New pouches + new policies! (Please read)

Fringe Supply leather stitch marker pouch, now in 3 colors!

I have some big little news for today from the land of beautiful tools: Our ever-popular triangle stitch marker pouch is now available in two more colors of leather! In addition to the original Natural, it also now comes in Sienna (tan) and Black! (I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been petting my neighbor’s chihuahua or what, but I just had the urge to add “That’s hot.” I have never said that in my life! But I mean, it is.) We’ve updated the antiqued-brass stud and some other fine details, and it still comes loaded with 12 stitch markers (10 brass, 2 nickel) and ships in a little muslin bag. Such a great gift — either for yourself or your favorite knitter. And of course, we also have the larger leather tool pouch (in Natural only) plus every size, variety and interchangeable part of the Lykke Driftwood needles, all over at Fringe Supply Co.! Plus so much more, obvs.

I hope you have a relaxing long weekend planned (for those of you in the US), as I do not! So please indulge a little extra on my behalf. Fortunately, everything I have on my plate is exciting, even if there is a an excess of it. LOL. Thanks for all the great conversation on all my summer wardrobe planning posts the past few days! I’ll see you back here next week—

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Early summer outfits: Summer layers

Early summer outfits: Summer layers

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since moving to a place where summer happens and trying to locate myself in that, it’s that what makes me feel most like myself is layers. And that the onset of summer doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning that entirely. This is, after all, a land of air conditioning. I also have an insanely and thrillingly intense June ahead of me — two patterns due, two big trips to plan (and pack) for, lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline for Fringe Supply Co., an urgent need to compress a whole lot of work into the gaps of an unusual amount of travel, and thus even greater need than ever to not have to think about what to wear as I head into each action-packed workday while I’m home. So my early summer uniform is a necessarily simple formula: sleeveless layers.

Nearly all of the outfits below still work if you peel off the top layer when needed, so there you have my deep summer strategy! You may notice a discrepancy between the first “modeled” outfit up there and the garment lineup just below it. I had a moment with that floral top yesterday and an interesting discussion about it over on Instagram. But the bottom line is: that outfit needed a different top!

This round of Closet Rummy™ is far from exhaustive (and this is only using 24 of the 34 garments), but it’s demonstrative of how my [vest/smock + sleeveless/cami + pants] formula might play out in the coming weeks. For details on all of the garments pictured, see yesterday’s summer closet inventory.

Early summer outfits: Summer layers
Early summer outfits: Summer layers
Early summer outfits: Summer layers
Early summer outfits: Summer layers

And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see how many outfits I can make with those orange Everlane shoes I can’t stop thinking about …

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PREVIOUSLY in Summer ’18 Wardrobe: Closet inventory

Summer ’18 wardrobe: Closet inventory

Summer ’18 wardrobe: Closet inventory

Across the top row of this grid are what I’m calling the fixer-uppers: four pieces that need a bit of work before they can actually factor into my summer wardrobe. But I’m including them here in my summer closet edit anyway, as motivation to get it done:

– The tuxedo-pleated and ruffled cotton top is a garment I think of as a summer closet necessity. I always and forever love a sweet eyelet or ruffled white top (such as the one seen yesterday), paired with camo or faded jeans or beat-up khakis. I’ve been missing this element the past few years because I have this one, from J.Crew many years ago, which hasn’t been wearable for a while but I haven’t managed to replace. So I’ll be making that a priority and using this one as a stand-in when it comes to making outfit projections tomorrow. This one needs a dye job if it’s to continue on, so that’s two priorities in one photo: dye this one and make its white ruffled replacement.

– The (formerly) white linen shell is the one that got in with the blue load of laundry and now needs to be dyed a more decisive blue.

– The unfinished Clyde Jacket was a sample-sale score late last year, and I need to carve out and finish off some nice deep armholes to make it a super-funtional smock-vest.

– The jeans. They’re too thin to patch and too dear to let go, so I’ve got them on the waitlist with Indigo Proof! I’m hoping Rain can shore them up sufficiently, and hoping to have them back before the summer is over.

As those are fixed, they’ll join these ranks:

CAMISOLES, TANKS AND TOPS

Camisoles in green, indigo and black ikat
Meg-made sweater tee
Sweatshirt vest
– Linen muscle tee (Everlane 2017, available again at the moment)
Sleeveless tee in striped hemp jersey and black hemp jersey
Blue-striped shell (also: black silk gauze version)
– Dotted chambray tunic (Endless Summer, made by a friend)
Blue striped Fen top
Plaid top
Black chambray top
Chambray button-up
– Tobacco linen tunic (Nade 2016, no longer available)

VESTS AND SMOCKS

– Denim vest (J.Crew, ancient)
Black Anna vest
– Smock x 3 (State Smocks, upcycled, available on repeat — mine are all from 2017)

Also my beloved old trench-style vest (J.Crew c. 2010) seen here.

