The weather has heated up, the semester is over, the house move is done, the chaos has (mostly) settled, and I’m already sick of how much washing I’m doing. Time to make more summer clothes!

In terms of fabrics, I’m probably going to be working in linen and linen blends a lot. I’m finding that cotton just doesn’t cut it for the heat, and I am skeptical of the claims that lightweight wool is comfortable in the heat. I’ve invested in some extra-wide linen from The Drapery to make kingsize bedsheets with as well (and I sincerely hope that they do Slate in the regular width, it is a gorgeous colour) as I’m finding that there’s just no good balance between durability and suffocating-ness with cotton sheets.

As a tip for the interested - I worked out that those extra-wide linens would be cheaper to buy and make into fitted and flat sheets than it would be to buy them pre-made for queensize and above beds. For a double bed, it’s not a major saving, and I couldn’t find pricing on single bed sets in linen. I’ve been considering investing in making some linen sheets for a while now - my toile fabric is my worn-out bedsheets, and while it’s partly because I buy the cheapest sets and don’t look after them too well, I’m very annoyed by how rapidly they wear out. I’m told that linen sheets will last practically forever, and if linen clothing is anything to go on they’ll be much more comfortable in summer. (And all that ironing is a good arm endurance workout.)

Pants and skirts

I have one pair of blue cotton pants to finish hemming and adding some nice pretty cuffs to (I want to make use of one of the sari silk borders on it too, but I haven’t quite worked out how yet). I want to do some kind of vest top to go with it, but I haven’t looked into that at all.

I’ve also recently bought a pattern - Thread Theory’s Jedediah chinos - to make for my SO. I don’t know how they’ll adapt to my body shape though, so I’m going to finish deconstructing an old pair of jeans to compare them.

The pattern packet for the Thread Theory Jedediah pattern. It is brown cardboard, with line art of the finished pants (view 1) and the shorts version (view 2) on it. It's closed with two round riveted pieces, connected with a string.

For this, I’ll have to learn how to blend two different sizes on the pattern together. My prevailing theory is that the reason my SO’s jeans wear through very quickly on the inner thigh (towards the crotch) is that the seat and butt area don’t fit him correctly. It seems easier to blend the correct size of seat onto a size down in the legs, but I have yet to see if I’m right about the fitting - it could well be that I need to size up somewhere else, or do some kind of butt adjustment. (Is that a thing? It should be a thing.)

As to skirts…I was eyeing the Sew Liberated Gypsum pattern, but I could likely just make a panelled skirt with pockets. I just want something for roadtrips ahead of Rowany 2019. (It’s a bit of a story…)

Dresses

I still haven’t gotten to fixing up my 14thC cotes’ sleeves - I’ll get to it eventually, the craft room is still being unpacked - but I do have three dress patterns to work on.

Arum is the easiest and should need the least alteration; I already have a toile underway, for a size 38 (I fall in between 36 and 38, but since this is a pattern for woven fabric I’m leaning towards the larger size) but I’ve hit a snag with the sleeves that I’ll hopefully post more about later. (The sleeves feel both too big and like they’re sitting too low, but I haven’t yet done enough research to figure out what kind of adjustment I need.)

At some point I’ll need to add to this toile to figure out adding a hood; I feel like it’d look really good with one, plus that would be useful for inclement weather and keeping the sun off.

The pattern packet for the Deer & Doe Arum pattern. It has a silhouette illustration of the finished dress on the front in black on a tan background, with 'Robe Arum' in white text behind it.
Half of an arum dress in brown cotton fabric, lying on a grey tiled floor; next to it is a white pattern piece. The instruction booklet is just beyond it.

I actually finished the toile after I took this photo, but I don't have a photo of the finished toile and it's still in Adelaide.

Fielder is going to need some changes; I don’t like ribbing (and it can be hard to find) so I’m planning to use bias binding instead. But, that means lengthening the sleeves and raising/tightening the neckline accordingly. Factory is the one I’m feeling the least confident about making it look good; it’s very close to the kind of dress that’s usually in school uniforms, and those just never look good on anyone. I also picked up the Papercut Meridian wrap dress (for wovens; another wrap dress pattern I had found was for stretch fabrics only) which I’ll likely leave until last.

