75% Winter, 25% Summer

I’ve come to a realization that seems so very obvious, but hasn’t kicked in seriously until now. Starting in about September, it’s tights weather here. Sure, there are days you can get away with bare legs, but for the most part, it starts getting pretty cold out. It’s tights-weather every day now, and I’m daydreaming of summer days and warm bike rides, bare legs and sandals. And because I keep a blog, I have records of what I wore when. A quick peek at Me-Made June tells me I was even wearing tights for a couple of days in June! So that means, from September till May, it’s cold enough to wear tights. That gives me June, July and August for summer dresses, that’s it! Three months. Hardly any time at all, for someone who loves how easy it is to throw on a sundress and go!

(great for summer, but not for the other three-quarters of the year!)

So when it comes to wardrobe planning, 25% of my wardrobe should be designed for summer, and the other 75% should be a mix of fall, winter and all-weather items. Lots of layering and separates. Fantastic coats worn with warm accessories.
This is why items like my Sunset Cowl quickly become staples in my wardrobe, while summer dresses are lucky to get a few days out of the closet before it’s back to hibernation. I’ve just about worn out that tan coat – often I wear it all day at the office when I can’t get warm!

I’ve really noticed the difference this year, as the amount of clothing  I own is at an all-time low. (Quantity-wise, not quality. Things are falling apart and I’m not shopping at all or sewing to replace them.) It’s really obvious when the few wintery items are in the wash and all you see in the closet is sundresses, just waiting for their time to be worn!

So what’s so hard about this? Well, I love sewing summer dresses. I love warm weather, so I suppose I also like the clothing that goes with it! Bright colours and prints look better when the sun is shining. And I love bold colours and prints! When it’s gloomy and wet outside, it feels out-of-place to show up in a yellow cotton dress. I also tend to ignore what each item will be worn with. In order for a floral dress to work for Fall, it needs a jacket, sweater, or coat to work with it as part of the outfit. And I’m not sure if you agree, but fall fabrics seem to be more expensive. Cottons are generally cheaper than wools. And most wool dresses need to be lined, especially if you don’t want them to stick to your tights! Sewing winter items, especially jackets and coats take longer than most summer sewing projects. The cost and the time involved in sewing Fall and Winter garments means that I sew less of them – and you might be the same!

That doesn’t mean it has to be boring or a chore to sew for fall. I just need to be conscious of how many summer dresses there are in my closet, as compared to winter dresses. I need to find ways to enjoy sewing winter and fall items just as much as the summery ones!

(gorgeous fall fabrics! haven’t had time to use them yet..)

Some of the tricks I’m going to try are:

  • Choosing autumn-inspired prints and colour combinations (like the ones above!)
  • Choosing bright colours for tops and blouses, with bottoms in dark, muted tones
  • If there are summer patterns I love, find a way to adapt them for cooler temperatures
  • Wearing knitted accessories in fun colours
  • Get better at knitting, and knit up a ton of cute cardigans to take my summer dresses into fall.
  • Finding fall and winter fabrics that are just as much fun as summer ones – tweeds, colourful wools, velvets, lace!
  • Remembering to ‘complete the look’ – making the jacket to go with a dress, or the top to match the skirt. One piece is no good to my wardrobe if there’s nothing to wear it with!

What’s the ratio of summer to winter where you live? Vancouver locals, would you agree it’s close to 75% winter and 25% summer here or am I being dramatic? (I am probably more sensitive to changes in the weather because I’m always outside on my bike.) Are you one of the lucky ones who has summer weather all year long? (And if so, do you long to wear scarves and winter coats just because you can’t?) Do you have a favourite season to sew for?

If you aim to sew most of your own clothes, how do you motivate yourself to sew for the not-as-much-fun seasons? Anyone else like me, and make too many summer dresses and not enough winter clothes? I’d love to hear what you think!

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57 Responses to 75% Winter, 25% Summer

  1. Anita November 28, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    Summer is my very favorite season to wear and sew, as well! Here in the Mid Atlantic winter is fairly short. Tights are still optional at this point, and by Easter a spring or summer dress with a cardigan is perfect.

