In this heat over the last week or so, I’ve been drawn to sewing over knitting. I ordered a couple patterns, I bought a bit of fabric at the Hancock’s store closing sale, and I recently cleaned and organized my craft room to make things a little more accessible. A few weeks back, I printed out a free pattern for the Breezy Tee– nothing fancy, nothing all that interesting. It didn’t catch my interest and I set it aside, hoping I hadn’t just wasted too much of the lovely wax-print fabric I had brought back from Oregon, from my friend Steph’s mom’s stash. It had a bit too much structure for the Breezy Tee, but I didn’t want to give up on using it for a sleeveless top.
Then, last week, the lovely Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow posted her now-annual “Sewing Dares” event. It’s a simple but very fun and inclusive idea, meant to create some freshness and momentum for sewists who congregate on the internet. If you leave a comment on the post, she or one of her readers will look through your Instagram feed or blog and suggest something new for you to try out, with no pressure or timeline. If you sew a lot of dresses, maybe it’s time for you to work on pants, and if you’ve only worked with woven fabric, maybe you’re ready to try something in a knit. Every person is different, so every dare should be too! Not wanting to be left out, I commented, and received this lovely and well-considered dare in response:
While the cat robe is unfortunately on a bit of a time-out until I procure the contrasting fabric for the cuffs and lapel (unfortunately, I don’t have quite enough fabric to cut out all the pieces and make all the cats face the right direction), I decided to go back to that woven top and come at it from a different angle.
On Pinterest, I came across an old post from Cotton and Curls, a gathered top tutorial (more of a guide than a pattern, which as you know works great for me). Between the pieces I had cut out and her simple instructions, I went for it and made a pretty, simple, woven top. Since I had already cut out the front piece, I needed to add a bit of length to my ruffled panel, and using what was left of the wax print seemed like a bit too much. So, some extra plain black fabric from the lining of a thrifted skirt did nicely. I might add a little shaping on the back, but I’m pretty happy with it as it is.
I have so much woven fabric and I like this silhouette so much, I think there are several more of these in my future. Some similar variations like this and this and this are pretty appealing, and I think I can hack it without having to commit to a pattern.