My summer uniform 2019

So, it feels like summer is slowly coming to an end. Time to take stock on my summer wardrobe. First of all, I love summer, it’s my absolute favourite season to sew for! So it’s not surprising that my sewing output for summer clothes is pretty high, which gives me a lot of garments to play with and figure out my ideal summer style. And guys this year I really figured out the formula for the perfect outfit!

Give me a pair of Persephones (long or short), a loose fitting top (preferably a Roscoe or a Blaire) and a pair of comfortable shoes. This really is my ideal summer uniform. (That and linen sack dresses, a love that’s well documented on this blog). I’m so glad that I’m finally at a stage where I’m this happy with my wardrobe, in terms of shapes but also fabrics and colour scheme.

It won’t come as a surprise to any of you that the Anna Allen Clothing Persephone Pants and Shorts made it on the list. These are my fourth and fifth pair and they go perfectly with the rest of my wardrobe.

I’ve been dreaming about a natural white pair for ages but couldn’t find a good quality natural bull denim. Then during the move I realised that I had enough heavy weight bull denim left over from my Tello Jacket to squeeze out a pair of Persephones. And by “squeeze out” I really mean squeeze out! I didn’t even have enough fabric for a second pocket. Instead I decided to make it a feature and topstitch the one pocket. I’ve been meaning to try that out, as I find the pocket bags move around too much for my taste. I have to say I love the look. Though if I do this again, I will move the pocket slightly over towards the fly front to give it a more balanced look.

There is not much I can say about the construction of the Persephone at this stage. You can read about my adjustments here and here. The one thing I will mention though is that I batch-sewed these together with the shorts and it was amazing how quickly they came together. To speed up the process I decided to go with a top-stitching colour that would coordinate with both the natural white and the terracotta fabric. On top of that I finished the seams with a zigzag and used a triple stitch with the same thread to get the look of a top-stitching thread. That way I didn’t have to change threads at all. This is such a fast way to produce two garments at the same time! And I love the contrasting top stitching on both.

I paired the white Persephones with a True Bias Roscoe Blouse. This blouse had been on my to-sew-list for ages but I only managed to sew it up for the first time earlier this year. I can’t believe I’ve waited so long! It’s the perfect blouse; so easy to wear and I just love those sleeves. I also really like how it looks in this linen fabric which gives the blouse a bit more structure than intended, and I’m totally into it. I will definitely need to make more of these.

A quick note on this colour. I’m completely obsessed with anything khaki/olive lately. This blouse though was originally a mustardy colour (see here). I loved the original colour but unfortunately the fabric faded like crazy in the wash and looked really worn out. To put the blouse back in rotation I decided to just dye it in a colour that I had lying around (Dylon hand wash dye in olive green) and I couldn’t love it more. It’s like having a brand new garment, and it goes so well with these Persephones.

Another favourite pairing is the Persephone with my trusty Style Arc Blaire Shirt. I made this back in 2017 and it’s been in heavy rotation ever since. The fabric is some white linen that I dyed with avocado skins and pits. If you are interested in the process, you can read about it here. Even though it’s been worn on repeat for more than two years now, I’m really happy with how the colour has held up. I’ve washed it a good number of times on a gentle cycle and the colour has not faded much. It has changed slightly in hue though through all the sun exposure and is now a little bit warmer in colour. I actually love the fact that natural colours shift and change over time.

This pairing of garments is so great for hot summer days. The linen of the shirt keeps me cool and comfortable and while the shorts are short the high waist balances the shortness nicely and I don’t feel too exposed.

The fabric for these shorts is actually the same as my long pair of Persephones. I had to play another round of pattern tetris to make them work with the piece I had left over. Luckily these shorts don’t use up a lot of fabric; great for scraps!

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about these shoes. If you have followed me on Instagram or have seen me in real life this summer, you know that I’ve been wearing these leather Huaraches non-stop.

There is a little back story to these shoes. The Germany based shoe company CANO Shoes reached out to me last year to ask if I would promote their Kickstarter campaign. As you’ll know, I rarely do collaborations and in that case, they didn’t have a product for me to test, so I felt uncomfortable to promote a product that I didn’t know. However, I had been looking for the perfect pair of Huaraches for years, and never really found any that were ethically produced, easy to purchase in Europe and fit my style. So in the end I decided to back their kick-starter with my own money for a pair of their Huaraches as a reward. Lucky for me they managed to raise enough funds and when I got back from Japan this May, these Mara Huaraches in Natural Cognac were waiting for me.

I have to say these are great shoes. They took maybe a week to break in, but now they are the most comfortable pair of shoes that I own. They are perfect for summer as they let your feet breathe but still look like a closed shoe. And in my opinion they go with everything, trousers and dresses alike.

So when CANO contacted me again, because they are having a summer sale, I decided to collaborate with them after all. It’s a beautifully crafted product and I love their mission on transparency and sustainability. If you have been looking for a pair of leather shoes for summer you can get them here.

