The summer holidays: it's so lovely to have the littlest Teacakes at home all day, but I'm beginning to suffer sewing withdrawal symptoms now I must confine my habit to the evenings. So when my lovely Mama came over and it poured down with rain all day, I asked her if I might steal an hour or two in the late afternoon for some sewing.
I spent those couple of hours drafting a pattern for this top. I wanted a shirt that was loose-fitting, but which used the material slightly meanly, as voluminous shirts tend to swamp me and just make me look plump (yes, it's the 5ft 1" issue again). It has tiny puffed sleeves, with gathers at the top and some shirring around the armbands.
I hadn't realised until I started placing the pattern pieces how difficult working with such broadly placed stripes and checks would be. I managed to get the side and shoulder seam stripes to match up...but was defeated in the area where I set the arm in - I realised too late that a gathered sleeve would mean it was near impossible to align them.
I did think of using another print when I realised this, but I happened to be wearing my mustard cardigan when I was picking out a fabric and my mother noticed how well they went together, and once this had been noted, no other colour would do. For those who haven't yet committed the entire range to memory (I'm afraid I have), it is one of Anna Maria Horner's voiles called Four Square in Sea. It was, yet again, dreamy to sew with and for a summer top is definitely fine left unlined. I think I bought this fabric from Ray-Stitch a while ago to use in Zebra-girl's quilt...but the colour didn't go with the others I was using...I'm not too disappointed!
The shirt has an opening with a facing at the top and a little fixed strip beneath, from which some tiny gathers splay out.
I was just testing this idea out and found that I liked the way it looked...as it was in its testing phase I didn't make up a perfect strip...and somehow forgot to make another one where the green dots are more central...speed sewing comes with sacrifices. However, despite little irksome bits like this, I'm actually really pleased with the way that it turned out and it fits in exactly the way that I way hoping for.
I finally finished it at 1.30am. When I woke this morning, I saw it sitting next to the sewing machines and happily felt as though the stitching elves might have been in.
But no, I have the baggy black eyes to show that it was me. This may be my look for the summer holidays if I want to get anything else sewn. I know that my children could happily amuse themselves for an hour if I wanted to sew during the day, but I don't allow myself to do that...because we all know that an hour in sewing time is actually several hours in real time...there could be issues of neglect if I were to turn the machine on.
PS. If Mr Teacakes' imaginary competition had been real, then Nina was a very clear winner with the comment : "The memoirs of a baking, sewing musician (such as myself): 'Dough Re Mi Fa Sew'. Now let's see that diagram!"
(Nina - do you have a blog? Blogger didn't give me a link, but let me know if you write one and I shall put a link in above, as well as enjoying reading the blog of one so multi-talented).