Monday, September 2, 2013

I Thought I Had a Plan--What Happened?

So now that it's September, Labor Day weekend and the symbolic (at least to me) end of summer, I thought I'd finally write that post about my summer sewing plans.  At least this way I can both tell you about what I want(ed) to sew this summer and also give you an immediate update on my progress.

Progress on the Plan:  Not much.

I think I've said it before.  I'm just not a summer person.  I don't enjoy the heat of summer and I find it difficult to warm up to (heh, heh) the fabrics and clothing styles necessary to survive the heat.  However, this summer I wanted to try to be more organized and thoughtful in planning some sewing that would help me build a more cohesive, interesting and fun to wear  summer wardrobe.  So late in May (very late in May), when it finally appeared like summer might actually arrive in Montana, I started pulling fabrics from the shelves.  I just grabbed whatever was there that was summery in weight and color that I thought might be fun to get sewn up in the next couple of months.  Surprisingly, the fabrics I pulled, when piled together, worked as a group much more than I expected.  I seemed to have subconsciously pulled a core of grey and white (and a little black of course) with strong accents of bright green.  From there, there were segues into some neutral linen colors, some rust/browns and a bit of turquoise.  I also came across a striped linen scarf with some of the same colors.  The photos below show the grouping of fabrics I threw together.  Much more than I knew I would ever get through during the summer, but plenty to chose from as I went.

I thought "okay, now I'm ready to sew that thoughtful summer wardrobe."  Then I promptly pulled out a fabric that was not included in my grouping and made a shirt.  Sigh.

This is a rayon challis border print I got from several years ago.  I just love the print and have been wanting to sew it up for quite awhile now.  (I wish I could have avoided the twinning of the print at center front, but was limited with fabric.)

Fabrics like rayon challis (when you can find the good stuff with good prints) are my favorite for summer tops because they are so lightweight and cool to wear when it's hot out.

I like loose fitting, kind of floaty tops for summer and this is a pattern I use often when I want to let a fabric carry the day in a garment.  It's adapted from Lois Ericson's pattern Layers & Layers.  I used the little top shown in grey under the vest in the middle of the lower row on the pattern cover (Jacket B), with a few adaptations, including changing the neckline to a V-neck.

I create a cut on, fold-over placket for buttons/buttonholes and finish the neckline with a bias binding.

After finishing the black border print, I promptly made another one out of yet another fabric not from the "Chosen Ones."  This is another rayon challis from  These two tops I made in a longer tunic style to take advantage of the border print and because I sufficient of the batiky challis.  I often vary the finished lengths of this top pattern depending on the fabric I'm using and the look I want to achieve.

And then I kept going with other fabrics not within the plan.  A striped rayon knit from Girl Charlee made up in Vogue 8881.  This was less successful than I had hoped.  The long front and back seams pull oddly a bit when worn and I haven't gotten around to seeing if I can resolve that issue.

Next, a camp shirt in a fun cotton print of a cartoony undersea scene.  This is Cutting Lines Designs Easy Ageless Cool pattern.  I like to always have a "go to" camp shirt pattern in my arsenal and this is a good one.   I often come across weird prints that just tickle my funny bone somehow and I think a camp shirt is a good way to use those kind of prints.

Inevitably, another Sewing Workshop Liberty T-Shirt in a rayon knit print.  I actually have two pieces of this knit, one obtained from and the other from EmmaOneSock.  I think I also saw it briefly on Marcy Tilton's site.  It is a beautiful print and I have worn this top often this summer.  But it wasn't in the Chosen pile.  Sigh.

I do have more things that I have sewn up this summer, including even a few from the "Chosen Ones" fabrics.  I hope to get them on the blog here soon.  Even so, I did not get as much sewing done this summer as I had hoped.  My sewing room faces directly west.  As a result, it becomes miserable to be in after about 3 or 4:00 in the afternoon unless you enjoy sewing in a steam room.  So I just didn't spend as much time in there as I wanted to.

Now that it's officially September, I'm craving some autumn sewing.  I know that we will continue to have warm days for awhile, so I'm going to start with lighter pieces.  At the moment I have another Vogue 8499 Marcy Tilton skirt under the needle.  But those wools are starting to sing their siren songs.