Mid-mod mash-up

And another nice cool linen top.

It’s my good friend Butterick B6056, but with a twist. The linen is a lightweight version, printed with this lovely mid-century modern tropical print which reminds me strongly of curtains my parents had in one of my childhood homes (in a quieter colour scheme!). Even as a small child, I’d lie in bed looking at the print and wondering why they hadn’t coloured in properly between the strong black lines and why the leaves were that strange colour. I must have been a very tidy-minded 5 year old…

However, it was an end-of-bolt remnant, and only 90cm/35 inches long, not enough for any pattern I had. Undaunted, I set about thinking sideways once again. I could get a sleeveless top out of it if I put a seam down the centre front instead of a fold, and if I added a sort of peplum doodah at the bottom to supplement the meagre 25 inch length from shoulder to hem. I was prepared to use a matching dark blue for the peplum, but in the end, careful measuring showed I could probably get enough extra out to make it from the main fabric.

So I cut the front and back and then pieced together a long 4 inch deep peplum out of all the scraps. I made bias binding from a blending pink fat quarter for the neck and armholes. Halfway through the assembly, I had to spend a tedious hour with the overlocker, rethreading it at least 4 times because thread 4 would not stay threaded. Still, I didn’t let it defeat me, and in the end, I was victorious. I debated whether to gather or put pleats in the peplum, and in the end went with pleats as I didn’t feel there was enough fabric to make gathers look good (nothing worse than stingy gathers). Also, my rear end is quite wide enough without a sticky-out frill thing; the pleats do at least lie flat. It’s a little shorter than I usually like, but worth it, I feel. And of course it’ll improve with washing, like all linen – at present it’s a bit stiff.

So there we are. Iteration No. 4 of this trusty pattern. Very happy with it, and the fabric cost me $6…

The turquoise twirl

One of my favourite shirts is wearing out.

It has been darned and otherwise mended multiple times, but the fabric’s just getting too thin. Don’t worry, I’ll be recycling the good bits into patchwork fabric, but I love the colour and its absence will leave a hole in my wardrobe. So the other day I went and bought 3 metres of a pretty batik to make myself a replacement.

The original shirt is turquoise, blue and white in a sort of jumbled paisley pattern, and it’s a traditional short sleeved shirt with a collar. The new fabric is turquoise and a little green and white, also in a paisley pattern. But the similarity ends there, as the new garment is collarless and has a deep V-neck and a handkerchief-point hem. It’s a slight simplification of Butterick B6056, without the peculiar pockets, and shorter sleeves without tabs to hold the rolled-up cuffs.

The Husband has many wonderful talents, but taking a flattering photo is not among them. I try. I ask that he doesn’t press the button at the moment of maximum hugeness of person, roundness of face or doubleness of chin. It makes no difference. I always look at least 5kg heavier than I should. This is where a daughter would come in handy, to prompt sucking in of cheeks and tummy and the correct three-quarter view pose.

I used the best of them, and it didn’t help that a sleek and slender Mouse photobombed all the others. The contrast is, frankly, cruel. However, I’m happy with my new clothe, and it’s cool, light and very comfortable. The fabric is still a little stiff and new, but once I’ve washed it a few times, it’ll soften. Batik’s a little firmer and more tightly woven than the pattern demands, but I think it’ll soften enough to drape nicely in time. I love the colour, and yes, I do have some gorgeous scraps for the next ovarian cancer quilt!

Worth a tiny baby-elephant-type twirl, I’d say 🙂