My Summer of Basics plan

My Summer of Basics plan - #summerofbasics make- along

For anyone new here, Summer of Basics is a very simple concept: Spend the next three months making three pieces your wardrobe could really benefit from. The definition of “basic” is completely up to you — one person’s outlier is another person’s core wardrobe item. You be you! They can be knitted, sewn, crocheted, or any mix thereof. If you take this as an opportunity to stretch your skills, awesome! And everyone is invited and welcome, whatever your age, race, size, gender, ability, you name it — including those in places where we’re headed into winter, not summer. Please don’t let the word “summer” or “basics” deter you!

Remember, this year is Low-key SoB — no eligibility requirements or judging or prizes, just the joy of making good stuff for yourself. You can share your progress — or follow along and chime in — by using the #summerofbasics hashtag on Instagram and/or by posting on your own blog or wherever on the internet and leaving links in comments here for others to see.

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For my trio this time around, I’ve decided on 1 knit, 1 sew and 1 crochet project! (Life circumstances permitting.) Hilariously, they all come from the same color family, which is pure coincidence, albeit born of my obsession with this part of the color wheel at the moment:

1. KNIT: Grace pullover by Denise Bayron
Denise is a good friend but I knew nothing about this design until it was revealed a couple of weeks ago as part of the Laine issue that launches today. The instant I saw it, I knew I had to knit it — in the toffee-colored Our Yarn from Fringe — so it was a no-brainer to make it one of my SoB picks. I’ll be knitting at a little bit finer gauge than the pattern (chunky rather than superbulky), but it’s top-down so will be easy to adjust. This will be such a simple, versatile sweater — and in this abbreviated shape, hopefully well worn.

2. SEW: Dress N by Naomi Ito
I’ve been obsessed with this Nani Iro dress pattern, simply known as pattern N, since it first crossed my radar last year. I ordered the book at the time — Atelier to Nani Iro, in Japanese — and thought I would brave it. But I’d be lying if I said I weren’t thrilled that the English edition publishes in just a few weeks. I’m determined to form a dress habit this summer (more on that soon) and this one is the obvious place to start. Plus I’ll be using a fabric designed by my pal Alexia Abegg — part of the debut collection for the new Ruby Star Society line launching this summer — which is called She, in a gingery spice color they call Earth. (As it happens, she’s talking about all of this on this week’s episode of the Love to Sew podcast.) Everything about this is a little outside my comfort zone and I am SO excited about it.

3. CROCHET: Joanne hat by Wool and the Gang
I desperately need a crushable hat and have never found one that works for me. And I think I’m actually going to try two here — the first being the crocheted Joanne bucket hat from Wool and the Gang (from last summer’s New Favorites), in a tawny colored raffia (the natural was sold out!), and the second being a sewn hat pattern in the Nani Iro book (left image above), which I’m planning to make out of natural canvas, just to see! Hopefully one or the other will actually suit my head and solve my problem, if I can manage to tailor the fit.

There’s also a new Fancy Tiger pattern coming sometime this summer that scratches one my longest-running itches, and I’m considering it a bonus item. I decided to make the hat one of my official 3 instead, to help ensure I actually tackle it!

So that’s my plan, and it seems so doable! How about you — will you join me?


PREVIOUSLY in Summer of Basics: Low-key Summer of Basics (2019 plan)

23 thoughts on “My Summer of Basics plan

  1. You always have such a great eye for beautiful useful items. It would be wonderful to own any of these favorites. I’m looking foward to making things I really need and stretching my skills.

  2. I hope to participate this summer with a return to sewing. Have just finished a knit tank top. Does that count?

  3. As soon as I’m finished with Denise’s Cardizen, I’m going to tackle her new sweater – I’ve never done cables before but it’s too beautiful not to try. I’m also sewing Pants #1 and Dress #3 from 100 Acts of Sewing plus a bunch of new, very easy skirts. So excited!!

    • I’m honestly not sure about the sizing, given that I have the Japanese edition at the moment. But there is an optional long sleeve that you could shorten to the elbow.

  4. This is a wonderful outfit. My plans are made, and two projects already cast on. I like that there is no real race to the finish, but a more laid-back approach to a nice challenge. Happy summer knitting, sewing, crocheting… to all!

  5. Thank you for bringing my attention to Nani Iro. I’m going to wait for the translation and maybe pull some fabric out to consider while I wait.

  6. I like your plan. I tend to leave myself a little more flexibility than a hard and fast plan, but I do try to narrow myself to 5ish potentials and then do whatever moves me.

    This year, I think it needs to be a nice pullover shell for work. Still debating patterns. Maybe Sayer or Atlantique ( if I’m feeling confident.

    I need a cardi that’s good for the office, too. And then maybe the Fire Island Sunset shawl ( or the Sail-Away Shawl – (

    I need to get a WIP off my needles, before I start, though, so I still have a little time.

  7. My summer making plans are the knitted anker summer shirt, sewing a linen hinterland dress and a short sleeve button down shirt.
    I love that Nani iro dress and look forward to seeing your version.

  8. I know that I’ll be sewing a couple of t-shirts and knitting…something…

    There are a few non-garment projects that need finishing, if only for my own peace of mind, so that’s where my main focus will be over the next two or three months. But I can satisfy the itch to stitch with those tees (which will fill a couple of empty slots in my wardrobe, so that’s good, too).

    In other words, my SoB plan is to avoid planning!

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