The weather’s finally starting to warm up after some freak snow last weekend and my thoughts are turning to summer clothes. I don’t have any weddings to go to this year, so I can concentrate on the clothes I wear day-to-day. I’m determined to make more clothes I’ll wear regularly – more cake and less frosting, if you like. Here are some ideas I’ve been pinning.
I started by listing the things I do each week and the kind of clothes they demand:
- Walking the dog. I do three or four long hilly walks over the Malvern Hills each week, so I need some lightweight trousers or shorts and knit tops, or possibly sportswear to wear with my hiking boots or walking shoes.
- Childcare. Summer days mean lots of playing in the garden, trips to the park, and generally crawling around on hands and knees with a side order of chores. Everything has to be machine-washable, and surprisingly warm – where I’d walk faster or move more to keep warm, a two-year old often can’t keep up or is too tired. So good options are T-shirts,and other non-iron tops, jeans and trousers, lightweight jumpers, plus the odd relaxed-feel skirt or dress. Usual footwear: trainers. And there are to be no delicate fabrics in this category…
- Working from home and weekends. These categories are virtually the same. So for summer that’s lightweight skirts and trousers, the odd woven top, along with yet more knit tops and jumpers.
- Child-free days (and the odd evening out). There really aren’t many of these! But when I do break out of my usual routine, it might involve lunch with friends, an evening at the cinema with Mr Wardrobe, or a day trip for shopping or culture. I’m not a high heels kinda person, so a skirt or trousers with a smart top that will go with flats is probably the order of the day. And it’s time to upgrade from my childcare-appropriate hiking waterproof to a more grown-up summer jacket or raincoat.
- Nightwear. A very neglected catgeory! I badly need a dressing gown that won’t make me too hot in warmer weather – as well as something to sleep in on warm nights.
These are the clothes I reach for every day; and they’re currently the RTW clothes I grumble about every day because they don’t fit properly, or they’ve faded or shrunk or fallen apart.
Translating all that into patterns and fabrics, my ideal summer wardrobe probably needs:
- Two more pairs of Thurlow trousers, including one in linen or a linen blend and possibly some Thurlow shorts or Grainline Maritime shorts
- Some leggings for working out – perhaps from Sewaholic’s Vancouver collection
- Two midweight simple knee-length A-line skirts from my own block, one in the red-border-embroidered denim I bought last year
- Four knit tops in different sleeve lengths, necklines and colours – from either the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern in my stash or the one I’m drafting myself
- A couple of cardigans or jumpers in lightweight yarns – sadly these will probably be RTW, unless I get round to trying the Style Arc Nina pattern that I’ve admired so much on Karen and Mary
- A shirt or two, pattern still to be pondered over
- Another Lisette Traveler shirtdress (Simplicity 2246) in a chambray or linen
- A Closet Case Files Sallie jumpsuit in the teal jersey I bought in March
- The Caro robe in this gorgeous plum Art Gallery voile I’ve been eyeing up
- A Tilly and the Buttons Fifi set in cotton lawn
- Jeans! Probably the flared version of the Closet Case Files Gingers
- One woven top, perhaps the Colette Sorbetto, or a Big 4 pattern I have lurking in my stash
- A trenchcoat like Allie J’s or possibly the Ziggi biker jacket.
- A new swimsuit
Hmm. That’s way more than I’ll manage to make this year.
I suppose it gives me a longlist to work from. Stay tuned to find out which ones make it to the cutting table before October…