Summer Sewing Plans

When summer finally rolls around, I have a bit more free time. So… it’s time to line up some seasonal sewing projects! With the rather sudden arrival of much warmer weather, I’m discovering some gaping holes in my wardrobe. Namely, I have no shorts. I also lack warm weather tops that aren’t form-fitting, sweat-showing knit. On the less practical side, I’ve got a friend’s wedding to attend and am excited for the chance to do some special occasion sewing. Finally, I love wearing skirts and dresses in the summertime, and that area of my closet could use some size/ color updating. Plus, I have two projects that have been languishing in my drawer for far too long, and need to be finished.

I’ll link to finished projects as I post them!

PS. the links included in this post are not affiliate links, they are just for image credit/ information.

Seamwork Harrington

Harrington short in linen, by Seamwork

I have four pairs of running shorts in frequent rotation, and exactly nothing made of anything other than parachute material. So. Time to sew some shorts!

Yes, I know this pattern is intended to be made with athletic material, but I loved the linen version shown on the pattern page. I bought a few yards of Robert Kaufman linen, along with some dotted chambray (after seeing the cute chambray Seamwork shorts another sewist made) and plan to make a couple of pairs for myself and my husband.

(Images + fabrics from… images link to fabric purchase page)

I’ve been a Seamwork subscriber for seven months already, but I’ve only sewn one pattern so far (the Akita blouse). I’m a little nervous to sew this one up, because I cannot find a single blog or review of this pattern anywhere online. I’ve read extensive accounts of Seamwork patterns being hit-or-miss, especially in the fit department. The Harrington shorts are intended as a men’s pattern, and I usually like the way men’s pants and shorts fit me. I plan to sew the pair for my husband first (he’s one size up from me) to see how the overall fit is, and make adjustments from there. Don’t worry, he’s a willing guinea pig.

Made with Moxie Prefontaine Shorts

(Prefontaine Shorts pattern for women and kids available on

I might have plenty of running shorts, but all of them are lined  with compression unders and are not terribly comfortable for just lounging around in (or running errands, or using as a bathing suit cover-up, or whatever other casual non-running activity I have going on). My daughter is also in dire need of shorts. She has several pairs, but she is between ready-to-wear sizes and the ones I bought her for this season usually end up falling off her tiny-even-when-diapered booty.

While I was perusing reviews of various Seamwork shorts patterns, I discovered the Prefontaine shorts reviewed on Sie Macht. Pretty much everything appealed to me about this pattern: retro styling, pockets, long-enough inseam, suggested use of upcycled materials, just ONE yard of fabric (hellooooo stash-buster!). And there was a bundle discount for the women’s and kids’ patterns! Score!

I think these will get made this very week, so stay tuned!

Shantung Dress with Roses from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book

I love an excuse to wear a fancy dress, especially since such excuses come around pretty rarely in these parts. My husband’s one bachelor-holdout friend is getting married at the end of the month (on our wedding anniversary!). It will probably be the last wedding we’re invited to for a while, unless people start getting divorced and remarried, or unless we make some more single friends. Neither of those things seems terribly likely right now.

My husband is also in the wedding, and will be wearing a tux (!!!!!), so I decided to make something a little special.

(Note: this is the first time ever that I will see my husband in a tuxedo in person– he wore a regular suit for our own wedding)

(image via Pinterest, links to book purchase)

I have about 2.5 yards of baby blue dupioni from a dress I intended to make for my own rehearsal dinner but never got around to. I checked with the store where I bought it 5 years ago to see if they could match it. There was a similar-looking swatch on their website, and they very kindly said they’d send me a sample. Pending being able to find more of that fabric, I plan to make the Shantung Dress with Roses from Gertie’s most recent book. If I’m not able to get more of the fabric, I will likely make the pattern I originally intended to use, Vogue 1242. I’m not super excited about the idea of a sheath dress, though… it feels a little too “cocktail party”-ish rather than “fun summer wedding”-ish. Or maybe it’s just that the lady on the envelope looks older than me, and I don’t want to feel older than I already am. Fingers crossed for the fabric!

Seamwork Akita

This will be my second Akita blouse– the first that I made has become a wardrobe staple. I wear it at least once a week, and I’m sure that my students are getting sick of seeing it. One of them even commented that I seem to coordinate my PowerPoint slide patterns with the print on my shirt. She wasn’t wrong.

I *might* like this shirt so much because of the amazing Cotton + Steel rayon I picked for it. I love absolutely everything about this fabric. The texture, the drape, the pattern, even how it seems to be fairly wrinkle-resistant fresh out of the dryer (at least, I haven’t ironed it yet…). It’s a dream to sew with, and I would like every blouse I own to be made from it, please.

(Image + fabric from, links to fabric purchase page)

For my second Akita, I stuck with the C+S rayon, but went with a floral print this time. They have several collaborations with Rifle Paper Co., and this design is from the first collection. There are a couple of tiny fit adjustments I’d like to make on this second iteration, but otherwise I’m hoping this will be a straightforward project.

Colette Aster

As I said above, I’ve been a Seamwork subscriber for seven months. And I was super psyched when they started letting subscribers use their pattern credits for Colette patterns, because I had accumulated quite a few.

(Cotton + Steel Poplin Navy Diamonds via

One of the patterns I selected was the Aster. I need some new tops that can double as out-in-public weekend wear (with jeans or shorts) and classroom-appropriate wear (with a skirt and cardigan). I plan to do a combination of version 1 — short sleeves, with version 2 — pleated bodice. And I have more C+S rayon, naturally.

FYI, there’s also a sew-along available here.

McCall’s Pleated Skirt (M5591)

These last two projects have been sitting in the docket, with all necessary supplies, for more than three years. I have several really good excuses, I promise! You see, I had a baby, finished writing my dissertation, and then moved cross-country. Twice. So, not much summer sewing since 2013, I’m afraid.

Actually, I first learned about this pattern from this blog post, which means this project has been sitting in my drawer for FIVE. YEARS. Oof. Okay, well… this month. I’m finally going to sew it.

(Day Dreamer by Benartex Fabric, no longer available)

I found a mini-bolt of this fabric at a quilt shop where my mother-in-law lives, and should have enough left over to make a skirt for my daughter, too. I plan to make version C, most likely without the trim.

McCall’s Shirtdress (M6696)

This seems to be a pattern with a solid reputation among bloggers (understatement!). Like the skirt above, it has been sitting in my drawer for far too long. Last but definitely not least, I plan to make version A in a lightweight pink ditzy print cotton from Jo-Ann Fabrics (which is sadly no longer available).

One thought on “Summer Sewing Plans

  1. Erin Van Handel says:

    Glad you found my review of the Prefontaine shorts helpful! I’m actually wearing my pair today (it’s like summer in May here in Wisconsin, woohoo!). I love that pattern.

    I’m also sewing the M6696! I love the classic look. You could wear that in any decade and look chic. Good luck with it!

    Looks like you’ve got some cool stuff planned for the summer!

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