My spring plan was much less successful than I might have hoped. Part of that was the dip in my mental health that stopped me sewing for more than a month, but also most of the things I made just didn't work. I only really liked the denim skirt and the Nettie; everything else was on a sliding scale of fail from "I suppose I don't hate it but it's not really what I want" to "get this demon thing away from me immediately" (let's just say you will not be seeing any Sara trousers on this blog any time soon). I didn't get to everything; I still intend to make the bag set once I find all the hardware, and the shirt is all cut out and interfaced but I'm too chicken to start sewing it. I will do it. I will. Who's determined to do the scary thing?
Generally I find my summer plans much easier because summer clothes are what I'm most comfortable in. For the most part I've figured out what works for me and if I wasn't allowed to sew anything all summer I'd mostly be completely fine. There are a couple of actual wardrobe gaps, which I will fill, but mostly my plan is focused around two things: the practical sewing that I keep putting off because it seems hard/scary/annoying; and using up fabric from my stash. I've changed my approach to fabric this year, making a point of tracking my purchases and keeping a record of how much I have vs how much I've used, and it's made me realise how freaked out I get when I have too much stuff in. I know this isn't a common problem, but I don't have much space to hoard fabric, and when it starts to build up it generally means I'm panic buying because I'm not inspired to sew. I've now set myself a maximum number of metres I can keep at any one time, and I'd like to take it a fair bit below that this summer so that I'm not playing fabric chicken when I'm stressed. While I will need to buy a few things for this plan, I want to keep my shopping quite restrained for the next few months and work through some of the pieces I already have.
With that in mind, here's what I'm thinking:
Multiple pairs of summer trousers
The one thing I really noticed during this year's Me Made May is that I only have one pair of trousers I can wear this time of year (I broke out winter trousers twice and I really didn't like it). Over the past year or so I've become much more inclined to wear trousers again, having abandoned them almost entirely when I started sewing, but I've struggled to get them right. What I think I want is two pairs of slightly more structured trousers to get me through the days when we don't have any weather at all, and one super-light pair for when it's actually hot, though I might bump that up to two if we have a really hot summer again. I definitely want to have a second go at the Victory Patterns Esther trousers; I ended up really liking my first pair
apart from the bit where they looked like pyjamas with every single top I own besides the one I wore in the photos. Gah. I went out to get fabric, spent some time deliberating between light navy and neutral stone, came away with bright emerald green because I'm an idiot.
For the super-light trousers I'm thinking of trying the Rae pants from Breaking the Pattern. I wasn't sure about these at first because of the leg slits, but now I think they might be fun and I can either put more effort into remembering to de-hair my legs or I can not.
A pair of shorts
During the summer I tend to be most comfortable in maxi dresses or full-length jumpsuits; I do have a couple of shorter dresses but they don't get that much wear. I'm not sure how much of this is due to chafing issues and how much is due to my aforementioned lack of interest in dealing with leg hair, so I'd like to experiment and try out a pair of shorts. It'll probably be either the Thurlows or M7726 (or both), probably lengthened a bit because my thighs can and will still rub below the hemlines of most short shorts.
Activewear and underthings
Some anti-chafing shorts
This is the thing I need the most and also the thing I least want to make. I have been trying for years to not make anti-chafing shorts, but sadly I think the time has come. Many years ago I found my ideal pair in Sainsbury's - I think they're meant to be shapewear but the compression is very light, meaning that it's not especially restrictive but also they don't ride up my legs (or down my torso). I have worn these to death and soon I won't be able to lie to myself about how much they're falling apart anymore. I have looked for something similar every single time I've gone anywhere near an underwear section and I haven't found them. I've bought several different pairs of actual anti-chafing shorts and they just don't work. Either they're too short (apparently my bit-that-chafes covers a lot more area than most) or they ride up within minutes and sit unhelpfully in my crotch. I'm going to start off trying a shorts version of the Jalie Clara leggings,which I really like (review incoming soon), but I do not know where I'm going to find the right fabric. Basically all my hopes are resting on my trip to Abakhan in a few weeks.