PANTS

Canvas wide-legs
Recycled denim wide-legs
– Clay wide-legs (Elizabeth Suzann Clyde Culotte, made in Nashville, sample sale 2017)
Camo wide-legs
Denim wide-legs
– B/w palazzos (Ace&Jig 2017, no longer available)
– Chinos (J.Crew 2015/16, no longer available)
– Linen palazzos (Elizabeth Suzann Florence, made in Nashville, sample/modified 2017)
– natural denim jeans (Imogene+Willie, 2016, made in LA, no longer available)
– dark cropped jeans (J.Crew Point Sur, 2016, made in LA, no longer available)

I’ve pulled out those old J.Crew chinos again, gonna give ’em another go, and I’ve got the b/w Ace&Jig pants in here but I think I may be selling them. They’re just a little too big, and combined with how gauzy/flowy they are, it’s a bit much for me.

DRESSES

Whoops, no, not factoring in any dresses right now. While I’m sure I’ll wear some of them — especially when we get into the thick of the summer soup — they’re not just key players for me, so I figure I might as well not fool myself about it.

SHOES

– Sneakers (Veja Wata, brand new!)
– Faux-snake flats (J.Crew 2017, made in Italy, no longer available)
– Tan flats (Solid State Studios, 2017, handmade in LA, custom order)
– Black huaraches (Nisolo Ecuador, 2017, responsibly made in their own factory)
– Tan sandals (J.Crew, c. 2009)
– Black sandals (Jane Sews, 2016, no longer available)
– Black patent flat clogs (No.6 Alexis, made in US, brand new!)

Of the 34 garments pictured, I’ve made 17 over the past five years (that’s half! plus one linked but not pictured); 2 were made for me by friends; 4 were made locally; 2 were made in LA; 3 are upcycled/refashions; 1 is from eminently transparent Ace&Jig; 1 is from Everlane, who swear they only uses the good factories so, y’know, fingers crossed; and 3 of the remaining four are from more than 5 years ago (the other one being a couple-few years old). Like I keep saying: It’s a slow process, building up a slow closet, but this is proof that if you keep at it over the course of a few years, it can be done!

All that aside, check out this lineup alongside yesterday’s mood board. How in-the-zone am I?

Summer ’18 wardrobe: Closet inventory

PREVIOUSLY in Summer ’18 Wardrobe: Mood and color

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Summer ’18 wardrobe: Mood and color

Summer '18 wardrobe: Mood and inventory

I started to make a Summer ’18 mood board at Pinterest the other day and realized that my ruling mood board right now (and always) is my All things lovely board, formed over the past nearly-ten years and really the inner me in Pinterest-board form. I want to listen to that more, and it’s telling me a LOT about myself right now, so for today I made the mini mashup mood board above, pulling from the two. Here’s what it says to me about how I want to dress this summer: breezy, light and loose, as usual; and in my normal palette range of watery blue/greens mixed with b/w, indigo, navy, russet-y pale browntones, and a little bit of stripe or pattern here and there. But it also tells me I’m craving some hits of stronger color. I’m particular feeling the red-orange and pinkish-red bits and want to work in a pop of that somehow, along with a spot of yellow. (This yellow top of Jaime’s is killing me.) An unexpected red shoe was my favorite styling trick of the late ’90s and early aughts, so with all of the above, I’m a little obsessed with these Everlane slides right now and might be acquiring them soon. I might also need to think about a pair of statement shades. ;)

All of this will influence my plans for Summer of Basics, coming up on June 1. But meanwhile, it’s making me feel pretty dang good about the state of my summer closet!

I’m genuinely excited about this summer, you guys. My first summer in Nashville, Fringe Supply HQ was in a windowless, airless, ventless, death trap of a room, and I dressed accordingly: tank tops, shorts, sandals and sweat. Then for the past three summers (as you’ve heard me drone on about), our little warehouse was meat-locker cold, to the point that I often had to leave by mid-afternoon to work somewhere I could recover the feeling in my fingers and the normal flow of blood in my brain. THIS SUMMER! This summer we have control of our own climate, and I can actually dress for summer — can enjoy the sleeveless clothes I love so much without worrying about bringing my wool coat to work with me, as I did last year. It’s so liberating, I don’t even have words to describe it! So tomorrow I’ll show you the roundup of my summer clothes that tie into the vibe above so nicely.

