2017 FO-5 : The white linen shell

2017 FO-5 : The white linen shell

I want to tell you about the incredible week I had, being and teaching at Squam, but I’m gonna need a minute to collect my thoughts. For the moment, here’s the little linen top from my to-make list, which I cranked out the Sunday before I left, believing it would be useful on the trip. Lori took this photo on my third day wearing it, so that seems to have been a good hunch.

This is the same as the two I made last year — the black silk gauze and the blue striped cotton — with a few tiny differences:

– the neck and armholes are finished with bias instead of bands
– the front is as long as the back (no high/low)
– there’s a center front seam
– the pockets are bigger than on the striped one
– the neck bias is attached with the seam slightly off-center in the front

The latter three of those things are the result of mistakes on my part, from working too fast. (Didn’t add enough fabric at the front for the intended gathers, seamed the excess back out; grabbed the pocket I had drafted for my black pants instead of the one from the blue stripe top; thought I was attaching an arm band and realized too late it was the neck hole I was working on.) And all are happy accidents — I even like the little bit of patchwork effect at the neck. I might add a few sashiko stitches or something.

I’m not sure why — guess it’s just the extra length in front — but this one seems roomier than the others … which I’m also ok with. This was the perfect layering piece for the unpredictable and wildly fluctuating New Hampshire spring weather, the perfect warm-up to get me back to sewing after 10 months away from the machine, and is guaranteed to be worn incessantly. I’ll try the gathered neck idea on the next one.

Pattern: my own
Fabric:  off-white pure linen via Fancy Tiger, $12/yard
Cost: free pattern + about $18 fabric = $18


PREVIOUSLY in FOs: The Squam hats




36 thoughts on “2017 FO-5 : The white linen shell

  1. This is a nice summer basic! The extra length in front accentuates the graceful drape. And the unintended offset neck bias sounds like a cool design feature – especially given that there is a center front seam for it to contrast with!

  2. I meant to comment when I saw this on you at Squam, Karen. It is a very flattering (and cool looking!) silhouette. I especially like it with these pants. Are these your ES Florence pants? Trés chic.

    • I use them. They’re a must if wearing one of these over a pocketless dress or skirt, especially. I keep my studio keys on me at all times during the day, so I can’t abide clothes without pockets, and adding them to a top makes up for the lack in certain bottoms or underlayers.

  3. It’s the perfect white summer top! Truly. Do you have any recommendations for similar patterns? Thanks!

  4. I want the same, as a knit version for my Summer of Basics. I have planned a striped one, but a white one would work just as well. You look so comfortable in it with these pants.

  5. Love this outfit! Need this top. Wonder if I can try to make something similar. Haven’t done sewing for a long time. Maybe you are convincing me to get back to my machine!

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  7. This is so very pure and graceful at the same time, I’m always amazed about how you find balance between extreme simplicity and your own personal taste. Your whole process is truly an example.
    About what you say about ease (that this one seems to bee roomier than the others), I’ve discovered something when sewing the Grainline’s Willow Tank. I had made the first two without any modifications, except in the length, and had found both to be too snug around the bust (though I had sewn my usual size with Grainline’s pattern). With the third one, I did not change the size or altered the body, but, when trying it before sewing the bias at the armholes, I found that the fit was perfect and it was not at all too snug. I understand that the bias length given in pattern instructions where intentionally smaller than the armhole to ensure a flat armhole, but for me it was too much. So maybe this is what you did, you used a longer bias strip than the others, and it is a bit roomier.
    PS : I hope this makes sense, I’ve never written such things in English ;-)

    • Your English is perfect and I totally get what you’re saying — that’s interesting. But no, I’m a big stretcher of bindings and definitely did that here!

  8. I love your outfit too! You did a great job with your top. Did you also make your pants? I want to start sewing clothes again after many years. I don’t like the quality of store bought in my price range. I really enjoy your blog!

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