Making a Plan: Summer Sewing

Whew! Part 2 was a job, wasn’t it? I had no idea I would take so long with it! But, I did get it done in the end!

Naturally, I have made a summer sewing plan–you know how I am! One of my major goals is to prepare for next fall. A new teaching job demands a new teaching wardrobe, am I right? ūüėČ But, I also need to stay cool and clothed in these sweltering summer months ahead.

Here’s what’s in store:


So excited about this pattern! My other Grainline makes, Moss and Archer, get worn all the time. You already know–because people far more important than me have already told you–that the patterns are impeccably drafted and her directions and sew-alongs are super helpful during construction. This pattern also is one of the patterns up for one of the coveted Top 11 TNT spots. (I imagine my patterns all sitting around discussing who will make it through to the finals. Some of them are probably practicing their gracious loser face while secretly rehearsing their acceptance speech.)

I plan to live in these all summer and pair them with my Archers, my cheerful Sorbetto, and the two tees I’ve made so far. I have other tops in mind, but they might not¬†get made this summer. (Look at me practicing restraint!)

I find that I really like stretch wovens for bottoms. They just work well with my shape and are far more comfortable than wovens without stretch. Not to mention being much easier to fit! I went with two very basic neutrals, though in the future, there shall be prints. Just you wait and see!


This was originally supposed to be a slightly modified Lady Skater. However, when the lovely fabric arrived from Girl Charlee, I failed to notice that it had been cut twelve inches too short (I did write to GC two months after receiving the fabric and they very kindly gave me a store credit for a half yard even though it was outside the return window and I had actually washed the fabric–check your fabric upon arrival, my friends!). Also, the fabric was a bit too narrow for me to do the kimono sleeve mod I had in mind. So, when I found out about this brand new tank pattern on¬†Sew Charleston, it seemed like a perfect match.

Sleeveless and loose-fitting, it is the ideal top for southern summers and is going to be smashing with my Maritime shorts.


(Yes, I know that’s not a Lady Skater line drawing. Such a thing does not exist, sadly.) I will be sewing this mid-weight ponte dress in the sultry Southern summer fully aware that I will not be wearing it until the heat and humidity die off in the early autumn. I have two very slight mods in mind for this dress inspired by the red dress Zoey Deschanel wears in the opening credits of New Girl. You may remember me mentioning it in this post.

I’m not going to pleat the skirt since A-lines and semi-circles work best for my shape, but I do want to play with the sleeve shape a bit and maybe add some other details that are floating around my brain.

Skater Mod

When I saw this sweet aqua and coral plaid knit on Girl Charlee, I was immediately inspired to make a Colette Jasmine/ Lady Skater mash up top based on¬†this top which I pinned many moons ago. I confess it’s not the most practical choice for a separate since what I really need is tops to go with my red Moss, but every now and then you have to let your fancy be your guide. It will work with both of my Maritime shorts and with both of my denim skirts. It may possibly work with a turquoise skirt which I will mention later, but I’m not sure yet.


Yay! Another shift! When I spotted this fabric in Jo-Ann’s a while back, I just Had to Have. I waited at least a month, though, while trying to decide what I would do with it. At first, I envisioned a fit-and-flare dress. Then I pictured a circle skirt paired with a Swiss dot Jasmine. Then, I settled on the shift. After spending so much time on the pattern, I want to use it as much as possible.

The shift will be sleeveless. I had thought about playing around with the neckline or adding pockets, but I’m going to keep it simple. The fabric really speaks for itself.

A line 2

This skirt (and the next) are both specifically made to go with my red t-shirt. I hardly ever wear that tee and only then with the A-line skirt I made to go with it. So, while in Jo-Ann’s when buying the linen above, I picked out a couple quilting cottons to make more A-lines.

After buying this fabric, however, I experienced some pretty serious buyer’s remorse. I felt the flowers were too cute, too reminiscent of something I may have worn in elementary school. But, I’m just going to embrace the twee and make something adorable. And that’s that.

A line 1

This fabric is so similar to my first A-line that it’s almost ridiculous that I bought it. But, I really liked it! So, I plan to make¬†a flared version to mix things up a bit.


Very excited about this one. Moss is amazing. Turquoise is amazing. What will I wear with it?? Stop raining on my parade! Turquoise Moss forever!

When I start making these sewing plans of mine, I always feel that I’m keeping it very simple. And then I write everything down and realize that I have twenty makes on my to-do list for two months. So, even though I have other secret items I’ll be working on, these are the 9 that I will commit myself to. My goal is to be done by August.

I know–I laughed at that a little, too.

But, as usual my sewing is far ahead of my posting. So at this point, I’ve finished three¬†five items on this list and have two others all cut out and ready to go. I think I’m actually going to get everything done on schedule–except for the red Lady Skater, probably. That one needs some sleeve work, and we all know how many hours that’s going to take me!

So, what are you sewing this summer? Swimsuits? Sundresses? Southern hemisphere winter-wear?


Making a Plan: Part Two

Can you believe it? I actually finished a sewing plan! I’ve made plans many a time, and they have never been completed.

Planning is my favorite part, so I started collecting patterns and picking out fabric for a new round long before I finished my first sewing plan. I’m still sticking with my palette (for the most part) and still trying to make items that are mix-and-matchable. However, this round is very dress-heavy. I’ve determined that separates are great, but you simply can’t beat the ease of tossing on a dress. Also, I’m relaxing my rules for dresses. I’m not great at creative layering, so in my world, a dress is a dress. If I can wear more than one pair of shoes and maybe a couple different cardis, I’m calling that a win.

