2nd Annual Summer Essentials Sew-Along: The Grand Plan

Happy June, everyone! June marks the beginning of summer– it’s officially time for popsicles, sundresses, and weird pockets of sweat all over your body! This year, June 1st also marks the kickoff of the 2nd Annual Summer Essentials Sew-Along!

Every year, the first time warm weather hits, I realize that I have NO summer clothes. And every year I decide that I can power through the season wearing the same two tank tops over and over and over and that I can someone avoid wearing shorts all summer long, even though I work outside. As you can probably imagine, this strategy only results in the aforementioned weird pockets of sweat all over your body. But this summer will be different! My focus is going to be on adding breezy mix ‘n’ match separates to my wardrobe, as well as to sew things that will help me master new techniques (buttonholes! gathers! pleats!).

Without further ado, my 2ASESA plan (bold & italicized descriptions courtesy of Ali):

Poolside Pretties: Anything that cools or dries you off when there’s lots of sun and water around. One and two-piece swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, surf shorts, sun hats, oh my! One versatile swimsuit cover-up I find lovely is a terry cloth dress. Double-duty, that’s what I’m talking about. I’m waaaaayyyyyy too scared to try a swimsuit, so I’m thinking of doing a cover-up/dress in seersucker from vintage Advance 3335.

I'm so going to look like my crazy/awesome high school art teacher.

Clam Diggers & Co.: Bifurcated bottoms of every style and length, from flowing linen pants to short-shorts and all the inbetweens—clam diggers, pedal pushers, Bermuda shorts, etc. As I alluded to above, I have a pretty strong aversion to shorts. But I’m hoping to find and make a pair that turns me into a short lover, if only for the sake of comfort. Anyone have any suggestions for shorts patterns that are cute, girly, and not too skimpy?

Sweet & Sassy Skirts: Prints and solids, short and long, low-slung and high-waisted. But most of all: Airy, flirty, flattering. Skirts– now you’re talking! I’d like to make a mini version of Simplicity 2451, view D, in navy blue or gray twill. I’m also considering the Paper Bag Skirt from Adventures in Dressmaking‘s tutorial on Grosgrain.

Simplicity 2451

The Sundress: Need I say more? To me, the perfect sun dress strikes that chord between casual and elegant—arms and collarbones, looking good barefoot or high-heeled. It’s something you can wear to both a barbecue and a summer wedding. I LOVE sundresses!  They’re so sweet and easy to wear!  I’m planning to make Simplicity 3964 Built By Wendy as a sleeveless above-the-knee length dress in a peach striped cotton with dotted Swiss yoke details.  Does that count as a sundress?  If not, I like the looks of the Anna Maria Horner Socialite Dress pattern.  I also have a vintage pattern that I’m really excited to make, Advance 8295, but I’m not sure my skills are quite up to it just yet.   

Could this be the perfect sundress?

Tees, Tunics & Blouses: Yes, please! I’m finally understanding the worth of blouses as they also strike that balance between casual/formal, totally versatile. I’m also thinking mini-dresses that do triple duty as tunics, dresses and cover-ups.  Blouses!  I’m planning to start with the hot-off-the-press and FREE Colette pattern, the Sorbetto top, in a deep pink sheer cotton.  I’m also planning to do the Colette Violet blouse, and, if I have time, the Colette Sencha top so I’ll have plenty of options to wear with my new Ginger skirts!

Sorbetto (photo courtesy of Colette Patterns)

I also may try a simple tunic pattern from Sew Everything Workshop in a coral linen that I have in my little (but rapidly growing!) stash.

Those Summer Nights: Pullovers, cardis and hoodies may be the last thing you’re thinking of with the mercury rising, but there’s those cool summer nights, not to mention every last establishment with the air con blasting. Or: for those of you where thunderstorms are a daily summer experience, a lightweight trench?  None of these items are very high on my list of priorities, but maybe if I get through everything else on the list, I’ll stitch up something that fits this ticket. 

**NOTE** I’m much less a planner than I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, do-things-on-a-whim, loosey-goosey type, so don’t hate me too much if I deviate from the “plan”!!

4 responses

  1. Your plan sounds grand! I also have a strong aversion to shorts and quite frankly the idea of sewing pants scares me so unfortunately I have no suggestions there. I did however try the simple tunic from S.E.W. Everything Workshop as the first (and most disastrous!) project I attempted after taking my “learn to sew” class three years ago, and I do have some suggestions for that: If you have any curves at all, however slight, modify the pattern to add shaping! I’m not a big girl but the tunic made me look very pregnant and/or like a sack of potatoes. I think without modifications for shaping this tunic would only look good in a super tall and thin woman… then again, maybe you are super thin and tall in which case, sew away.


    • Hmmm, I’ll have to rethink the tunic. Or at the very least make a muslin first so I know what I’m dealing with before wasting good linen. Thanks for the heads’ up! Looking forward to seeing your projects this summer!


  2. Hi. I like your blog. I found it through Zo’s blog. I look forward to seeing the garments you stitch up this summer. (maybe my ambition needs a kick in the pants, too) — Margaret


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