Get planning! Summer of Basics 2018 is coming!

Get planning! Summer of Basics is coming!

Last summer, we did one of my all-time favorite make-alongs in the history of the blog, and I’m thrilled that so many of you have been imploring me to host it again. Of course, I’m talking about Summer of Basics! Wherein we each made 3 high-closet-value garments in the space of 3 months, either knitted, sewn, or any combination of the two. It was a season of so much camaraderie, so many people stretching their skills, so many fantastic garments! So yes, by all means, let’s do it again. Same time period as last year: June 1 through August 31.

I’ll have more to say at kickoff — will there be co-conspirators? prizes? tune in to find out! — but for the moment, I just want to make it official that it’s happening, and to re-clarify two things about the event:

It’s called Summer of Basics simply because that’s when it happens. It isn’t about making summer clothes specifically. You may make whatever you want/need the most, for whichever season! (Last year, I made pants, a button-up shirt and a wool fisherman’s sweater.) And there’s no getting around the fact that it’s winter for our friends in AUS/NZ, sorry!, but please don’t let that deter you from participating!

This is shorthand for “clothes your overall wardrobe will greatly benefit from” — workhorses, building blocks, go-to’s, whatever you want to call them. Things that make it easier to get dressed in the morning. Fundamental pieces your closet is lacking and that you will get a lot of wear out of. Don’t let anyone — least of all me — define what is a “basic” for you! We are all very different people, and that is the beauty of life on this planet. If you will get tremendous mileage out of a rainbow cardigan, please make that! If what you need is a pair of simple black pants, knock yourself out. If you want suggestions for straightforward but highly adaptable patterns — jumping-off points, if you will — see my Make Your Own Basics series. (It might be easiest to browse it on Pinterest.)

So that’s it: The only parameter for this is 3 hardworking garments, made between June 1 and August 31.

Use hashtag #summerofbasics to start sharing your plans on Instagram. And I highly recommend using this an opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone, while you’re surrounded by cheerleaders. My clothes-making life was completely changed by last year’s makes, and I know I’m far from alone in that.

SHOP NEWS: We’ve been adding small batches of the rereleased Toffee Field Bag back to the shop as they are completed. (Thank you so much for your enthusiasm!) So if you’ve run into a sold-out situation at any point, please check again! We’ve also got a few copies of the new Helga Isager book K (Knit) back in stock, as well as all of the colors of sashiko thread — among all the other lovelies (including the Porter Bin pictured up top)!

Happy weekend, everyone! See you next week—


48 thoughts on “Get planning! Summer of Basics 2018 is coming!

  1. I so enjoyed this last year and have already been planning and have even bought supplies!!! Thankyou Karen for hosting this . it is so much fun!

  2. Okay, I’m totally on-board this year (last year was a disaster); hilariously, however, I’d planned to make the Lander pant in June as one of my basics, but I just signed up for a class to sew it in May, so I’ll have to rethink this. I have two of my three basics planned, though, which is good. Can’t wait!

  3. Excellent! I just realized I wore all 3 summer of basics ’17 items multiple times this week alone, ha. Time to daydream for this round…

  4. I am in this year. I was so close last year- but now I have a plan for 2 out of three! Linen crop pants with pockets(sewn), black linen tank(knit), and ???? Materials are purchased and ready to start. I want to figure the third out. It could be a second pair of cropped pants if the first pair work out. Or- I will be inspired by another lovely participant!

  5. Yay! I’ve so been looking forward to round 2 of the summer of basics! I think I already have a plan (including my first sweater knit for me) and look forward to stretching myself to make some needed closet work horse pieces and to take it slow. I learned so much about making and about my own tendencies last summer.

  6. Could it be considered following the rules if instead of sewing a store bought pattern, I draft a pattern and have my friend sew it? I really want to copy my very favorite tailored blazer – a technically complicated pattern – but the sewing machine and iron I have are far too crappy to create the finished garment I want. What do you think?

  7. This is exciting! Just ordered yarn for a jumper that I know I will want to wear all the time (Aussie winter!), and I’ve had the yarn for another sweater for ages (the wool cost loads but I knew it was something my wardrobe would appreciate!). Which gives me a month to decide on the third piece I need…can hardly wait :)

  8. Two things I’ver really been wanting to do for a long time are to sew a Pinafore Apron Dress and to knit the Lady Bulle dress in cotton.

  9. I may be in this year, didn’t do last year. A simple cotton sewn top, a knit light weight summer vest of some sort, and the most exciting thing, a pair of Sonia’s Pants #1 in a cotton linen blend cloth I designed and wove myself! It’s almost ready to come off the loom, and I can’t wait to see if I can actually sew with it. Fingers crossed!

  10. Ha–maybe this summer I can actually complete that which I planned to do last year! I had a plan and everything, but was pregnant and decided it was a waste of time to make garments that probably wouldn’t even fit properly in a few months. Good thing I have all those fabrics and patterns I bought in preparation though…

  11. Quick question: does the garments need to be just finished with the period, or start to finish in the period? Have the perfect basic jumper on my needles but I am such a slow knitter that I could never complete one in 3 months…

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