Summer 6PAC

In my area, Spring strolls through February, March, April and May giving me plenty of time to create and wear spring clothing.  Summer is not as thoughtful. Nope, Summer arrives every year by Jun 1st. Between May 27 and Jun 1 temperatures are guaranteed to soar from the 60’s (F) into the 90’s and maybe beyond.  So while I dwaddled with the Spring Wardrobe, I realize I need to ‘get on the stick’ and get the Summer Wardrobe ready because it will be needed in about 3 weeks.

Fortunately, I won’t need to start from scratch.  I’ve settled into a look which includes color and styles. I do try to incorporate trends but for most of my wardrobe I know I will want neutrals  in brown, navy and black which can range from dark (especially for winter) to the lightest shade just shy of white (for summer) My summer style is shorts supplements with  long-legged, light weight pants for sun protection;  matched/coordinated  a 3rd layer blouse or light jacket and accented by sleeveless tops in any of my colors (I’m in the Spring color category.) I had my basics in place last year. This year it is a matter of reviewing and replacing no longer serviceable or fitting garments.

I started by finding my summer clothes from last year.  I clearly remembered taking them down, cleaning and storing in air-tight boxes.  Couldn’t remember where the boxes were stored. Fortunately, I only needed to look in 3 places to find the boxes. It took several minutes to hang all on hangers.  I realized as I removed the clothes from their boxes that (1) they had become highly aromatic from the few lavender-scented dryer sheets I tucked in before closing the box and (2) they had become incredibly wrinkled.  I must have packed those boxes tight and added more afterwards!   I ran out of steam after unpacking and ironing all the shorts.  I left everything in the ironing closet for later.

My Wednesday plans were delayed, so I took the time to try on all the shorts.No mean feat as I also took  4 pics (back, right side, front, left side) of each garment. I threw one pair away immediately.  The waist felt tight and I know that something went wrong during the construction which causes one of the leg hems to twist when laundered. It takes a few seconds to press into place but I reasoned had I donated the shorts and they be purchased, the new owner would be annoyed and throw them away.  Why give something that will irritate a perfect stranger?  I know I am one of the few people left who like to press their clothes instead of wear them immediately out of the dryer, so the shorts were not an issue for me.

A few of my shorts were made in 2015. Most were made in and for Summer 2016.   My trial emphazised how critical fabric is.  I used 2 patterns because I was interested in quantity not style variety. Some of the shorts still fit nicely but others needed to be discarded. That was true regardless of the pattern  used. So the differentiating factor is the fabric and how well it stood up to my laundry process. As I looked at what I was keeping and what I was not, another question occurred to me.  Why were all the dark blue pants in the keep pile?   I did a batch enlighten and was relieved to find they all still fit because they were denim. Denim is remarkably durable and even without Lycra, stretches a little.

I finished by discarding 4 pairs and keeping 6.  That’s enough to get me started for summer.

Also this year I can give myself permission to add the beautiful pastels that I wanted last year but did not sew or buy  because I needed basics.  More importantly, I now know what bottoms I need for Summer 2017.

A side note here. I’m in an area where I can wear a nice pair of shorts to just about everything. Church definitely excepted. Generally nice means new but at least not torn and rich in pigment. Since I’m retired, I need only a few dressy long-legged pants. But I do need long-legged pants in light weight fabrics to protect me from the sun. I have all the dressy pants needed; many of the shorts but none of the casual sun-deflecting long legs.  

  1. Blue – which may range from navy to a light blue
    1. casual long pants
  2. Brown which can range from chocolate to sand
    1. casual long pants
    2. nice shorts
  3. Black ranging to a light grey
    1. casual long pants
    2. nice shorts
    3. casual shorts




Spring Closet Review: Tops

I did not review my wraps/3rd layers.  I have wraps, jackets and blouses (which function as 3rd layers)  in various colors including my basics.  I’m not entirely happy with all my wraps but not unhappy enough to give serious time and effort replacing them — at least not now.

I did, however try on every blouse/top I expect to wear this spring. As with the pants, I immediately discarded items that needed repair or had faded badly before checking for fit.  I looked not just at “does it go around” but I paid particular attention to the drag lines I’ve been fighting for several years. I.e. did it have round back drag lines?  FBA drag lines? Were the hems level? The Empire line horizontal? I tossed another half-dozen tops. Put at least that many into the ‘maybe’ pile. To tell the truth, I was afraid I would not have any tops without these gross fitting errors. I was quite pleased to find the 11 (shared in pics on this page) which deserved the “OK” classification.

These either had no fitting errors or the drag lines were slight. Relieved, I donated the maybes; and recovered buttons and findings from the “no-go” or “repair needed” categories before throwing those in the trash.

Some of the OK’s may not last all spring. I love rayon challis but don’t give it the care it deserves.  Normally rayon challis last about 2 seasons in my wardrobe. So I know the rayon challis blouses that were sewn in 2015 are on their way out. I also know that I prefer an evenly distributed range of browns, blacks and blues and for spring and  I’d like something that says “spring”  at least  to me.  Several of these say fall or winter.  I will be sewing tops purposefully to round out my wardrobe to my liking and make it ‘springy’.  Happily, I won’t be sewing like the devil to  achieve that goal.

2017 Spring 6PAC Update

Yesterday I posted my first sewn garment for the 2017 Spring 6PAC. Originally I was considering 2 fabrics: the peach skin sewn and a silk  (bottom) that’s been marinating in my stash for about 15 years:

I love both fabrics but felt the peach skin coordinated better with the printed fabric I wanted to use for a knit top.  I’m pleased with my choice

and returned the silk to the stash. I’m  planning to use it this fall should this bright blue still be trendy.

The real value, well besides having a coordinated wardrobe, but I digress…. The real value in completing the 6PAC’s season after season is that time comes  when garments made for previous 6PAC’s can be incorporated into the current season. So the blouse needed to be sewn, but the bottoms are already in the closet:

These are both me-made.  I have to fall back of Peggy Sager’s excuse for the near invisibility in pictures of the garments themselves.  See, I too prefer dark fabrics for my bottoms. Only during  summer  will I wear lighter colored bottoms.

On the left are my favorite jeans Trudy Jansen 906. On the right, Pamela’s Patterns 113 slacks/trousers.  I live in jeans but I do like to have a dressier pant  available. Both bottoms were sewn during last fall and winter. So why are they spring bottoms?  South Dakota, where I live, has a long, cold and mostly-wet spring.  I start wearing mid-weight bottoms about mid-Oct.  Somewhere in Dec-Jan, I add a under layer of tights or long johns and pull out the corduroys and wools. By the first of April (most years), the heavy weight corduroys and wools are retired until next winter along with the long johns.  I may still need to slip ona pair of tights  until about mid-May. Point is, for my weather, mid-weight pants are wearable 3 seasons of the year.  The dressy pants are not replaced often. But jeans? I add a new pair in each of my neutrals (black, blue and brown) at least every year.

My update at the moment shows I”m half way through.  YES I have 3 completed garments