Nikki’s Summer of Basics Plan

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So this year I’ve decided to try and join in with the #summerofbasics organised by Fringe Association after Pippa told me about it last month. This post is a little bit delayed as I have been super busy finishing off all my PhD stuff, but late is better than never!

The idea of summer of basics is to plan, make and document 3 handmade garments for your wardrobe which are going to be hard-working and fit in well with your wardrobe. The progress is shared on instagram using the hashtag #summerofbasics.

So my plan will potentially detail a few more than 3 items as I have recently got quite into sewing garments for everyday wear rather than bags and dresses for dancing! I discovered when trying to do me-made-may that I didn’t actually have that much in my handmade wardrobe so this summer is going to be all about trying to increase the number of handmade items I have, but trying to plan sensible items that I will actually wear frequently!

First I will put in my priorities for makes and then after that a number of other staples that I plan to make over the next few months.

1 – Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns

Jeans are such a staple of my wardrobe for most of the year (except when it is super hot) and I’ve been trying to replace some of my worn out highstreet pairs. I have all of the items to make these so I thought I should take the plunge and make a pair of jeans that will hopefully be a good fit and allow me to make more pairs and replace my highstreet jeans with me-made variations. In fact since this post has been a while in the writing I’ve actually started on these in the last few weeks. =) Since I’ve never made any trousers before I’m sure there will be lots of new techniques in this make, but fingers crossed it will go smoothly!

Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns

Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns

2 – Sasha Trousers – also by Closet Case Patterns

Well a second pair of trousers might be a bit ambitious… but I’m trying to build up a smart casual wardrobe that I can wear whilst at uni, at meetings, presentations etc. So a pair of nice basic trousers that go with lots of tops will be essential for this! I have a pair of beige chinos that I finally found after a long search on the high street, but not much else. The sasha trousers looks exactly like what I was searching for, so I am going to make a pair of these in navy blue to give me a dark pair of smart trousers that can be dressed up or down as I need.

I hope these won’t be too difficult to make, but again probably lots of new skills.


Sasha Trouser from Closet Case Patterns

3 – Oslo Cardigan by Seamwork

I like to layer, all the time… so cardigans are quite a staple of my wardrobe but I have either really lightweight cardigans or quite heavyweight ones, and no me-made ones. So I am planning a medium weight cardigan that will button up. Haven’t decided what fabric I will make it from yet though, I might need to source some new fabric for this. Also I might have to play around with the button placement.

Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork

Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork

Alongside those priority makes I have some other items to make over the summer that should hopefully fit into my wardrobe and give me a much better handmade wardrobe.

Everyday t-shirts – loose fitting t-shirts for good layering and wearing around on lazy days. I have a few potential patterns for these. A modified Aberdeen by Seamwork, the Laundry day tee by Love Notions and a self drafted pattern that was inspired by some highstreet tops that I wear *all* the time. This is also something on my make nine so it’s been in the planning for a little while.

Skirt – I am very much lacking in simple plain skirts that aren’t dance skirts. I want a skirt that goes with lots of tops and isn’t too short. I’m thinking of making a just above knee shirt from scuba. Probably in a dark colour like navy, and some form of circle variation. We’ll see what I can draft up for this.

Shorts – chino style shorts that are mid-thigh. Whenever I go out to try and find shorts on the highstreet they are always so short! I want a pair of shorts that are longer so I don’t feel like my whole leg is on show! I’m not quite sure what pattern to base this on though.

I have a couple of pairs of highstreet shorts (one fat face, the other from the men’s section of primark) that might inspire me. One is quite similar to the sasha trouser and the other is more jeans like. I want a fairly relaxed fit on the thigh though so this might take a bit of adjustment.

Shirt – this is a project that is on my make nine. I’m thinking probably the butterick b5997 as this is a style I love to wear but I don’t really have enough shirts in my wardrobe. I have quite a lot of viscose around so hopefully I have the fabric around. I’ve never made a shirt before though, so again more skills.

Pyjamas – I absolutely love pyjamas, but at the moment my pyjamas all seem to be mismatched old t-shirts and shorts. So I’m thinking a new pyjama set would be a lovely thing to make. I tend to where very different pyjamas depending on the weather, so I would potentially need to have a separate summer set and winter set. Or I could make a collection of different items that were based off the same colour palette and complementary fabric prints. Might need a bit more pattern research for this first though.

Well I’ve definitely got a lot planned for my summer sewing makes. I guess I’m a bit lucky that at the moment I have quite a lot of time to sew, might as well make the most of it! I also have some other makes planned on my make-nine which gives me lots to be getting on with!


What are your summer sewing plans? Are you getting involved with any sewing challenges or have you set yourself any specific goals? I’d love to hear about them.


1 thought on “Nikki’s Summer of Basics Plan

  1. tinaor

    I like the idea of being organised enough to make (and share how you do it) three things on here! Wish you well with it all. I have recently made some great shorts but they are definitely casual, show off quite a bit of leg but are mega easy and fun to wear. PJs are a great call – they are on my list of things to make soon – I am thinking if I make an error or two it won’t matter if they are just for me to wear to lounge in or to wear to bed!


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