Summer Wardrobe (Part 2) Wins and Fails

The Seamwork Rhett Jacket and the Love Notions Melody Dolman were big wins in my summer wardrobe and both have gotten a lot of wear.

I’m back! It’s only taken me 3 months to get around to writing this, but I’ve discovered that I prefer sewing (and my new obsession, knitting) to actually writing about it. However, since I posted a Part 1, I figured I should at least add a Part 2 and finish off my Summer Capsule Wardrobe. I had a couple more successes and two big ol’ fails.

Success: Seamwork Patterns Rhett Jacket:

I had 30 yards of white denim that I purchased to make a slipcover for my family room sectional and then realized that a white slipcover and black dogs was a dumb combination. So I made the slipcover from dirt-colored linen and have been using the white denim for all sorts of other projects. So far my very favorite has been this jacket. This is the Seamwork Rhett Jacket, size 8, without any adjustments. And I absolutely love it. The style works with a variety of garments and it’s easy to throw on over most anything. Rhett is a big winner and there will definitely be more in my future. I think I will try one in linen next.

Success: Love Notions Melody Dolman

I’ve made a few other Melodys. It’s a fast project with results that look like you really spent a lot of time on it. I hacked this one a bit to play with the checks of this gingham. The Melody pattern has a cut-on facing that you just fold over so I had to cut it off and make a separate button placket. None of it difficult, I just had to remember to add the correct seam allowances. Love Notions generally uses a ⅜” seam allowance but I finally decided to make my new seam allowances a half inch since the squares of the gingham were a half and then I had some nice straight lines I could cut on. I was happy with the results. My husband said, “Oooh, Mary Ann!” (And if you get that reference, you are old—like me😉)

Fail: French Navy Calyer Pants

I have made the Calyer Pants three times before and I LOVE the pattern! They have the comfort of an elastic waist but the trim look of a traditional flat front. Both of my fails were due to a mismatch of fabric and pattern. I had ordered this yarn dyed linen from Fabrics-store.com . I love their linen and they have about a million colors. However, I didn’t really check out the specifications for this particular linen and it wasn’t the right weight and it just grows and grows and grows about five minutes after you put it on. Initially I was so pleased with my new pants until I saw a picture of my backside…Oh, dear! I’m not sure how to save them so they may just live as a reminder of what doesn’t work.

Yep, same pants! The picture on the left was taken by my husband while I was fitting them. They look pretty good-I can live with the few lines that are there. The picture on the right was also taken by my husband because, well, he thought I should know! Dang! Even I can’t live with pants like that!
It’s so difficult to photograph white and I wasn’t really feeling this outfit anyway so I only took a few.

Fail: Love Notions Rhapsody 

Like the Calyer Pants, I have made several versions of the Rhapsody. It is one of my favorite patterns and it is super versatile. I had been saving this beautiful lightweight burnout fabric for the perfect project and I thought this was it. I thought I wanted a very floaty, boho type top but what I got was a nightgown. I added width to the back and then gathered it all up, and yep, nightgown! Fortunately, this one can be saved and maybe some day I’ll get around to doing it.

Seeing it hanging here, this is really a beautiful top! And look at those French seams!

Fail: True Bias Lander Pants

I never actually got past the muslin stage of the Landers. Although I’ve made them before, I was never really happy with the fit and now that I’ve put on a solid Covid Ten I just couldn’t even get close to a fit I could live with. Sadly, I think this pattern just isn’t for me.

Too much pulling around my belly and too much fabric from my crotch! The back wasn’t any better. I tinkered with the fit for a couple of days and it just wasn’t happening without completely redrafting the pattern. I’m not that kind of sewist! I’m fine just getting a decent fit instead of a perfect fit but I couldn’t get anything even close with the True Bias Landers.
Looking back at my original plans, I had some hits and a couple of slight misses and one great big fail. I did make some white shorts which I haven’t photographed although they’ve been in heavy rotation. But now it’s on to fall planning!!

*All Love Notions links are affiliate links. As you can see, it really is my favorite pattern company and I have way more success that fails with them!

Sewing a Summer Capsule Wardrobe (part 1)

I had so much fun planning a capsule wardrobe and now it’s time to actually start sewing. Since I no longer have a job to go to every day, I want my summer wardrobe to be easy, comfortable, effortless, and most of all cool! As in—it’s 95 degrees and I want as few clothes as possible on my body—cool! For me a pair of easy fitting, easy wearing shorts fits that category perfectly. And it just so happens that I have the perfect pattern for those kinds of shorts, The Love Notions Allegro*.

This pattern has options for shorts in two lengths, two skirts, and three options of pants. It can be made in lightweight, breezy cotton or linen which suit my style just perfectly. Lucky for me, Tami, the designer of Love Notions was updating the pattern and I got to test out the changes. A bit of fullness in the original pattern was removed and the rise was lengthened a bit. Sizes have changed to numerical sizing and go up to a 30 now, so there’s something for everyone with this pattern. And it’s on sale right now. If you already own it, you just have to download the updated version-easy peasy!

I used the My Body Model app to plan my shorts and think about which fabric I already had in my stash that would work for the pattern and work with lots of different tops. I originally thought I would use linen but then I came across this lightweight denim-y fabric that I thought would work well. The fabric was purchased a couple of years ago at Textile Fabrics in Nashville and leftover from another project. To tie them into the rest of the capsule, I planned a few red bar tacks and a red draw string at the waist.

So now there was nothing left but to sew them! Since the waistband is elastic, fitting is an easy matter. Although my measurements mostly put me in a size 10, I sized down to an 8 to create a somewhat fitted pair of shorts. I made a slight “flat seat adjustment” and added a smidge of room at the inner thighs. Both of those are very typical adjustments for me. Actual construction is quick and easy and the direction are clear so that gave me a little freedom to add details like the red bar tacks. However, looking at the pictures I can see that I might have over corrected as I’ve got some weird pulling there.

I doubt I’ll tuck my shirt into these shorts very often but I’m really pleased with the touches of red at the pockets!

After the shorts were constructed, I moved on to the La Bella Donna top*, also from Love Notions. I’ve had this really fabulous knit stripe fabric from Blackbird Fabrics that I’ve been afraid to use because I loved it so much. (Why do we do that?) I finally decided to go with a foolproof pattern that I knew I would wear. La Bella Donna is a great wardrobe staple that takes very little time to stitch up. I did hand-baste all of my stripes before I ran them through the serger to make sure those stripes matched up.

So now I’ve got one entire outfit finished for my summer capsule! I like sewing a top and then a bottom so that I’ve got something ready to wear right from the start. This outfit is mostly blue so I’m going to work on red and white next.

*All highlighted Love Notions patterns are affiliate links which means I earn a very small commission if you buy the pattern from this link. Love Notions patterns are the only affiliate links I use because I really love the patterns!