B5794 Tie

I’ve had this pattern for quite a while now. I’m pretty excited to finally use it. But, having been spoiled by the attention to detail and sensible directions of indie designers, I worry a little bit about attempting to do a “Big 4” knit pattern. I’m convinced that the amount of ease is going to be ridiculous. So, my plan is to use my Lady Skater to compare. I had actually thought about just modifying the LS to match the details on the Butterick, but it seemed like so much work to add a yoke and gathers and modify the neckline, and I’m simply feeling too lazy. I may regret it later.

And, in case you’re wondering, teal is not really on my Color Palette. I reserve the right to cheat whenever I want. Plus, a color palette is more of a suggestion or guideline, not a rule.

B5794 Cowl

This time I’m doing view C. I think the fluid nature of a cowl is going to be lovely in the watercolor print. This knit is very lightweight, so it’s probably not the best choice for winter wear, but this is Atlanta. And there are tights. So, I think I’ll be okay. What I can’t figure out, though, is why the back of the skirt needs a seam. I’ll probably just eliminate the SA and cut it on the fold. Because I’m a sensible person.


What’s this? An actual woven fabric? With¬†sleeves?¬†Yes. It’s time to face my fears. . .

I originally bought this fabric to make my McCall’s 6706 skirt. But when it arrived, it was too lightweight for what I wanted. Also, it feels like¬†magic;¬†using it for a skirt seemed like a waste. I only had 1 1/2 yards, so I started wracking my brain for what else I could use it for. After lots of thoughts that were wrong, I finally noticed the unassuming S1776 waiting patiently for me to do something with it.

At first, I was unsure. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this could be something amazing. My plan is to make the version with the sleeves. Probably not the pockets. As it turns out, I’m not a patch pocket fan.

This pattern will either be glorious. . . or frumptastic.

S1776 knit

Oh. Man. As soon as I saw this print, I was like, “That is happening.” Right now, I’m not 100% sure what I plan to do. It needs to be something versatile enough for all sorts of Atlanta weather. I’m leaning towards some type of shift. I don’t really want it to be fitted. And I think I want 3/4 length sleeves. And a scoop neck. Like a modified Simplicity 1776 maybe? We’ll see.

Lady Skater Dress (Red)First of all, I know that drawing is not a Lady Skater. The problem is that there is no black and white line drawing of a Lady Skater, or even a skater dress in general, anywhere on the interwebs. If you know better, please inform me! I really like putting together these graphics to illustrate my plans, and I know there will be more Lady Skaters happening in my life.

And secondly, I know this is not your typical winter sort of dress. I’m making it anyway. I want more red in my wardrobe, and I think this will be lovely layered under a sweater. Because it’s such a summery print, I’m using the short sleeves.


I originally bought this knit to make a simple shift or t-shirt dress. However, when I saw this pattern in my stash and noticed the interesting, chevron-y madness of one of the samples, I changed my mind. Again, I think it would be a good idea to compare the sizing with my Lady Skater–tricky because of the princess seams and raglan sleeves, but still doable, I think. It is going to be a challenge trying to match up all the stripes and weird angles, but I am super excited about this dress.


Based on what I’ve read and researched over the past (almost) two years, this is quite possibly one of the most-beloved skirt patterns out there. Even people who regularly eschew “Big 4” patterns admit that this one is well-worth making. I’ve been curious to try it but haven’t been quite sure what direction to take it in until now.

I already have a denim skirt, but the fit is hardly spot-on. The waist is too big while the hips are too tight (very, very unusual for me), so it really only works with loose, long tops. I like the waist yoke on 2451 and the pockets. I’m not totally sold on the pleats, but I could probably make them work. I plan on making something between versions C and D. And I’m toying with the idea of an exposed zipper in the back.

Are people over exposed zippers yet? I hope not, since I haven’t had the chance to try one yet. Eh–whatever. I do what I want!


I know, I know, I know. How am I not sick of sewing Archers? At this point, I’ve made four. But, the three challis versions I’ve made are so fantastic, so exactly what I’ve hoped and dreamed of, that I simply need another one. Plus, I have a crazy-pants idea to thrift myself some white jeans which I shall skinny-ify to wear with my loverly navy Archer and probably some gold jewelry and the whole thing will be amazing. So there.

Lady Skater Peplum

Hey, look–it’s not navy! Did anyone else notice how navy-heavy my plans are? What can I say–I love navy. It’s my favorite neutral.

I’m using fabric left over from my color blocked skirt¬†to whip up a peplum top based on the ever-fabulous Lady Skater pattern. I plan to make the peplum a wee bit longer in the back. Or if I’m feeling frisky, I’ll try something resembling the picture.

And, if you’ve been following along, you know that I plan for two months at a time, about one project per week. So, I really should only have eight projects planned. But, I’m cheating a bit because 1. some of these are super easy to whip up and 2. some of these are already made.

I think after this round of sewing, I will lay low for a while and make an army of t-shirts and lounge pants and camis. And I probably won’t be done with all this sewing until at least March. If I get done before that, I’m going to be remarkably impressed with myself.

So, what are your plans for February? Anything you’re really excited about?