Sewing The Classic Summer Wardrobe (Part 1)

There are 5 quintessential pieces every classic summer wardrobe needs; A button up shirt, a white jean, a flowy trouser, a knit tee shirt dress, and a shirt dress. Sure you could just run out and buy them, but sewing your own pieces ensures you get the best quality fabric to stand the test of time, and the best fit for your body type.

Living here in Texas, my summer wardrobe is basically my year-round wardrobe, so I have sewn quite a few of these basic pieces. Here are the top 5 pieces I think make for a classic summer wardrobe.

1. A Button Up Shirt

Sewn in lightweight cotton, linen, chambray, poplin, batiste, or even rayon challis, a white shirt is a Must.

Though it is called the Cheyenne Tunic, this sewing pattern has 2 views and the classic button up is the one I use a lot. The collar is bigger than standard which is great if you want to pop that collar, which I never do, but I love how it looks on others.

Next, there is the Gilbert Top from Helene’s Closet which has a camp collar so less traditional but has that perfect summer look you need. The collar construction is so clever and you do this sort of all in one “flippy thing” that just blows my mind every time. I have made 5 of them in different fabrics and I am not done yet!

And then to put a spin on your classic white button up there is the Sew.LaLa Alea shirt. This pattern has so many options you will have a hard time choosing one. In this example, I chose the gathered sleeve cuff and sewed it up in a very fine almost see-through cotton. Perfect for those sweltering hot days.

A thin striped button up will give you that classic “She’s a Lady” feel. This is the Love Notions Aria Button Down. Officially, it’s button down for women and button up for men, but I like to be up so that’s what I call them haha!

Gotta have a denim shirt! I have not been able to source the kind of denim they use for ready to wear shirts. But you can’t go wrong with a blue chambray! Here is that Cheyenne tunic again looking expensive, and chic. Great pattern from Hey June Handmade.

2. A white jean

Yes, even if you are 50 years old like me, you can wear white jeans. You just have to have the right fit – not too tight. And when it comes to fit, I love the Lander Pants. I used the optional zipper fly instructions to create these bull denim jeans. With a slightly cropped length, they make a perfect alternative to shorts. I don’t do shorts!

Naturally, a wide leg style should be on the list of classic summer jeans. I got this look using the famous Ginger Jean sewing pattern from Closet Core.

Do you know? I never noticed that this was a stretch jean pattern until just now when I went to get the link. Ha! That would explain why I had so much trouble with the fit. Oh well. We are good to go as long as I don’t have to sit around for long.

Finally, there are the Style Arc Carlisle Jeans. These are my favorites. I sewed them in a cream cotton twill so they would not be too warm. These have a slight boot cut to them and work great for summer or winter.

I hope this post has inspired you to build your own classic summer wardrobe. Be sure to subscribe to my blog to be notified of Part 2 where I will share number 3-5.

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