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Recycled pants (2018 FO-14)

Recycled pants (2018 FO-14)

On Saturday, while our beloved contractor was tearing an ever larger hole in the middle of our house,* I was on the other side of the wall from him, in my little workroom, keeping myself occupied by sewing up the other pair of pants I had cut out a few weeks ago. These are the same as all my other modified Robbie pants — my “toddlers” — with the caveat that each pair varies slightly in the rise and/or the thigh. (That’s in addition to the more major modifications shared by them all: my own pockets, longer legs, wider hems, totally different waistband.) Between the fabric and the particular tweaks I made when cutting this one, this is basically the pair I’ve been wanting the whole time; what I’ve always wished the denim pair to be. The fabric here is 100% recycled cotton — denim industry waste, woven into a heavy canvas. The light-denim color combined with this silhouette makes them feel a little bit 1970s, in a good way. And despite a hilarious number of thread issues along the way,** I’m extremely pleased with them.

These and the natural canvas pair are sure to be the cornerstones of my summer wardrobe this year, which I’ll be getting into the planning for tomorrow! I promise photos of them on me in the course of all that. These never look like much on the hanger …

Pattern: Robbie Pant by Tessuti (reuse No. 6, whoa)
Modifications: self-drafted pockets, assorted tweaks, modified 2″ waistband
Fabric: 100% recycled cotton canvas, not commercially available anywhere that I know of

*If you haven’t seen it in my Instagram Stories, we’re remodeling our bathroom, which — as they do — keeps turning into a bigger and bigger job than expected.

**Thread 1 was garbage, so I switched to thread 2, which ran out an inch shy of my finishing the waistband top-stitching, so then came thread 3, followed by the bobbin (still thread 1) running out just short of the second hem being complete (finished with thread 3). And since I only use natural thread in my serger, there are a total of four different threads used here! lol

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Jenny Gordy’s shirt, mitts kits & Elsewhere

Round-up of links for knitters and sewers

The most-answered question of the week was my open-ended Q about moths; I’m planning to read through it all today/tomorrow, but thank you so much for all the in-depth responses! The most-asked question of the week would be regarding that cute striped shirt Jenny Gordy was wearing in her Our Tools, Ourselves photos — lots of people wondering if there’s a sewing pattern for it. According to Jenny, it’s a Madewell shirt from a few years ago (i.e., no longer available), and the closest pattern I know off the top of my head is the Kalle Shirt + Shirtdress pattern, pictured above, from Closet Case Patterns. (Which happens to also be on my shortlist of contenders for Summer of Basics!) It doesn’t have the neck gathers like the one on Jenny, but you could easily replace the center-back pleat with gathers back there. And maybe widen the cuffs at the sleeves.

Also, Verb has restocked the beautiful Log Cabin Mitts kits (pattern here) in their incredible Range rambouillet, which is a truly exceptional small-batch yarn that sadly won’t be repeated, so if you desire a kit (or skeins) hop on it!

Other than that, Elsewhere:

– Such an important subject I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring up, PLEASE READ: The cost of a knitting pattern

– For those of us who are likely never going to make our own: Responsibly made underwear

– All the praise hands for Lynn Zwerling of Knitting Behind Bars

– Fashion over-consumption is “a monster of our own creation. But there seems to be a growing (and welcome) consensus that it’s time to cut off its head.

– “You get it from your mother.” Well, yes and no.

– And congratulations to Katrina Rodabaugh! Can’t wait to get my hands on her book. (To which I contributed a little quote, full disclosure.)

Have the most amazing weekend, everybody! I’ve got some secret knitting to finish up. ;) How about you?

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PREVIOUSLY: Jane Adams and Elsewhere

Make Your Own Basics: The jackets

Make Your Own Basics: The jackets

Some of you wanting to really stretch your sewing skills for this year’s Summer of Basics might be considering outerwear. We’ve talked before in Make Your Own Basics about coats and trench coats, but there are still a few archetypal jackets and patterns left to be considered:

THE JEAN JACKET: Audrey by Seamwork is a true classic (For more of the work-jacket version, see Ottoline)

THE ANORAK: Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns hits all the notes

THE BIKER / MOTO: B6169 by Liesl Gibson is a somewhat fitted, pared down take on the look (For the full lapels, see Melissa Watson for McCall’s M7694; or for a knitted cardigan see Elsie, and sweater-vest version, see Harley)

Do you know what you’re making for Summer of Basics yet? You can survey the entire Make Your Own Basics series at Pinterest if you need something to spark ideas!

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