The talented and the brave: Summer of Basics Grand Prize winners

The chic, the talented, the brave: Summer of Basics Grand Prize winners
The chic, the talented, the brave: Summer of Basics Grand Prize winners

LAST SUMMER, I was smart enough to invite other people to do the final-round judging for Summer of Basics, and I’ll be sure to do that again next year because choosing winners from the 140-ish submissions on the #sob18finisher feed was beyond difficult. (Y’all, in two Summers, we’ve racked up over 5000 posts on #summerofbasics!) In the end, I could only narrow it down to 6 Grand Prize winners (instead of 5) of a $100 Fringe Supply Co. gift certificate*, pictured above and listed below in order of appearance, top to bottom. Make sure you click through and check out each one’s reflections, pattern details and additional photos —

@lana_and_lino Such gorgeous pieces, and the way that she has styled them all into a micro-capsule speaks to just how effective they’re sure to be in her closet. If you only read one caption out of any of this, please make it this one! I’m applauding every word. “I bought my sewing machine in January and I could only sew straight lines …”

@the_german_edge was a front-runner and crowd favorite from the word go, with her ambitious and stylish plans, and following along with her has been pure delight. And yes, she made her clogs.

@francespaki contributing from down under, challenging herself to make some more tailored garments and hitting all three pieces out of the park. “I really feel they are true basics that reflect my style and will be worn winter after winter for years.” If you don’t wear them, Frances, I will!

@nomadiccharacter made six things for herself and three for her daughter, all of which demonstrate that basic doesn’t mean boring. And come on with that toddler lopi!

@teamajwarren Her whole recap is just pure joy, which is how I would love for us all to feel about the clothes we’ve made ourselves.

@aunthoneysestate I feel like she manages to convey so much about herself and her personal style with these three lovely garments, which she describes thusly: “Each fills a specific gap in my summer wardrobe. 1) A pretty embroidered top that goes with everything. 2) A dress that I can “put on and go.” 3) The camisole that I need at least two times a week but never made!” This is also one of many instances like this throughout the feed, which melts my heart every time: “The embroidered center panel is a vintage piece that I’ve been saving for a long time.”

Also, the 5 entrants drawn at random for a $25 Fringe Supply Co. gift certificate* are @tania.ho @hellomister @larosemarymakes @fieldwonderful @emilywools — all of whom also did a magnificent job!

Congratulations to all of you! Job amazingly well done. Please email me at <contact@fringesupplyco.com> to collect your prizes!

If you missed the round one and round two winners, do go take a look at those, too, and click through to see how their plans shook out!

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Through it all, I was blown away by @ninaninawhy’s attention to detail; @blakandblanca’s jet-fueled output, tremendous style and willingness to just go for it (and omg that personalized Field Bag to match her tote); and just how many people made SHOES this year! I loved @hobbsfunk’s striking mirror selfies; melted at @clairemadeit’s mini-capsule for her baby on the way; and cheered @reddamzel’s attitude about her white-for-now sweatshirt. Then there’s @notaprimarycolor who is in a league of her own. And I want to give a special shoutout to @thestoryclubpdx, one of our first-round winners, just to say that I so enjoyed following along with her efforts all summer in such depth, and appreciated how generously she shared both her struggles and her victories.

If I could borrow garments, there’d be a lot of them: @sv_azimuth’s Twigs sweater, @malinerogne’s slip dress, @jessandhen’s back-pleat box top, @mwmmpls’s little yellow top, @megthegrand’s cheerful yellow pullover (I know: I keep saying I’m craving some yellow!), @rachelbeckman’s cardigan, @maloriehall’s … well, everything, but especially the knee-length kimono jacket, and so many other killer clothes!

As I was methodically combing through the finishers, I also made a folder for posts I wanted to refer to or quote from — so many incredible remarks and insights!. When I was done and went to see how many there were, though, I’d saved 35 posts! Which is a bit much to try to cull and link. So what I really want to encourage you to do is go read through the #sob18finisher feed — it’s truly so remarkable and inspirational, and I think every single one is a winner! Along with everyone who finished even one garment. As I’m always saying, it really is the clothes you make, the friends you meet, the skills you build that are the real prize in all of this.

Thank you all so much for making this another exceptional event! I can’t wait for 2019.

*Shipping fees will apply. Non-US winners will be responsible for any duties or taxes on their shipments. Packages cannot be marked as gifts. No substitutions, and prizes cannot be redeemed for cash value.

