“How in the heck can you wash your neck if it doesn’t rain any more”?
Rhythmic ditty courtesy of a Suzuki music summer school. 3 of our neighbours are out of water and we are eeking out our last 3000-4000 litres, groundwater usually reserved for irrigation. Given that our capacity exceeds 85,000 litres – it’s ludicrous; clearly our tenant had no idea how important water capture would become, so we suffer. Showering and laundry is done over at the yacht club where our boat is kept, we’re fortunate to have that option but bushfire risk is pretty dire and if the unthinkable were to happen, well, at least we have the ocean in front – there’s plenty of that!
Stitching continues unabated, electricity is abundant, so there are shirts to share, lots of shirts! But today, just 3, don’t want to bore you!
Having ripped a pattern from my favourite flowery rayon Billabong shirt, the next task was to get down to ‘designing’ various shirts. Experimentation isn’t a bad thing, but making endless calico toiles doesn’t fill the wardrobe. Eventually a girl has to bite the bullet and make something wearable! There is an inner dialogue that goes something like…”what if the bust is too tight? What if I hate the fabric? What if the piping is all wrong?” You can relate?
So if one hasn’t entirely proven the fit, a great jumping off point might be a cotton/elastane purchased way back in the dark ages. Funny how some fabrics just don’t lose their appeal over the years. The lemony yellow and aqua vintage print is joyous and with a lemon satin piping originally bought for teeny tiny baby clothes, I feel quite smug that this shirt required no out of pocket expense!
Vaguely reminiscent of those fabulous pyjama outfits we’re seeing at fashion weeks everywhere, I like this shirt more than I had anticipated. The fit is close and reasionably comfortable, no back darts, perhaps a smidge too short. Zelda was on her way to the hairdresser, 8C one day 32C the next!
Toile #2 was a sleeveless ‘western’ shirt experiment from the Nani Iro (1 metre x 90cm) pocket lining remnants of my Cascade duffle coat. I luuuurve this fabric, but there was so little of it. Camp collar from David Page Coffin’s book (templates provided in the book), sewn on facing, Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) of 1cm rotated to a french dart. Despite pulling this dart back 4cm from the apex, there’s still lots of puckering, a french dart really does need rounded dart legs – doh! The western yoke should have been appliqued/stitched over the top of a plain shirt back, that way there isn’t the crazy bias stretch as seen here for your delectation! Much swearing ensued and no fabric left for a redo! adjustments for the sleevelessness – 2cm reduction in armscye, 1 cm of that was eased into the bias binding, the other 1cm taken out of the yoke/shirt back junction. Originally I added a centre back pleat for ease, but it boofed like crazy, I like the stitched down solution which takes on the form of ‘interesting jazz color’/ ‘unnecessary detail’! This baby was worn to a family reunion and received many favourable comments, so perhaps people don’t notic bias-y gathers on a decorative yoke like I do?!
#3 shirt, long sleeved, abandoned the dart idea. The skull fabric originally bought for a shirt for #1 son, but he declined – whatevs, my gain! I just adore the contrast piping on this one. We have quilting shops up here in Mona Vale, Sydney and the ladies at Cottage Quiltworks were very helpful – even to a garment making non quilter! The close fit of this shirt is magnified by the very tightly woven cotton poplin – the shirt might have benefitted from a dart to broaden the bust measurement. Clearly not designed for playing volleyball in, this one!
And a closer view because I know you like a close up! This photograph illustrates the concept of how the sleeve ease effects bust measurement explored a little in the last blog post, don’t you think? It hitches a little over the bust, but it’s not a deal breaker for me!
It’s amazing to me how even a 1cm back dart controls the shirt back boof. It seems to be more of a structural engineering issue than a circumference reduction, the dart seems to discourage blousing just by virtue of the vertical structure. If you hate that blousy back effect on shirts, 2 tiny darts of whatever you can spare is worth a try – you can always unsew it if you don’t love the effect!
I’d be interested to know if these photos are too grainy for your taste. Its an ongoing effort to reduce file size and shorten loading time – feel free to comment below.