Summer sewing wild cards and a list (mostly) wrapped up

Since we’re having an unusual very hot heat wave in September and I’m cranky about the fact that the weather feels like the hottest part of summer when I’m ready for it to cool off a bit, and I admit I’m really sick of looking at my hot-weather clothing and my sandals and want to move into dresses with cardigans and cigarette pants and cute flats and light wool (light! not rushing winter!), I might as well blog about a couple of summer things I sewed before no one (including myself) wants to see them until much later next year!

I’m happy to report that I accomplished nearly everything on my loose summer sewing list that I shared in May! I sewed a patio blouse, vintage jeans (technically pedal pushers), and capris. I didn’t get to peasant blouses yet but that’s fine. I backed Gretchen Hirsch’s kickstarter for Charm Patterns (that link is to her new blog) and got the paper patterns including her Rita peasant blouse. I start veering out of peasant blouses in fall though, so it may end up waiting until spring. We’ll see, I’m really pumped about that pattern though so I may have to just sew it up anyway. I can’t get it out of my head with a plaid circle skirt. Of course, that means sewing a plaid circle skirt too as I don’t have one. But I digress.

I did get to the wild card on my summer sewing list, however! I sewed palazzo pants. Or beach pajamas. Or whatever you’d like to call them. Biiiiig wide legs. An elastic waistband (because I wanted them to be as pajama-y as possible). Bright novelty print crinkly rayon.

Aren’t they so much fun?!

The fabric was from and not the best, I won’t lie (just as well that it appears out of stock). It was inexpensive and I think it’ll start looking ratty with a few washings, but it’s not like these are pants I’m going to wear very often! I never took proper photos of them, but I did wear them out for a day by the lake earlier this summer and I loved the outfit I put together for them.

Here you can see what the fabric looks like close up.

For a pattern I basically took the Simplicity 3688 repro 1940s trouser pattern, slashed and spread the legs dramatically, took the waist darts out and widened it at the top so I could do an elastic waist, and that’s all she wrote. This below photo is obviously bad but you can kinda sorta (eh) get a better sense of the width of the legs. So much leg!

I had another sewing wild card this summer. I’m usually one for fairly repeatable themes. I certainly don’t expect a closet full of beach pajamas, nor this item, either: a rayon pake muu dress.

But oooooh I do love it so! Here’s my joyful face just after finishing it up.

This is a vintage Hawaiian hostess type dress, popular through the mid-century. I was obviously on a mini rayon kick this summer, and we had a garden party to attend and for some reason, this style popped into my head! Someone on Etsy has a traced off version of the pattern, Polynesian Patterns No. 130, along with the original instructions. The actual true original pattern is probably as rare as a unicorn fart, so at least you can buy the reprint. Here’s the printout laying on my muslin.

It’s only one size, so be forewarned. However the shape is pretty easy, so it’s not difficult to grade it (and I say that being one who really doesn’t like to grade things up or down much). I ended up grading it up one size. If you ever sew this, I highly recommend making sure one of the grading lines goes smack through the center of the neckline because I found that quite narrow! Also, it runs short. I’m 5’2″ and only needed to take it up 2″ to get floor length, which is unheard of for me! Usually I’d need to wack off 6″ or more.

The only stylistic change I made was to shorten the arm length a few inches, to make it feels slightly more casual, since I was sewing it for a very casual party.

Not many photos of this either, I’m afraid. I haven’t been great this year getting proper photos and blogging all the things I’ve sewn. I’ll try to be better but no promises. It’s been bringing me more joy to make than document, what can I say. 🙂 But here’s a photo at the actual party where I debuted it:

I don’t love working with rayon, but it does feel delicious wearing it. You can’t tell but the bottom of the dress is slit at the sides and faced with white rayon, and the sleeves are lined with the same white rayon. Hand stitching a rayon lining over a rayon sleeve…. phew. That’s not something I’m eager to repeat anytime soon! Loooots of little silk pins and cursing.

But it was worth it!

In the last several years I haven’t been one to really do a lot of full blown planning for seasons. Maybe I should frankly, as I’m happy to see I actually did many of the things I set out to do this summer. My fall and winter is filling up quickly though. I have a jacket and a coat on tap (the vintage bouclé coat that got pre-empted by the jacket I sewed for London that I simply must share with you at some point because I love it so much), I’m working on knitting the sleeves of an epic Nancy Drew themed sweater (I’ve shared it a ton on my Instagram feed and stories and keep notes on my Ravelry project page), I have a couple of bolero ideas floating around in my head to knit, I’m working on sewing up a flannel dressing gown, later in the fall I plan to get my vintage jeans sewalong rolling…

Okay. I better stop rattling things off as I’m making myself nervous and it’s still 90 degrees out. But there’s so much more I want to get accomplished once it actually gets cold! 😉

Filed: Sewing, Vintage Wardrobe

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Golly, 9 Comments!

  • Pineapple pants!! Super dress with dramatic sleeves. They are both fab and I take my hat off to you for sewing with rayon.


  • Damn I love the pake muu! And thanks for the link for the copy pattern, although I’ll have to look for another one as that would need mammoth upsizing for me. You know, I’m so glad I’m following you again, you’ve rejuvenated my interest in getting back to sewing, so thank you 🙂


  • You two are such a cute couple. That’s a great picture of you together.

    I really appreciate the terrific idea for Simplicity 3688 (my “Agent Carter” trousers, I call them). Going to try winging a pair of palazzo pants for picnics out of it. (My mother would have called those “lounging pajamas” or “pool party pants”.) Very cool.


  • Genius!! Lots of fun!!


  • the pake mu in particular is amazing


    *trigger intensifies*
    Yours looks wonderful !!! Congrats !!
    and you made my day thank you so much !!!


  • I love your dress. 🙂 I also imagine it as luxurious lounge wear, depends on the fabric. Have a lovely weekend. 🙂


  • I LOVE those pineapple pants! At what point in the leg did you slash and spread? Such a great idea. I’ll have to try it!


    • Thanks! I think it was preeeeeetty far up the leg, like almost to the waistline seam. That being said it was also because I was adding an elastic waist, so I needed to be able to pull them over my hips. Otherwise I’d probably have slashed up to maybe mid to low hip? Just guessing. I am not super precise about these things. 😉


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