My Summer Sewing Plans
There’s something so enticing about the start of a new year. We make resolutions. (Or resewlutions…) We get excited about the potential of this unknown collection of 365 days.
We make crazy sewing plans that conveniently ignore the fact that we need to sleep every now and then.
But who needs sleep when there are so many fun things to sew? I have a stash of fabrics and patterns and it’s high time I put them all to good use. Read on to find out what I’m planning to sew this Summer.
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Let’s Start With Shorts
As I write this, the rain is pouring down and I am involved in an internal debate about whether I should give in to the desire to wear slippers or simply ignore my cold feet in defiance of the waft of Winter that has snuck into my Summer. However, when the weather is behaving itself and being appropriately sunny and warm, I tend to live in a t-shirt and shorts while I’m at home.
There’s just one problem with this: I no longer have any shorts.
Rather than wantonly gallivanting around in a t-shirt alone, I’ve decided to fix this problem by making a pair of shorts using the leftovers of this floral light denim I bought for my 70s wrap skirt.
Fabric: Daisy Lightweight Dark Denim (Spotlight)
Pattern: Vintage McCall’s 4069 (1974)
Generally, I make dresses, skirts and the occasional top – the closest I’ve come to making shorts is the pyjama shorts I made for my capsule holiday wardrobe – so I’m quite excited to get started on these. They look like quite a simple construction and they feature a side zip, which I am expecting will be lapped. If it’s not, I will be lapping it regardless, because I love a good lapped zip. Next, I would love to try the slightly more challenging Vogue 9008 pattern because it looks fabulous and would hopefully be a good introduction to sewing a fly zip.
Filling A Wardrobe Gap With Tops
Although I may be lacking in shorts, the good news is that my wardrobe is well-stuffed with pretty dresses and skirts.
The bad news? I have kind of failed to make tops. I barely even consider them when I’m looking at patterns. It’s not that I don’t like them; they just don’t feature in my list of Useful Things To Sew.
But they are useful and I am making a concerted effort to sew them. (I’m also planning to knit one once I’ve finished my current project, so Operation Don’t Go Topless is definitely on a roll so far.)
Here are the tops I’ve included in my sewing plans:
I’ve made the Butterick pattern and I love it, so I clearly need to make sixty more of them. The other patterns are un-tested as yet, but I’ve chosen them because they are either similar to tops I’ve owned and loved in the past (New Look 6451), or feature a style I like (Kwik Sew 348).
Here are the fabrics I’m planning to use:
The grey knit fabric is destined for the Kwik Sew pattern and the other two floaty delights will become a pair of New Look 6451. I don’t have anything picked out for the Butterick pattern, but there are plenty of options in my stash!
The Problem With Skirts
There’s a common theme you might have spotted with the fabrics for my tops: they’re all prints. I am the worst at buying plain fabrics; I try, but it just doesn’t happen. As a result, I have a wardrobe full of nothing but prints, which certainly makes for an interesting challenge when it comes to getting dressed. Although I like to believe I’ve mastered the art of wearing prints with prints, I’d much prefer to make life easier for myself in the outfit department.
What does this mean?
Plain skirts only.
There’s no photo of the fabrics for my skirts because I literally do not have a single plain fabric in my stash. Every last one is a print. Therefore, I have formulated a plan involving one of the patterns below.
Patterns: Vintage Simplicity 5776 (1974) and Vintage Butterick 3929
Can you see how gorgeous Butterick 3929 is? I seriously want to make it right now, although I kind of have three patterns already cut out and ready to go, so it will have to wait. It. Is. Adorable. I’m planning to make a toile of it in my most plain fabric, which is some sort of small houndstooth. This should mean I have something to wear with some of my printed tops – particularly the floral ones – while I move on to a plain version. Ideally, I’d like to make the second version from a pinwale cord in a stunning colour. (A gorgeous deep red is my current favourite.) This way, I can easily pair many of my printed tops with a skirt in a rather fun colour.
Doesn’t that sound like a fun way to fix a problem with my handmade wardrobe?
Dresses With A Custom Fit
My final plan is one I’ve been wanting to work on for ages: dresses that fit. I want to learn how to sew up lovely dresses in beautiful printed fabrics (of course) that fit me perfectly. It would be lovely if dresses fitted straight out of the pattern packet, but we know that rarely happens. So I’m putting in a bit of effort and I’m going to make myself up a bodice block that works for me.
How? With the help of Gertie! I bought Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book last year and I’m currently in the process of sewing up a toile that I’ll fit to my shape. This is probably going to take a while, but I think it will be worth it. If I keep dreaming of how I’ll feel when I’m wearing those perfectly tailored dresses then I’ll have enough inspiration to persevere!
Plus, I have these lovely fabrics just begging to be turned into dresses:
Fabrics: Cloud 9 Royal Swans Poplin, a cloud print in cotton linen and a house print in some heavy cotton fabric (I am the worst in the world at remembering what my fabrics are)
The swan and cloud print fabrics will become simple fit-and-flare style dresses with gathered skirts. The black and white house print is a slightly heavier weight fabric that I think will take perfectly to some pleats. They will all have pockets because that is not even an option with me; it’s a necessity.
I cannot wait to have these dresses hanging in my wardrobe!
A Summer Wardrobe That Works For Me
So that’s it: my sewing plans for some lovely new additions to my Summer wardrobe. I’m so excited to fill all of these sartorial gaps that I literally want to start making everything at the same time. But seriously, where do I begin? With the dresses I desperately want to wear? The tops I urgently need? The skirts that will instantly make it easier to style the clothes I already have?
There are almost too many choices!
What do you think of my plans? What are your plans for the start of a new year of sewing? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you.