It’s summer! I don’t have a finished project to share today (although I do have one in progress!), so I thought it would be fun to share some summer sewing inspiration with you.
I love summer clothing that is loose-fitting so that the breeze can blow through and keep me cool, and at the moment, I just want to sew easy things. However…since I don’t always feel this way (and I know other people go back and forth, too), I’m including some simple as well as more complex patterns in this list. Some are free, some are from independent designers, and some are from the Big 4 (Butterick, Simplicity, McCall’s, and Vogue). Let’s dive in!
It would be terrific to find some staple patterns that are either great basics to showcase fun fabric or have interesting style lines. I’m currently making the Peppermint Magazine Peplum Top.
This is a free pattern that seemed like a nice twist on a basic tank top. I’ve heard this is pretty cropped, so I’m making the pattern as is, but may lengthen it in the future. I’m using a vintage sheet and some vintage trim that I have on hand, but it would also be great in the new Mariner Cloth designed by Alison Glass for Andover or a drapey linen or silk.
Another pattern I’m curious about is Butterick 5948.
The illustrations on the pattern envelope are pretty basic, but I think that’s the point of the top. It’s basic and can be used as your everyday woven t-shirt or tank. It can be something you make to blend with the rest of your wardrobe or it can stand out and feature a cool fabric. View F with the length of E really appeals to me since I don’t have a go-to woven t-shirt pattern. This would be cool in Robert Kaufman’s Neon Neppy or a crepe de chine. Rayon challis isn’t my favorite fabric, but it would be really nice made up into one of these shirts.
Another garment I’m considering is Simplicity 8172, View A, a kimono-type jacket.
This is in no way a traditional kimono, but is loosely inspired by that garment type with its wide sleeves and loose fit. I have some beautiful polyester crepe de chine from Mood that friends got me for my birthday a few years ago. I’ve been waiting to find just the right garment for it, and this may be it.
Lastly, I would love to find a Tried ‘N True (TNT) boho top pattern. I thought about the new Phoenix Blouse from Hey June Handmade or the Roscoe Blouse from True Bias, but I just don’t know. Both are close, but I don’t think I’ve found the right one yet. Any suggestions?
At the end of last summer, I started to realize that some of my shorts are kind of short. This never bothered me in the past–in fact, I didn’t even notice it–they just seemed like a good proportion for my body, but that shorted length doesn’t feel as comfortable to me as it used to. I think I want something a little longer.
I love the easy elastic-waist fit and slightly longer length of the short in Simplicity 1887.
It has a flat front with a tie and pockets. I can see this in a sparkly linen (probably because it looks like that’s what the sample is made from). Robert Kaufman makes a great Essex Yarn Dyed metallic that I’m hoping isn’t too lightweight.
For more of a gym short take, there are the City Gym Shorts from Purl Soho, a free pattern. I’ve been looking at these for the past few years, but haven’t tried them. They come in adult and kids’ sizes. I bet they would be fun made up in a great printed quilting cotton, a chambray for something more basic, or peachskin for a look inspired by board shorts–or you could go luxe and use some Liberty of London fabric like they do in their samples.
If you are after something more complex and classic, the Thurlow Shorts from Sewaholic is a great pattern that I made in yellow last year (there is also a pant view included in the pattern).
If I end up wanting a more in-depth project, I would love to make a few more pairs in some of the other colors of Tinted Denim from Cloud9 Fabrics. Note that I straightened the legs considerably in my version. The original is more flared.
One more option if you want to dig into an interesting project that will take more time is Butterick 4995 (out of print, but available on Etsy).
These wide-leg pants come in shorter and longer lengths and have been on my list for a few years. I have some yellow linen from Fabric Mart that would be great for View B. (This linen does go on sale periodically, so if you can wait for a sale, it’s definitely worth it.)
I still don’t feel that I’ve found my favorite easy woven skirt pattern. Maybe the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae? It looks simple, but has pockets and some fun customization options. Otherwise, maybe the Brumby Skirt from Megan Nielsen would lend itself to an elastic back waistband hack. It has an exposed zipper, but you could omit that and change the back waistband. Can you tell I’m into the elastic waists this season?
This is a different look, but I have two of the Short Skirts in my closet from Natalie Chanin’s book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. This is an A-line skirt made from four panels that sits low on your hips. The top edge is covered with fold over elastic, and because it’s meant to be made from jersey, you can leave the bottom unfinished. Despite its name, this skirt is actually knee-length on me. Created before I started blogging, these garments are great everyday skirts if you make the basic, unadorned version. I have one made from a knit sheet and another patched together from a few coordinating t-shirts. While you certainly can sew these by hand and heavily embellish them, if you use the pattern and sew them on your machine, they are very quick and forgiving projects. Just a little thought if speed is your aim.
I would also love any maxi skirt suggestions. I made the ankara one recently, and I like wearing it, but I’m open to trying other ideas as well.
Last year I made the Hannah Dress from Victory Patterns, and I still love it. (Here’s a link to the pattern.)
This falls into the ‘more complex, but very fascinating’ category. It’s some serious pattern origami.
I don’t think I’ll make it again this year, but I would love to make it again in a cotton or linen at some point since the rayon challis I used shifted and puckered quite a bit.
Here’s a dress that looks like a good everyday dress: the Forsythe Dress from French Navy Patterns. I like that it’s loose, has pockets, and has interesting seam lines that you could use to feature fun fabric (stripes, maybe?) if you wanted to.
I’d love a good maxi dress pattern. Any suggestions? Something really flowy would be nice. I just realized that all the long, beautiful dress pictures I’ve saved on my “Fashion Ideas for this Year’s Projects” Pinterest board all have long sleeves. Hm…
Of course, once you get started with ideas, they never end. I went a little crazy planning projects and managed to completely exhaust my brain, so I’m trying to slow myself down just a little and do some easier projects to take a little break. I’ll also be taking a break from the blog in July. I plan to post next week, and then will take July off, and maybe even a little bit of August. We’ll see. I hope you all have a great summer and if you have favorite summer sewing patterns or patterns you are excited about and are thinking of making, please leave me your ideas in the comments. I love new sewing ideas!