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Styling Zinnia: 5 outfit ideas for Fall


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Outfit 1: A trip to the library

Skirt inspiration 01

Skirt inspiration 01 by saraicat featuring a coral lipstick

I’ve been playing around with Polyvore a bit lately. Now that I’m getting the hang of some of the tools, it’s been really fun to get inspiration and plan future sewing projects with it. Right now, I’m trying to create a list of projects for the fall and how I might style them.

I created these sets based on outfits you could create with Zinnia. They have me super excited for Fall!

You have to use your imagination a bit, since these are just inspiration photos, but I think they might give you a few ideas too.

(Click through each one to get details about the individual items I used.)

Outfit 2: Stargazing

Skirt Inspiration 02

Skirt Inspiration 02 by saraicat featuring a long sleeve crop shirt

I alternately call this look “modern school teacher”. Use cotton flannel to create a Zinnia like this. You may want to line it, since flannel tends to cling.

Outfit 3: A date with the coffee pot

Skirt Inspiration 03

Skirt Inspiration 03 by saraicat featuring Jack Wills

I love the idea of a heathered grey wool and pleats.

Outfit 4: Knitting night

Skirt Inspiration 04

Skirt Inspiration 04 by saraicat featuring a chiffon ruffle skirt

Chiffon + tights + a sweater = fall heaven.

Outfit 5: Keeping dry

Skirt Inspiration 05

Skirt Inspiration 05 by saraicat featuring painted flower pots

How about a plaid wool version? You could shorten your Zinnia to make something like this. You could even modify Anise (by making it longer) for something like this gorgeous mustard coat.

Outfit 6: Tea time

Skirt Inspiration 06

Skirt Inspiration 06 by saraicat featuring a grey pea coat

And I love this muted floral.

How would you style Zinnia? Any fabric ideas yet?

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 48


I love these outfit ideas. Perfect for the cooler weather we’re having now. I’m still not sure whether the Zinnia skirt would suit me or not – what would really help is to see you wearing it, Sarai, as you have a similar shape to me.


My Zinnia is very summery and for the life of me I can’t remember if I took pictures of it! That’s the problem with sewing up these patterns before the release, I can’t share them with you guys when they’re fresh in my mind!

But I’m working on a really simple black rayon one. It will be a really nice basic & I’ll definitely share it when I’m done.

Chloe W

Inspiring outfit combinations – they really help me to rethink making this skirt and pairing it with some accessories and lovely details perfect for fall. Now I only wish that i’d gotten the pattern when I could have saved 15%!


I just finished my first version of the skirt last night (I made the button-down style) and I feel like a woodland princess wearing it (think Briar Rose, from Sleeping Beauty). It’s made from a lovely wine-colored lawn that I found in a thrift shop, and for my styling of it, I have shamelessly borrowed from your styling of the third version of the skirt. :D


thanks for those styling boards!! they’re wonderfull.. gives so much ideas!! I really love the versatilité of this skirt…especially that you can use it with more warm-wool fall-fabrics…thanks so much!!


I went out and picked up a lightweight denim the day zinnia premiered. I was thinking how awesome it would be in version 1 or 2 with some contrasting thread. I don’t have a lot of cool weather skirts, so it gave me a perfect excuse to plan one! Still working on the rest of the outfit, but there’s a lovely cropped cardigan in my closet looking for friends and some tights.


I went hunting for fabrics with v.1 in mind but finally decided on V.3 when I found a gorgeous piece of haute couture purple rayon crepe (in a parisian shop that sells remains of couture fabrics). I plan to line it because it’s quite sheer (with bemberg lining so it doesn’t cling, any opinion about this match ?), make it the V.2 lenght and add the in seams pockets. Upon the insistent request of my 4 years old daughter I am also making her a smaller version with the same fabric based on a japanese book pattern of a similar looking pleated skirt.


Wow. These are gorgeous. I love how the plaid skirt looks with the center panel off center. Just beautiful — I’ll be staring at these all fall.


These are very lovely. The perfect inspiration to peruse just before I make my own.

Jennifer at My Sewing Suite

Lovely inspiration I have ordered the pattern and look forward to its arrival


I have a RTW dress in the same plaid flannel as outfit 2. It’s not lined so yes, clings like mad. Your styling here is so inspiring, I want to make every one. Well done on another winning pattern. I can see myself making lots of Zinnias.


This is such a great idea – can we have more posts like this please? I sometimes have difficulty with putting separates together for a co-ordinated look, which is why I wear dresses most of the time. This is perfect – thanks so much!


Great post! This is what I need. I have such difficulty imagining new outfits, especially when starting with a pattern. I usually have to wait until a pattern is a year old so I can see all the versions online. Thanks! (But now I “need” all kinds of new sweaters.)


Yes, I would love to see these adorable outfits on a model :) Preferably the models being the colette employees and owners :)


It would be such a dream to actually make this many outfits! I’ll see what I can do. :)


Just what I needed! Thanks!

Betty Jordan Wester

Colette’s “styling” posts are always my favorite. Especially when Caitlin did the “styling for Fall/Winter” posts. It really helped me to see the potential of a pattern like Meringue for cool weather. I had only thought of it as a warm weather pattern, but after that post, I bought your book.
You should totally do one of these come Spring to showcase how great Zinnia’s style would be for warm weather as well. Maybe like Vianne from Choclat’s amazing plaid skirt.

Kate Nakano

All of these looks are lovely and inspiring! Every single one of the patterns this year have been amazing can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the 2013 and the future!


