After a cold and rainy spring, it seems summer has arrived in the Mediterranean area, where I live. Every year, I get overexcited and make the closet swap earlier than I should, and then I end up needing to layer things that shouldn’t be layered. This time I waited longer, and now it’s clear that my cold weather items are ready to go to storage. I always like the joy this swap brings: a celebration of the seasons, a fresh encounter with items I haven’t seen for months and that I can get reacquainted with. I always remake, over dye and rethink my wardrobe this time of year, and it’s the season I get more into sewing.
**Storing my cold weather wardrobe**
This also means it’s time for woolen knits to go into storage.
To keep them safe from hungry moths, I wash them before storing them. Moths are attracted to sweat and other things that might get on your clothes as you wear them.
It’s also a joy to wash woolens in summer, because it’s so warm and sunny that everything dried in a few hours.
I also put little bags of lavender in the same bag I store my knits, and I try to close them as airtight as possible. Those vacuum bags, if you have them, will work well for this and save you some space as well.
I also store turtlenecks, flannel shirts and thicker jeans.
**Bringing in the warm weather wardrobe**
When warm weather comes, I bring out all my summer clothes. I always surprised of how many I have. I have more summer clothes than cold-weather clothes. It’s a mild climate, but also in summer, where I live, you need to change clothes a lot. If you lived in a Mediterranean climate, you know when the season of never-again-having-that-feeling-of-a-fresh-tshirt. Everything is just sticky all the time.
Now, at the beginning of summer, I can still enjoy the warmth without the stickiness.
In the last few years, I’ve noticed that warm weather slows down my knitting and gets me in the mood to sew, while in the colder months I tend to only sew simple things like tote bags, napkins, pillowcases.
Last year, and the year before, I had only sown quite loose, oversized garments. Maybe it was the Pandemic, maybe it was the extra weight… maybe it was that phase. Now I feel like I can have ease and still sew things that fit and flatter my body.
I try everything on and decide what does and doesn’t work anymore. The items in the latter category are then surveyed to see if I can sell them or give them to someone who can give them a better home. Many times I alter them, and turn them into completely new things. As I’m writing this, I am wearing a dress I recut and over-dyed from a failed project. I had kept the fail project and the rage it still contained in a bag until seasons past and the fabric was neutral to me and ready to be given a second, or third or fourth life. I’ve already worn this dress more than ten times, and only made if a few weeks ago.
I like to reset the fabric by opening seams, washing and when possible, over-dyeing. I have a black embroidered linen top that used to be a dress, then a skirt and now a top. I used embroidery to mend the holes it had acquired in its past lives, and it’s one of my favorite linen tops. Indeed, some of my favorite things are things I made out of repurposed or leftover fabric.
I keep the smallest pieces and I try to use them. Lately, I have been making tote-bags using a combination of quilting techniques and sashiko embroidery. I crocheted straps. I love these tote bags. I kept some for me as knitting project bags and some I gave away as gifts.