What do you wear in the heat of summer allowing for a coastal breeze? If you’re me, you get on board the Winter Wear Designs (WWD) summer Style blog tour and create something comfortable and cool. Earlier this week I explained how I used a capsule wardrobe concept to make a summer wardrobe – then forgot to pack it for my vacation. I’ve been living in my bikinis, 2 pairs of shorts and 2 tanks all week!
I’ve been beach combing my entire life. Growing up on the South coast of England means you’re never far from the sea or a river. I have a collection of rocks that I use as pattern weights, and they’re all labelled with their places of origin. As such, it wasn’t hard to think of inspiration for my Beach Combing post. A big hat offering shade, some comfy stretchy long shorts and a loose top. Maybe add a cardi for those windy days.
To put my vision into reality I chose three WWD patterns, the Twin Peaks cardigan, Aviator knee length shorts and the Journey top (and a cheap black tank I already owned). I am not sure anyone will really recognize any of the items as, being true to the spirit of this tour I have hacked the heck out of them.
For my cropped Twin Peaks cardigan I started with a lovely soft grey cotton jersey. It probably has lycra in it but has been in my stash for a while and I am pretty hopeless at remembering fabric contents once they’re washed. I wasn’t well in April and craved a bed jacket. You know, the type they wore in the 50’s and 60’s? Well, a friend of mine offered to make me one if I gave her the pattern. It took all my energy to prepare the pattern and write some instructions as this lady lives rurally and doesn’t have the internet. I measured my side underarm to ileac crest (top of the hip bone) for length, cropped the sleeves to just below elbow length, and left off the front band. It actually took about 1m of fabric for an XL. I like that its multi-functional and I can wear it both as a bed jacket and as a cropped cardigan.
Following on from my Capsule theme I thought I’d make some knee length shorts to wear with my cardi; after all I had spare fabric! I do like the Aviator pattern. It has a ton of options including knee length shorts with a knit hem band, which stops them riding up above my knee. I also like a pop of colour, so added a coordinating pocket. I also love that WWD is gradually converting her PDF patterns into projector patterns. … more space for fabric!
Now for something cool and airy to finish off my outfit. I chose a shot burgundy Jason Yenter quilting cotton. Yenter fabric is soft, almost … not silk like … but much finer than cotton. I love the softness and how it moves with me. Well, before you go any further, let me say that the outfit Alyssa (from the Sewing Goatherd) made with the Journey dress / top as a base was a lot less stressful or difficult than mine.
I thought the Journey top would make a great summer breezy top. I used the flutter sleeves to make shoulder wide straps, cut eight of them, then sewed them in pairs to have 4 long straps to tie. Note – the straps are at least 2″ wide, which doesn’t make for pretty bows! I cut the bodice at its ‘with gathers’ size – both front and back. I trimmed the top yoke bands roughly 2″ (finished) height to fit at my underarms – creativity at its finest! Sadly, I needed to add some volume (thanks hips) in the back, but you can’t see that! It wasn’t as easy as my vision thought. I measured the length in my side from armpit to mid hip (where I wanted it to finish). This gave a flattering breezy silhouette. The original Journey pattern has different yoke heights under the armsyce on each side and it took some creative sewing to end up with my final result. I love it! I also have no idea just how much I altered it to end up with the Love Factor!!! Yep, just follow Alyssa’s lead … really. Unless you are a masochist!
… and that folks, is my Beach combing outfit.