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PREVIOUSLY: Round 1 winners (the planners) and Round 2 winners (the WIPs)

Wiksten Kimono, pajama style (2018 FO-17/18)

Wiksten Kimono, pajama style (2018 FO-17)

Friday afternoon, depressed at seeing “sew kimono” stuck in a long, dreary list of weekend chores, I gave myself permission to skip out of work and let a couple hours of stolen sewing time be an indulgence rather than just another to-do. (Thank you, Felicia.) So by midday Saturday, I had finished the Wiksten Kimono I’d laid out as part of my alternate pajama plan for Summer of Basics, and I actually enjoyed every minute of sewing it.

I followed Jenny’s notes for the unlined version of the kimono jacket, leaving out the interfacing on the collar so it would be soft and bunchy. And again in the interest of yardage preservation, I cut the under collar on the cross-grain. Otherwise, it’s straight from the pattern, and I’m quite pleased with my little housecoat — although I like it best with the collar up and bunched and the sleeves pushed up, super ’80s all the way, so wish I hadn’t done that with the cross-grain. But still! I like it, and will probably even wear it out of the house. It’s the mid-length medium, by the way, and thanks again to Jenny for sending me the pattern.

It seemed appropriate (or at least justifiable) to take Sunday morning photos of it with my Carolyn pj pants, complete with bedhead so you get the full effect:

Wiksten Kimono, pajama style (2018 FO-17)

And then there are these, uh, boxer shorts? When I was done with the kimono, I still really wanted a pair of pj shorts to go with it, so I pulled out another remnant of remnants and the pajama pants pieces I had traced off before, and made the quickest possible version of them: no pockets, no cuffs, not even the actual shorts pattern, just the pants lopped off and teeny hemmed. Of all the lovely design details of the Carolyn Pajamas pattern, the only one I kept intact was the faux fly, which — combined with the fabric — wound up looking like a somewhat sad pair of boxer shorts. But eh, I’m happy to have them. And more committed than ever to making a proper pair of the shorts, cuffs and pockets and all (in the blue stripe fabric of the kimono, if I can squeak it all out of what’s left), as well as getting back to the navy linen pants plan, as soon as possible.

Who knew pajamas were so fun to make? And talk about an indulgence — I’ve never had such nice pajamas before. (Although I have worn plenty of boxer shorts with my tank tops.)

It occurs to me I’ve now technically completed three garments for #summerofbasics, as pictured here, although none are exactly what I initially set out to make.

In case anyone missed it, here’s how to submit your final SoB finishes for a chance at the grand prize! I’m not eligible for prizes, but I’m still trying to finish my sweater in time!

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PREVIOUSLY in SoB PJ’s: Carolyn pajama pants

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Pajama pant perfection (2018 FO-16)

Pajama pant perfection (2018 FO-16)

You guys, I haven’t finished anything since the beginning of June, and it’s been even longer since I had had a major jolt of that “wow, I made that” feeling. These pajama pants are pure love. But wait: pants? That was neither the plan nor the revised plan.

To recap: As part of my Summer of Basics plan, I was making Carolyn pajama shorts in navy linen with black piping, but they were a little too fitted for comfort. They were also so gorgeous in the navy-black combo that I decided I wanted to do them as the pants instead of the shorts, with the intention of wearing them out of the house. So I resolved to make another, simplified pair of the shorts to work out the size, and then would go back to the navy pants.

So. Saturday morning I went into my sewing room and began tracing off the bigger shorts, then realized it would be easier to trace the pants and just make them shorts length, and then I’d have the pants pieces all ready to go (assuming the size was right). My plan to “simplify” things by doing them hemmed instead of with the cuffs was counterintuitive: As I was giving myself a migraine trying to figure out how to rework the side seams and inseam (in matching ways from front to back) to accommodate the wide hem I wanted, I realized that would be so substantially different from the pants that it wouldn’t tell me anything at all about the fit of the pants! So if I wanted this next pair to function as a fit muslin for the navy pants, I would have to make the pants.

Pajama pant perfection (2018 FO-16)

The bad news is: I still don’t have the pajama shorts I really do need right now. The good news is: I do also need pajama pants, and these are fantastic. If I hadn’t sewn them in such pajama-y fabric — translucent, no less — I would 100% wear them out of the house. So now I’m more excited than ever about the navy linen pair.

These are View A, no cuffs, but I like them enough that I might actually go back and add cuffs at some point. Meanwhile, I just turned the hem 3″ and 3″ and sewed it with a medium stitch in case I decide to take it out and do that. And sewed the waistband my usual way. No other mods — the cut and fit is spot on. For the record, these are a straight size 12, just with a wider hem.

