The “Geometry of Hummingbirds” top
Fabric: Yellow hummingbird print cotton (£6.99/metre); cotton from two thrifted men’s shirts – plain blue (£3) and a blue-and-white geometric print (£1)
Pattern: Vogue 8667, tweaked Year: Contemporary
Notions: invisible zip from stash, about £3
Time to complete: ~6 hours, including pattern drafting
First worn: May 2012
Wear again? Yes, but there may be some adjustments
Total Cost: ~£9 or £10
Now I have a bit of a thing for print mix-ups (exhibit A) but they’re always serendipitous – one fabric ends up next to another on the sewing desk or in the cupboard or on the washing line… they catch my eye, and away we go. But to actually seek out two prints to work together was much harder than I thought, especially because I’m trying to curb my consumerist habits this month, which means No New Fabric. So I started off with the birds and the plain blue cotton, and hoped the third ingredient would jump out of my stash and join in along the way.
You say ‘print mix-up’, I say ‘princess seams’: I think it’s the perfect construction for mixing fabrics (exhibit B). I’ve made the V8867 before, and wanted to try something a little different this time round. I traced the bodice pieces, shortened and curved the centre bodice panel, cut off the excess, and added that to the side panels to get the bib-shaped bodice. Then the rest of the pattern went together as normal.
The only problem is that my adjustment has pulled up the centre of the waistline seam slightly, as you can see in the picture below – I’m guessing that’s what’s causing those diagonal wrinkles in the skirt. Next time, I’ll add a little length to my re-drafted side panels to balance that out.
The second print, on the sleeves and hem band, is a subtle design in blue-and-white, which reminds me of clouds but is geometric and square at the same time. The original shirt was a pound (probably due to some stains around the collar) but giving plenty of fabric to play with!
The sleeves are a bit of a let-down though – tight when I raise or stick out my arms. I’m half-tempted to replace them with some little Simplicity cap sleeves so that I’m not so restricted when I do this:
Hooray! the pattern experiment paid off, the fabrics work together, I’ve learned something, and I have a cute top to show for it. But I think I’ll continue to leave my print-mixing up to chance in future.