Saturday, 11 June 2016

A Double Gauze Shirt


I cut this shirt out last year and then found that the weather changed, causing my spring/summer dressmaking bug to finally desert me. I always remember a woman who worked in my local fabric shop several years ago telling me, with a look of complete mistrust and suspicion on her face: Quilters are weird. They're here constantly all winter and then in the summer they just disappear and nobody knows where the go or what they're actually doing. The implication seemed to be that they could actually be off murdering people for all she knew, only to reappear in September ready to absolve themselves of their crimes by indulging in some gentle needlework.

I was actually buying dressmaking fabric at the time, so she wasn't aware that I also quilt, but inwardly I was amused to be one of the weird breed of quilters who, like migratory birds, change where they're headed the moment the weather warms up. But rather than going on a killing spree, this quilter at least, is just dressmaking. The wish to make clothes in late spring and early summer hits me every year and has little to do with any particular logic or rationale related to a summer wardrobe, but feels more like a gravitational pull. Although, my English paper piecing continues regardless of the season.


Anyway, returning to my most recent make, this shirt is made from a quite extraordinary fabric. It's a double gauze with a large check on one side and a much smaller check on the other face. But it's softer than a Nani Iro double gauze and also has a slightly puffy feel to it reminiscent of a seersucker. I really, really like it. I haven't spotted it in a single online shop though, so unfortunately, I have nowhere to point people for a source of it - do let me know if you know of one. I've lightened the above photo up quite a bit, as its one downside is that it's a beast to photograph. I bought enough yardage to make a shirt and a skirt (not to be worn at the same time!), but sadly I was trialling an extremely fancy pants iron out for a manufacturer on my initial attempt to make this last year...and found that the pants on that particular iron weren't quite fancy enough as it suddenly sprayed a trail of white and brown debris all over the shirt which proved to be indelible, so the fabric set aside for a skirt had to be cut into when it came to remaking the shirt. If I was given a penny for all the iron-related traumas I've experienced now, I would have enough to buy myself a very large ice-cream, possibly with a flake. (Actually, I was sent an electric toothbrush by way of apology, so I fared rather better than being given the ice-cream and it was also quite nice to come to the shirt afresh this summer and found that I'd already cut all the pieces out, so that I could get straight on to the fun part).


It's shown far better in the photo at the top of this post, but I was able to use the contrasting smaller check side to make the button placket, shirt sleeve hoikers (what's the official word for those?) and collar and it's a really nice feature to have the check peeking out from inside where the collar falls down. As I said earlier - I found that it's virtually impossible to photograph it so that the print shows up clearly.


I finished with french seams throughout, just because. The pattern is my own and the same one that I used to make this shirt, although I've shortened the sleeves a little this time around (I never feel like they are when I'm actually wearing it, but the photos made me retrospectively feel they were too long on that shirt) and left off the collar in this version. So really it's more like this shirt, but less drapey, so to me it has more of the feel of the first shirt than the second! Like a pony perfecting its one and only trick, I have plans for this pattern in several other fabrics.

Although actually, I'm more of a two-trick pony, because I've also been remaking this top recently and have plans for more as my sister would like one too. It's so good to be gathering a handful of patterns that feel completely reliable in terms of fit and that get regular use in my wardrobe, although it can make me lazy as it feels far easier to just remake those patterns in different fabrics than to challenge myself to try something completely new.

What are you drawn to sewing now that the weather is warming up (or cooling down if you're in Australia)?

Wishing you a lovely weekend,
Florence x

21 comments:

  1. Well, if I had the time (rather short on it at the moment,at least for my own sewing anyway. I still do sewing jobs for other people) I would like to try a bush shirt! I have got it into my head (as one does) that one of these would be very useful for me, particularly while cycling. I should make one in the winter really, ready for summer cycling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A bush shirt? It's making me think of some kind of shirt that could be worn in the Australian outback - am I thinking along the right lines or is a bush shirt something entirely different? Either way I'm intrigued!

      Delete
  2. I bought some of that a few weeks ago in Belle fabrics in Leigh on Sea! Your right, it's lovely and if they'd have more than colour I'd have bought several. Haven't decided what to make yet, but your shirt is lovely x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! My local fabric shop once told me that a lot of their fabric comes from a man who arrives with a van and they just get in and pick whatever they like - I wonder if our fabric shops have had visits from the same van man! x

      Delete
  3. Very pretty and lovely on you Ms teacakes. Love your stories!

    ReplyDelete
  4. your shirt turned out nicely

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the suspicion of us "disappearing" in the summer! And your shirt looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This fabric looks the same as some I bought online from Ditto fabrics - as I recall it was reasonably priced - hope this helps

    ReplyDelete
  7. It looks like a wonderful shirt and you look fabulous in it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. As sleeve hoikers they shall henceforth be known! (Tabs, probably, now I think of it, but hoikers is much better.) Great shirt, and Japanese double-sided fabrics are just amazing! Here down under my sewing thoughts are on merino wool leggings and I have plans to try to become a sock knitter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right - they're tabs and that's far more elegant than hoikers too! I don't really knit (not for want of trying - I just don't seem to have the knack!), so don't have much knowledge, but I follow several people who knit on Instagram and making socks seems to be a focus for many knitters. Is the sock appeal because they're a satisfyingly challenging thing to construct or because they're small, so it's an affordable project to get stuck in to? (I guess I'm thinking of the latter because I've been really shocked to discover quite how expensive wool is!). Merino wool leggings sound like a lovely cosy project...and one that will go perfectly with your first socks! x

      Delete
  9. I love the idea that we quilters go and do something dubious over the summer months! My colleagues already think my obsession with fabric and quilting is slightly odd. This will just reinforce it! I do wish I could make lovely shirts, particularly as I'm on the petite side and never seem to be able to buy anything as pretty as this that fits! I have grand sewing plans for this summer.. we'll see if they come to fruition! Lovely read as ever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, finding shirts that don't drown a petite figure is really hard, isn't it. Good luck with your summer sewing plans. x

      Delete
  10. I got something very similar looking from Ditto fabrics and funnily enough planned on making the exact same as you have! One day it will get made..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so hard with new fabric isn't it - I find if I don't use it almost as soon as I've bought it, it can sit there for a very long time!

      Delete
  11. YES, you're back at the garments! Not that the quilts aren't lovely, of course, but I miss your dressmaking. As Jane says, 'hoikers' is the official word now. This is a most excellent shirt. I don't think there's anything lazy about having a small number of patterns that you vary slightly - sounds like the 'capsule wardrobe'/'uniform' ideal that everyone's banging on about these days. I've got plans for all sorts of simple summer tops, dresses, skirts, trousers... but am really trying to force myself to deal with various WIPs and only do one thing at a time (the one thing at this time being pillowcases, dull but very much needed). x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I didn't know you loved the garments most :) There are actually a little stack lined up waiting to be blogged. What kind of pillow cases are you making? Plain or fancy? That will be such a good feeling once it's done and you can start on the fun sewing! x

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...