I’ve been doing quite a bit of sewing lately, and have a new project to show off. Back in the early spring when Waechter’s Fine Fabrics announced they were closing, I scurried over to take advantage of their sale and to stock up on some fine fabrics. Among my purchases was this Tana lawn novelty print of London and the surrounding countryside. I’d been looking at it lovingly ever since it arrived at the shop, and I knew this was my chance to buy it, and at 25% off.
My plan was to make a skirt, and I already had the pattern pieces out when it occurred to me that what I really needed was a light, cool, cotton blouse. I went through my collection of patterns and came up with Simplicity 4954 which is from the early 1960s. I’d made the top before out of seersucker, and it is a favorite – easy to wear, cool and comfortable.
The colors are much truer in this photo, as the top one was taken in low light with my cell phone camera. The colors are nice and clear, with shades of blue on a white background.
Although the pattern calls for a button at the neckline, I haven’t used one. It just seems less fussy without it.
I really love designs where the sleeve is cut with the bodice or, as in this case, with the yoke. It’s a design element seen often in the early to mid 1960s.
From the time I decided to make this top to the minute I finished the hem was about three hours. That is a very fast project for me, especially since I used French seams (and faux French seams) throughout. I did save a lot of time by doing all the finishing on the machine. And because I’d made the pattern before I did not need to do a muslin trial.
And here is the finished project, in a too dark photo.
This is my third garment that I’ve made using Liberty’s Tana lawn, and it is simply a dream to sew. It’s tightly woven so even though I used French seams, this fabric also does well when simply finishing using pinking shears.
I’ve been trying to add a few prints into my wardrobe of solid blue, black, white and red. My idea of a print is a nice mariner’s stripe, or for winter, a wool plaid. Even though I love vintage novelty prints and actually collect them, I only have one example in my own closet. Maybe it’s time to change that.
I wore it for the first time this weekend, and it performed beautifully. It stayed crisp and cool and was perfect for a hot summer day. My silly self-portrait makes me look as if I have a halo, but my friends and family can assure you that is a bit misleading!
Edited to show a better photo of me and the blouse.