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What are you sewing this summer?

crafty_gal | Posted in General Discussion on

What sewing projects are you working on this summer?


  1. damascusannie | | #1

    IF, I get my gardening caught up, I have a couple of period costumes I'd like to make before the autumn quilt shows. Other than that, it's mostly quilting as usual. I also have some great fabric for a couple of summer dresses or long skirts if I ever get around to making them up.

  2. sewslow67 | | #2

    My husband wants us to take dancing lessons this fall (do I feel lucky, or what?), so I'm going to make a couple of "dancing dresses" when we return from our trip.  I have the fabrics and both are a lovely weight of rayon ...and both are prints.  I've been saving them for something special, and I've decided that this is it.

    I haven't danced though, since I was in college so it's been ...yeah, a lot of years!  Hopefully, I can find both feet ...and that they will actually move in the right direction and rhythm.

    1. mary4u | | #16

      Good, good, good for you! My husband and I began to dance again (since college) after our 4 children were born. There is no high school prom or college dance that makes you feel as special as going to a dance with your husband. I love making the dresses. Dancing just brings out a special oneness. And the dresses can be so much more than just what you would wear to some other event. We've been married 37 years and my husband still loves to turn on the music after diner and dance even here at home. The kids love it that we still dance and sometimes even ask for lessons. Have fun. You're going to love it.

      1. rodezzy | | #17

        That is the most lovely and romantic thing I've heard in years.  I can just visualize you two, swirling around to the music as the music swirls inside your souls.  I too love to dance, I just don't have a partner.  I love music and I understand how music speaks to your body when you dance with a partner.  Lovely, lovely indeed.  You are so blessed.  I love the swirling dresses that flow about you as you twirl.  When I go out Chicago Steppin, I love to wear swirly, flowing skirts and dresses, and the men that are real Chicago Steppers love to spin the ladies in the beautiful swirling outfits.  I love it.  It's a beautiful thing.

  3. DONNAKAYE | | #3

    Actually, I'm preparing a garment for the Readers' Closet, but I can't tell you about it.  I want it to be a surprise.  Ariel Price w/Threads staff suggested a Readers' Closet with Simp 4032.  I'm having a blast getting it ready.  Hope all ends well, you know?

    Otherwise, stitching a tank top and matching slim slacks in black with a red pinstripe; an asymmetrical jacket, underlined with flannel and lined with china silk; a poet's blouse which I started last fall but am just getting around to finishing (a navy georgette printed with coral roses; Ambiance underlining; circle yoke; regulation neckline); a matching flannel robe set for myself and my best friend; oh, and, of course, cleaning up the sewing room.  Did I mention cleaning up the sewing room?  Organizing notions, fabrics, patterns?

    Recently purchased Wild Ginger Pattern Master Boutique and having a blast with it.  Haven't tried any patterns yet, but will -- hopefully sooner rather than later.

    Not to mention RTW alterations -- all in length, 'cause I'm only 5'2"; repairs to RTW like buttons, zippers, ad nauseam.  Oh, and just finished crocheting an afghan for hubby, who has complained since we're married that everybody gets an afghan except poor him.....donna


    1. geriroyer | | #4

      So far, I have made two dresses for some of our docents at Sutter's Fort in Sacramento. I need to make at least two undershirts for a friend, a linen vest for another friend, knee britches and a shirt for my hubby, a corset for another friend and then if I can get all that caught up, I'll be able to make myself a couple of new dresses for Sutter's Fort.I forgot that I've made myself a couple of petticoats and have a chemise cut out to get made this weekend.I'd love to make a couple of simple camp shirts for myself but I need to get the other projects caught up first since I'm getting paid to make most of them.

  4. CharlieLee | | #5

    I'm not really sewing this summer.  I have become hooked on hand embroidery.  My most recent stitching was for a birthday gift for one of my granddaughters, all scenes  of summer.  It is at the framers now!  When I do sew, it is unually things for my home or myself. 

