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Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe Planning

(Oh, look at that! I made myself a fancy graphic.)

I’m jumping on the mini-wardrobe sewing bandwagon and planning a set of 10 (yep, 10!) pieces to make for this summer.

Now, I know you’d might ask, “Hey, Dixie, can you really make ten garments for this summer? Isn’t that a lot!?”

But then I’d tell you “Well, two pieces are already made. And besides, summer in Texas means the majority of the year so it’s March right now – I reasonably have about 8 months to make all of this stuff before I’ll have to go back to wearing pants again.” And then I’d give you a wink. 😉

That doesn’t mean I’m limited to only making the things in this wardrobe plan. I’m still going to sew lots of other stuff for fun but I like the idea of a handful of clothes that can easily interact with one another and that I can wear all summer.

I’m calling this mini-collection my Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe because, as you’ll see, it’s all shirts and shorts with a couple extras. No, I don’t hate dresses but dresses are outfits in themselves. There’s not much mixing and matching going. And last summer I realized that nearly all I wore was a few tops and a couple shorts!

How to decide what to make: After doing my wardrobe catalogue earlier this year I figured out what I wear most, what I wear least, and what gaps I need to fill. Because I practically live in shorts in the hot Texas summer I’m making (or using) some versatile shorts. I also need solid color tops that aren’t too plain. I need more blazers – ok, maybe I just want more blazers…

But I also wanted to incorporate some trends that I like – bright colors, bow blouses, chambray/denim, scallops, 70s vintage, and stripes. I also thought about what would be comfy in the summer – loose fitting, flowy tops that don’t stick to my skin.

The Color Scheme: I’m going with neutrals mixed with brights – I’ve got one bright top, one bright pair of shorts and a bright printed scarf. The rest are pretty neutral – gray, black, white, navy, and blue. I love using neutrals as a base and then spicing things up when I want to with a little color. I definitely wanted to incorporate some of the Spring 2012 Pantone colors.

The Shorts

The Shirts

  • The tennis tee – in white seersucker, a vintage McCall’s pattern from the 70s, #5526, I call it the tennis tee because when I first saw the image it reminded me of something someone would wear to tennis practice in the 70s.
  • The bow blouse – in floral rayon, self-drafted
  • The pearl snap button down – in gray chambray, possibly from BurdaStyle Magazine 3/12
  • The drop shoulder tee – in rayon knit stripe, also self drafted

The Extras

  • The printed scarf – in floral gauze, self drafted (probably just a big square)
  • The white blazer – in a white floral damask, haven’t found a pattern yet

The Extras are like support staff – just in case I want to mix it up or I need a summer blazer for cool restaurants.

Fabric sources: Stripe knit for the drop shoulder tee, Rayon Challis for the bow blouse.

There are some rules: each item has to work with at least three other items or outfits. Most of the tops work with most of the bottoms. I probably wouldn’t wear the scarf with the bow blouse because the bow is sort of a scarf in itself. Since I’m making the pearl snap button down out of a gray chambray I probably wouldn’t wear it with the chambray shorts but it would work with all the other shorts.

What about accessories? Since I began making nearly all my own clothes the only thing I get to enjoy shopping for are shoes and bags! I plan on buying a couple pairs of shoes for summer to replace old worn out shoes and maybe I’ll even make a couple bags?
Progress: I’m working on drafting the drop shoulder tee right now and if all goes well I plan on making a PDF pattern for it. Yay more patterns!

***I’ve been getting inspiration by looking at others people’s wardrobe plans. Are you doing a spring wardrobe this year? Let me know and I’ll check it out!

Also, a woman in my sewing group came up with the idea of doing a small workshop of sorts to plan a seasonal mini-wardrobe. Would you be interested in attending something like that and what would you want covered in the workshop?

Comments (13) for post “Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe Planning”

  • The colour scheme is really nice. I am never that organized. I just go from one fabric I like to another – which is why I have lots of nice clothes that don’t necessarily work together! I know what you mean about ten month summers; we have ten month winters here in Canada. I still wear my winter coat until early May but most of the blowing snow is finished in March. Happy sewing!

  • Oh awesome! I literally just finished making the sweet shorts – and I tell you what, the second you put them on – you’ll realised why they named them the sweet shorts!!! I too love shorts (and am more likely to wear separates than a dress) so am really looking forward to seeing how you’re other three work out so I can make them too!
    The tennis is is gorgeous!

  • So inspirational! There’s not much that gets me as excited as a good list, so I think I’ll be using this post to help me plan my summer sewing list. Thanks!

  • I love reading everyone’s sewing plans. I look forward to your reviews on the NL and PR shorts. I am wanting to make some shorts for this summer, as well.

  • Great plans! I really like your mix&match approach, and those are some seriously cute shorts!
    I’m still working on my plans for spring and summer, since we’re barely finishing up winter over here. I think it’ll be mainly dresses, since I have started working last month and I like being able to just throw a dress on in the morning without having to think about it.

    • Thanks! I think if I had a “real” job I’d make more dresses because they’re more work appropriate than short. I love not having to worry about co-coordinating an outfit with dresses.

  • How did your New Look shorts come out? I made a muslin of them recently and found them a bit frumpy even with a fair amount of tweaking. I feel like I wasn’t doing something quite right, it’d be neat to see another person’s version of them!

    • The shorts were really long and kind of flared. They also came up to about my belly button. I must be way shorter than the envelope model. I had to shorten them by about three inches before even adding the cuffs. I didn’t make the leg any more narrow but next time I’ll at least narrow the inner leg if not the outter leg, too. If I made them as-is with no changes they would have been majorly frumpy.

  • Great post! And HOLLA for making your own bags… I know where you can find a gazillion and a half patterns and books for bag-making. ;~)

  • Oh you might just have inspired me to set out to make some more clothing for summer.
    And have a plan for it all. – I need my colours to match :p

    If you do find a pattern for the blazer I would be interested as I love them but never can get shop bought ones to fit as I have weirdly wide arms it seems.

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