And yes, I’m counting these as my first finish for #summerofbasics.

(Worn here with my omnipresent black Adventure tank)

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PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Linden sweatshirt

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Revising my Summer of Basics strategy

Revising my Summer of Basics strategy

This is really more of a detour than a pivot or full-on rewrite, but after our discussion about my pj shorts last week — and after going ahead with the first cuff and inserting the elastic — I’m modifying my Summer of Basics plan. (I thought I’d be showing you my finished shorts today, but NOPE!) I’m still making a sweater plus pj top and bottoms, and I’m still making fancy Carolyn pajamas, just in a little bit different order.

The thing about the navy linen pj shorts — especially with that black flat piping in there — is that they are really lovely. And they are also just really too small, even if the linen does give a bit with wear. Because they’re fitted, rather than loose-fitting, the cuff doesn’t lay nicely and it’s quite unflattering. Plus the cuff itself, with the piping involved and the very nice finish it all gets, is a project unto itself. So rather than spend that much more time on the second cuff right now, I’m setting them aside, and following this course of action:

1) As I’m really kicking myself for not having made a muslin of the shorts (I do know better!) (especially for something with this level of construction), I’m going to cut a second pair in the natural/blue stripe fabric above — one of my Imogene+Willie remnants from a few summers ago — which has always struck me as pajama-perfect fabric. I’m going up two sizes, giving it an extra inch or so in the rise (I’m long-waisted and these are a bit low-waisted, which on me winds up being super low-waisted), and also elongating the inseam for a slightly longer hemmed leg as opposed to the cuff and piping. That’ll make it a much quicker sew. (I might also do the waistband my way.) And those will be my SoB pj shorts, which will still be cute and cozy with my sweater when the weather starts to break.

2) I’ve been desperately trying to resist the siren song of the Wiksten Kimono, to concentrate on my pajama plan, but after seeing so many in the #summerofbasics feed I’ve gotten it into my head that an unlined one in another of the I+W fabrics in my stash — the blue/white stripe — would make an excellent little housecoat sort of thing, which might also prove street-worthy. My strategy for resisting this was simply to not buy the pattern, but then Jenny kindly sent it to me, and since this is a very right-now sort of usefulness, and since it will be cute with the striped Carolyn shorts, I’m making this my SoB pj top. I think I have just enough of this fabric left to squeak one out, and I even have a pair of pockets I cut for something else and didn’t use, so I can resort to those for the pockets if need be.

3) Once I know I’ve got the size right on the Carolyn bottoms, I’m going to return to the navy-and-black idea, but do it in pants instead of shorts, and with the addition of back pockets. In this fabric (in my world) these are basically a tuxedo, so there’s a very good chance those will be pants I wear out of the house this fall, and not just pj’s.

4) And then I’ll make the matching Carolyn top to go with them. So the Carolyn combo basically becomes a fall project for me.

5) Somewhere along the way, I’ll put the second cuff on the navy shorts and find them a nice home …

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PREVIOUSLY in Summer of Basics: July WIP winners

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Summer of Basics July winners: The WIPs

Summer of Basics July winners: The WIPs

It wouldn’t be Summer of Basics if it weren’t wildly inspiring and impossible to pull highlights from! But I’ve declared myself the lone juror this year (note to self: don’t do that again), so choose I must! For July, I’d said I’d be looking for progress and how well you shared it, and I’ve only been able to narrow it down as far as FOUR winners. For more on each of them and what they’re making, click through to their respective Instagram feeds. And truly, the whole #summerofbasics feed is full of people pushing themselves and making great clothes, so please check it out if you aren’t already following along.

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

@saltairarts (above)
I mentioned last month that I was really struck by how thoughtful Megan’s choice of garments was — essentially she’s replacing things she has had and loved in the past, knowing they’re sure to be long-lived wardrobe heroes — and since then I’ve also really enjoyed how beautifully she’s documented her projects at each step along the way.

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Summer of Basics July winners: The WIPs

@mkfwilliams
Having become a mother and also recently relocated to Colorado, Meredith is using the challenge to create pieces that suit her new life/style. She’s also a knitter taking on sewing by tackling three sewn pieces in order of progressive complexity, alongside a knitted cardigan. And again, she’s been sharing it all along the way, from the oopses to the hoorays.