    Am I the only one doing hand embroidery?  I find it most relaxing.

    1. damascusannie | | #7

      I don't do much embroidery any more, but I have a couple of on-going hand applique projects going.

    2. passion | | #11

      You are most definitely not alone, aside from the knitting/leather sewing I have also been enjoying hand embroidery.  My projects seem to be all about purses for the last couple of years.  I have also joined a quilting group, but hadn't yet done a quilt.  My solution?  Buy up all of the silk samples I can get a hold of, crazy quilt them into larger pieces and embroider/bead/sequin or what ever else I can think of all over them. Once that is done, I cut the pieces into purse shapes and sew them togethe.  There are some so ornate that I have them on the dining room tea wagon, and when company comes, I put a small glass vase inside and fill that with flowers.

      Embroidering is the portable part of the project and we have been spending a lot of time on the road.  It has been very satisfying and a terrivic creative outlet. 

      1. CharlieLee | | #14

        Thank you for answering.  I was beginning to think I was the only person who had rather hand stitch than sew or knit.  I feel that embroidery, needlepoint, and quilting will live on for generations. And I feel your purses will also.  Do you give them to family, sell them or just simply enjoy having them in your home ? They sound exquisite. Do continue to enjoy!  We might be a little different, but oh, do we have FUN!

        Edited 7/14/2008 6:38 am ET by CharlieLee

    3. sewelegant | | #26

      I am glad to know you are hand embroidering, it has been a favorite pastime of mine almost all my life.  It's like painting with a needle and thread.  I got hooked on cross stitch and would itch to do another one as soon as I completed a project.  My one dismay is the way hand embroidery is treated in antique shops.  I have found the most amazingly beautiful hand embroidered handkerchiefs for the same price as a mass produced printed one, sometimes even less.  Most of my output has been given to others, but I found I needed to frame them myself to give them some importance!  I found it a challenge to try to make the back as neat as the front.  Have you?  I knew I had succeeded when one of my sisters took her "gift" to the frame shop and she reported back to me how impressed the framer was... I think it also made her more appreciative.  I hope you continue to enjoy this craft as much as I have.

      1. CharlieLee | | #28

        I haven't been embroidering long.  My Mother and her sister did beautiful work, but not one offered to teach me.  I've often wondered why, but I guess I'll never know.  Maybe they were too busy.

        I taught myself to knit and to needlepoint and still enjoy both.  I'm not sure why I had such an urge to learn how to embroidery.  I did ask my favorite shop if they had classes and the owner offered to get me started.  And since that first stitch, I've loved stitching.  At about the same time, I found the magazine, "Inspiration" and true LOVE began!

        As for framing, I haven't been brave enough to try it myself.  I have a friend who has a framing shop and she does all my work.  It isn't cheap, but it is perfect.  I have recently finished a design by Sandra Workman of Pine Mountain designs for one of my granddaughters,  "Signs of August" and it is perfect for an August 9th birthday.  I have recently started a stitching for her sister, "Signs of October" for an October 3oth birthday.  Please check out Sandra's designs.  They are fun!

        Thank you for writing me.  Right now you are the only one I know who loves embroidery.


        1. sewelegant | | #29

          There is a wonderful little spiral bound booklet by Ginnie Thompson titled Linen Stitches and in the back she shows how to finish and mount your finished piece.  I have done this ever since the time I went to a frame-it-yourself shop and the counter person took my piece into the back room to "mount" it and came back with it stapled to the inner frame and all the excess fabric was whacked off as if she had taken a saw to it!  I was mortified.  In the book, her method shows how to mount it to a matboard using pins and then how to hand stitch it securely before removing the pins and you don't have to trim any excess fabric and it is quite easy.  You might find this book in the local cross stitch shop, I did see one in ours a couple years ago.  It has a 1987 copyright date.   I do not frame it myself anymore, but do the preliminary prep if it's something I think is worth it.

