I assembled the fabrics for my summer wardrobe today. Some came from my stash. Earlier this year I decided to quit buying fabric and sew down what I had. Like any sewist, I had many odd pieces of “What was I thinking?” fabric, as well as basics. Most of that is gone now. I did buy some fabric while going through this “de-stash” but it was always for a particular purpose. That taught me to buy fabric with a precise plan for its use. That meant I said “no” to more fabrics than I care to count. I know that doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for me.
Some of my fabrics were generously cut, so I can use the extras to make “free” simple pants and sun-tops for Lila, though she and I have very different coloring so we can share few fabrics.
That’s a large amount of recalcitrant hemp to the left, from stash. It’s actually a bright optic white. I like hemp, both the ethics and the wearing, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this fabric. It’s a medium weight, rather stiff though I know it will soften over time.
This is the skirt from Vogue 1172. It’s basically a 4-gore skirt with the CB and CF seams eliminated, and 1/4 circle gores placed at each side front and back area. I’m working with a client on a dress made from this pattern, and it seems to me the structural cut of the skirt calls for the hemp. It will require a serious waistband. I’d like this to be long-ish and I would wear it without a petticoat. (I think…) I may also start the gores at my hipline (just above? just below?) rather than at my waist.
The red fabric above is linen, intended for another pair of Wearing History’s Smooth Sailing trousers. I’ve been dying to make a red version of them for about a year. When an idea won’t leave me alone, I know I should acquiesce and be done with it.
The guipure above with some flocked cheesecloth will make a blouse much like the white blouse on the pattern envelope, sans bow. I’m working out the engineering to cut the yoke all in one piece. If I cut the guipure carefully, I’ll have a lovely scalloped edge with no loose threads or hemming. I’m excited to be playing with such a fine piece of lace, which I picked up for a song at a sale. If you ever see guipure at 1/4 the original price, snap it up. This is one of the prettiest fabrics I’ve ever handled.
100% cotton seersucker, perfect for steamy summers. This will be a version of one of my favorite patterns, though I want to alter it to button up the back.
I may also draft a slightly more daring keyhole at the neck. I own this pattern but lazily borrowed the image from vintage pattern wiki. Doesn’t the model look like she has a mustache?
The top is a fine batik cotton, don’t you love the print? The middle is a cotton shirting with woven stripes, previously intended for a pleated shirt until I changed my mind. The third is a micro-houndstooth pink and red from the Sophie range. (I bought the last of it.) I have enough extra to make a sun shirt for my girlie. I don’t yet have precise plans for these three. Sleeveless shells most likely (great under my newest sun jacket), taking inspiration from elements of these lovely patterns:
I want to keep them simple, no more than a few hours’ sewing. Once I sew the “must” pieces, I’ll know better what should be done with these simple tops. Most likely a lot of back-buttons, and I’d like to have some sort of backwards collar like the third from the left on the bottom. At the same time, I want the print of the fabrics to do all the talking, rather than fussy details. We’ll see.
The aqua is a lightweight cotton voile. I think it will be a simple floaty skirt, perhaps with a scallop hem. I saw a girl wearing a similar skirt the other day, middie length. It was both simple and fetching. The dark blue is a yet-to-be-blogged corduroy pencil skirt with architectural lines that I’m hoping I can still wear over the summer.
What about that Umpire fabric? It’s a cotton interlock. The other white woven fabric is a tencel/linen blend. Together they will (probably) make this, one of my favorite outfits from Casablanca:
I want to use a half-circle skirt for the bottom, though I think hers is a slim 40’s gored skirt. I’m toying with the idea of making the top button into the waistband of the skirt, so I have the options of pinafore/jumper and skirt. I think the red shells especially will look well with this.
That’s more white than I usually wear. Last summer, I made a few white blouses and discovered I like wearing white. It POPS in the bright summer sun, and it’s relatively easy to care for. The sun bleaches my whites to dazzling purity without chemicals (or effort).
This type of planning helps my sewing progress, as I know that my pieces (should) all look well together. If I have a season of sewing this-n-that like I did this past winter, I don’t sew.
I’m a little iffy on the black and white knit, but I figure it will look ok with the bottoms, or at least look interesting. I’m happy with the red(dish) tops and the red linen pants, and I’m really digging blues and reds together lately. I’m aiming for clean simplicity while avoiding both boredom and fussiness. Something like that.
Deadlines are helpful, so let’s shoot for Thanksgiving.
I’d be pleased to hear any thoughts or advice, from those who are facing the beginning of summer (and what to wear) and from those who are just finishing their own hot time of year.