And if you are more interested in making shoes than buying them, I encourage you to check out their Instagram where they regularly give insights into the shoe making process (check out their highlight on boots, so fascinating!).

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. If you use the above links to purchase a CANO product, I will receive a small commission from the sale with no extra cost for you.

Ogden + Flint = The Perfect Pair

Today I bring you the perfect Indie summer pair. The True Bias Ogden and the Megan Nielsen Flint. Two patterns that you can’t escape in the Indie sewing world.

I’m probably the last person on earth to make the Ogden. Everyone seems to have made it and is raving about it. To be honest when the pattern came out I wasn’t that tempted to buy it. While I do appreciate a good cami, I wasn’t completely sold by the deep v in the back and overall it seemed to be too simple a pattern to spend my money on it. However, when Indiesew released their 2017 Spring/Summer collection, I bought the full bundle. Mainly for the Hampton Jean Jacket and the Highlands Wrap Dress but I was also quite excited to see what all the fuss around the Ogden was about.

I decided to make a first version of the Ogden with some viscose crepe from Ditto Fabrics. I’ve been looking for viscose crepe since someone had mentioned online that it was one of their favourite fabrics (I can’t remember who though). Ditto fabrics stock this crepe in a couple of different colours but for some reason I went with this magenta, which is a colour I don’t often wear. When it arrived I was really impressed by the nice texture and drape of the fabric. The fabric does wrinkle quite easily but also straightens out when it’s hanging freely. My original plan for the fabric was the Highlands Wrap Dress; however, the colour is quite loud so I wasn’t sure if I would like it as a full dress. So I decided to make a Ogden instead, to see if I even enjoyed wearing this colour (disclaimer: I do!).

I made a straight size 6, which corresponds to my bust and waist measurement. Due to the ease of the pattern I decided to not grade up at the hip. The fit I would say is spot on. It’s quite loose, which I love for a casual summer top. I finished the side seams with french seams, the facing is only pinked. Overall it was a very quick sew. The only thing that took a little bit longer, was determining the best strap length. I cut the straps longer than the pattern suggested, to have some room to experiment. The final length is very close to the originally suggested length though. Even though the pattern suggests it, I still haven’t added a tag to the back of the cami. I really should! The different sides look very similar and I’m sure half the time I’m wearing it the wrong way around. Oops…

Next up the Flint. While I’m still not sure about the whole culottes trend I had the pattern on my radar, in particular because of the interesting cross-over closure hidden in the pocket and the cute little ties. Since I didn’t have a specific project in mind; however, I just made a mental note and didn’t buy it straight away. Then the other day, when I was fabric shopping in Abingdon at Masons with the lovely Lamorna, I came across this mustard cotton twill and thought of the Flint. I very much prefer a paper pattern over pdf (too much cutting and taping!) and bought the pattern from Fabric Godmother (actually the only place in the UK that had it, in all the other shops it was either out of stock or arriving soon). I cut a size M, which according to the measurements was slightly too wide at the waist and too tight at the hip but I figured, the darts and pleats at the waist would allow for an easy taking in, and the cut of the leg was very wide already, so a couple of centimetres difference would not be an issue. In the end I had to indeed take the waist in by roughly 3 cm (through the back darts and the back centre seam). The legs on the other hand were actually super wide and I slightly took them in through the crotch seam to avoid weird fabric pooling between the legs. I also shortened the shorts at the hem by 3 cm to look a little bit less like I was going on safari (not sure if I succeeded there…). Shortening the hem meant that the bottom of the pockets were caught in the hem, which actually helps the pockets sitting forward when putting the shorts on.

The most exciting part of these shorts are of course the vintage inspired opening in the pockets. I like the clean look of high waisted shorts without a front fly, but I’m not a massive fan of side or back zippers. So this solution is genius! So neat! I lined the pockets with this cute blue and white striped cotton which in my opinion goes perfectly with the mustard fabric. In addition to the ties, the shorts are closed with a hidden button. I did debate whether to do the ties or the closure only with buttons, the latter being a bit more practical if I want to wear a top over the shorts. In the end the cuteness of the ties won (they were one of the features that attracted me to the pattern after all). So how do I like the final shorts? I think overall they are really cute. This pattern has some really lovely details. I’m not 100% happy with the fit though. This medium weight twill is not very forgiving (in a more drapey fabric these issues might not show up at all). Around the backside the shorts could be a little bit snugger, just to avoid some weird folds of excess fabric at the centre seam. At the front the combination of the waistband not being snug enough (and the shorts riding down a little bit) and the release tucks at the front result in some poofiness. For a next iteration I might turn the tucks into darts to avoid some of that. Overall they are really wearable though and even got husband approval.

So all in all, I can really understand why everyone is going crazy over these two patterns. Both are quite simple and quick makes with super thorough instructions. The result are some great wardrobe basics which pair super well together. I actually love both looks the top tucked in or loose. This colour combination is actually something completely new to me, both not my usual colours but I really like them, individually and together. I already put this outfit to the test at a summer barbecue on the hot weekend that we just had. The perfect pair!