          1. starzoe | | #30

            In the summer I like to spend as much time as possible outside but I just had to make a pair of pants (not that I needed any). I came across a huge linen tablecloth in the stash, something a friend had given me years and years ago and immediately thought "this will make a fabulous pair of pants", so went to work.It took me the whole morning to lay out my pattern between the stains and 1 1/2 hours to actually sew it, finish it and wear it. Wore it again today - perfect fit, perfect quality linen. Love them, will wear them probably for many years to come.

          2. pinkit | | #31

            Hi Starzoe:  Great to hear you made pants from a table cloth.  I just saw a Nancy's Nothion show where a lady was useing tablecloths to make jackets/blouses.  She has designed a pattern so that you can use the cloths with borders for collar, cuff or hem.  She also used some old damask table linens and had over dyed them to cover any old stains.  I thought the damask idea was great because I have some old cloths of my MOM's with stains impossible to get out that might make a good jacket.  Let me know if you find another table cloth and what you do with it.  Congratulations!

          3. starzoe | | #32

            A long time ago, at least 35 years, I bought on sale two heavy linen tableclothes. They had fine navy blue squares. From one I made a bias skirt which I wore for years until I blossomed out of it, and I still have the largest one, about a banquet size. I keep looking at it but there is too much for a jacket and too much for pants and it really wouldn't look good as a suit, which I don't wear anymore anyway. One of these days I shall find the perfect use for it...maybe even as a tablecloth. Perhaps my sons and their families will eventually get it intact and I hope they appreciate what they have!I also have sewn loose tops from finer tablecloths. I always get compliments, mostly from sewers. I have more fun making something from unusual fabric pieces than just buying fabric. I have another heavy linen tablecloth, white with black spirally things and I think it is going to be a shower curtain one of these days in my black and white bathroom.

          4. pinkit | | #33

            Hi Starzoe:  All those projects with table linens sound great.  The black and white swirls would be terrific in a bathroom.  I know how you feel about the large table linens.  I haven't had the courage to work with them yet.  As I said, some have stains and the program I saw suggested overdyeing them.  That is another adventure all together.  Like you, I expect that someday my sister or children might be interested in the linens if I never get to do anything with them.  Happy sewing!

          5. starzoe | | #34

            I think that those who suggested overdyeing soiled linen had no experience with the actual doing of it. In my experience, overdyeing stains will work only in limited occasions, and table linens is not one of them.

          6. fiberfan | | #41

            Dyes are transparent and will not cover stains.  A deliberately un-even dye may camouflage the stains.


          7. CharlieLee | | #36

            Thank you for the suggestions.  The cost of framing in unreal, and after hearing  the nightmare  story of your trip to a you-frame- yourself shop, I sure won't be trying that. Surely someone knows where I could buy the book, "Linen Stitches" by Ginnie Thompson.  Why, I bet there are many others who would also like to have a copy.  Folks, let us hear from you!


          8. starzoe | | #37

            Michaels does a good job of framing (at least here). There's usually coupon in the weekend newspaper, well worth using.

          9. sewslow67 | | #38

            I just did a search for you on the Internet, and found several copies.  Here is a link where you can buy one (or more for gifts, if you want).  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=%22Linen+Stitches%22+by+Ginnie+Thompson&x=19&y=17

            The prices vary quite a lot and, since they are old, there is no guarantee as to the condition, but here they are just the same.  Good luck ...and enjoy.  ;-)

          10. CharlieLee | | #39

            Thanks!  You did all the work, and now I'll see what I can find.

          11. sewslow67 | | #40

            You are most welcome; I hope you find the one you want and that it gives you years of enjoyment.  ;-)

  5. passion | | #6

    This summer has been a difficult one for me on the sewing front, my days are filled with issues surrounding my mother's health so we are on the road a lot travelling to her home.

