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Made By A Fabricista: Cool, Summery Cottons

Hello everybody! I set out to see what I could do with a gorgeous stack of mostly one-yard cuts, mostly cotton fabric, paired with some of my favorite tried-and-true patterns, to boost my summer wardrobe. Some days it’s too hot to think, you know? So producing some easy to grab-and-pair pieces to have at the ready will lighten the morning rush and make me feel pulled together as I usher the kiddos off to their activities. I chose some lightweight, mostly woven cotton fabrics that display big impact with their colors and prints, and also sort of (mostly?) go together. It’s not quite a capsule wardrobe, but I was inspired by that coordinating process. 

I’ve sewn all of the following patterns (save for one) in the past, so I made some small changes to keep things fresh in the creative process, but these are all pretty true to their intended style.. 

First up, a Blank Slate Patterns Hathaway Tank with one yard of Golden Yellow/Light Salmon/Amaranth 100% Cotton Floral Print Lawn. This lawn is particularly lux and smooth. The colors and print are simply outstanding. My only caveat is to pay attention to your pattern’s fabric requirements and width since these lawns are quite narrow at 44 inches, but a tank is a magnificent style to dip a toe into narrower fabrics since they generally take less fabric than other tops. 

This gentle A-line bodice and scoop neck are absolutely classic and roomy enough for comfort in summer heat. I love having a light, simple tank to toss on over a bathing suit. P.S. I made extra bias tape for future binding with the scraps because it’s so gorgeous and easy to cut and iron. 

To pair with the yellow tank, I needed a cute bottom half. My first pair of bottoms are the Pattern Emporium Getaway Shorts with one yard of Cerulean Frost/White 100% Cotton Vertical Pinstripe Chambray. Not that I could pick a favorite child, but these might be my favorite garment from this collection. Shh! The chambray stripes are EXACTLY the thing I needed in my closet. They will pair with absolutely any color top, not to mention other stripes, florals, polka dots, you name it. The diagonal pockets please me to no end, and they are so useful to boot! 

I’ve been imagining the perfect chambray shorts for ages, and now this vertical striped soft chambray has arrived to fill the void at last. I cut the shortest “play” length since I’m designing these for hot weather and I don’t mind exposing some thigh in the name of keeping cool. The Getaways are a fairly loose cut with lots of ease, and I actually prefer wearing a size down from what I measure. The front and back pockets give me a lot of space to play with stripe direction, and I appreciate that aspect. 

Of course I need more tanks, so I chose Helen's Closet Luna Tank in Old Moss Green Viscose/Hemp/Spandex Broken Hexagon Knit Design Tissue Jersey Knit. (Okay, so not cotton, but this fabric includes a different natural fiber, so still on track.) This is a free pattern and another top that I’ve sewn and enjoyed wearing many times in many fabrics. While you can adjust it to work with woven fabrics, I had my eye on this golden green viscose hemp knit. 

I love the interesting shade of green so much and the delicate knitted hexagon design is a beautiful subtle detail. Plus the really wide, swingy body is a great loose top to manage heat exposure and pair with shorts. This is the longer of two bodice lengths, so you can definitely crop this style for high-waisted bottoms or to expose some midriff. This fabric grows a bit, so I’d caution against letting it hang to dry or spill off the table while you’re cutting your pattern pieces. 

My second pair of summer shorts are the Pattern Emporium Hepburn Shorts in Navy/Parchment 100% Cotton Vertical Wide Stripe Denim. This is the lone pattern I haven’t sewn in the past. I gave it a test run with some scrap denim before committing to this good stuff. This is a stellar stripe combination, and the weight falls on the lighter end of medium. Not too heavy or thick, a good weight for summery shorts. 

Oh, the bliss of stripe-matching a stable fabric! Nailing the stripes was just the cherry on top. I added gold topstitching for a more classic approach and chose the flat-front waistband since I figured the front pleats would already add enough volume. These are excellent pull-on shorts for a quick outfit on the go. 

Now for a boxy tee with shoulder coverage, I opted for a Elizabeth Suzann Georgia Top in a yard of Wheat/Brown Sugar/Blueberry Sauce 100% Cotton Yarn-Dyed Shirting. This fabric is really extra soft and light, beautiful quality, and the colors make me so happy. This is just the sweetest, prairie-sky combination and I love it! I opted to sew the Georgia Top since the boxy fit is a favorite of mine, and the straight side seams and hem make the plaid-matching as straightforward as possible. 

I made some minor changes to this shirt by raising the back neckline an inch, and lowering the front by the same amount. I also added an inch to the bodice length. I cut the sleeve cuffs on the bias, and I also folded them up and tacked them in place at the top and bottom. I love that bit of extra interest with the diagonal so much! 

My last piece is a Third Born Clothing Sun Day Tank Dress using 1.75 yards of Carmine Red/French Rose/Cornflower Blue/Multi 100% Cotton Floral Print Voile. I wanted to include a dress since nothing is easier to wear; just add shoes and head on your merry way. 

Lovely, light lawn! This gorgeous red floral is easy to work with and gathers very well. This lawn is the crisper of the two I sewed for this project, and you can see how the dress billows out a bit and maintains some body instead of hanging straight down. 

I have sewn many tanks from the Sun Day set, but I haven’t ventured into the dress hack territory yet. The measurements for tiers are included within the pattern, and I opted to combine the heights of Tier 1 and Tier 2, so I cut it at about 30”. I initially planned on just a lone tier for the dress, however… The leftover scrap was too perfect for a short extra-ruffley midi tier and the print isn’t directional so I could easily turn it sideways, thus the hem tier was born. 

This fabric was stable enough that I also dared to skip stay-stitching the neckline, and the front and back v-necks were sturdy enough to allow me to be fiddly with them and their pointy parts. Not too shabby! 

Thanks for checking out my latest project collection for Fabric Mart. I’m always delighted and grateful to sew and share my work. 

KATIE  @kak513

Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: COTTON, LAWN, VOILE, DENIM, CHAMBRAY, SHIRTING & JERSEY KNITS.


  1. Beautiful Garments! Beautiful Sewing! Happy Sewing!

  2. Your garments and your sewing are Beautiful!

  3. I love your pattern and fabric choices and your sewing skills are amazing!!!

  4. You did a great job with those garments and your fabrics! They look great on you and terrific as comfy simple garments. Nice work!

  5. You look great in all these garments - cool, breezy and ready for any thing!

  6. penny0626@verizon.nbetAugust 14, 2022 at 1:47 PM

    All very cute and Summery, job well done.


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