    I like knits for fall and winter; wrap dresses in pretty prints are a favorite. If I add a pair of knee high boots and a coat, it’s almost as easy as summer dressing!

    • Becky November 28, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      I guess that depends on how cold you get! I’m a Mid-Atlantic girl too, and apparently I have no internal body temperature regulation, because I get cold very easily. Though this fall has been lovely with its mostly higher-than-normal temperatures! (I am wearing tights today–but actually, tights with a skirt is dressing cool for me in the fall! Normally I’m all in pants and sweaters and layers.)

      Summer is my favorite season to sew for, too. I guess it’s good that it tends to get hot here, so I can justify sewing all of those cute sleeveless things! But I am trying to consider how I can make my wardrobe a little more versatile, and in particular how I can start making clothes for the winter that I love that keep me warm enough.

  2. Seraphinalina November 28, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    Living near Toronto, the summer/winter split is pretty similar. I was just looking through my fabric last night and essentially seeing the same issue. I wanted to make a third Sorbetto that wasn’t satin (done that) and wasn’t cotton (too cold). All I had were knits and heavier fabrics more suited to a dress or skirt. How do I have multiple boxes of fabric and nothing to sew with? Sigh. I need to think through my purchases better.

  3. Annabelle November 28, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    I live in Minnesota – we have a slighly better summer/winter ratio than you (though last year snow started in November and it was still snowing in May!) A 35/65 split is probably what we see here. Like you, I also prefer sewing summer dresses, but luckily I have a great fabric shop that is always stocked with gorgeous wools and silks – at super affordable prices! This makes it much easier to sew up warm winter skirts. I’m hoping to make a few more wool dresses this winter too. I do have a harder time with sewing coats and other layering pieces though – the time investment and skill level required are more of an obstacle. I also add warm pieces with my knitting, though I am usually drawn to short sleeve patterns (at least they are knit up in warm alpaca!).

    I hope these thought of yours mean that sewaholic patterns will have more items for us to create our winter wardrobes :)

    • Nana B November 28, 2011 at 11:42 am #

      I’m a Minnesota gal as well! May I ask where your fabric store is and it’s name?! I’m in the Cities and miss that we have lost almost all of the nice garment fabric stores. Sigh. I’m always looking for something new………..

  4. karen November 28, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    I think summer clothes are a lot more instantly gratifying to wear. A cute summer dress is a couple of hours to make, but a cute fall outfit of jeans, a top and a jacket takes quite a bit of time. Although I will say I get the most pride out of the jackets I make because I feel it is quite an accomplishment even if it takes longer. I live in Montana so I have the 75% winter 25% summer (although sometimes it is more like 80/20). Luckily I love the fall clothes, I just wish they were quicker to make :).

  5. Dora K. (@omg_dora) November 28, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    In Tel Aviv we get around 7 months of summer-dress weather a year, by my account. Right now I’m getting by with bare legs by wearing boots, although I’ll have to switch to tights soon. I still don’t like cold weather and the clothes associated with it, even though it’s short!

    This year I’m making an effort to keep wearing skirts in cold weather as it’s mainly wearing pants that makes me feel frumpy. I got some thick tights in nice rich colors, and I also got some colorful winter fabric, such as yellow wool tweed (so soft!) and a thick, textured bright teal cotton, to make happy skirts out of that can be worn over black or gray tights. We’ll see how it goes!

  6. Tanit-Isis November 28, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    I love summer best, too, here in southern Alberta. Here’s a slight counterpoint: while I’d agree about summer being, at most, 25% of the year, the more severe winters we have on the prairies mean that I’d also classify as “winter” only the weather from December through February. There may (will) be snow outside of those times, but the -20C and below temperatures require a much more agressively winterized wardrobe than piddly little -10C. No dresses, tights or long-johns under pants, long coats (a must for me), sweaters and layers every day, hats, mitts, scarves that can cover your face and keep your nose warm (I do a fair bit of walking through the year, so I can’t do the dash-from-your-car-to-work thing and under-dress).