    To help fill my creative need, I have taken up knitting, I know this isn't the same, but what I have discovered are some pretty interesting ways to combine my new love of knitting and sewing.  This year I have been knitting and felting, lots of purses.  Since I love to sew with leather, I have combined the two for some pretty interesting results.  The bodies of the bags are, for the most part knit, and once done and felted, I make handles, exterior pockets, and flaps from leather pieces that I have on hand left over from leather garments I have made.  Sewing leather is a joy and very easy.  Rubber cement, a teflon foot and the right sewing needle is about all of the special equipment needed.  Now, when being driven, I love to knit and work on the next project, I want to move on to combining my knitting and leather sewing in garments for the Fall/Winter.


    1. sewsyourmama | | #8

      This sounds fascinating. Could you show a picture of some of these projects?

      1. passion | | #9

        I'll be happy to as soon as I figure out how to do it.  I'll take some close up photos and post them asap


  6. From my Stash.... | | #10

    Just found out two days ago that we've just been invited to a wedding in mid-August so there's been a change in my plans. 

    I was going to make a jacket from some beautiful light green Valentino silk and a pair of dress pants from a silver grey heavier silk, but now I'm going to set the pants aside and find either a coordinating silk chiffon for a short skirt or something else for a simple dress.  I did think about using the grey silk for the dress, but I don't want to use it for that as the pants will be more useful.  Unfortunately,  I bought the end of the bolt and there is nothing extra to even make a skirt.     

    So by the time I've made and fitted a couple of muslins and then the garments, maybe make a small clutch purse to go with the jacket (this drifted into my mind this morning so it's not fully thought out), and made a couple of camisoles, that will be about the end of my July and early August sewing. 

    After the sewing for the wedding, I'll make the grey pants as I will be able to wear them into the fall and for winter parties along with two pair of pants in noile (one in brown and one in navy).

    I'm heading out later this morning to go fabric shopping and you know what that's like - just when you have an idea of what you want, you can't find it. As an example of serendipity, I fell in love with the green silk when I was just browsing in one of my favourite specialty fabric stores a couple of weeks ago, so all that needs to be changed for the wedding is the style of the jacket

  7. User avater
    Balencia | | #12

    Hi Crafty gal, I have been making a dress for my little 5 year old which we have named the chitty bang bang dolly (the one that is in the box that is given to the children hater king for his birthday.  I finished it but she is not keen - never mind.  I am making her a white broderie anglaise number now toning the theme down a bit -just white with blood red velvet sleeves. 

    My aim though is to  master a sports jacket in those lovely lycra windproof and waterproof materials with nice quilting interlining and fleece lining - wanted to make the pattern but cannot find any books for pattern making with those types of designs in - any knowledge on the subject? 

    So you can see I ave some work to go before summer over but really tend to leave anything major til cold nights!  how about you - what you doing crafty gal? by4now - les

  8. Mo_in_MO | | #13

    Hi, I am new to the group.

    I am getting ready for a fashion show for a large guild show in my area.  I have a pieced jacket almost done and am hand sewing the binding around the edges now.  The matching purse is still in pieces but the machine embroidery and quilting are done.  The second outfit is a long vest and pants in poly linin in pastel colors that I am planning out today.  I want to put different fabric manipulated tucks and designs on the long panels of the vest.  The machine embroidered purse is done and needs a lining.  The 3rd jacket design is planned but not started.  I hope to work on the embroidered purse for it soon.  I have to have the outfits somewhat put together for the pictures and entry info the end of July.  The outfits do not need to be finished till the middle of September so I will leave the linings and buttons, etc till later.  Tomorrow we are going out of town for my husband's brothers's 50th Anniversary get together.  I am the designated photographer. 

  9. sewforit | | #15

    My daughter and I found a cute pattern, Butterick B5049 and she made the dress and overblouse and I just made a top and the overblouse.  I had trouble with the pointed tie and now I'm helping her with it.  I don't like how they wanted it done so I'm doing my own thing.  It's a 2" bias edging with a point at the tie end.  Why 2"???


