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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Picture heavy

In keeping with my policy to have the blog with the worst pictures on the web here are a bunch of one of my latest efforts.

I know, I know. 

I should get a tripod and a remote. I should sign up for Instagram how-to courses. I should get lights. I should allow more than 40 seconds for photo shoot. I should be like one of those mommy bloggers who have the photographic skills of Yosef Karsh  (famous Canadian photographer), but that would affect my sewing time.

So in this blog, unfortunately, what you see is what you get.

So here we are.

I got this fabric in New York recently, sort of a heavy knit lace at Parons, who usually are a better source for quality wools and boucles.

I was wary of something with too many seams to interfere with the lace.

I have also decided for the next little while to pursue a new approach to my sewing - I am going to try to sew only things that I will actually wear - as in reach for in the morning when I am in a rush.

This is a new tactic for me, and so original I am thinking of patenting it.

So with that in mind I decided to use this basic dolman top I have used before - knowing from experience that tops with sleeves like this actually work better in fabrics with some body as they go all droopy and is-that-an-old-rag-you-have-hanging-from-your-shoulders if you use something light like a jersey.

Counter intuitive I know but what I have experienced based on bathroom mirror research.

So this is the pattern I used, out of print but there are tons similar:

I also got the bright idea to do the scoop neck version but to make a ring to put on over it to look sort of like a cowl so this top could be more trans-seasonal.

I first tried a long infinity type ring but it was way too many layers and I know would be hot flash inducing, so I cut it down to something that went around my neck once.

I have to tell you that quite honestly I have had my struggles being really crazy about the infinity scarf with everything look. I know I am the only person in the universe who feels this way but my neck feels sort of stuffed into too much fabric when I wear them. 

Maybe I was scarred by a forceps delivery or by having my mother tie too many scratchy wool scarves around and around my neck in Manitoba in the winter (you might get strangled but at least you would be warm was the rule) to really be enthusiastic about the scarved up look.

Enough talking.

Here are the hanger shots:

And here are the shots on me, taken by the only available photographer, the charming Miss Scarlett who was home for lunch (we have lunch together twice a week at my house because it fits both our school schedules) on "pyjama" day:

Here is the result of our photo shoot:

Note lurking Daisy, I didn't want to press the hems, which I did by hand, in case I flattened the lace but seeing these shots I think I will.

The thing with this top of course is you have to wear something under it. I tried a camisole but what is the point of a nice comfortable top if you have to wear body armour under it?

Since I have decided to actually try some of the patterns in my long standing collection I went searching for something to make out of some coincidentally totally matching rayon single knit. It really is too easily wrinkled (rayon is a wood based product and of course single knits can act like paper) for a real top.

I pulled out one of my meaning-to-trys, the tank from Pamela's patterns twin set.

I followed the instructions to choose the size based on high bust measurement. This gave me a medium, and although this was absolutely perfect for what I wanted, nice and loose, it would have been way too big for an actually summer tank as you can see. I could even see the bottom of my bra underneath in the arm holes for example. 

Good to find that out and very nice when your wearable muslin is actually useful. I may in fact extend this to make a sleeveless night gown for summer and now I know that about this pattern:

More tomorrow but right now I have dogs agitating for trips to the park.


Mrs. Smith said...

Very unique and original plans there! :)

I love this top. Very much! The length is perfect and the fit too. And I really like the lace.

Jennifer C said...

Beautiful lace! My blog photos are pretty bad lol. No tripod or fancy camera available.

Angela said...

Miss Scarlett did a good job! I love the shape and the color of that top on you. Successful bathroom mirror research:)

Robin said...

Love the lace and the color. My kind of tunic look.

Anonymous said...

Love the lace, love the colour of the lace and especially love the pattern you used because there is not a lot of fabric bunching under your arms as there often is with that pattern design. Very nicely designed.
As for the infinity scarf, if the fabric is heavy, or just because I feel like it, I often make the scarf in one layer. I do one twist, then a flat fell seam and the hilarious joy of this is that you have only one, count 'em, one edge to finish. Thank you Mobius.
Vancouver Barbara

Anonymous said...

That purple top looks great on you. Good job and good job little photographer!

ElleC said...

Wow. Only sewing clothes you will really wear. You smart.

Anonymous said...

Great top and the multiple concepts in this post are impressive:
- Sewing what you will wear,
- weekly lunch dates with grandchild
- pajama day.

You are my role model.


Diana said...

Gorgeous fabric and I love the top. The ring is a good idea but the top looks really nice on you without it as well.I have this pattern and have it on top of my cutting table to make right after Christmas so am happy to see it featured here on the blog of a fellow Maritimer.

SuzieB said...

That top looks great on you! Very flattering & a beautiful color. I love scarves (vintage ones especially) but have never warmed to the infinity scarf. Somehow they're too limiting & I want a scarf to "be all you can be"! LOL

Leigh Wheeler said...

Wait... I could just sew stuff that I would wear????? Hmmm. :)

I like your top. It looks great on you. And thanks for keeping it real in the photo department. It's quite disconcerting to think I need to learn f-stops and whatnot just to blog. I'd rather just sew. Your photo assistant did a good job.

I love the current trend in scarves. My office attempts to mimic northern Siberia and I am always cold. I'd have to wear an long underwear and a turtleneck under that tunic.