Summer Sewing

I wear a lot of black, gray and other dark colors. It’s convenient and versatile – nearly everything I own mixes and matches. You can easily modify dark clothing – dressing it up with jewelry and snappy shoes, or dressing it down with a casual bag and sneakers. Dark colors are also great at hiding stains, which is a nice perk when you have hobbies like canning and gardening, plus a little kid in the house.

My standard “uniform” is basically jeans, tank top and cardigan. There are infinite variations on the theme, which I appreciate. But come summer, the dark colors and pants have me feeling slightly out of place. I want color and swishing skirts that won’t stick to my skin in the heat. I never find anything I like at the store. Or, I find something I love at a price I cannot afford (and couldn’t bring myself to pay even if I could). Hint – stay out of Anthropologie. Just never go in there. Ever.

So what’s a girl to do? I’m not a master seamstress by a long shot, not like my friend Tracy of Half Pak Designs (yes, she’s been a total slacker at updating her site, but I promise if you scroll down the page you’ll see what I’m talking about – she makes awesome bags and clothes). But – maybe, just maybe – I can make myself a couple a bias cut A-line skirts. A few years ago when Tracy was still living here in Chicago, we took a skirt class at the Needle Shop, so I theoretically know what I’m doing. Never mind that I didn’t finish that skirt because I messed up the sizing… but I do still have it and time and distance have given me a little perspective on that simple skirt design. Plus, I’ve sewn a lot of other things since then, so I feel a lot more comfortable when I sit down at my machine.

So, I’m going to give it another go. First up will be to finish the skirt I started all those years ago. It’s a few sizes too big (I sized it way incorrectly back in the day) so I need to refit it and cut it down a bit. Then sew the bottom hem, and put in elastic. I do know how to do hidden zippers now, but I want a super simple skirt that I can just pull on and go, like a pair of jeans. Here’s what I’m working with for that one –

And if I like the way it turns out and look, I’m going to make myself a couple more. You can see I’ve got some great fabrics in my stash to work with –

My two favorites are the rose pattern and the strawberries on cream. They’re fairly thin materials, so I’m debating – sew muslin liners or just wear a slip underneath? I’ve got plenty of muslin, so I could go that route, but just wearing a slip underneath would keep the actual skirt construction at it’s simplest. I think I’ll probably go the slip route because of that, until I have a few of these under my belt.

And I don’t plan to sew just for me. I plan on making a bucket hat for the baby, and I want to find a pattern online for little baby pants for him. All of the pants that he has are fleece or thicker material, and I want him to have some lightweight ones that he can wear to cover up from the sun without getting too hot.

So stay tuned for my progress – if they turn out well, I’ll show off my handiwork. 🙂

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