I don’t know how it’s June already but I’m pretty excited about it because today’s the day — the start of Summer of Basics 2018! “Summer of Basics” being shorthand for “3 months for making 3 garments our closets are in need of, in the company of like-minded individuals, and maybe stretching our skillsets along the way!” For the full rundown on what Summer of Basics is all about (along with suggestions!), see the preview post, but that’s really the gist of it. What three things would make it easier and more delightful for you to get dressed in the morning? Identify them, make them, and share your progress on Instagram using hashtag #summerofbasics. (If you have a private account and want to participate — or be eligible for prizes — you might want to make a separate, public account for this purpose. Posts do have to be public to appear in hashtag feeds.)
I’m putting off any talk of prizes for the moment because the very idea of prizes — while they’re obviously fun and motivating — can make people a little nutty sometimes, and I don’t want prizes or categories to influence your planning in any way. Just figure out what you want to make (challenge yourself!), and those finished garments are the real prize! Anything else that might happen is icing on the cake. For now, let’s concentrate on the cake!
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So what am I making this year? I have gone around and around — and of course I reserve the right to alter this plan along the way — but I have tentatively decided on the following three gap-fillers:
1. Cool weather pullover: Improv
This is the most problematic hole in my closet. I’ve done a magnificent job of making myself deep winter sweaters, but we don’t have a lot of deep winter in Nashville. What we have a lot of is cool weather — cool enough that you might crave a sweater, and can get away with it, but not if it’s pure wool. And I have exactly one such sweater: a cotton fisherman holdover from my store-bought clothes life. So I’m making a lighter, more abbreviated, not 100% wool pullover! Haven’t quite decided on yarn yet, but my plan is to make the love child of an aran sweater and a gansey: the “seeds and bars” motif transferred onto a raglan yoke. (With apologies to the historical purists out there!)
2. Frilly white sleeveless top: Alice Top by Tessuti
As previously discussed, I need to replace last year’s white linen shell, and one of my all-time favorite warm weather garments is any kind of slightly frilly white top, especially sleeveless. So I’m taking this opportunity to finally try Tessuti’s Alice top pattern, which has been on my list for a few years now, and the idea is to add some frill in one way or another. This will largely depend on what kind of eyelet (or who knows) fabric I might come up with, so the exact details are TBD. But I’ll almost certainly make a more straightforward Alice in the meantime, with something(s) from my stash.
3. Pajamas!: Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case
I think a pair of pajamas is a total closet basic, and yet I have never owned proper pj’s like this in all my life. I’ve had lots of pajama pants — my very favorite thing (especially if they’re flannel) — but never a matched set, or this kind of top, so it feels to me like a luxury item! I also love the quite long-lasting trend of a fancy pajama top as street wear, so in considering fabrics for this, I may decide on something that would also work outside the house. I’m excited about the piping — have only ever done that on upholstery — and may even challenge myself to sew with a slippery fabric! Really not sure yet. I have a heap of navy linen in my stash, and the idea of linen pj’s sounds kind of dreamy. So I don’t know — fabric TBD! And will I make pants or shorts for the bottoms? Also to be determined, depending largely on which way I go with fabric.
(Fashionary sketch templates from Fringe Supply Co. And oh, hey, there’s some fabulous paper goods news over there today!)
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I just realized I didn’t manage to do a Queue Check post for May, as I’ve been finishing up my spring make list and my other knitting projects are top secret, but this SoB plan is the state of my queue as we head into June.
(If you missed it last year, I made a fisherman sweater, my first button-up and my first pants!)
So now how about you? I can’t wait to see what you have planned! Remember to use hashtag #summerofbasics when sharing on Instagram.
PREVIOUSLY in Summer of Basics: Get planning! (introduction and details)
I love that Alice top. It looks a little like the new Brome pattern from Fancy Tiger.
I have some ideas, which I initially thought were a plan, but I’m waffling on one of them (partly because I can’t find the fabric I bought for it – hah!), which is the Paxson sweatshirt. I’m trying to take the idea of “what my wardrobe needs” to heart, and am committed to a black Liv cardigan (how is it that I’ve lived so long without a freakin’ black cardigan?!) and Pants No. 1 (although fabric is up for debate). I’m in a bit of a post- MeMadeMay fatigue at the moment, but my enthusiasm will return shortly.
i think the weekender sweater by andrea mowry looks like a perfect cool-weather sweater.
love the top you chose!
