The 2011 Summer Essentials Sewalong, or why on earth I joined another challenge related to sewing

So even though this may sound like an insane thing to do given that I’m already mired in Me Made June struggles and it’s only the middle of the month, but I also decided to participate in ANOTHER sew-along, the Summer Essentials Sew Along hosted by the lovely and talented Ali of The Wardrobe, Re-imagined. And as she describes it far better then I ever would, here it is:

The goal: Stock your closet with quality summer basics. The benefit: A group of sewers who will encourage and inspire you, not to mention talk you off the ledge when you need it! To me, there are six categories of summer wear. Feel free to add to this, but this is just to start us thinking of what you need/want.

Sounds fun, right? And at least, thank goodness, it’s open-ended. So I can just make the patterns and pieces that work for me, and not follow along some slavish dictates of another sewer. Sewing really is the new fascism, I swear. So I’m going to make a least six items this summer that fit into the categories listed below, and I’m going to only shop my stash, because I really need to not buy any more fabric until the heap of cloth sitting in my home shrinks to an acceptable level. Right now it’s just too much to bear. What with the huge amount my grandfather gifted to me and some pretty things I couldn’t resist, I can’t purchase anything new until at least August. Let’s see how it goes….So what are the 6 categories? They are the following:

Poolside Pretties: Anything that cools or dries you off when there’s lots of sun and water around. One and two-piece swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, surf shorts, sun hats, oh my! One versatile swimsuit cover-up I find lovely is a terry cloth dress. Double-duty, that’s what I’m talking about.

Growing up in the age of Juicy Couture sweatsuits has given me a strong aversion to anything terrycloth, so that’s off the list, and I don’t feel like I’m ready to make my own swimsuit, but I can go a cover up! I’m thinking fabric, left over from my Shibori project, with this pattern, lengthened from a tunic to a dress, will be the perfect couple:

Burda Style's Tara Pattern

Clam Diggers & Co.: Bifurcated bottoms of every style and length, from flowing linen pants to short-shorts and all the inbetweens—clam diggers, pedal pushers, Bermuda shorts, etc.

I just got two perfect patterns in the mail! This lovely 1950’s guy:

And with some black fabric left over from my My Lips Your Lips Tulips Skirt, I think it’s going to make all my Sandra Dee dreams come alive and dance! I have to resize the pattern, and I’m a touch concerned because it will be my first shot at shorts, but carpe diem, no?

And then this 1940’s stunner:

Sweet & Sassy Skirts: Prints and solids, short and long, low-slung and high-waisted. But most of all: Airy, flirty, flattering.

Sure, like I wasn’t going to do that ANYWAY. I have a few projects in mind, including a softly pleated affair from a tutorial by Pattern Scissors Cloth with this fabric:

I love this fabric. Doesn't it scream Ancient Roman Chic?

The Sundress: Need I say more? To me, the perfect sun dress strikes that cord between casual and elegant—arms and collarbones, looking good barefoot or high-heeled. It’s something you can wear to both a barbecue and a summer wedding.

Again, I’m on it. I’ve got too MANY of these in the works. I want to make a couple vintage dresses this summer, or at this least one, that’s my big challenge:

Tees, Tunics & Blouses: Yes, please! I’m finally understanding the worth of blouses as they also strike that balance between casual/formal, totally versatile. I’m also thinking mini-dresses that do triple duty as tunics, dresses and cover-ups.

Mini dress is not a term I ever want to use in life, so I will just do blouses, got it? I’m down for some more Sorbetto tops because I liked it that much, and definitely a few things in white. I need more basics.

Those Summer Nights: Pullovers, cardis and hoodies may be the last thing you’re thinking of with the mercury rising, but there’s those cool summer nights, not to mention every last establishment with the air con blasting. Or: for those of you where thunderstorms are a daily summer experience, a lightweight trench?

It’s hot as hell in Philadelphia. This one might get the ax. That way I can just make another dress….

Are you taking on any challenges this summer? Planning any changes? In any respect, not just sewing wise? I think I’m going to try to read Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, that might be my large summer novel, you know, the one I am “reading” while I read lots of other trashy novels. Like you do.

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Filed under Burda Style, Butterick Patterns, Inspiration, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

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