Hot patterns and last-month ideas from the Summer of Basics

Hot patterns and last-month ideas from the Summer of Basics

Happy August! There’s still a whole month left for the Summer of Basics Make-along — plenty of time to whip up a nice trio of garments, even if you haven’t started anything yet. I’ve seen a lot of people lamenting not having jumped in, so I’m here today to offer encouragement and pattern suggestions!

Obviously, at this point, simplicity may be of the essence (depending on your free-time ratio). But if you think about 3 quick sewing projects, or 2 simple sews + 1 more complicated sew, or 2 simple sews + 1 worsted or chunky sweater or knitted tank even, it’s super doable. You can Knit a Sloper in a weekend, sew a tank or shell in an afternoon. Where there’s a will, there are 31 days!

Some of the most popular patterns in the #summerofbasics feed so far are also (understandably) some of the simplest. Drawing on what’s been showing up on repeat, here’s an array of possibilities to consider, loosely organized by type and complexity. So you can mix and match!

The Willow Tank (1) and Ogden Cami are the clear champions of the feed — many people having even made multiples of one or both. And with good reason: They’re perfect on their own for summer, and go great with a cardigan or jacket when it cools off. There are also quite a few Lark and other tees, although not as many as I imagined there would be. And Grainline also has a new cute and simple top pattern out today (sleeves or sleeveless), the elegant little pleat-backed Hadley, so check that out. Still plenty of time to make any of these comparatively quick little gems.

There are also so many Shirt No.1’s, Maya and Fen (2) tops, and the like, as well as Fen dresses. The boxy tops are even easier and faster to make than the tanks above (just two pieces and some trim), while the Fen dress is more involved but still on the simple side, with no closures or anything. Also making numerous appearances is the breezy new Charlie Caftan in its assorted forms, which does have some detailing but, again, no closures.

Simple skirts — such as Brumby and Cleo — have been very popular. As have even simpler pull-on shorts — particularly the Parkside Shorts and City Gym Shorts (3, free pattern) — and super-cute pull-on dungarees, the Burnside Bibs (which also offer a hidden-zip version).

Getting a bit more involved, there are tons of Archer Button-ups and Kalle Shirtdresses (4) in the feed, all of them inspiring!

On the far right of the complicated spectrum are pants with all the parts: fly, pockets, waistband, the whole nine yards. There are tons of jeans turning up — mostly Ginger and a few Morgan — and a few people have also used those and other jeans patterns to make shorts (denim or otherwise). I think the most popular pants pattern in the feed is the adorable Emerson Crop (5).

There are boatloads of sweaters underway (I’m hoping we’ll start seeing more of them completed!) but surprisingly not a lot of overlap as far as patterns. I think Cline (6.) might be the only one to come up more than once. Some other pretty simple beauties in there are Bedford, Harlowe and Veronika. And at the quicker end, there’s the Slope tank.

That’s far from comprehensive, but hopefully gets your wheels turning if you need it! For more ideas, of course, check the full #summerofbasics feed. And I’ll have further info on how to submit for the prizes a little bit later this month.


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9 thoughts on “Hot patterns and last-month ideas from the Summer of Basics

  1. Thanks for this, Karen, because I’m one of those going, “Expletive, Expletive, Expletive, I’m so far behind!” Partly this is because I have a couple of large projects due soon and part of this is because I’m an overthinker. But I haven’t given up! I’m almost to the armpits of my Hudson turtleneck, and I have the fabric for Paxton. I may have to go with Plan…V? for the third. Not sure I can get the jeans done. Still on-board!

  2. I made Slope last summer in a creamy white. It is one of my most worn tops. Fun and fast to knit up!

  3. I LOVE the City Gym Shorts! I think I’ve made 5 pairs and mostly wear them as sleep/lounge wear. Great way to use up small pieces of fabric and bias tape, especially if you don’t care if the panels from the same fabric. They make great gifts, too.

  4. big ups for city the gym shorts. So fun and even a newbie like me managed to make ’em work. My daughter loves hers! And nothing says happiness like worn handmades!

  5. I’m the cheerleader for those who are participating in the sobmal. I’ve been sewing a lot this summer, partly because every day you seem to link to another irresistible pattern that I must either sew or knit. Thanks for the link to the Hadley top. After I finish sewing up my Pants #1 and several Scout tops, I’ll make a Hadley or two for the Fall. I completed Cocoknits Lizzie last weekend, and it is a beautiful pattern. Julie’s workbook, which you referenced last week, is fantastic and the pattern is very fun to knit. I will be making another of those soon as well. I’ll also be knitting her Tallulah sweater, out of the same book. So much fun…….and I’m so happy to see people like you encouraging your readers to sew and knit! For many years that was not the norm, and it was a real challenge to find quality yarns and fabrics that were ethically produced. Slow fashion is coming back, and that is such a very good thing!

  6. I’m also encouraged by this post. I’ve been lamenting my lack of sewing time this summer, but I have the pattern and fabric for a Maya top and Fen dress, so maybe I can do this. If nothing else, I’ve got a Willow dress that I made last year that I think would look better on me as a top (due to fabric choice and not the pattern) so I’m thinking of cutting it up to turn it into a tank. At least I’ll be turning something that I’m not wearing into something that I will wear. Thanks for the nudge.

  7. I am almost dome with Cline, and I have to say it was a pleasure to knit. Even though it is just stockinette, the unique shape is very nice to see progress and I am still wondering how it is going to all work out!

  8. Pingback: It’s almost Summer of Basics prize time! | Fringe Association

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