Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Summer of Basics Make Along

My sewing practice has switched over the last 18 months to 75% planning and 25% sewing as my energy still depletes quickly.  While initially frustrating, this has turned out to be a blessing in disguise and I have slowed down my sewing process.  I now sew French seams in the bulk of my makes and I am making much more thoughtful decisions about what I add to my handmade wardrobe.  I need to ensure that when I sit down at the machine, I'm making something that will be worn frequently and is something I love wearing.

I have been eagerly following Jen's (of Fringe Association) progress on her summer wardrobe planning.  I really enjoy her thorough process and care that goes on behind it.  In a recent post, she linked to Karen's post on the Fringe Association about the Summer Basics Make Along.  This is such an achievable make along for me as the simple premise is to make three wardrobe basics in three months.  Even if I have a flare during that time, I can still finish my makes in time to be enjoyed during summer!  As someone with a chronic illness, this feels like a victory even before I get started!

My local yarn store, Handknit Yarn Studio, has a knit night the first Thursday of every month.  Happily, I was well enough to go this month and I enjoyed myself immensely.  Kate and Tracey, the lovely owners, are experienced knitters and a pure joy to talk with as they are happy to share their wealth of knowledge.  I'm the newest member (I think) but everyone there makes you feel instantly welcome.  I brought my second Fade shawl to work on and received so many compliments.  It made me feel terrific!

Of course, knit night wouldn't be complete without a yarn purchase.  Ever the Cascade lover, I saw that there was a fresh stock of their Hampton yarn, a delectable blend of 70% pima cotton and 30% linen and is a DK weight; perfect for summer!  I chose this fantastic shade of French blue (colour #13).  Isn't it pretty?  Kate even caked it up for me as she knows I don't have a ball winder.  Any suggestions on that front would be much appreciated.  Winding up 450+ yards of fingering weight yarn is rapidly losing it's appeal!

Getting back to the Summer of Basics, I knew I needed a lightweight summer pullover.  I find that now that I'm no longer working, I prefer the comfort of a sweater over a cardigan.  No one is carrying on an extended battle with the thermostat anymore and having a consistent temperature is just lovely. LOL! I knew I wanted to knit something textured with an oversized/boxy fit.  I tend to dress in layers and need a garment will perform well in all seasons.

After a lengthy Ravelry search and falling in love with three new patterns, I chose Clio. Clio is a top-down, seamless knit (my favourite) with dropped shoulders and a wide neckline.  I love all of the texture happening in the pattern!  I plan to knit this with elbow length sleeves to make it more versatile for the warmer months.

For this make a long, I wanted to make an outfit comprised of pieces that look pretty together but also coordinate with all the separates in my summer wardrobe.  To that end, I chose an old favourite pattern for the top: Salme Pattern's Kimono Top.  I love this pattern.  It is so easy to sew and I feel great wearing it.  I'm going to rejig the pattern so that I can sew it with French seams - the preferred making method of sewing turtles like me (ha ha!).

For the fabric, I chose a gorgeous viscose poplin from Blackbird Fabrics which I bought earlier this year.  Following their Instagram feed in an exercise in restraint as every fabric posted is delectable!  It will be lovely and cool to wear during the summer and it works with absolutely every bottom I have. 

The last item on my basics list is a little gem of a skirt from Marilla Walker.  It's also a free pattern!  The Ilsley skirt is a simple elastic waist skirt with hip pockets and a neat curved hem.  Easy for me to wear and easy on my skin and joints as I will inevitably feel the heat and humidity there over the summer.  I love Marilla's patterns and have amassed a perfect collection for my personal sewing workbook.

I'm using one of my most favourite warm weather fabrics for the skirt: linen/rayon blend.  I normally order Robert Kaufman's Brussels Washer Linen (the only fabric I buy outside of Canada) but I found this in my local fabric store 2 years ago.  It's been sitting in my stash ostensibly earmarked for another pair of Vogue 2128 trousers but, on recent perusal, between Vogue 2128 and McCall's 2735, I have 5 pairs of linen trousers already and really don't need more. Linen skirts, however, are in short supply! Like my shirt fabric, this gorgeous teal goes with absolutely every top in my wardrobe.
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So those are my chosen basics!  I essentially live in linen and rayon during the summer so it makes a lot of sense to add these pieces to my wardrobe. I know I will enjoy making them (such a key component in crafting, isn't it) and I will love wearing them.

Are you joining in the Summer of Basics Make Along?  What basics are you planning on making?  I do love to read about what you're all making.  I find you all so inspiring :)

Now, I'm off to put up my swollen feet and work a few more rows on my Eugenie sweater.  I want to finish that, as well as my rose print New Look 6340 before starting these new projects.  Until next time, friends!

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