    I’d say I do a decent job of sewing for winter, but I definitely need more warm toppers. Sweater-knits are expensive and it can be hard to find really nice ones, as well as striking a balance between interesting and fun to wear, practical, and not so off-the-wall that I feel like I can only wear it once or twice a month. And while the winter coat I made last year is great, it’s not quite up to -30C.

    • Heather November 28, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      I agree! Living just east of Calgary, I realized the other day that I wear boots for 8 months of the year – fashion boots for fall and spring and winter boots for actual “winter”. And of course cowboy boots in the summer with jeans! I would say my fabric stash is about 80% for winter type things, lots of wool suiting, some velvet and some synthetics. About 20% is summer, probably reflecting that I don’t like warm weather very much and should definitely not move anywhere warm!

  7. Jenn in AZ November 28, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    I live in Arizona. My wardrobe, and my children’s, is actually 80% summer and 20% winter. We each have one sort of heavy jacket for during the morning hours and then just layer up – as the daytime highs are never below 50.

  8. Katie November 28, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    I live in Minnesota on the border to North Dakota and we get lovely plains winters, which usually means 9 months of cold. This fall has been fabulous, however, and we don’t even have any snow on the ground yet! It’s still too cool for short sleeves and bare legs, but I have only had to wear my winter jacket one day so far.

    I prefer fall and winter dressing though, so it’s probably good I live here. I love cardigans and tights, which I miss during our short summers.

  9. Abby November 28, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    This is such a great post. I love to wear skirts and dresses, but Michigan’s pretty cold too (I’d say about 70% cold and 30% warm…ugh, lake effect!), and while I have a lot of great skirts and dresses for warm weather, once the temperature drops below 50F, I find myself stuck in the same jeans and sweaters until Spring. I’m also frustrated by the fact that winter fabrics require extra care. I just bought some beautiful red wool, but it’s dry-clean only. I never go to the drycleaners!

  10. Corinne November 28, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    In South-western Pa, we have maybe 3 really cold months, 3 really hot months and 6 temperate months. My wardrobe solution requires that for most of the year, medium weight clothing is the best choice. When it is really cold, I add a layer, if it is warm, I remove a layer. Here, it is the end of November and I haven’t worn more than a lightweight trench coat or jacket. I will add a scarf on damp and/or windy days, but so far no major bundling up required. To address this weather I have a core wardrobe in a basic dark neutral and a basic light neutral. This season i have been leaning to browns and off whites. While I am way behind in my projects, I will keep at it to complete that capsule wardrobe. When the weather warms, the blouses from this wardrobe will transition to team with light weight trousers and skirts. Pops of color carry the core wardrobe into summer. In deep summer, however, almost everything is replaced with lightweight, florals and stripes.

  11. quinn November 28, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    I live in New England. 9 months of winter and 3 months of rough sleddin’.

  12. Vicki November 28, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    I’m actually in Vancouver now, visiting my MIL on the North Shore, so I’ve been spending a lot of time on Lonsdale, eating at Red Burrito, Yaas Persian foods and Kokoro Sushi (if only I had brought my Lonsdale dress to model on the street! Next time.) I’m from Montreal, so like Tanit-Isis, I don’t classify the weather as “winter” until you have to cover your face and head from the freezing -20C winds….anything with rain is classified as spring or summer ;) In Montreal, I would say May-Sept = humid and hot with the odd cool day; Jan-March = deep winter; everything else is shoulder season. I admit to having a disproportionate number of summer clothes as well, for all the same reasons people have mentioned. But my RTW clothes are now mostly for winter, so maybe over time I’ll even things out with my own sewing.

    Now that the Grey Cup traffic snarls are clear, I’m going to pop down to Spool of Thread tomorrow and pick up your jacket pattern. And maybe a Colette Macaron. Any maybe something else….

  13. Stephanie November 28, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    Right now in Florence it’s quite cold, especially at night… at the moment it’s late afternoon, so the sun’s already set and the temperature has dipped to 7 degrees Celsius. It feels more like winter than fall! By mid- to late-October I’m wearing boots and scarves with pretty everything. But tomorrow I’m moving back home to Los Angeles, where the highs can go up to the mid-20s during the winter. Most of my sewing output so far has been summer clothing, except for one wool dress that I’ve worn several times since A) I made it, and B) it’s the only weather-appropriate item of clothing I’ve made all year! Hehe. I *do* however have a stash of solid wools patiently waiting to be made into dresses. Or peacoats. I seem to change my mind often. Hehe.

  14. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) November 28, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    I love summer and would be happy for 100% sundress weather. That said, I do enjoy tailoring wool clothes so that gets met through the winter, sewing-wise. How about some jewel tone brights for winter wear? I find bright colors give me energy during the dark days of winter.

  15. Nuranar November 28, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    I love this concept. I’m in North Texas, which means (for me) roughly 30% winter / 20% in between / 50% HOT. Since you’re adapted to cooler temps, it would probably feel like 80% / 20%. Since our winters do get quite cold, this means I have a pretty extensive wardrobe. Quite a few coats and sweaters, boots, wool skirts, and tights. Summer’s rough, too – we set a record this year with 71 days above 100F. I survive with lots of knee-length skirts and cool cotton button-front blouses. No tees for me – they’re knitted! And forget about camis – layers mean heatstroke. I even wear a cotton petticoat instead of a nylon tricot slip. I really want to get on the sundress bandwagon, though. Your post has made it clear how practical it is. It’s even cooler than the skirt and blouse combination. And I need to get started now – sundress weather starts in April, with a few days in March and even February. Plus, with where I work, I won’t be overdressed in a nice dress.

  16. Amy November 28, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    This is good to think about and I have often–the ratio of seasonal garments I sew–as I live in quite the opposite climate in central Texas. It is really only coat/tights weather here two months of the year. For seven months this year it was gruesomely hot by anyone’s standards. Being from the midwest (Michigan) I’ve had to readjust my fashion imagination a lot to include more skin-baring style. Alas, winter is my favorite season to wear and sew! I’ve tried to change this by editing my continually growing project list to prioritize summer clothing.

  17. puu November 28, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    great post about something that i’ve been thinking about here in the NYC metro area…for me, it’s been about autumn-izing summer dresses with colorful tights, solid-color cardigans and sweaters for a more covered-up look, pairing with blazers and boots. for some of my summer staples it became a way to find new love for them after wearing them out all summer–for others, it forced me to re-examine what i had been going for when i made them in the first place! i think all of your strategies for autumn/winter sewing are exactly the right way to go!

  18. Claire November 28, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    I think I am a lucky girl, with about 20/80 in the San Francisco bay area. It’s may be more 25/75 but compare to North-West of France, for me, it’s wonderful. I can wear my dress more often and without tight ! What a revolution !
    My moving to California had two consequences. First, I needed more summer clothes, but this was okay because this was what I sewed when I began to sew. Second, I missed my fall and winter clothes. During September and October, I was really eager to wear them back, specially my favorite jersey fall dress, but also my low boots, my coat, all this kind of things ! I didn’t expect that ! I guess I still need to adjust my wardrobe with the season.

  19. Lois November 28, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    I live in eastern Oklahoma. Last year we had the coldest winter and the hottest summer on record here. We had a long weekend of spring. But this fall has been great. And it had great color on many trees too. We thought it wouldn’t because of the months before, especially since it was really dry too.

    But in general we usually have abt 3 months of winter (I realize our winter doesn’t “usually” compare to some other places.) And 3 months of hot summer, not usually as hot as this past summer. Then we have 6 months of “variable” (could be hot or cold, usually mild). It makes for interesting weather forecasts. Also means you have to be ready to layer on many days.

    I think this is really a good subject to bring up. We need to think about what our wardrobe needs.

  20. Cindy November 28, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    I am definitely lucky to live in Southern California, especially since sundresses are my favorite thing to sew! Our weather is cold (and by cold I mean 50s) only a couple months out of the year, and even then it’s quite sunny so it doesn’t feel too weird to wear something brightly colored. That said, I do miss snuggly clothes and am excited every year to break out my knee-high boots and scarves.

