I am so glad I have started to use the fabric I brought back from South Africa this year. I have a sneaky suspicion some of the stuff I ought the last time I was there (3 years ago now) might still be lurking in the stash somewhere. Not so this stuff! So far I’ve used a piece of linen for my striped Kabuki Tee, and today I’m going to show off a top made from a piece of African Wax fabric. The ground is a dark periwinkle-ish blue, with white spirals outlined in black, like snail shells. It’s not as brilliantly coloured as a lot of other wax fabrics, but it spoke to me in the fabric shop. As I had rather a lot of fabric rolls to get though that morning, I only bought 2 metres of the stuff. I now ask myself – WHY??? It would have made the most perfect Zadie Jumpsuit!
However, 2m of 110cm wide cotton it was/is. I thought I’d make a pair of trousers with it, but wasn’t sure what on earth I’d pair it with on top – then inspiration hit. I’d re-discovered my grey linen Merchant & Mills Heron this spring…. Quickly unburying the pattern from storage, I checked to see it it would all fit onto the fabric, the front pattern piece is a monster. A change of grain direction, cross instead of parallel, and we were in business! I didn’t stop to think twice, just pin and cut! Although, while I was finishing off the cutting out, I did have a slight niggly thought that Hubby would pronounce this garment a “pyjama top“. Just like he still calls my lovely Tea House Dress a nightgown. Hhmmpf – men, what do they know!?
Anyways, I remembered that the last time the ties were hilariously too short, so I doubled the right tie – that’s the one which has to go round the back, and cut the left tie the same length as the right tie should have been. With me so far? Turns out that was the right decision, I can now get the right tie round the back to the front and have enough to tie a knot – or a bow, if I so desire. Other than that, I made no adjustments. Having originally cut the 18, I knew it was still the right size, only now it fits better than it did 4 years ago when I made the first one!
The insides are all overlocked, seams topstitched and that’s all really, it’s not a difficult pattern to make, the only thing to be careful with is the shawl collar, make sure you have interfaced the area where you’re snipping and cut less and often, rather than chopping all the way and go too far!! I love how the finished top looks, this will be great with jeans, all my black linen trousers (and a pair of black Landers I have lined up, fingers crossed) and the white ones too! I think this means I might make another sooner rather than later, it’s rather nice to wear now. And I like that I’ve made it from a rather mad (for me and the paired down Merchant and Mills vibe) fabric! Remember, if you’re looking for the size chart for M & M, there isn’t one in the book, but you can download the PDF here.