It’s one of my favourite flowers.

Every time I walk into town (which I’m doing rather a lot just now, with the car still in the workshop*), I cross the bridge over the creek, and I look down. And this is why. The flowers are the most wonderful shade of purply-blue, almost lavender, and their crisp, sculptural perfection is superb, springing as they do from rather murky, weedy water. As well as the murk, the creek is home to fish, terrapins and frogs, but these beauties rise serenely above it all.

And then I remembered the fabric. Of course I did. Weeellll, it wouldn’t be me if there was no fabric, would it?

So I bring you (with a tiny weeny fanfare), the fabric for the next – and probably last, for now – Hawaiian type shirt. And of course, the big pattern has lotus on it.

Two Kaffe Fassett pieces. One scrap of batik, and one oddment of printed poplin from the end of the roll at Spotlight. The colours in this photos aren’t that great, there’s a lot more lilac and the green is less assertive in real life.

I had to do some tinkering to make it all work. The lotus fabric is going on the back, but was slightly too short. So I pieced in a strip of the front fabric at the top. It works… The back fabric is also being used for the sleeves, but wasn’t quite wide enough for the correct length, so I shortened the sleeves a little, and they are cut on the cross rather than straight grain. The collar is green on top and the yoke fabric underneath. The interfacing is pieced again.

It’s not made yet, and it’s potentially a bit bonkers, but I love the colours: grey, lilac, blue, aqua, pink and green. I also love the interplay between the pattern scales and structures. And finally, it’s fun to collect together fabrics which have no hope of being worn in their current states, and assembling them into something wearable and fun.

This is going to be the last one for a while. I have quilting I need to do and a quilt to finish, and two pairs of summer pyjamas to make.

Not quite so much fun, but it needs to get done.


*It’s been nearly 6 weeks… timing belts shredded, rockers bent, camshaft bent, sheared bolts, I could go on. I’m over it, and I’m especially over walking 2km into town and back in 30°C+. Hopefully it will be over soon. Meanwhile, I sew.

The scraps on my back

Not teeny ones this time, just for a change.

I decided I just had to have another shirt like the Nearly Hawaiian. The fabrics I had were either the wrong weight, or too small or too large. What I did have were reasonably large pieces left over from a whole bunch of other projects. So why not go with that? A scrappy shirt, but considered, not just flung together willy-nilly.

So I did. All dark blue and white, but with a pink and white collar, which picks up the pink roses featured in one of the fabrics. The largest piece was for the back, and I only just squeaked enough of the fabric. The front facings are pieced, the pocket is pieced, the sleeves are cut across the grain instead of along the grain, etc. The interfacing is pieced out of scraps too!

So, we have fabrics from the front and back of my Anemone quilt (still awaiting hand quilting 😕), and three fabric remnants from a hexie project I’m tinkering with. I think it’s a bit obvious I love dark blue and white fabrics. In fact, dark blue and white almost anything, as evidenced by my lifelong addiction to Burleigh Calico china

There might be another shirt or two in me before this obsession fades a little. What do you think?

Time for one more, or should I call it a day?

Nearly Hawaiian

I confess I dearly love Hawaiian shirts.

Not the incredibly kitschy, garishly coloured jobs, but the more ‘authentic’ ones in monochrome traditional prints, either solid bright or preferably soft and muted. I love the comfortable style of the shirt, with open neck, short sleeves and usually a patch pocket on the front. They are just formal enough to be presentable, and just casual enough to be comfortable. George Clooney rocked his in the movie The Descendants (play the trailer and you’ll see what I mean). I have a page book-marked for a supplier who has a seemingly unending variety of both shirts and fabrics in beautiful, subtle, delicate prints. But he’s in Hawaii, and the cost is prohibitive.

So when I spotted this fabric I thought, well, why not?  It’s not authentic, or traditional, but it does have something of the same flavour.

And blue is one of my favourite colours.

I went hunting for a suitable pattern, and found it in New Look 6197, which comes in both male and female styles and sizes, so I could maybe persuade the Husband to give it a try too. It’s an easy pattern; the hardest part is the buttonholes, and even they aren’t hard if you have one of those weird buttonhole feet for your sewing machine and a program that lets you just press the pedal and sit back. I did of course fiddle about with the pattern to suit myself, and put the collar on the other way around, because I wanted a certain side to go on top.

I’m very pleased with it. It’s comfortable, roomy without being baggy, the shirt went together without fuss and the pattern is easy to follow so there were no nasty moments or ambiguities to hold me up. I’m planning to use the same pattern for a pyjama top in a lighter fabric, together with a pair of elastic-waisted shorts from another pattern entirely.

But that’s a project for another day.