  21. Lauren November 28, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    haha i was just thinking about this the other day – except i live in the south (tennessee!), so it’s the opposite. 25% winter, 75% summer! we have 70*+ days well into december… then it dips into our idea of “cold,” only to heat back up around april. i love warm weather, but it is a bit of a bummer that my collection of gorgeous coats & wool dresses & fancy tights barely get worn. maybe we should trade places ;)

  22. Tina November 28, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Hmm. I live in Wales (UK), which has a reputation for constant rain! Not so where I live, right on the coast; but ‘summer’ temperatures here are not especially warm. That said, I sew cotton because it’s easy, and I’m a relative noob to sewing. And because autumn/ winter fabrics are expensive. My wardrobe is sadly lacking too, so I’m layering all my summer stuff with cardigans and knit stuff for now.

  23. Miss Crayola Creepy November 28, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Luckily, where I live it never gets too cold. I think that once or twice a year I have to scrape off my windshield. I usually wear summer dresses and put a cardigan on. Every once and a while I wish for some colder weather because I have some awesome coats that I like to show off! :)

  24. Stephanie November 28, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    I too am pretty sensitive to the weather as I walk to school every day! I’ve realized lately that I need more winter wear! I sewed a ton this summer and not much of it was winter appropriate. And I own only one long sleeved shirt! I’m hoping to remedy some of this over Christmas break when I’ll finally have time to get sewing.

    The weather has been pretty crazy (warm) this fall but it’s finally dipping down where it belongs (40s). I really hate winter (pretty much I’m done with it by the end of January) but hopefully some new weather appropriate clothes will help me enjoy it more.

  25. Ellen November 28, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    I live in the SE US (Georgia), so I’m in the 75% summer/25% winter camp, but I do find I’m sick of my summer clothes and want at least seasonally appropriate colors, if not full on winter clothes.

  26. Jo @ a life in lists November 28, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    I’ve managed to keep a fairly even balance (I think!) so far, but only because I was lucky enough to be given some great winter weight fabric a while back. I think if that hadn’t happened I would have more summer stuff as winter fabric is heavier and more expensive, and therefore more risky when you’re making a garment!

    Saying that, I’m in the UK, so even summer clothes need to be warmed up with tights/cardigan/jacket combos most of the time, so perhaps I just haven’t had the same temptation to go wild on summer dress sewing!

  27. Melissa November 28, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    I live in New Orleans and we are 75/25 summer/winter. Our winters never get below freezing for more than a few nights but the 100% humidity makes it feel much colder (my relatives live in WI and MI and make fun of our definition of cold). I have yet to complete an outfit that is for the winter; they all seem to be time consuming, and by the time I would finish winter is over. It would be nice to have some winter pieces but I just cant seem to justify them, especially when a quickly knit/crocheted scarf seems much more feasible.

  28. Meredith November 28, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I’m in south Texas and the majority of the year we see warm to ridiculously hot weather. I am so jealous of your need to wear tights! I love tights, scarves, and jackets but usually end up feeling ridiculous wearing them because it is so warm. I have a coat I love but only get to wear about once a year and my tights only get to come out for about a month. I guess we always want what we don’t have.

  29. Stephanie November 28, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    I love this time of year in Hawaii, because I finally get to wear tops with sleeves! And my fuzzy slippers! In the early morning and evenings, at any rate. By mid-morning I’m peeling off layers and changing into something short and bare. Here the ratio is 80% summer/20% autumn… no winter at all. So nice in many ways, but as a former “outerwear addict” I do miss cuddling up in favorite jackets and sweaters.

  30. Ali November 28, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    What a great post — love the mindfulness you’re taking to sewing, especially since you sew summer so well. Like Stephanie, I’m used to the tropics (grew up there) but here in California’s Bay Area I felt like my closet opened up to me once fall arrived. I can wear nearly all of my clothes — summer clothes (since I tend toward basic colors, any season of the year, no prints) can be layered, and I love, love wrapping up in sweaters and comfy skirts or pants. And because I’m a Tasia-copycat, I just finished a gray beignet skirt with two-tone buttons because I’ve been oogling yours, seemed like a perfect fall/winter skirt that can go day to night.

