When they arrived I was so pleased. They fit...pretty much....the fabric and print were lovely...they might border on "too cute for their own good" but they make me happy. I was surprised to find a tank top that I had gotten last summer when I was visiting Portland, OR that was perfect with the pants. I love it when a plan comes together. Even when it wasn't a plan.
I did decide to nip in the waist of the pants just a smidge. It was really easy to do since the back of the waist is elastic. I opened the casing and took a tuck in the elastic and stitched it back in place. A 5 minute fix.
While I was awaiting the arrival of my spiffy (that's a word my Grandma used for just such occasions) new pants...which took forever to get here! I kept myself busy with another thing that has been on my mind forever. A new sun shirt!
I have been wearing this shirt that I got on sale at Banana Republic eons ago as a cover up at the beach. It is a very lightweight cotton voile/gauze with a bit of a crinkle in it. The weight is perfect for hot sunny days when I need to keep the sun off my shoulders. I have tried other solutions, even made a couple of failed options, but keep dragging this shirt along. It's getting to the point that it shouldn't be allowed out of the house, but I can't give it up. I found a gorgeous gauzy linen while I was rearranging in my stash that was the weight I was looking for. New sun shirt here we go!
Now I say the old sun shirt was perfect, but that's not quite true. The neckline is a bit low and doesn't keep the sun off my chest, and it could be a titch longer if I am being super critical. With those changes in mind I forged ahead...
My plan was to use the Tabula Rasa pattern from Fit for Art. I love this pattern for lots of reasons, but in this case it is the way the sleeves and shoulders are designed that I wanted. They are roomy without being 'baggy.' Since I knew I was going to wear this shirt over other clothes, I wanted to make sure it would have the room I needed and also be easy to put on and take off.
You can see the Tabula Rasa and all the other great patterns from Fit for Art here.
I started by making the pleats. The very tiny 1/8 inch pintucky pleats. My fabric was perfect for the cover up but not ideal for making pleats. After taking out several tries I decided I would pull a thread the length of the pleat to mark the fold. I could keep the folds straight and when the pleats are sewn in the pulled threads don't show at all. My edge stitch foot was also a lifesaver.
Because the fabric was soooooo loosely woven I wanted to avoid too many seams. I decided to use the selvedges as the front button placket. I measured the pleat placement in from the selvedge on each side of my fabric and made the pleats intending to cut the pattern out once they were in place. I made another set of pleats in the center of the fabric to give myself the maximum space to cut the back of the shirt.
When I folded the pleated fabric and placed my pattern pieces....BINGO!!! They fit exactly. I must have re-done the layout 7 times...yep...it was a perfect fit! No side seams needed! I only had to cut out the armholes. The way the pattern is put together WITH a side seam makes it really easy to do french seams. However, with no side seams...well let's just say that I'm glad the seams are in my armpits where nobody will see them. ( I have edited out the bad words and hand wringing)
I added as much length as I could get out of my fabric and also made the sleeves a bit too long so they will cover the tops of my hands if I want and roll neatly out of the way when I don't need the coverage. I made a small bias bound edge at the neck, buttons and buttonholes, Bob's your Uncle, I have a new sun shirt! And doesn't it look great with my new flowery pants?! (also note darling sandals, score!)
After literally years of dreaming about this shirt, here it is! Yeah! Let the sun shine in!