crafts · patterns · Sewing

The rest of summer sewing

I divide the year up into three seasons:

1. So cold I have to wear a sweater (ie Winter, but really only January and maybe February)

2. Actually warm enough that I can go without sleeves (except in the case of air conditioning) (Summer, but really only July and August.)

3. Most of the year

I am certainly more cold natured than warm, so it’s lucky that I live in a (relatively) mild climate.  I don’t mind the hot, humid summers at all, though people around me are complaining right now (average high this week: 93, with a ton of humidity.)

What this means for my sewing is that I need to make a whole lot of transitional items, and not so many things that can only be worn in extreme temperatures.  It’s mid july, which means I should probably think about the rest of my summer sewing.  So here are the ideas I have for the next few weeks:

Butterick 5490 in cotton/silk twill.

I’m almost definitely making this next.  I like the pleating on the skirt, and I’ve been searching all summer for a pattern to go with this fabric.  I’m thinking of doing the waistband in a contrasting fabric, what do you think?  I like the mismatched print on the envelope, but my print is smaller, so it wouldn’t look as good.  I think a contrasting colored band could look neat, or perhaps just black.  I’m taking a swatch with me to the fabric store this afternoon to figure things out.

Vogue 1086, a Tracy Reese design, in rayon challis.  I was thinking of using this for the ruffle dress I finished yesterday, but since I liked my muslin I’m repurposing this fabric.  I love this design, and I think the print would work well – all the gathers around the waistband save me from too much matching!

I also want to make at least one of these open backed designs.  I have some nice quality solid colored rayon challis that might be nice – both designs require a lot of drape, and I’m not currently buying 4-ply silk!

The magenta is pretty accurate, but the green is lighter and brighter in real life – more of a seafoam green.  I really love rayon challis, if you can’t tell… it breathes, and it sews so beautifully!  I also have this nice silk/cotton blend.

It’s more of a burgundy in real life.   I fear the shininess of this fabric, though I suppose I could use the wrong side, which is not shiny.  I might save this fabric for fall, since it is a more subdued color.

So there you go: my updated sewing plan for the rest of summer.  I do, of course, have more things planned that could technically be called summer, but these are the ones I feel like need hot weather!

19 thoughts on “The rest of summer sewing

  1. Ooh – pretty options! Your wardrobe must be full of nice dresses by now. Yesterdays dress looked lovely on you – I thought the colours really suited you.
    If you can’t find a suitable contrast for the midriff of #1, piping could look quite nice too.
    I love the design of the leopard cut-out-back dress, although you don’t really see it with that print! I think it would work nicely in rayon challis because it is so drapy. Happy sewing!

  2. I guess great minds think alike! I just saw that Butterick pattern on sale at and was thinking of getting it, and I thought of that blue floral fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics when I saw it!!! We seem to be on the same page lately!!! I love your picks – can’t wait to see them all made up :)))

  3. I love your selections – fabrics and patterns!I agree with Sherry’s idea of piping (dress fabric,not contrasting) at the midriff.I especially adore the blue/brown combination.My mind’s eye tells me that a contrasting midriff would result in a chopped up look. The fabric has a beautiful drape so a continuous flow would be more eye pleasing. Oh boy, I sound way too technical for this early on a Sunday morning!

  4. I wanted to suggest piping for Butterick 5490, too. I wouldn´t go with black for the midriff band,but maybe it´s just my monitor fooling me colour-wise and you know better. Anyway, have fun sewing those gorgeous dresses! The open-back ones will look especially great on you!


  5. I also love rayon challis, my part of the world is hot 7/12 months so its nice to be able to wear a fabric that keeps one cool. It also helps that most of the time I can get it for $4/yd 🙂

    Nice picks for the remainder of summer!

  6. Fun! Lots of pretty things on your summer to-do list. I have the pattern for that Tracy Reese dress so I’m looking forward to your version!

  7. For your contrasting colour — maybe something that echoes some of the colours in the dress, like bright blue or brown? Let us know how it goes!

  8. I am also going to start Butterick 5490! I’m doing it in a black/lavender/rust print with a contrasting solid rust midriff. I didn’t think of the piping as others suggested but that would be nice too. Looking forward to your progress as I am a beginner and any help is so appreciated.

  9. You are so encouraging with all your projects. I haven’t sewn in years, but, I’m tempted to start again after seeing all of your lovely projects. Thanks.

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