All of these styled outfits are completely delightful! This post makes me want to sew up every version of the Zinnia. However, I am not sure how it will look on my pear shaped body. Any pears out there making this skirt?? I’d love to know if it would work for us!?!


Love the Stargazing outfit (have had my eyes on those Acne pistol boots for a while now…). Thaks for the inspiration!

Lisa D.

These are fantastic! I love that the pattern is versatile enough that you could make a version for every day of the week, but never look like you’re wearing the same skirt! ::swoon::

Juli Williams

I have a moleskin in my stash that will make up beautifully as ver. 1. I’ve got a co-ordinating fabric that will make really cute pockets. Now to get my husband’s shop table cleaned off so I can cut fabric.


Ha – each time I scrolled down, I thought, “ooh, that’s my favorite!” I can’t believe how versatile this pattern is & I can’t wait to get going on my copy of it.


I love every version, impossible to choose a favorite! Cant wait to make my own!

Kriston lion

Love this! Especially tea time, keeping dry, stargazing, knitting, library, OMG! I want to play too!!! It’s just dreaming for me for now…fleas in my house…


I’m in love with all of these outfits! Now all I want to do is go shopping for some pretty wool sweaters, tights, and flats (even though it’s still 75 degrees down here in CA)!


I really love the chiffon versions but I’ve never seen chiffon and I’m a bit nervous about giving it a whirl – does anyone have any top tips for sewing chiffon?

Becky Sensabaugh

I’m with you, Carrie. From the moment I saw this pattern I wanted a fall-ish color in chiffon. If you hear from anyone about the sewing tips (I have never used chiffon either) please post them. Good luck to us both!


The biggest problem I’ve had working with silk (or other floaty materials) is cutting my fabric correctly. I recently found tutorials on cutting through tissue paper, but I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. Sounds legit, though:


One word for sewing on chiffon: Baste! I just finished a chiffon blouse to wear with the beignet skirt. Chiffon is weightless and pins just don’t hold the pieces together well enough to get a nice seam. Basting did the trick. Also, since it is sheer, I wanted to do french seams. The seams were curved so that wouldn’t work but a french whipped seam from my faithful old Vogue Sewing book did the trick. Good luck!


Beautiful ideas. Love the blue white short one. But first on my sewing table is a fine fake leather version. Simply because I’m curious how it will turn out. Never sewed with fabric like this before and it’s my first zinnia, so let’s see, if they like each other. Fingers crossed.

Christine Mitchell

I was excited to see the ideas for outfits, but then I was disappointed to find that the skirts were not actually Zinnia. The combos were inspiring, but I wanted to see the skirts made up. :-(


I just want to step into each of these pages and wear each outfit for a day, and experience all of the exciting things that come to mind with each one. Thank you for the inspiration.


Thank you so much for this, fabulous ideas. I thought that the Zinnia might be a bit too long for me but this has inspired me to try it both long and short! : D


Living in Minnesota, I’m not big into skirts for fall; I’d only wear an outfit once or twice before it got to be too cold – even with tights. But with the mention of flannel, I have to admit there’s something very appealing about version 3 in flannel with a matching lined cocoon jacket that’s belted over a long-sleeved t-shirt. Maybe for next fall – not enough time to get any of it done to wear yet this year.


Oh, I can just imagine the wonderful feeling of wearing Outfit 2:Stargazing with a Flannel (lined, of course) Zinnia and Outfit 3:Knitting Night with the sweet feel of a flowing Zinnia skirt. Ahhh. Thanks for posting outfit ideas! I think I’ll name some of my outfits that I wear, too. Makes them special. :)


I bought a hunter green poplin (cotton) for a version 2 or 3 to pair with anything brown or camel and also a beige wool-polyester blend for another version 2. I love it as a basic! I am currently sewing a coat and I look forward to a simple fail-proof project!;)


Quick question: recommended fabrics are lightweight. On these inspiration boards though, the fabrics are mainly midweight. Is midweight fabric successful with this pattern?


Yes, as long as the fabrics are not too bulky and can hold a press well, they will work.


Makes sense! Thanks


Wow! I love the outfit ideas using one of your patterns. As someone who has a hard time visualizing things, it really helps seeing the different uses of patterns, fabrics and lengths!


Hey Sarai, do you have any tips on what to line a flannel zinnia with? I’ve got one cut out but the flannel is a teensy bit bulky and I’m worried about adding in any more bulk to it.


I’d do a silk habotai or rayon lining fabric (those light rayon twills made specifically for lining). They’re light enough not to add bulk, and slipperyenough to combat the cling.


Any advice for pleating a plaid Zinnia? I’m want to use a mid-weight wool; it’s really not a plaid, per se, more just lines running perpendicular to each other, creating squares.

I’ve seen pleated plaid skirts before, but all the examples are school uniform/school uniform-inspired skirts. So the pleats go full length of the skirt and around the waistband, and each pleat = one repeat. I don’t know what to do with Zinnia’s pleats.

Should I try to make each pleat equal a repeat, or does it not actually matter?


*I want


Great question. I think what I would do is pre-pleat the fabric, with each pleat equal to one repeat. Then I’d pleat the tissue pattern piece along the pleat markings. I would then place the pleated tissue pattern on top of the pleated fabric and cut the piece out.

When you’re done, the shape may vary a bit (it might be a little less full or more full, depending on the size of your pleats), but the construction will work just the same and it will overall have the same silhouette.


You are my hero.

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