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Summer of Basics July winners: The WIPs

@productbyprocess
Another knitter building up her sewing skills — working through the trial-and-error of bust dart placement and advancing to more challenging things. I’d been noting her projects as they streamed through the feed, and didn’t realize until I clicked to her profile to compile this that she’s Parikha Mehta. Parikha’s blog was a favorite of mine in my first few months as a knitter, and she very soon after stopped blogging to concentrate on photography. So on top of admiring her SoB projects, I’m so thrilled she’s on Instagram and is sharing her makes again!

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Summer of Basics July winners: The WIPs

@rarelyidle
As with so many people in these makealongs — and my favorite thing about doing them — Gabrielle’s tagged posts drew me into her whole feed, and I really enjoyed “getting to know” her, along with seeing what she’s making and how it’s going so far.

Congratulations to the four makers featured above — you’ve each won a Fringe Porter Bin in the color of your choosing.* Please email contact@fringesupplyco.com with your color choice and your mailing address!

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And for the random blindfold scroll-and-tap winners from July, they are @kleverknitsdesigns, @handwashdryflat and @barbaramaeshaw. The three of you have each won a Fringe canvas tool pouch! Please email contact@fringesupplyco.com with your mailing address to collect your prize.

August’s winners (prizes TBD) will be all about the three finished garments and how well you’ve shared them. So keep those #summerofbasics posts coming!

*An $85 value. No substitutions and cannot be redeemed for cash.
**A $24 value. No substitutions and cannot be redeemed for cash.

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PREVIOUSLY in Summer of Basics: June winners — the Planners

A short conundrum

A short conundrum

I got to spend a few hours yesterday working on the shorts of my Carolyn Pajamas and now find myself a tiny bit torn over them. They still need the elastic installed in the waistband plus the leg cuffs (and piping) added, and I’m already pretty in love with them — as a garment and a piece of sewing. They’re incredibly nice looking in this navy linen, very likely even street-worthy. The concern is, they fit me perfectly. As in, the way a beautifully tailored pair of pants would fit. But these are loungewear, and I’d rather they were, y’know, roomier. Slouchier. Comfy.

I have PLENTY of this fabric to cut a bigger pair (and the top to go with them), so I’m debating whether to set these aside, start over, and finish these some other time when I’ve found another booty for them to adorn, or spend the time it’ll take to go ahead and finish them on the chance I wind up thinking they’re just fine and dandy. As usual, typing this out has given me the answer: I’ve also been debating the piping — I’m thinking of flat piping (no cord) in black linen for subtle contrast, but I’m not 100% sure about either part of that. So I’ll go ahead and try it on these and see what I think! That’s actually perfect.

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PREVIOUSLY in Summer of Basics: Queue Check July 2018

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Queue Check — July 2018

Queue Check — July 2018

Last week I took the yoke of my Summer of Basics sweater off the needles and put it through the wash before I went any further, since I was still a little bit on the fence about it and wanted to see if the washed fabric would win me over. One of the many joys of this yarn, O-Wool Balance — and why I knit with it so often — is that it’s not superwash (it’s an organic wool-cotton blend) but is machine washable, and I like the fabric better when it’s machine-washed and slightly machine-dried than I do when it’s just soaked and air-dried. It fluffs and softens and melds really beautifully. I definitely liked the yoke better post-wash, but it took adding the folded neckband to really get me excited about having and wearing this sweater. I’m not totally in love with my raglan placement, but I’m hoping it won’t bother me any by the time I separate the body and sleeves. So, y’know, onward! But as slow as this is going, I’m starting to question whether I’ll be done with it by end of August.

[UPDATE: I put a video tutorial for this neckband technique in the @fringesupplyco profile at Instagram.]

Meanwhile, I finally started the cutting for my other two SoB projects. To recap: Those are supposed to be some sort of eyelet-y version of the Tessuti Alice top plus a set of Carolyn Pajamas. That’s technically four things, if I make both the top and bottoms of the pj’s, and my thinking has been that I’d concentrate on the top, and if I got to the bottoms they’d be a bonus. At this point, I’m starting with the bottoms, since a little pair of pj shorts like that for when I’m at home is one of my biggest wants right now — and I’m counting them! They’re all cut and ready for the sewing part, which I should be able to finish before July is out, which leaves all of August to see what else I can finish.

Even if you’re not actively participating in SoB, I encourage you to follow along with the #summerofbasics feed. So much great stuff happening. And if you are participating, make sure to post a progress update! I’ll be choosing July winners in just over a week.

Related: How to improvise a top-down sweater and How I do folded neckbands

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: June 2018

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