  31. Catherine November 28, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Yeah, here in So Cal it’s probably 80% summer, with some extreme heat, and 20% fall/winter. I say fall/winter because even though some areas stay mild, we did have weather cold enough for snow last year!

    But, my favourite time of year is fall… that’s what I want to wear and sew all the time. Very impractical.

  32. Pauline November 28, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    I live on the mediterranean coast of Spain and It’s quite the opposite from your place. I’d say 75% summer and 25% fall, as it seems that we don’t get real winter. That’s a big change from where I am from (west coast of France, lots of rain) and I appreciate the fact that I can go bare legs during almost 8 months, I actually just started wearing thights again. But I still have the same problem: too many dresses that are difficult to associate with cardigans or jackets (as I am a sucker for bold prints and colour as well) and not enough separates. Which I am going to remediate as I just got the crescent skirt pattern on my table…

  33. Latrice November 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I live in San Diego and we don’t really get winter here. Oddly enough I am not a big fan of the summer season. I miss wearing wool coats, sweater, boots and scarves (I don’t miss the freezing cold from Philly). I think sundresses are nice but wearing them is just a pain with my figure. Also, style wise I prefer layered looks.

  34. Tasha November 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    As more of a knitter than a sewist, it’s good that I live in a climate where there’s much more crappy cold weather than warm weather. lol In Chicago you have at least a few months of horrifying winter, and several more months of chilly fall and spring. Then a few hot months in the summer.

    For the first time since I was probably a kid, I rotated my closet this fall, and was astounded how many empty hangers I had once I’d put away all the sundresses, sleeveless shirts and the like. And, other than sweaters, how few things I really own for chillier weather! I have not had time for sewing anything for colder weather since I’ve been on a knitting kick, but like you I’ve been plotting. More staple wool skirts (a few second-hand acquired ones this fall have been a godsend so far and have helped me figure out what I’d like to sew that’s similar), embracing tights, planning knitted cardigans and pullovers.In terms of sewing projects, I’m hoping to sew up some wooly skirts and trousers, and some basic colored blouses that I can wear over them with hand-knit cardigans.

    I love warm weather clothes but since I probably spend more time in chillier weather, I knew it was time to embrace it!

  35. Montana November 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    I defnitely have that problem. I sew something fun an wonderfully colorful and then realize that I can’t really wear it a lot of time time. I live in the Northwest, so I do get a nice range of summer, but a lot of drizzly weather and cold.

  36. mala_14 November 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    I live in Manitoba and it’s pretty solidly winter from October til May. The time in between is generally hit or miss. August is usually hot, but our weather has been all over the place the past few years. It’s like you just can’t be prepared for the hot weather, so you have to enjoy it whenever it appears as much as you can. I also have the problem of liking to make sundresses. But now I’m trying to be more focused on utility. Having recently discovered the my sewing machine has a stretch stitch, I see a lot more tops in my future. :)

  37. Lucy November 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    I have the same thing, but I think that’s because I’m still really a beginner and winter clothes are a) more expensive to make with the fabrics, b) can be harder if they need more construction, like coats, and c) the colours here are always so bland! Black, grey and navy seem to be the NZ winter uniform, and I just prefer working with fun colours and designs.

    It doesn’t get that cold here, in the upper third of the North Island – it never snows and probably doesn’t go much beyond what you’d expect to have round about now in Vancouver. It’s a cold night if it goes into the negatives (in celsius, that is). It’s easy enough to get away with layering tights and wearing cardigans if you don’t have to venture outside much – but I’m a big baby and I struggle to make my summer clothes warm enough for me past April or May.

