When I first met The Husband I was living in Surrey and working in London. At the weekends (or during the week if he could swing a meeting locally) he would drive the 280-ish miles to visit (and the same home again on a Sunday night).
On the Saturday we’d do fun things…oftentimes involving taking the 25 minute train journey into London and ‘doing’ a museum or some shopping, or a long and boozy lunch.
And, now and again, quelle surprise, we’d find ourselves on Berwick Street and he would happily traipse in and out of fabric shops and treat me to a metre or many of lovely fabric.
One such purchase was some incredibly soft and drapey pale spearmint coloured linen. It’s buttery texture is divine and it’s just opaque enough to maintain your modesty whilst you stay cool. It was £20 a metre 8 years ago. Not cheap.
And it’s sat in my stash for 8 years because I couldn’t decide what to sew with it.
Which is, quite frankly, a crazy waste of beautiful fabric.
With the new found (Wardrobe Architect motivated) spirit of sewing up or shipping out my stash fabric, it was time to bit the bullet on this an actually make something from this lovely linen, and I wanted something that I would get a great deal of wear out of over the summer months. A dress would be lovely, but wouldn’t get the wear, so I decided on a simple tank top.
I knew I wanted a breezy and long line silhouette, a curvy hemline and some tiny tucks across the front, but couldn’t find a pattern that cut the mustard.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been banging on about making my own patterns, so, I did.
I used Simplicity 1886 as a block, traced a copy so I could scribble, cut and tape to my hearts content, and in very little time, had a pattern that I absolutely love.
I made the following alterations:
:: added 1/2″ to each side seam allowance to give me a loose silhouette
:: dropped the neckline by about 1″ (ish) and scooped the neckline front and back to make it wider
:: added 2″ to the front of the blouse and 3″ to the back
:: shaped the sides to give a shirt tail effect
:: replaced the neckline facing with a self made bias binding facing
:: armholes also have a bias bound facing
:: added 6 x 1/4″ pintucks to the front of the bodice
It sounds like a lot when you write it down, but it didn’t take very long at all to do, and now I have a top that as soon as I’ve worn it, goes into the wash so I can wear it again as soon as possible.
I adore this top and only want to make a couple of teeny tiny changes for the next one.
:: raise the front neckline by about 1/2″. Because the top is so breezy, the neckline can be a bit precarious when I lean forwards…not cool at the school gate!
:: the darts are a bit hinky. The fabric hides a multitude of sins, but I need to bring the bust point back a little, possibly only 1/4″, just to avoid them hitting at the wrong point and ending up, well, pointy!
:: The side seams sit slightly towards the back of centre…again you can’t really see it but I’m aware of it. Moving them forwards just 1/2″ will solve that problem.
Very minor changes that will make the next top pretty much perfect. Now I just need to decide what I’ll put in place of the pintucks for a different look!
PS…yes…those are my red Lotta’s. They get as much, if not more, wear than this top.
PPS…and yes, my blue one’s are here too. :-D