Once upon a time.... (in memory of a favourite shirt)
... a lifetime ago I bought this GAP top in the sale, about 10 years ago now.
I have loved this simple white cotton tunic top for a long long long time, it has been with me to work, on holiday, on the beach, out for meals, in for guests, over tops in winter and by itself in summer. It has been rained on, has protected me from sunburn, has been scrumpled up in many a beach bag and has even been to conferences with a suit.
Just recently it has been my general purpose throw it on shirt for work and after years of service it has finally falled apart. What you can't see in the photos is that the cotton has actually worn away and left big holes on the arms and on the back too big to patch and repair.
Rather than relegate it to the rags bin, I thought I would honour its memory and take it apart and remake it from some cotton fabric I picked up at a flea market last year.
So on Friday, I carefully unpicked it at the seams, ironed it flat and traced it out with some tailors chalk on the new material.
The top came apart into 4 easy to match pieces, a front, a back and two sleeves.
I adapted the neckline slightly and finished it just with a double tuck hem all the way around.
To give a nicer finish to the top, I loaded up my machine with its dual needles and ran a line of green and silver stitching to finish all the visible hemlines.
This green ribbon is actually the edging on the sleeves.
Having cut the patterns and sewn a the body together I called it a day and went off the finish the evening with a G & T in front of the TV.
On Saturday feeling rejuventated, I decided that the pattern on the cotton I had chosen was too busy to be one complete top, so I cut a plain white cotton body from some old bed linen and set to sewing that together.
I decided that what my old much loved tunic top deserved was an hommage in two pieces. One plain with patterned sleeves, and one patterned sleeveless top.
As the sleeves had already been cut and sewn together and I had altered the plain top body slightly, I had to add some pleats to the sleeves to make them fit into the holes. I know this is the wrong way round of doing things but it actually worked out really well as the sleeves now have little puffs on the shoulders that (in my opinion) look really nice. The sleeveless patterned top was then finished in some more green ribbon just sewn straight across at the empire line.
To finish the plain top, I cut two strips of the patterned material (unfortunately there was only enough length to cut one strip in one piece so the other is actually two pieces sewn together) and these were then stitched to the bottom hem of the tunic top, then finished with the last bit of green ribbon.
I got my fire lit in the studio early and have spent a very happy day in there, with a net result over the last two days of two nice new tops for summer.