The pattern packet for the Merchant & Mills Fielder dress. The title is at the top, which the blurb: 'The fielder is based on a traditional sweatshirt. Imagined in linen with a matching cotton rib, it features 3/4 length raglan sleeves & inseam side pockets. This pattern incorporates both dress & top varieties. Below this is a photograph a woman with blonde hair wearing a dark blue version of the dress while standing in an alleyway with brick walls to the left; to the right, there is a line art diagram of the dress itself. Below this, the fabric requirements, suitable fabrics, sizing and notions are listed.
The pattern packet for the Merchant & Mills Factory dress. The title is above a photograph of a woman with blonde hair wearing a gray version of this dress; below the photograph is a line art diagram of the back and front of the dress. To the right is the pattern blurb: 'A smart and easy to make statement dress, inspired by generations of industrious women with things to do in style. Features bust darts, front skirt tucks, a straight collar and dropped shirt sleeves with rolled cuff finish.' Below this is listed suitable fabrics, quired notions, fabric requirements and sizing.
The pattern packet for the Papercut Meridian wrap dress. It is brown cardboard, closed with a large round Papercut Patterns sticker in dark pink with white text and logo. Below this is a small sticker with the pattern's title and blurb: 'An elegant trans-seasonal statement dress. Featuring front wrap-around ties, back button and loop closure with invisible zipper, front and back neck facings, front and back pleats on skirt, long or short sleeve option & two skirt lengths.' Below the blurb are line art illustrations of the front and back of the dress, showing sleeve and skirt length variations; below this is a table of fabric requirements.

Shirts and tops

I haven’t yet figured out my vest top to go with the blue pants, or found a pattern that I can work with. Something like a blouse with no sleeves might even work, though I want to add very light and loose sleeves as well. I also won’t say no to a poet-type shirt in linen, though perhaps sans the ruffles.

Aside from that, I have the T-shirt option from the Arum pattern, as well as this ridiculously complicated shirt pattern.

The pattern packet for the Cashmerette Harrison shirt pattern. At the top is the title and pattern blurb: 'The Harrison Shirt is a button-down shirt that won't gape over curves! Designed with double princess seams for a curvy-friendly fit, this pattern features classic tailoring details: a two-piece collar, yoke and placket, seperate button bands, and buttoned cuffs.' Below this and to the left are line art diagrams of the front and back of the shirt, and to the right is information on fabric, notions, the sizing chart, and fabric requirements.
A close-up of the diagram from the pattern packet, showing that the front of the shirt is made in six panels, and the back also in four panels.

Yes, that’s right - the front is made in six panels, the back in four. That’s what happens when you want to get fabric to fit nicely around a curve. Oh, and those are inset sleeves. Again.

I’ll be making the Harrison on-size for my Mum (she fits perfectly into the range for a 12C) and then working out how to grade down about 3 sizes almost everywhere to fit myself.

Dining kit and other reusables

I’m always on the lookout for lightweight linen remnants that I can use to make napkins or another teatowel, while I work on my (mundane) dining kit. I have a knife, fork, spoon, and enamel mug; I’m hoping to add to this a reusable silicone straw and a teaspoon, and some reusable fabric teabags. I’m looking for an ultra-light but durable open-weave cotton or linen that’s fairly cheap; I’ll be making (effectively) some drawstring pouches big enough to fit 1tsp of tea leaves plus plenty of room to circulate. Ideally, I’d like the fabric to be smooth enough that the leaves can be washed out easily, but I doubt that’ll happen.

I also need to work on some non-breakable but tiny loose-leaf containers. I was thinking waxed cotton envelope-style pouches; plain fabric tends to end up with the leaves getting more stuck to it than anything else, and leather would need to be lined to avoid the same. The tin from the Tao of Tea that I bought years ago is doing alright for holding sugar cubes for now, but too big and bulky for smaller bags. I want to make waxed fabric wraps anyway (they’re $25-$40 new per pack, so I’d rather make them) and some small drawstring bags for bulk dry goods. And a waxed bag for my snacks.

Lastly, I want to make some more belt pouches - open, foldover, and drawstring - for regular use. If I can get some nice leather, I might try making some more and nicer wide belts to go with my dresses.

In the meantime, I’m whipping up a quick alternative to my veil and wimple from some lovely linen gauze from The Drapery, and when I find my linen Skjoldeham hood I’ll hem it so I have that. The place I now live at has room for us to set up archery butts as well, so at some point I’m hoping to make a quick set of arming caps to go under my archery helmet, so I can start getting used to wearing that. I can also use the arming cap pattern to make a cap to go under my bicycle helmet so it stops tangling my hair, and so it doesn’t touch my face (since it’s easier to wash a cap than the helmet).

I have a lot to do, and it’s already December.


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