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Forum > Beginner's Forum > SWAP - Thinking of Summer in the Dead of Winter! ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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SWAP - Thinking of Summer in the Dead of Winter!
Could you help with fabric choice?
CathyinMI
CathyinMI
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Michigan USA
Member since 2/19/07
Posts: 96
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Date: 1/28/12 9:56 PM

I know I've asked a lot of questions and I appreciate the helpful responses I get.

Considering the extremes of weather we're having, my mind traveled to summer and the clothes I was stuck wearing last year because I hate shorts and sleeveless tops! Michigan has extremes of weather frequently - very cold in the dead of winter and hot and humid in summer.

I have a plan to sew 3 skirts, 3 v-neck sleeveless tops and 2 "coverups" that I can put on over my head when I have an appointment or am heading out to the store. I hate being in sleeveless tops - my arms aren't in the best of shape and to be honest, they never have been! Neither are my thighs come to think of it!

I would love to sew these pieces in silk but I know that realistically, it wouldn't be practical. I'm worried about sewing with cotton for different reasons - to be honest, I haven't had good luck with them, i.e.: shinkage and color fading. I don't care for linen because of the wrinkle factor. I don't like looking mussed although lately, I certainly do! (Help - I need a style makeover!) :)

I thought natural fabrics would help keep me cooler when the weather hits 100 degrees. Do you have suggestions for the type of fabric to buy? Would the care of silk make it unrealistic? My lifestyle isn't such that I need to look that polished mind you - mainly I'm at home but I thought for the comfort factor, it's hard to beat. Considering the cost, at about a yard per piece or less, I don't think it would be that much more expensive, am I right?

Suggestions on using silk or another fabric? Thanks for your replies!

goosegreen
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goosegreen  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/28/12 10:40 PM

Cotton voile. I find it's usually very soft and almost like silk. Very cool and very comfortable in hot weather. It's almost like wearing nothing. You will need to iron it though if that's a consideration.

------
Alison in suburbia - Sydney Australia
My sewing blog: http://nosilasews.blogspot.com/

Keeper of the flock - Janome MC8000, Janome MC4900QC, Elna Elina 40, Husqvarna Rose, Singer 201K, Elna Contessa, Janome My Excel 18W, Janome 634D & 534D overlockers, Janome Coverpro 1000CPX.

EleanorSews
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EleanorSews  Friend of PR
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Michigan USA
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Date: 1/28/12 10:52 PM

You can find some woven fabrics in a cotton and silk blend that would be nice in Michigan summers. How do you feel about a shift type dress?

KwikSew 3893
or
KwikSew 3704

If you can find some nice rayon, that is easy to wear in the summer heat too. Just be sure you pre-wash the fabric before you cut...

------
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

Melody
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Melody
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Date: 1/28/12 10:59 PM

I know just what you mean about Michigan weather. I really like hemp fabric. It has all these amazing properties to keep you cool and dry and it's very earth friendly as it doesn't require all the chemicals required to grow other plants. It also drops it's wrinkles, it will crinkle up but once you smooth out the wrinkles they tend to fade away. I love it, I wish I had more of it. I've purchased it from Hemp Traders and it was lovely.

------
Melody

hmmmm...

marec
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Date: 1/29/12 0:05 AM

I live in a very dry climate so you must take my suggestions with a grain of salt. I also am at 4500 ft, and we get cold at night. I like jersey knits at any time of year except when really cold. The jersey is cool against my skin and feels lovely. It also does not wrinkle.

I like rayon blends, though pure rayon makes me sweat (???) and I also like linen blends.

------
my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

ladyv
ladyv
California USA
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Date: 1/29/12 0:07 AM

Melody, when you say hemp, I think of rope and burlap. Does the hemp fabric have any odor? It really looks nice on the website. I am always on the lookout for fibers that breathe.

------
Mardella in N. California

lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/29/12 1:39 AM

Call me crazy but I think superfine merino wool is a great summer fabric. It's light, breathable, doesn't get stinky or sweaty, and doesn't need ironing. I know it sounds nuts to think about wearing wool in the middle of summer, but it's actually very well suited to staying cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather.

Sew4Fun
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Sew4Fun
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In reply to CathyinMI


Date: 1/29/12 2:31 AM

Well I'm sitting here in the height of summer and it's about 100F, so I'm very much in the swing of sewing hot weather clothes. Personally I find even silk hot on days like today. Silk is nice for dressy occassions but for every day I would recommend cotton voile. It's my all time favourite hot weather fabric and it's what I'm wearing at the moment, with a skirt.

Cotton voile is easy to sew, doesn't crush too much and being lighter weight it has a nice drape. As for shrinkage I pre-wash before sewing and try to dry my clothes in the shade over summer to reduce fading. HTH

------
Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Kansas USA
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Date: 1/29/12 3:05 AM

Can I ask a silly question? Why are you making things that you "hate being in" and never wear? Why not spend your energies/budget/silk (!) on pieces that better reflect your true style and things you feel comfortable and beautiful in?

(BTW, back to your actual question: Silk is a great insulator... which means it keeps you nice and warm in cold weather. For hot weather wear, your natural fiber best friend is linen. :D)

------
~Gem in the prairie

CathyinMI
CathyinMI
Beginner
Michigan USA
Member since 2/19/07
Posts: 96
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Date: 1/29/12 4:22 AM

I have lined capri's in the closet that are made of linen and are sharp when freshly pressed and I love the looks of them hanging on the hanger but unfortunately, in our humidity, wiithin 10 minutes I'm a wrinkled mess! Hate that!

Last year during the heat wave, I bought a few cotton tops and shorts. Over the past few years it seems like I have a difficult time tolerating the higher temps. This year I want to be better prepared. I was born here. Heat shouldn't come as a surprise!

I like the looks of voile, I may have to rethink my "no cotton" rule!

I have quite a few sun dresses that I wear during the summer but I want to expand my wardrobe a bit.

I can't wear wool because even in fine weaves, it makes me itch. I think I would "feel" hot anyway at just the thought of wearing wool during our hot summers. I know - ridiculous but it's reality!

Melody! Hey neighbor! I really haven't considered hemp and I will give it some thought. It's nice to know you're concerned about sustainability. My blog was about sustainability, recycling and having a smaller footprint in the world. Now it's about sewing but I wish I would have saved those posts!

Thanks everyone! You've given me a few things to think about.

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