(Hint: I’m not talking about face masks!)
I am so tempted to start this post like A Tale of Two Cities, you know, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” That whole bit. Because honestly it feels like nothing has changed, and yet EVERYTHING has changed. The days go by slowly, and yet time is flying by… or is it the other way around? Either way, I’ve been keeping myself busy with my Delightfully Kristi Etsy shop, sewing and selling masks in a steady stream. But aside from face masks, I’ve also been carving out some time for my own summer sewing, which is way more exciting!
Before I jump in, I just wanted to share that we’re having a big Labor Day Sale in the shop starting now and running through the first week of September. Nearly everything in the shop – including a ton of cute face masks – will be 20% off! If you check it out, I would be eternally grateful – thanks!!
First Up: Peppermint Playsuit Romper Hack
After a fairly long dry spell, I got my “sewjo” back early on in the summer with a super fun pattern hack that I had been ruminating over for a while. I finally decided to set pencil to paper and carefully drew out what I wanted. Luckily, it came out exactly as I imagined and, if possible, even more comfortable! I would wear this thing every day if I could (I’ve gotten close…), until the heat wave hit, of course.
I used the free Peppermint Playsuit pattern as the basis of my design and then hacked it to make it ankle length with patch pockets and sewn-in straps. If I make this again, I think I would make the straps adjustable with some bra strap hardware. But I actually think that is the only change I would make…! Have I mentioned how comfortable this thing is??
The fabric I used is a great t-shirt weight cotton knit with a fun Deathly Hallows symbol print that I got from JoAnn’s well over a year ago. I think at the time I bought it I had planned to make some fun leggings, but I am so glad I held out for the perfect pattern, because this was it!
Next: Self-Drafted Bike Shorts V.1
Okay, next up on the Summer Sewing list was a pair of bike shorts. For my birthday, I was gifted a JoAnn’s gift card so naturally I went browsing for fabric. I happened upon this super lovely double brushed poly knit, perfect for athletic leggings, and I just couldn’t resist! I also bought a slightly thinner athletic knit material in olive green to use for a wearable muslin. In order to get a perfectly dialed in fit, I knew I was going to have to make at least one muslin.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me share the photo of the tester version of the bike shorts in the green fabric. (Above) I knew I wanted to try a wearable muslin because my original plan was to use the Aires leggings pattern by Seamwork. While the pattern and instructions were great, I found that there were several changed I wanted to make. Mostly, having to adjust the angle and length of the rise, the waist, and removing the gusset. The gusset wasn’t necessarily a problem, it just didn’t add anything to this pattern for me, personally. Once I mentally worked through all those changes, I realized that I might as well use my own leggings sloper. Years ago I used the Burda leggings sloper course to create my own legging block which I knew fit my body perfectly already. Duh.
Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained, right? While the Aires pattern wasn’t exactly what I wanted, it’s always good to try out new patterns and test my skills. Once I switched to my custom hand-drafted legging sloper, the fit was much closer to what I wanted! Technically the first pair of green bike shorts is my second attempt. BUT it is Version 1 of the pattern that I eventually ended up loving and using to create yet another pair.
Which Brings Us To: Bike Shorts V.2
From the get go, I knew I wanted to make a pair of bike shorts with those handy pockets on the sides for my cell phone. Once I had dialed in the pattern with Version 1, it was time for Version 2 with pockets. The only other adjustments I made were to bring the waist in just a teensy bit more. I really wanted that nice compression fit from this lovely double brushed poly fabric.
To add the side pockets was simple. I basically drew two lines down the center of the main leg pattern piece, splitting the pattern piece into three sections. That created a front, a back and a strip down the middle where the pocket would go. Then I added seam allowance to each of those pieces and created a shorter copy of the middle section, which became my pocket piece. You can kind of see what I mean from my drawings below, I hope. Then I sewed everything up and voila!
I feel like the pockets on the sides sit a little higher than they do on RTW leggings, but I don’t mind the placement. Either way, I’ve been wearing all three pairs of bike shorts on a steady rotation. It’s basically all I want to wear in this hot end-of-summer weather. I’m already dreaming up a couple more versions in softer cotton knit material. Maybe I’ll use fun colors like hot pink or dark purple like I used to wear constantly as a 90’s kid!
Last One: Sew DIY Summer Tank Top
Last, but certainly not least, I was lucky enough to be chosen as a tester for the Summer Sweatsuit pattern by Beth from Sew DIY. While I was very tempted to make a whole matching set like the pattern allows, I opted to just sew the tank top. After all, I had already made three pairs of shorts at this point! I’m so glad I did, however, because the tank top fit me perfectly! The only adjustment I made was to shorten the length slightly. It’s actually recommended to check the length in the pattern since it’s drafted for a person with a height of 5’10.
This turned out to be an excellent “summer sewing” pattern, too, because it made the perfect lightweight pajama tank top. I used a super soft cotton knit, again from JoAnn’s that I also bought years ago. JoAnn’s has this line of fabrics for kids called “Doodles” that has the comfiest knits in really cute prints. Obviously a lot of the designs are fairly juvenile, but not all of them are, and honestly, for pajamas, I don’t really care. The pattern was very straightforward and took me very little time to sew up with my serger. If you’re looking for great basic wardrobe staples, and patterns that are simple yet versatile, I always recommend Sew DIY! (You can see the Lou Box Dress I made here!)
Let’s Wrap It Up!
Well, I think that about sums up my summer sewing adventures. I also made a bralette and a matching robe, both of which I also shared on my Instagram. For the robe, I used the Almada pattern from Seamwork. While the robe itself came out absolutely beautiful, it’s not the most functional item of clothing. I would say it’s definitely more for looks than for running out to the front yard in the morning to grab the paper. Although, does anyone eve do that anymore? Whatever, you know what I mean!
Have you been doing any sewing this summer? I’d love to hear what patterns you’ve been sewing and wearing! As always, thanks for reading!
P.S. I know I used a lot of links in this post. I just wanted to add that, actually, none of them are affiliate links. I’m simply linking to companies or patterns to be informative and because I love sharing things that I love! :)