Wardrobe Planning: Summer 2016 master plan

Wardrobe Planning: Summer 2016 master plan

I’m beginning to feel like I did when I first learned to knit. This new-found willingness to sew (I still can’t say “love of sewing” or anything like that) has me A) wanting to sew all the things, and B) mostly sewing the wrong things. It’s not quite as bad as knitting in that last regard — I’m basically making reasonable facsimiles as opposed to completely wrong things. By which I mean I keep sewing a thing I want out of a different fabric to make sure I really love it before I cut the right fabric. So then I wind up with alternate versions instead of the things I really want in my closet — which is equal parts smart and stupid. I know these are acquired skills, requiring practice, and hopefully I’ll become a better judge and more confident chooser, just as I have with knitting over time. Meanwhile, I’ve had to really strive to narrow down the short-term sewing plans if I intend to get any of the want-and-need slots filled. So I went back to the drawing board — or the Fashionary panels, as it were — and am prioritizing and specifying fabrics along with patterns, along with how these garments will be worn, to make it an actual plan of action! These are the five pieces I mean to sew while it’s still warm, although not necessarily in this order:

1. A little camisole-style top in some amazing black-and-white ikat I bought from Fancy Tiger (now sold out). One of the biggest holes in my wardrobe is going-out clothes, so this will be a good layering piece for colder days as a well as a slightly dressier option for the occasional date night or open-studio party around town. I considered April Rhodes’ Simple Slip that comes with the Date Night Dress pattern as well as Dottie Angel’s new Simplicity 8186 underslip. (Which is where my thinking was when I took this photo!) But I decided to use Grainline Studio’s Lakeside Pajamas top instead, since I also want to sew those pj’s, so I’ll get more use out of that pattern. For this going-out version, I’ll modify the back to one piece, make the whole thing a bit longer and give it side slits.

2. An easy full skirt in the same ikat, which you’ll see shows up in several of these outfits. I’m thinking it will be Seamwork’s Seneca skirt, which is designed for jersey. I tested sewing this pattern in a woven already (see above about making reasonable facsimiles) and I like how it turned out well enough. For my test, I sewed a straight medium in a lightweight cotton shirting and just left out the side-seam inserts. For this one (“the real one”) I’ll go up a size or two in cutting the skirt while sticking with the medium waistband, gathering the fabric down to fit it. I want more fullness in the skirt but not loaded up on the waistband.

3. Fancy Tiger’s brand-new Adventure Tank, muscle tee variation, which I’ve mentioned a few times before. I sewed my first one this weekend and am head over heels in love with it. Again, it was my first time sewing knits so rather than commit my cherished striped hemp jersey to it and having the top I really want, I made it out of the same jersey in black. Fortunately, the black one is a great addition to my wardrobe (and now I can goodwill my sad old black Madewell version), and again I cut a medium, which is great for the black but I want the striped one to be a small. I can see wearing this one with everything from jeans and skirt(s) to my black linen slip dress.

4. This one’s less pressing, but in the interest of making a purely summer garment and not pressuring it to work with sweaters later on and all that, I’d like to make a little Fen top out of that same blue stripe as my dress (maybe with a pocket added). It would look very Ace & Jig with my b/w ikat skirt! Among other uses.

So, summer silhouette-wise, those basically boil down to “little tops + crops” (middle column) and “little tops + dress/skirt.” Not terribly specific or original, but it’s working for me as a planning device! And despite what I said about summer dresses before, there’s one dress I’m still longing for every time I reach into the closet, which is just a super-simple sack dress:

Wardrobe Planning: Summer 2016 master plan

5. For this I’m imagining making an oversized Fen top at knee length and adding a big pocket. Because everything is better with a big pocket! Planning on using some bright blue Merchant & Mills linen for now (bought last summer), and charcoal wool melton later on.


PREVIOUSLY in Wardrobe Planning: Summer silhouette 1: Dresses with sweaters

16 thoughts on “Wardrobe Planning: Summer 2016 master plan

      • I’ve made the Named trousers, twice — they’re great, but I’m short and the height adjustment is finicky depending on the amount of drape in the fabric one uses. They should be easier for tall people. But that is always true. :) That said, the pattern is a lovely interpretation of the slouchy trouser thing and the difficulty level is appropriate for confirming what you already know about smart sewing while learning a couple of new things, such as constructing pockets and waistbands. Seneca would be a good practice run.

  1. Your drawing skills are lovely and envied! Thanks for the inspiration to plan a wardrobe instead of individual pieces. It seems so obvious. I have the everyday skirt and all the chambrays on my cutting table right now. You’ve made me think of the next project – a top.

    • It’s really all about the Fashionary templates — they not only make me look like I can draw, but they really do help me see what will work and what won’t. Like where I really want a hem to fall, and so on. With a pencil and eraser I can make alterations before I start sewing or knitting!

  2. I love your thoughtful reflections on sewing and these plans specifically.

    But can I just say that what I’m walking away with at the front of my mind is: “Hey, I could just not draw the heads on the Fashionary pages instead of struggling to draw something vaguely human…” :-P

  3. All so good. Especially love the Fen dress ideas with that gorgeous linen and super fab melton.

  4. Your productivity when you plan as well as create never ceases to amaze me. I wanted to sew ONE THING this summer, and I haven’t done much more than fall into a rabbit hole of beautiful Japanese sewing pattern books sold by Japan Lovely Crafts on Etsy. Pinned, but that’s about it. I crocheted a hat, though!

  5. I love it that you’re finding these patterns, as I wouldn’t be inclined to go hunting for them. (Just purchased the Lakeside Pajamas pattern.)
    I hadn’t been sewing clothes for years (I’m a quilter and knitter) but I needed wardrobe additions for a trip south to “the heat” so I really went at it. My big success was the bias cut Tendril Dress (sewn in a tunic length) from A Verb For Keeping Warm. The store is in my neighborhood; they have sewn samples on hand so I had a sure thing making it in the same Merchant and Mills blue linen you have in mind for your summer dress. What a great color, fabric, and pattern! http://www.averbforkeepingwarm.com/collections/sewing-patterns
    Thanks for sharing your knitting and sewing plans.

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