Scraps from the Past

 I actually made my August white shirt at the beginning of the month.  However, finishing the shirt did not auto-magically mean the blog post would be written.  So here I am cramming it into the last week...again! 

I was hoping that we would be closing up our house sometime during the month and might not have a lot of sewing room days.  My wish came true!  We have spent some long days moving the last of the furniture and "hoovering" (as my British son calls it) ...which is way easier when there is no furniture in the room!  I am very happy that  the house has sold, but there are so many emotions that have been swirling around as we have been moving and closing that chapter of our lives.  I guess it is to be expected, we have spent 25 years in this house and a lot of memories have been made.  It is a strange mix of happy-to-be-moving-into-the-new and sad-to-be-moving-out-of-the-old.  A bit of a roller coaster at times.  The one thing I know for sure is that when we do this again we are going to have 'people!'  I'm pretty confident that my back won't handle another 'self-move.'  Thank goodness for strong, young son and friends!

Anyhow...my August shirt!  I have been enjoying my linen scrap box this summer.  There was a time, in the not too distant past, when 100% linen fabrics were very difficult to come by.  Anytime I found some I hoarded it and when there were scraps, even the smallest little bits, I squirreled them away.  Now I have a significant pile-o-linen that is fun to play around with.  I started my August shirt by pulling all the white and off white scraps out of the box to see if there would be enough to squeeze out a top.

Along with the linen scraps, I encountered a piece I had gotten at an art fair awhile ago.  The artist paints mandalas using fruits and vegetables as the different rings.  I loved the work and couldn't resist the designs that she had printed onto squares of muslin.  The one done with pears seemed appropriate for late summer.

I arranged and rearranged my scraps several times and finally settled on a design that was centered on the front, but made up of asymmetric stripes on the back.  I cut all the pattern pieces on the bias so I wouldn't need to have a closing.  The v-neckline and the stretch of the bias made it possible to get in and out without any additional openings.  I also found some of the edging that I had saved from the giant tablecloth that I used for dresses last summer and used it to outline the mandala painting and the neckline.

As a mom I know it is not PC to pick "favorite children" but if I'm being a "bad mom" I would say my August shirt is now my favorite!  (of course we have a few more months this year, things may change!  How fickle!)  But as the temperatures have risen I have been pulling this top on quite often.  The bias makes it really comfortable and the linen is so cool.  It is going to be hard to top this one in September.


Is the Third Time Really a Charm?

This story starts a few years back....like, 5 years back....

I had a piece of decorator linen that was probably too big of a print to be a dress, but every now and then I get this urge to upholster myself and...well...there you go!  I made a dress!  It actually wasn't all that bad.  I cut it on the bias to give it a bit more shape and strategically placed the "too big" flowers so they didn't end up glaring out from inappropriate body parts...😲😳 

I added a tweedy linen hem to get it to maxi dress length and it was fine.  (can you hear the 'but' coming?)  BUT, I never wore it.  It was one of those garments that hung in the back of the closet and never found the right occasion.  I liked all the individual parts...the fabrics, the details, the colors, the design...but all together...meh.  

After it had hung in the closet, forlorn and forgotten for a few years, I thought maybe if it was a short dress I might actually wear it once in a while.  So I hauled it to the sewing room and whacked it off to knee length.  Obviously that was not the solution because it didn't even stay around long enough to get a picture!  I can't even remember where it ended up, but the short version didn't pass muster either.  

Fast forward to last week...

What do you suppose I found on an excursion into my linen scrap box?  Seriously?!  Yep, there was the chopped off hem!  OK, why not...I still liked the fabrics and colors and the ribbon detail I had done on the hem was quite nice. I hung it on my dress form, upside down...and doggone it if it didn't decide that it wanted to be a tank top!  Go figure.

Along with the hem I had enough scraps of the original fabric to make straps and just like that...a top!
Whether or not this third version ends up being THE ONE, it has been fun to keep reimagining it.  We'll see if the story continues....