabric quilts. But this fashion style is not like the patchworkers’ idea of using many small pieces of fabric. Each garment, or each section of a garment such as body and sleeves, is in a different print. An exciting and interesting challenge to combine them.

Notice in this outfit how the all colours and type of line have something in common. (And see the slimming dark side strips. And the glimpses of another colour group – green.) This is by Dries van Noten. Get more multi-fabric inspiration from Koos van den Akker’s Vogue patterns.

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Accessories :

Bright Bag


I’m not a ‘bright’ dresser, though I do like red.

Furry Heels


Not for me. On the runway these were worn with a parka, but I like to wear practical shoes.



A big necklace. This stunning one is by Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. See McCall’s 6047 and McCall’s 6048 if you’d like to make something similar for the party season, from fabric and buttons. Or Elizabeth Gillett Vogue 8762 for ornamental scarves.

A good way of drawing attention to your face. And adding individuality to a basic dress. Personally my lifestyle doesn’t really have a place for big necklaces. But I do like the current ‘street’ style of big neck warmers and infinity scarves, which visually have the same effect. A neck warmer in fake fur is a quick and easy way of adding that essential touch of fur. See new Butterick 5727 for fur accessories.

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How did you do ? Have you added any of these to your wardrobe 😀

Pick what you love, and let the rest of fashion whizz by as delicious but entirely frivolous even ridiculous entertainment 😀

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All photos from

Patterns and links available December 2011

Explore posts in the same categories: current fashion

8 Comments on “ Must Haves for winter 2011-12”

  1. Nancy Says:

    I have to laugh at the way they are carrying the purse. I would probably forget to zip it up and end up spilling the contents on the ground! Not the statement I want to make!

  2. prttynpnk Says:

    I want to try the patchworked look and the sixties shape definitely. Furry heels..maybe just don’t fit my lifestyle as well…

  3. Lynn Mally Says:

    Thanks for all your work in collecting pattern recommendations for the fall “must haves”! I am working on some “slimmer” pants–although, like you, really skinny pants are not my most flattering look.

    • sewingplums Says:

      Good Luck Lynn with finding the best pants.

      Some people look marvellous in wide-legged pants, but I look terrible in them. For everyday I look best in pants that taper slightly, to about 17 inch hem. With a long top I can wear ones that taper, though not tight fitting, to about 12 inch hem.

      And thanks for your history blog, which is fascinating 😀 I grew up at a time (teen in 50s) when fashion had to be followed very strictly. Aren’t we lucky to be able to choose what suits us best !

  4. sara Says:

    Someday I’ll make my own parka, but it seems like such a monumental project! First of all you have to collect your materials, fabric, hardware etc… make sure everything is waterproof… and is there anything warmer than down? And is it even possible to make your own down parka? Is it even worth it?

    • sewingplums Says:

      Yes, Sara – I suspect people only make a parka if they enjoy a sewing challenge – which is why there are no patterns from the Big 4 !

      Have you got a specialist supplier in France, so you can order everything needed in one step ? I know of Pennine Outdoor in the UK, and Fjoelner in Denmark.

      Though I don’t know a source of do-it-yourself down 😀

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