a summer wardrobe, part I

What a great long weekend! It’s been super hot here, so having three days to spend by the lake was just perfect. In between the swimming and relaxing, I attempted a little more sewing on the boat. My brother tells me that all quilting all the time makes me boring, so I put it down for a minute to go waterskiing (typically just once a summer, so I guess I’m done for the year?)


And in between all of that, we had a little photoshoot at the beach. My sister was the willing (though pantless!) model – thanks Whit!

Typically once a year I get inspired to make myself new summer clothes. This year it all started with the Anna Maria Horner Socialite dress and kind of snowballed from there. Now I’m just trying to resist the urge to turn all the fabric I own into summer clothes!


I actually made the Socialite dress last year, though I used a solid just so I could test the fit. I never got around to making another in a fun fabric. Then I happened to see one on Flickr made out of Anna Maria Horner’s Volumes fabric and I absolutely had to make the same thing. (I typically don’t like to make something exactly the same as someone else, but this time I just couldn’t resist.)


My favorite part might be the tiny part of the pattern that you can see on either side of the dress. I spent a little longer than necessary making sure they all lined up exactly (and probably no one will notice except me!)

I’ve mentioned my favorite local fabric shop, right? Well, the trouble is I go there and I end up powerless to resist the new fabrics, specifically the new Nani Iro double gauze. Especially when the shop owner is in there wearing a shirt made out of said fabric. Before I knew it, I had a couple yards in my bag and the name of the pattern so I could make one too!


I’m in love with this fabric, and the shirt pattern as well. So easy and quick! The pattern is Simplicity 3835.


And since that one was so easy, I decided to try another version using a men’s button down shirt. (Turquoise gingham might not have been my first choice, but that’s what was available!)


This one was pretty quick too since I left the button placket intact and used the existing hemmed edge.


And the last shirt for the day… this quick little tank top in voile. It was completely inspired by this one I saw over on Craft jr., though I added to the length and added straps.


And there you have it – a few summer pieces, just in time for 90 degree temperatures!

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27 Responses to a summer wardrobe, part I

  1. 1
    Anna says:

    these are so so pretty! great job on all of them. I especially love the last one, but they’re all really fun and great for summer!

  2. 2
    Holly says:

    I love the Socialite dress and completely appreciate how you spent time making sure the volumes lined up!

  3. 3
    Allison says:

    That socialite dress is really a head turner! Great job! Modelling with the bathing suite underneath and the mountain house in teh back is a cute and campy touch 🙂

  4. 4
    WHATUPDUCK says:

    Nice!! I’m going to “the lake” this weekend, but no time to make any of these. Love that little simplicity top. And your socialite dress is striking!

  5. 5
    amanda says:

    A button-down shirt! Ingenious! And I just bought a bunch to make dresses for my girlies. Thanks for the ideas… they are all beautiful!

  6. 6
    Angela says:

    I adore the Simplicity top! that looks super simple to make and would be beautiful in so many fabrics…though I love the one you chose! I’ll have to get that pattern! I’m itching to make clothes lately too for some reason!

  7. 7

    I totally appreciate the fact that you made the sides line up so perfectly…it really adds a special aspect to the design of the dress! And that dark blue nani iro is awesome, I would buy that shirt if it was on the rack!!
    I will have to make one of those gathering summer tops for myself, I like the length you added and the straps….it goes on my “once we are settled in the new house” list! Your sister is about the most adorable model too…she looks like she had a lot of fun!

  8. 8
    Audrie says:

    They’re all so cute! Love the fabric choices 🙂 And your sister’s a good sport for modelling them for you… in bikini bottoms hehehe

  9. 9
    Islay says:

    They all look great! I so need to make myself some summer clothes – I’ve been kicking around in the same stained/faded t-shirts for the past three years I think.

  10. 10
    simone says:

    Every single top you made is so pretty. especially love the dress.

  11. 11
    Laurie says:

    I noticed the way all the books line up at the seams as soon as I saw the picture, and I think it was well worth the effort! Beautiful dress, it turned out wonderfully.

  12. 12
    Susan Ingle says:

    I never would have thought of using the button down shirt repurposed as a summer shirt, but it’s absolutely the most clever idea….no more hem finishing and the most time consuming part (buttons/buttonholes/hemming)is done for you! Genius!!!!!

  13. 13
    Amy K-P says:

    *LOVE* My FAV is the Simplicity top! Appropriately I just LOVE the simpleness of it combined with that BEAUTIFUL print!

  14. 14
    Nova says:

    fabulous! I love that simplicity 3835 pattern – I made a couple of dresses for winter out of corduroy and linen that I have been wearing to death layered with long sleeve tee & tights and boots. For the dress I just extended the top pattern you’ve made into an a-line knee length and added darts for shape – no zip – perfect to chuck on 🙂

  15. 15
    Jill B says:

    What a fun fashion show! My favourite is the top made with the Nani Iro fabric – gorgeous!

  16. 16
    kelly jo says:

    I love Simplicity 3835, I just looked at the one I made last year and decided I needed to make a lot more! So functional and versatile!

  17. 17
    CitricSugar says:

    All great pieces but THAT DRESS!!! Swoon! That might be the most perfect fabric for it ever.

  18. 18
    Terri says:

    Great new wardrobe! Looks like everything works perfectly for swim suit cover-ups too. How fun to get dressed in the mornings with these new items to choose from.

  19. 19
    Andrea says:

    Great clothes, I especially LOVE the Nani Iro top! I’ve been lusting after that fabric myself, but alas, it’s almost impossible to get here in Germany.

  20. 20
    savvy stitch says:

    Love all of the summer outfits–especially the gauzy top. Darling!

  21. 21
    Angie says:

    Lining up the sides on the dress- how could we not notice? Wow! That makes it just perfect!

  22. 22
    Suzanne says:

    Very cute wardrobe additions! That you took the time to match up the pattern for the dress demonstrates the pride you take with your creations. Whether or not anyone else notices is a moot point. Thanks for sharing the Simplicity pattern.

  23. 23
    Kathleen says:

    First of all, my mother would totally appreciate you lining up the fabric on the sides of the dress! Second, I have to get that Simplicity pattern! I have the same fabric in the light gray version and have been scared to cut into it. I have really short hair and a long neck so I shy away from scoop neck tops, so that pattern is perfect. I’m seriously going out to buy it after lunch. Thanks! Oh, and your sister has great legs. You wouldn’t catch me dead with my thighs showing on the internet.

  24. 24
    Nikki says:

    I love, Love, LOVE that Blue Simplicity top! Sooo cute!

  25. 25
    claire says:

    your photos are fab & I love the blue turquoise

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  27. 26
    Helen G. says:

    Hi Ashley… quick question… what size did you follow on that Simplicity 3835 pattern? I’m having a hard time finding that pattern, but just today someone said they located the pattern for me, and it’s for a size 12-20. I know those patterns run a bit large… i was just wondering. Thanks! ps: I usually wear a size 6 or Medium.

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