I’m trying very hard not to knit or sew off-season garments, which is what I usually end up doing: sewing summer dresses in winter and knitting warm pullovers in summer, lol. Most of what I’d planned to make was to be sewn garments, but now my machine’s in the shop, so…
If the sewing machine gets back from the repair shop in time, I definitely need to sew a couple of pairs of pajama pants in double gauze or a lightweight knit. I’m in desperate need of warm-weather pj pants (or pj shorts, even).
I have tons of Cascade Alpaca Lace that wants knitting into something light and airy for summer. Maybe a Shakerag, maybe a version of Sloper, maybe the Purl Soho Knit Tee…I really don’t have anything beyond a vague idea for it just yet.
Daughter would love big brother-little brother shirts for the boys, but again, that all depends on when my machine gets back to me.
So my very scant plans so far are definitely something in Alpaca Lace. Oy.
I am a beginner sewer and I want to try sewing my first top and a skirt. I don’t have any skirts I can wear to work right now and I would love to have a lighter coloured tank top – all of mine are dark colours. Not sure about the third item yet, but I will probably choose a summery knitting project.
I was actually thinking of using the summer of basics to make a few new things for my husband (gasp!). We shall see…
I have decided to sew the boxy blouse by the Makers Atelier in pale grey striped cotton lawn, some Robbie pants by Tessuti (perhaps in undyed heavy linen which I have yet to buy) and to knit a Amory sweater by Isabel Kramer in fawn organic lace weight wool by Garthenor (hopefully),
I hadn’t heard of maker’s Atelier – interesting patterns! Thanks.
I am cutting out my first piece today. I found some fabric printed up like shibori. Navy and white. Also found cotton denim yarn that matches. Now putting it all together…hmmmm
I’d do both pants and shorts for the pyjamas. Both seem so useful depending on the weather/mood!
I’m making a Uniform Cardigan to fill my need for actual winter clothes, plus either a simple top or dress in AVFKW’s indigo striped khadi cloth. Item three will depend on the state of my life, since we’re moving sometime as early as July or as late as mid-August. Some kind of sewn long-sleeved shirt (maybe a Linden) would be really useful, but who knows when my machine will need to go away.
Of course, in order to do any of these, I need to finish a sweater on the needles and a shirt on the machine.
My wardrobe is really in need of some black linen cropped wide-leg pants and a sleeveless shell to match. I’m not sure about piece number three…that could end up being a black or cream cardi, plum wide-leg pants, or a lavender knitted tee of some kind. (I’d really like ALL of the above!)
You will have an absolute whale of a time with piping – I made a pair of Carolyn’s a couple of months ago, and now seriously want to pipe All. The. Things.
Your post a couple of weeks ago has reminded me how super Ysolda’s Polwarth sweater is. I’ve had the pattern and wool in my stash for a couple of years now, but I’m going to dig it out and cast on tonight as my SoB knit project. Cheers for the nudge!
I love the Alice top! I made one out of White double gauze last year and I wear it all the time. An eyelet one would be gorgeous.
Oh, the Alice is so great. I made one a few years back (after obsessing about the pattern) with a scrap of gifted Japanese fabric for the bodice, with stash linen for the rest. Love your list! I need a cool sweater too, and PJs. Hmmm. I’m about to assembly-line sew some 100 Acts of Sewing Dress No. 1 b/c they are my uniform. It’ll be a good start.
To fill a very glaring gap in my handmade wardrobe, I am going to make 3 basic sweaters suitable for May-September wear in Ireland. All 3 will be in some shade of gray, fingering-to-sport weight, and made out of non-superwash, minimally processed yarns. At the moment, I am thinking one henley, one saddle-shoulder crew neck, one cardigan. I have already began to play around with ideas, but not sure those pieces are eligible if I started them before June? No matter, as I will no doubt have more than 3 in the end! Looking forward to taking part.
Interesting challenge! I definitely need a few basics. Do I have the time for a deadline? I love your choices!
The Alice Top is such a good one! I made one while I was pregnant with some mods to make it maternity friendly and still wear it often. The style lines are just so good. I did find the instruction about using vilene kind of tricky since that isn’t a product I’ve seen in the US before–ended up using a bit of sew-in interfacing and it worked just fine.
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