Hot! Homage to Mondrian

Fabric: 1/2 metre each of white and teal jersey
1/2 metre some black stretchy stuff
Pattern: Burda 8998 T-Shirt
Year: 2012
Notions: Thread from stash
Time to Complete: 5 hours
First Worn: In these pictures
Wear Again: Yes, at work this week
Total Price: £15 for fabric



…. with a touch of Van Gogh. I had hoped to have a photograph taken with miles of fields behind me, but there was no way I was going to venture far given the weather we are having this week …. so in comes my arty umbrella!

I already did a landscape theme last year with my Fenland Skirt. Mondrian is the perfect artist for me to be inspired by, considering I live surrounded by miles of patchworked fields, stretching out into the distance. He contributed to the Duch De Stijl movement in the early 20th century and he called his form of painting with a white ground and a grid of lines, using only 3 primary colours ‘Neo-Plasticism’. You can read more about him on Wikipedia where I found this brief information. Most of his early work concentrated on more or less realistic landscapes. East Anglia, where I live, was shaped by the Dutch, whose engineers drained the Fens to give its distinctive, featureless, flat landscape of rich farmland. Mondrian broke from representational painting in 1913 and began his journey towards abstraction. he was searching for the foundation of things … He has already been ‘done’ in fashion – see here.

I’ve also visited him before with knitting….

Made from my 'oddment' bag ...

He could be said to be ‘in’ at the moment, given the trend for colour blocking at the moment.

I’ve used jersey and some kind of black stretchy stuff for this drapey top. I’m not familiar with this sort of fabric, so making it has extended my skills somewhat. I don’t have a serger, so I’ve utilised the overlock facility on my machine to secure the inside edges, as well as a ballpoint needle to avoid making holes in my fabric. Mondrian’s works were constructed with awareness rather than calculation, using his intuition. I used my intuition to guess where to begin the white and blue panels – it was not as easy as I thought – I had to sew in the dart in the black front section first, to see where to cut the straight line across the bodice. This top looks deceptively simple but is not! A bit like Mondrian’s paintings! I’ve tried to streamline things a bit – I cut the top section and sleeves from double fabric to give a bit more body. By doing this, I also avoided hemming on the sleeves – there’s a fold instead. I also attached the neckband first by machine and then the foldover by hand. The double fabric meant I could attach it without stitches showing on the front.

I’ve used the idea of ‘Mondrian’ rather than a literal representation, as I wasn’t keen on the idea of trying to ‘patchwork’ drapey jersey type stuff any further. I reckon I should be able to get a lot of mileage out of this top… It’s very comfy to wear and I’ll make some more for the summer.



Diane has sewn all through life but gave things a serious go at the beginning of 2011 and during the year took part in 50 Sew Weekly challenges. She now wants to expand her knowledge and learn new techniques in each project she completes, as well as develop a style of her own and a sense of quality over quantity. She studied print design some years ago and a love of unusual prints and colours underpins her work. Currently, she works full time dealing with copyright issues and previously, she managed photographic sales for a leading fine art museum. Diane is so grateful for the friendship, support and encouragement she has received from the Sew Weekly community.


Comments are closed.

  1. That’s a very interesting top. I love the color blocking and the color choice. Kudos to you for being able to sew that together without a serger. I would be at a loss.

  2. Wow – that top is awesome! I love the colors you chose. And you made it look simple – which is the mark of someone very good at what they do. I also really like your knit piece.

    • You are right SewOm – it wasn’t that simple (I even made a mistake and cut the underside white piece too short, having to cobble together another bit to it to make it right) Only I (and you ;-)) know that. Hee!

  3. Hi Marguerite, love the combination of your color palette. It feels very Mondrian inspired. The shirt looks lovely on you and isn’t is great to add such a useful pice to your wardrobe.

  4. Diane, this is so interesting ….love the inspiration

  5. Great idea, makes art really wearable

  6. I like this a lot – the lines are so clean and neat.

  7. Diane, you’ve nailed the Mondrian look! I love your shirt and the colors you’ve chosen – it’s such a fabulous piece!

  8. Thanks Meg! I love your running outfit too, but my computer’s been out of action and haven’t been able to do my usual commenting!

  9. Oh, I do love Mondrian! What a great choice! I like the colours you have chosen – so very un-Mondrian, and yet the work beautifully. There is a whole school of art theory that speculates on Mondrian’s colour choices, and postulates that he would have chosen different colours to work with if he had lived in a different part of the world. Some museums try to match their lighting for Mondrian’s paintings to the light he painted in – so that you get the right effect.

  10. Oooh that’s something I didn’t know, thanks Leimomi.

  11. Wonderful take on color blocking!! The time and patience you put into the top shows. It’s an eye-catching look and fits you well. Your closeup shot of the neck-binding is useful to me as I’ve been wondering how a handsewn t-shirt binding would work out. Thanks for sharing the details.

  12. Wonderful wonderful wonderful Diane. That neck line is p e r f e c t.

  13. The whole thing looks super neat.. and to think you did it without an overlocker! Well done Diane. You’ve got skilz.

  14. So cool. Love the colors and the inspiration!

  15. Thanks Cheryl! I love Mondrian.

  16. brilliant interpretation! and i love your idea to have patchwork fields behind you. you’ll need to do a sunny shoot with your next one :)

  17. Thanks Oona … where is the sun??? Have you got it? I’ve forgotten it exists!