  38. Rhiannon November 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    I’d say that’s a pretty fair assessment. Although, we do have a forgiving winter. We have drawn out springs and falls. In Montreal, fall lasts 2 weeks and then you’re in the dead heart of winter. In Vancouver, I tend to wear my ‘summer’ dresses pretty much all year. It’s just that the tights get thicker and the sandals become slip-ons become boots. I have different ‘stages’ of knitwear too. Lighter shawls and tams for fall and big woolies for winter. I don’t actually find shirts and pants that much warmer than a dress with tights. that being said, I’m working on a wool dress currently. Although, it’s still sleeveless…

  39. Rebeca November 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Spanish saying: “Madrid, 9 meses de invierno y 3 de infierno”. That is, “Madrid has 9 months of winter and 3 months of scorching hell”. You’re not alone :-)

  40. Carrie November 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    I live in western Montana and am cold if it’s below 70 degrees F. The high temps break 70 on average for 3.5 months out of the year, so I guess I’m right there with ya in the 75% winter camp. We’re supposed to get 2-4″ of snow on Wednesday and I’m still wearing short sleeves…. I’m still in denial. :)

  41. Cassandra November 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    In Brisbane, Australia it’s only jacket and jeans weather maybe 2 to 3 months at the height of winter. The rest of the year it’s hot and sweaty weather with high humidity.

    However, even with “summer” weather all year round you can’t really get away with sundresses. It’s actually quite difficult to look professional and not sloppy when it’s tshirt and shorts weather all the time.

  42. ladykatza November 28, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    I live in Northern Georgia. Summer is OMG hot but at work its super freezing. I always have to think in layers. The other thing is we have about 5 months of 90+ degrees and humidity, 5 months of bi-polar weather (could be snowing one week and 70 degrees the next) and then two months of cold.

    My plan right now is to make a wool coat, a wool jacket, a few wool circle/pencil skirts and trousers and wool blend dresses. Maybe about 10 pieces in all that are interchangeable. This also includes a cotton velvet bolero for layering in those bi-polar months.

  43. Mary in FL November 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    I live in Central Florida where our winter (where the lows go into the 30s) is from January 21 to February 21 (give or take a week). It got cold a couple weeks ago, but now we are currently in “Indian Summer” – we went kayaking on Saturday in 78F weather. I was wearing a bikini swim suit with short-shorts, bare feet, and the required life vest.

    I do not like cold weather. I have very few long-sleeved tops, and they very rarely get worn. I must be spoiled. I will shut up now …

  44. Amanda November 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    I’ve been struggling with a related issue, which is that 90% of the time I wear jeans and t-shirts in neutral or muted colors, but I almost always want to sew pretty brightly colored blouses and dresses. Then they sit in my closet unworn (but loved!). I’m trying to steer myself toward things I’ll actually wear often. I managed to make a few tank tops I wore constantly last summer, but fall clothes are harder. I’ve been loving all these posts about wardrobe planning!

  45. Jacqui November 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    I live in Brisbane Australia it’s 80% summer 20% winter, so send all your summer dresses over here! I have a seriously large collection of summer dresses and stacks more fabric for more.
    I do miss London uk rugging up and coats and boots and tights

  46. Carol November 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Here in Chicago we have about a 65/35 ratio with 65% being cold. It’s usually between 65F and below the majority of the year but in the summer (late june to early Sept.) it can rise to 100 degrees some day’s and with the Lake being right here it can be quite sticky. Since the night life is so plentiful in this major city – coats, sweaters etc are just for cover. We wear strapless, sleeveless, backless etc. and sandals all year around. (Kinda if you can’t beat the weather, wear what you want!) So I can make a summer dress anytime but I line everything so I can wear it anytime and “up” the style just a bit so I can wear it out! Great conversation!! I love your blog!

  47. marishka November 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Tasia, I loved your photo bar-chart, where “75% winter” was about three times wider than “25% summer”. Too funny!

  48. Erika November 28, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    I live in northern Sweden, and we have at least 75 % winter. Leaving the house without a cardigan and a pair of thights as back up is reserved for two months of the year and not a day more. Spring and fall are short, winter comes early (except this year) and layers are a girls best friend. Most years, winter (meaning snow on the ground) is 5-6 months long.

    However, this isn’t a problem! I love snow, cold blue skies and cool dry air. Wool is my absolute favorite material to sew with, and my favorite to wear. Wool and lining can be expensive but there are ways around that. For instance: sew a slip and a half-slip, then you won’t need to line all the dresses and skirts. In fact, if you look at vintage dresses they are often unlined as people were expected to have separate slips.

