A Handmade Summer Wardrobe plan

Wardrobe Design for Summer | a happy stitch

Hey, happy August everyone. I figured it was probably about time that I wrote down and owned up to my summer wardrobe planning and scheming.  You know, before the summer itself ends.

The back story is this, during Me Made May I had a bit of a reckoning (it’s not the first time, MMM does this to me). My handmade wardrobe was out of touch with what I actually wear.  I managed to wear something handmade every day in May but I wasn’t always pulling something I loved out of the closet in order to accomplish it.  I realize May was a long time ago in blogger years but the point I am making is that still, even after SO MUCH sewing, I am not that great at sewing for my actual real life.  Considering I’m actively trying to be aware and sew for real life, well…it was a frustrating realization to say the least.  I took a look at those items I did want to wear regularly and realized something pretty quickly; my most-worn handmade clothes are versatile, comfortable and low-key.  Everything pictured below was worn more than once.

Me Made May--the everyday outfits I actually wore

Notice anything? It’s kind of boring.  No bold, crazy prints or outrageous looks; mostly unassuming, easy and comfortable.  Instead of getting frustrated with myself for this repeated miscalculation, I decided to get organized and starting planning a summer wardrobe of handmade clothing I will actually wear.

It’s August, after all, my Nothing New project is 18 months old! For 18 months I have bought used, made by hand or swapped any new (to me) clothes.  It feel good. Great, in fact. But, I have to get better at making handmade clothing wearable for the long term. I pulled out my design planner, organized my favorite fabrics, assessed my closet for gaps and came up with the following (kind of crazy ambitious) summer wardrobe plan. My plan is to make all of these items and document how it goes.  Maybe I can accomplish it all, maybe not.

Here is my list:

+ A Hacked Sorbetto Dress in this lovely Black Woven Ikat

+ Thurlow Shorts from Sewaholic in Black Chambray bought at Imagine Gnats

+ The Esme Tunic from Lotta’s book in Woven japanese fabric from SuperBuzzy.

+ City Shorts from Purl Soho in soft double gauze from my stash (one of the polka dots).

+ A Julia Cardigan in pepper laguna knit bought at Rock Paper Scissors

Wardrobe Design Plan_ Summer | a happy stitch+ the Chambray Tunic from Noodlehead in blocked denim, also bought at SuperBuzzy

+ Sanibel Romper from Hey June in lightweight denim from Rock Paper Scissors

+ A simple woven tank (not sure of the pattern I want, maybe a Ruby like those made by Sew Hungry Hippie) in Blue Ikat or Blue Loominious or the navy polka dots or pink/olive print in the bottom picture (I got it at Faberwood).

+ Lightweight Cheyenne top in rayon denim from Rock Paper scissors

Wardrobe Design_Summer Swatches | a happy stitch

+ Union St. Tee in Mustard/Cream stripes from Cloud 9 Fabrics

+ Modify a Cheyenne Top to turn it into a dress with pleats possibly in another chambray or woven fabric (something in the style of this one, perhaps?)

+ A basic Breton-style dress in stripes similar to this one from Zoe  except without dropped shoulder (I”m not sure if I want it in the mushroom stipe below or something less stain-prone.  Probably something darker.  I’m not yet settled on much with this idea, as you can see. Ideas are welcome!)

Wardrobe Design for Summer_fabric swatches in prints | a happy stitch

So, there it is, a total of three dresses, three tops, two tunics, one romper, two pairs of shorts and a cardigan.  The rules for myself are to use the fabric I already have and see what happens.  I you are feeling a little worried for my sanity and thinking I might be going a little off the deep end, let me reassure you that I have already finished a few of the things on this list. I will definitely post those soon.  Some have worked out beautifully, others not so much.  Still, this is the plan.  I hope it wasn’t too boring to get a blog post full of lists, I need an organized plan.  It’s time. Summer wardrobe action power!

4 Comments on A Handmade Summer Wardrobe plan

  1. Sara
    August 4, 2016 at 7:02 am (2 years ago)

    I had a lot of the same thoughts during May. Boring and comfortable wins every time. There a place for fun dresses once in a while, but the basics are worth thinking through too. Can’t wait to see what you make! A lot of your “boring clothes” look exactly like something I would grab from my drawers.

    • Melissa Q.
      August 4, 2016 at 11:42 am (2 years ago)

      Aw, you are so awesome Sara. The basics are where it is at for me! Thanks for your enthusiasm.

  2. Lodi
    August 4, 2016 at 6:22 pm (2 years ago)

    More power to you! I can’t wait to see the makes. I really like your fabric choices. My online fabric buys seem to be hit or miss. (Intensity of prints, fabric weight, etc. It’s a love/hate thing.)

    I can’t believe that the sparkly animal print dress didn’t make your most worn list! Te he, but I love that dress!

    • Melissa Q.
      August 4, 2016 at 6:30 pm (2 years ago)

      You are so funny. Yeah, the sparkly animal print dress is a, ah, far too good example. I’m definitely drawn to fun prints in fabric but not in garments. It’s a tough head/heart battle.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: