The header photo is a free WordPress image. I used it just because it’s emitting late summer feels. Just to be clear, that model isn’t me.
Hello, all! Summer in my part of the country will go on while the rest of you are resplendent in smart jackets and sweaters this Fall. In the hot climes of the American South, I took the opportunity to sew a couple of summer-ish wardrobe items; a bucket hat, and a white linen maxi.
First up, the bucket hat, inspired by my friend Eileen Johnson’s presentation in our sewing fashionista group meeting, is the cutest thing.
The pattern is for men but the bucket hat looks great on women — I don’t think our heads are shaped differently. Are they? Did you know that bucket hats are de riguer headwear this season? Looks like the trend will continue in the fall. Here’s a link shared by Eileen, to an article which traces the history of the bucket hat. For the longest time, I referred to it as a floppy hat, but what do I know….
Want a sewing tip? Attaching the crown to the top is an exercise in sewing two differently shaped edges together. It’s an exercise in easing. So, in the group meeting Eileen walked us through the process. It involves lots of pinning, then basting. Post basting, I gave it a steamy press. Sewing slowly while dealing with the “ease” is a good idea, too.
It’s not too difficult, actually; and the finished seam is surprisingly pucker free and smooth. It’s kind of fun, too. Now, I’m inspired to do more stuff with sewing together weirdly shaped seams. Stay tuned. Thanks to Eileen for inspiring us all!
Onward to the story of the white linen maxi — the pattern company (Closet Case Patterns) calls it a Charlie Caftan, named after a sewing blogger they admire. How nice to have a pattern named after you!
The fabric is a flat 100% linen bedsheet which I don’t use (flat sheets get tangled in my legs); this was supposed to be a “muslin” but turned out quite wearable. Linen feels so good against the body. To give you a very short review, it is an easy sew, except for the fiddly front inset; it looks like a patched-on piece, but it’s really a two piece inset; a front piece and a back piece to cover the seams on the wrong side. I used a size 14, since the sizing standard for this company is different from the “Big Four”. A big help was the finished garment measurements on the pattern guide sheet. Of course, the length in my maxi/caftan will have to be shortened even further — can’t get around that. A not-so-hidden secret in my piece: the hems are pre sewn top edges of the flat sheet. I took advantage of those, but should have shortened the pattern further. The length, while still just touching my toes, should really be ankle length, if I’m to follow the pattern illustration, and pictures on the Closet Case website of real humans wearing it. Note: I can gleefully report that the maxi has pockets.
At this point its giving off lounge wear vibes that mustn’t be worn outside; it’s also a bit transparent, and the V-neck could be higher. All are things I can get around — my long skin-toned half-slip can fix the transparency issue after I create side slits in it. Overall, this white linen maxi needs some styling and accessories to move it away from that loungewear feel. The right shoes (wedges, which I can’t wear with my wobbly knees and all) —- and what else? Chime in here. Maybe a drapier fabric that is not white might elevate it to a publicly suitable look? Print? Jewelry?
Happy Indian Summer! One more short white linen top in the works, and then I’m moving on to Fall sewing. More later…