Monday, September 4, 2017

This year's summer makes

It looks like this year, summer had had an extra sharp eye on the calender, as it seems that with the beginning of September, the (already rather rare) warm days are over. Not that it has suddenly turned really cold, but the night temperatures have dropped quite a bit and that sharp, autumny smell has already started permeating the air - enough, that I'm longing for hot tea and spiced apple cider, and thinking about the pumpkin dishes I could make this week.

Oh well. It's a good thing I like the fall season. :-)

As I said, this year's summer felt a bit half-hearted, with lots of cloudy and rainy days, and just a few of those brilliantly hot ones in between. Being pregnant (and working until the beginning of August, and trying to get my thesis done in between), I guess I wasn't too sad about it, as it also meant that I did quite well with my usual complement of jersey/maxi dresses (which thankfully still fit pretty well) and the few "maternity" items I made.

I'm putting the "maternity" in quotes because I didn't use any special maternity patterns, and only one of them is slightly hacked for better belly coverage. I still have to say that I went a bit out of my comfort zone. My wardrobe attests that I tend to prefer fit-and-flare dresses/tops and a rather closer fit in general - and no trousers if I can avoid it (although my two pairs of Ginger jeans are well loved in spring and fall).

The two pairs of summer trousers I made got a lot of wear though, since they're breathy and comfy, even though I don't think they look "flattering", exactly. They also went well with pretty much any kind of weather, from slightly chilly to warm and humid, so definitely a win.

I didn't go for a special pattern, since someone on Instagram (sorry, I totally forgot who it was!) suggested modifying pjyama pants to get that slouchy summer trousers look, so I took out my copy of Tilly's "Love at first Stitch" and copied the Margot pyjama trouser pattern. This one I did modify, by adding a couple of inches to the front and back sideseam at the waist, tapering to nothing  at the hip. Because of fabric restrictions (I wanted to use the two pretty summer-weight prints I've had in my stash for a long time), both the rosy blue rayon version and the black cotton lace print one were shortened a bit - which was alright, since I don't have very long legs, anyway. Both versions have elastic waistbands and ankle seams, and side seam pockets, of course.
I don't think there's much more to say about these, they're really quick makes and the baggy fit makes them very forgiving (for growing baby bellys, ice cream, cake, chips and most kind of fitting troubles).

The tops I made to go with them are from a German indie pattern designer, Milchmonster's Lupita tank&dress. It's designed to be a simple A-line jersey top, tunic or dress, and works well with a baby belly. I actually made three versions, the one with the dots and the solid blue one, plus one in a nice medium blue interlock with white stripes, which I haven't managed to get any pictures of, somehow.
I'm not a hundred percent convinced about the A-line in tank tops, although I guess without a baby belly, you'd get a bit of a flowy line, which could be nice especially in lighter, drapey fabrics. As it is, I'll probably modify these three into regular tank tops at some point - but they do work well at the moment, and will transitions into fall and winter as layers for warmth.

The last couple of summers, one of my favorite things to wear has been maxi dresses. They look effortlessly chic no matter the time of day and work for all kinds of weathers, you can even slip on a pair of leggings underneath if it gets chilly in the evening, with no-one being the wiser. So it's probably hardly surprising that I made another one. I've been meaning to make one with spaghetti straps for a while, so for this version, I got out the Closet Case Files Sallie Jumpsuit & Maxi dress.
I love that it's got pockets, and the elastic waist works well both to give a bit of a waist illusion and to hold the maxi skirt up. I used a very soft, lightweight jersey with a star print, perfect to let a summer breeze through. 
And it really is the perfect summer garment - and took no modifications at all to cover my baby belly.

All these photos were taken on our vacation at the north sea, by the way. I'd never been before, it's beautiful (if very windy and occasionally chilly).
I'll finish up with the most surprising hit of my summer wardrobe sewing: the Sallie Jumpsuit.
I didn't think I was a jumpsuit person, but this feels so comfy and chic at the same time. It's a feeling I get with maxi dresses as well, but even with wearing my lacy Bandelettes, some days I have wanted to feel my legs separated by a layer of cloth - as funny as that may sound. ;-) As I said, the jumpsuit is a new look for me, but one I've grown to like. It helped that I get compliments for it, pretty much any time I wear it. ;-)
I didn't self-line the top, because my piece of fabric was too short (I even had to piece the shoulder ties), which was probably not the best idea. I sewed clear elastic to the neckline and turned&stitched it instead, which looks ok but was difficult at the v-neck, and definitely isn't as polished as lining it. Oh well.

It also features pockets and fits my baby belly unmodified, although I have been thinking about trying a modification with a looser, flowier top, where the elastic sits underneath the belly. Alas, I currently don't have the perfect fabric in my stash, and my to-sew-before-birth list is miles long, so probably not this pregnancy. ;-)

The next items on my to-sew list are the two dresses for my sister's wedding (a maternity Dirndl dress and something flowy and purple...) as well as a fall-appropriate jacket that is able to cover my belly. With three weeks to go, I guess I should get down to it (and that thesis that is still lurking)...

What are your plans for fall sewing?

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