    Investing in quality wool and a separate slip means a lot less washing. The layering means the dress/skirt doesn’t absorb anything from the body, and wool is famous for repelling dirt. I rarely need to wash my winter skirts! Wool is practical, warm, easy to care for and easy to sew. Gotta love it =)

  49. Alessa November 29, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    I’m very partial to summer as well! I try to make my summer skirts and dresses (at least the ones that fit my mood color-wise: reds, blues, prints on black) work in fall and spring at least. Having a separate slip and half slip is a great help, so you can wear unlined skirts and dresses with tights without sticking! I also like to layer T-shirts or longsleeves under dresses – sometimes color-coordinated with my tights!

    I really like my fall/winter accessories, though. Mittens, scarves, shawls, snoods, hats… A great way to add color to the darker colors of the season! Plus, when I stop being able to go to uni by bike (not a good idea with snow on the ground), I can knit while I commute…

  50. Lenora Jane November 29, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    O Canada, my home and frigid land…

    I tend to favor jewel tones and big splashy prints over small florals and pastels, so I can get almost all my dresses to take me through winter (properly sweater-ed and stockinged, of course). I have a whole set of blouses and little sweaters that are short enough to wear over my full-skirted dresses and make them look like skirts…a belt hiding the point where they meet!

    I also have a bit of an attitude problem about “seasonal appropriateness,” which lets me dress more summer in the winter. Pretty much the only thing I haven’t figured out how to is dresses and bottoms with white as a main color…so those two or three items are always a treat to pull out of the storage trunk when May or June rolls around!*

    *Late May being when I put my coat away, in Montreal, and start dressing for summer despite the weather, in case Mother Nature chooses to pick up on my passive-aggressiveness.

  51. Amelia November 29, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    I live in Southern California, at the beach, and my weather is just downright bizarre. It is cool and ugly until at least mid September, June Gloom anyone?, and then we have a few weeks of it turning hot in October and then Fall rolls around and it turns actually cold….but only for a couple weeks since it is late November and has been very warm for the past few days. WTH!? I just busted out my scarves, boots and stockings and now its hot again? Plus there are the “Santa Anna” winds it is awful hot and windy and dry. Really our weather is not that great, at least in Ventura County, it never gets that hot & sunny during the summer…we don’t have traditional seasons. I have obviously been feeling a little negative about my weather situation I just wish it would stay the same for more than one week at a time. I like winter/fall clothes they are cozy.

  52. Deanna December 2, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    I am from Los Angeles but am currently in Guadalajara, Mexico on vacation. I’m usually made fun of because I get cold easily and wear lots of layers in our mostly mild climate. Our winters in LA don’t usually get lower than 40*F (4*C) at night and our chilly days are around 65*F (18*C). I would say LA is 15% HOT summer, 70% mild/comfortable, and 15% what we would consider cold.

    Today I couldn’t get over how funny the people of Guadalajara dress in winter. It is literally 75*F out there and getting hotter and people are in jackets and scarves! We went to an outdoor cafe for breakfast. I was in a t-shirt and jeans and the girl at the next table was in a poofy winter jacket, fleece gloves, and a hat. People were walking by wearing earmuffs. I mean, technically, this is their winter but if you’re used to a warmer climate then maybe this would feel like winter to you.

    I went fabric shopping here and you can hardly find any heavy warm materials here.

    Maybe it’s all relative but i’m grateful for my region’s climate. We get a taste of the hot and the cold but it’s mostly in between. I don’t have to worry about swapping my wardrobe for seasons. Those who do get frustrated because we can have random heat waves or cool weather waves.

  53. Daligula December 6, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    Originally from a city with equal amounts of cold and warm weather, now I live in the Caribbean. I must say I’m happy not to be suffering winters anymore, but my lovely pair of leather boots rarely hits the street now. I wore them once in february… and I can’t wait to wear them again!

  54. Helen December 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    I’m from the Los Angeles area but have been living in Berlin for the last 3 years. I still haven’t adjusted to dressing for the cold – it’s just long dreary days of jeans, a t-shirt, sweater, and my winter jacket. And my poor little CA dresses get out once or twice a year at most! I’m going to have to work on my layering pieces so I can get them out more often!