Good morning! I’m starting off the week with a myriad of bright colors — something you don’t often see here. Fun, no? This is the last batch of fabrics I received from sweet Frances, and what makes these extra special is that K was lucky enough to select them herself.
Do you see a theme? Zebras and tigers (or cheetahs?) and giraffes, oh my! K is a huge fan of animals on her clothing. These two prints are from the Safari Moon collection and without hesitation, K pointed to the two-headed zebras first and then the turquoise menagerie. One thing I noticed about the hand of these fabrics is that they feel more like traditional quilting cotton than the other fabrics I’ve featured here and here.
Anyway, I’m continuing to sew my way through my new favorite Japanese pattern book, and I had an inkling that the zebras would fare nicely in the form of a “French Tuck Blouse”.
The book’s version:
I do love the simplicity of the white cotton used for the model above, but the colorful print is working, I think. I cut the size 130cm, which I’ve officially determined is just right for K, and the only change I made was to add three inches to the length so the top will last longer.
I wish I’d centered the zebras a bit better on both the front and back, but due to the large pleats, I didn’t want to awkwardly cut off the zebras too much…not too shabby a job, I’d say. K thinks it’s fabulous.
Moving along to the turquoise sleeveless top:
From a distance, it seems as though this print is just your run-of-the-mill floral, but the unexpected addition of the animals really drew both K and me in. The tank has a similar A-line silhouette as the tuck blouse, which is one of my favorite shapes these days. I’m also going through a mini piping phase, and wanted to add a subtle dimension to the neckline with some of the white piping I had in my stash:
I love it. The back button is one of those blingy-bling faux diamonds, and this just sent K over the moon and she clutched the top to her with shining eyes when I first showed it to her (she chose the button for the zebra top, but lost interest when I asked her about the turquoise one). The pattern comes with a little chest pocket, but I didn’t have quite enough fabric to match up the pocket with the print, and I just couldn’t have a glaringly obvious pocket now, could I?
I’d like to point out how proud I am of the button loops. Those things always give me such a headache, and I often spend an inordinately long time trying to turn them right side out, but I seem to have finally cottoned on to how to use this tool, and it was a snap.
For this tank top, you might have noticed that the back slit opening seems quite deep, and you would be right. It’s because I got confused with the way the facings were supposed to be sewn (there was a lot of flipping and turning, and I just tried to figure it out on my own after a while). I actually like the extra long slit — it’s a design element, as I like to call all of my mistakes. You might have also noticed that compared to the book photo, the one I made seems longer, and yes, I added three inches to the hem. Tops that can be worn for years = good.
I was in such a happy groove sewing these tops, and once I finished them, I couldn’t stand that I didn’t have pants or shorts to go with them. It’s a sickness, I tell you. K’s been loving the After School pants I hacked off to death, so I wanted to make her a similar pair.
Various fabrics were tossed this way and that and then I found a basket filled with pants that M decided he doesn’t like. They’re barely worn and I had been thinking I might be able to rejigger them into jeans for myself, but that seemed like a lot of work.
Why not make a pair of shorts (or “half pants” as they’re called in this book) instead?
The dark wash denim is lovely for these, and I’m glad I finally made some more versatile shorts. It’s been on my to-do list forever and the guilt was almost unbearable. Note: the jeans you saw are a different pair from the one I ended up using, but the style is the same. For some reason, M bought multiples of these pants he now abhors.
Speaking of shopping, this past weekend we hit the end-of-summer sales and found these Saltwater sandals and a pair of aqua Converse sneakers for a steal. A very productive weekend, indeed!
Thank you, Frances, for all the wonderful fabric. So, so much fun!