  10. rodezzy | | #18

    I cut out a strapless denim dress last night.  Plan to finish tonite.  I hope it fits.  I'm going to hand baste the seams first and do my best to make any adjustments I can, I'm such a wimp when it comes to fitted clothing for myself.  Wish me guidance ladies.

    1. GailAnn | | #19

      Hi Miss Rodezzy!  I love denim made into non-traditional garments.  Happy sewing.  Do post us a picture please.  Gail

      1. rodezzy | | #20

        Yes, it came out pretty good.  I made a very simple bleached out blue jean fabric dress last night, I want it to fray at the hem and arm/neck edges, I stitched a decorative stitch around those areas in pink.  I have it on today. 

        I have some white 100% cotton twill that I will be making a vintage halter dress from, I will be picking up the zipper for it today.  Very excited about this one, hope it turns out O.K.  I am determined to use the fabric I purchased in Feb/Mar.  Yes, I'm sewing and crocheting.  I made a capelet last week from the black/white double strand.  I don't expect any challenges in fitting this white dress as the skirt is flared and the bodice is made separately I only have to add .5 inch to the skirt seams slightly below the waist.  Therefore, not altering the waist.  I can cut the bodice and top of the skirt at the same size lines, then alter out to the larger size line for the appropriate hip circumference needed.  So, I'm excited because that will be easy. 

        View Image

        Above pattern for first blue jean dress.

        Below pattern for white twill.

        View Image

        Butterick 5214

        Edited 7/18/2008 9:38 am ET by rodezzy

        1. GailAnn | | #21


          I had a white halter dinner dress, back in the '80s, and (as we say in Missouri) I "wore the tail off of it" (translation: I wore it completely out).  Loved it!

          I really like that Simplicity pattern, is that one of the new ones out this year as a response to Project Runway?  Very youthful, not to childish........Gail


          1. rodezzy | | #22

            Ha Ha, thanks sounds like a very delightful dress.  You really loved that one.  Doesn't it feel good when you look good in something you made.

            No, its not a runway project design.  I did purchase one of the blouses from the project runway designs.  Haven't purchased fabric yet.  I often buy patterns and have yet to make most of the patterns I've purchased.  But the good thing is, when I purchase fabric I love and get in the mood to sew, I can usually match it with a pattern I purchased when the patterns were on sale. 

            Butterick patterns will be .99 cents starting tomorrow, and I will be there to get the ones I missed at Hancocks last weekend.  The white Butterick dress pattern was .99 cents at Hancocks last week.  I couldn't get any of the other ones I wanted, they were gone, so I plan to be at JoAnn Fabrics early to get those for .99 tomorrow.

  11. fhl | | #23

    This is my first time here.  It sounds like there are a lot of fun projects going on this summer!  I have lots of friends who have had babies this summer, so I've been making baby outfits.  When I get caught up, I'm going to try my hand at a small quilt for my living room.  I'm making it from scraps given to me by family and friends.

  12. Cherrypops | | #24

    I am sewing Absolutely Nothing!

    It is Winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

    This is an international forum, and although the Magazine is based in the United States, Australians and New Zealanders do buy Threads and are very active members here.

    We have asked many times for members to fill in their Locations on their profile. It helps with adding links to suppliers and online shops.


    Loving winter, but looking forward to Summer Down Under.


    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #25

      Ok Cherrypops, What are you sewing for Winter down under? Cathy

  13. MarieCurie | | #27

    Uniform blouses for my daughter.  She starts kindergarden in Sep, and the blouses from the uniform company are mostly polyester.  I think she'll be more comfortable in cotton, and since I can make one for $2.70 of white cotton fabric, and pretty them up a little bit for my princess, it's worth it.

  14. polycrafter | | #35

    I am making myself a swimsuit! I'm also teaching my DDs to sew, so a lot of doll clothes and whatever other things they fancy.

    My other sewing "project" is to finally figure out how to get my embroidery unit (I have a Husqvarna Viking #1+) to work with me, not against me!

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