85 degrees and a slight breeze. You’re out in the garden, using the shovel for the first time this year. The weatherman on the radio says a cold front is moving in and there is a chance of snow tomorrow. Really!? You can hardly believe that. But actually, you can, because you live in Texas. And as everyone said when you first moved to the lone star state, “If you don’t like the weather right now, just wait 10 minutes.”
It’s that “in-between” season right now. The daffodils have bloomed and gone, but the flowering tree you wait for every spring has been jinxed again by a surprise visit from Mr. Frost. The first 2 years she bloomed, but last year she did not. You still hold out for hope that she will once again be resurrected.
So how do you deal with severe weather swings like this? Well, this is what I do…When the weather is lovely: 1) Go outside and prep the garden beds; 2) Go to the library and check out books to help with gardening and general yard projects.
When the weather is NOT so lovely: SEW projects you’ll want done by the time the weather is super warm! That’s precisely what I have been doing these last few weeks…and what I did last year before the weather turned warm.
My favorite sewing pastime is to make new clothes for summertime. Because they never call for much fabric (hello–cheap!) and they usually go together pretty quickly (an afternoon). Say hello to my favorite summer top pattern:
I discovered this pattern years ago and I love it. It is # 3610 from KWIK*SEW, and still current in their catalogue. AND it’s on sale this week! Here’s the link: http://kwiksew.mccall.com/k3610-products-20152.php?page_id=3038
The first version I made was with a thin silk that had been in my stash for years:
I love the way silk, rayon and cotton lawns drape. They are soft and rarely get static cling like polyester. I hand wash and hang dry all of my silk and rayon tops. This version I literally ripped a thin strip for the tie/straps. I also left the hemline torn with the raw edge. (You can get away with so much using silk rather than polyester!) I also left the hem a raw edge for this pink version and used a thin cotton twill tape for the straps:
Here’s a tip for this pattern: From the inside top of the garment, I tack the inside casing/facing to the strap just where I want it. The blouse has a tendency to scrunch down in front. I do this on both sides of the front and then it never shifts or falls down on the casing.
This clipping from a magazine was what initially prompted me to buy the pattern:
So the version I made last summer was similar in design. I made a split V-shape at the top middle of the front so my strapping could tie in the front, rather than the side. I couldn’t find any trim I liked, so I bought a ball of organic cotton yarn and crocheted a chain until I had my desired length. I knotted it off at each end and then threaded it through for my straps. The fabric is really soft and it’s one of my favorite summer tops now.
Here is a link to a very similar top that you can make without buying the KWIK*SEW pattern: (It also shows how to make a front “V”) http://wkdesigner.wordpress.com/2008/09/02/sweet-camie/
This version is tweaked once again. It is a sheer polyester that I chose to be a little more appropriate for wearing to work. I thought it was cute worn with a blazer when I was working in an “office casual” environment:
With this top, I made a few adjustments at the neckline. I pleated it until I had the desired neckline width, then stitched the pleats before I stitched the facings on. Also, I inserted the straps like I was going to thread it through, but I didn’t. I just stitched across that opening to secure the straps. I did not sew a second row of stitches since there was no need for a casing.
Stay tuned for another post that will have you turning boring shirts from your closet into cute tank tops for summer! Happy “In-Between” time!