I also want to use the Jalie Clara for more actual leggings this summer. I absolutely need at least one black pair and again I'm worried about finding a fabric that will work (fingers crossed for the Abakhan activewear bin), but one thing I can definitely get on with is cutting into the absolutely ridiculous galaxy print spandex I bought for precisely this occasion. I'm hoping to have enough left over for a matching crop top so that I can achieve maximum ridiculousness.
I tried making a bikini once before, and honestly both the pattern and the fabric were terrible. I had to throw it away when I got back from holiday. I've been wanting to try another one ever since but it's been completely impossible to find a pattern I like. I don't know if this is just me (it may well be), but I get really excited every time a company announces a new swimwear release and every time I'm disappointed at how ugly it is. Why so many monoboob crop tops? Why so many GIANT bikini bottoms? I say this as someone who will never be persuaded into low rise anything and likes to feel nicely enclosed: bikini bottoms that pull up over the belly button are really tough to balance proportionally and nobody is doing it right. Finally I came across the Jalie Gigi bikini, where the bottoms sit nicely just below the belly button like I wanted. I have some grey and pink fabric that I really like, but I'll probably need to work out how to put a bit more support into the top.
What's in the stash
A red linen jumpsuit
I bought this piece of raspberry linen on my trip to New York a year ago. I don't want to hold onto it any longer because I don't want it to become too precious to cut, and also I'd quite like to actually wear it. I think it's going to be a Paper Theory Zadie jumpsuit, but I still haven't worked out what to do about the length. I might dig out some toile fabric and see if I like the way it looks as a playsuit, or see if I can eke out more length by making the binding/inside pocket etc out of a different fabric.
A floral wrap skirt
This twill viscose I talked about in my Walthamstow post is going to become a wrap skirt this summer. I'm thinking of trying M7813 (haven't decided which view yet) or possibly the Vanessa Pouzet Boheme if I can be bothered to grade up the hips. I also want to make a short-sleeved navy bodysuit to go with it.
Some ridiculous bronze thing
It's utterly stupid that I'm still sitting terrified on this £9 piece of viscose, and I'm definitely going to use it in the next couple of months. When I talked about it in my Walthamstow post I said I was worried it would be overwhelming head to toe, and frankly I'm starting to think that my best option is just to lean into it. The idea of a matching two-piece has popped into my head, but whether that becomes a reality mostly depends on whether I can find a summer top pattern for wovens that isn't a) super loose or b) button back. Button back tops look lovely on other people, but they're too much faff for me to put on and I can't be arsed. There's also the possibility that it'll become a maxi dress, or the aforementioned Rae trousers.
A palm print maxi dress
I couldn't take a proper photo of this fabric as I've cut it out already - I'm going to a wedding this Friday and I need something to wear. I do have a couple of standby "one of Patrick's friends is getting married" dresses, but this one is in a Sikh temple and I'm not quite sure what the rules are about knees, so I'm just going to make a full-length Anna dress with no slit and side-step that whole thing entirely. I think the dress is going to be great and I'm very excited about it.
This needs to be something
I'd love some suggestions on what to do with this. It's two layers of cotton sandwiched together, is completely reversible, and is also apparently Karen Millen fabric (though I've not been able to find any photos of it in use). I don't use a lot of cotton and because it's double layered it's thicker and more structured than I'm used to, so I'm not really sure what its best use would be. I really want to take advantage of using both sides of the fabric; possibly a mostly black jumpsuit with one white crossover piece or waistband? Two piece where the top is one colour and the bottom is another? Panelled dress? I have about three and a half metres (I asked for three but he definitely gave me extra) and I feel like I ought to be able to get a really awesome statement outfit out of it. Please let me know what you think!
For the most part, I think this is a fairly easy plan. It doesn't require me to buy too much fabric (or many patterns or notions, for that matter) and should be convenient enough for me to just get on with. Fingers crossed for my motivation and a successful trip to Abakhan!