Since I now know that I'll be teaching this year and will have little time in the library, I've been rethinking my wardrobe for the school year. I've found khakis and tee shirts are perfect in the library because I do a lot of work that requires I be able to move, crawl, reach and so on. We move armloads of books, clean, work on computers and other machines and climb on steps to reach high shelves.
In a classroom, however, there's mostly walking around, slight bending, and standing. Lots of standing! I wore mostly dresses and skirts when I was in the classroom but never in the library. I've decided to find a happy medium between those two styles: pants or skirts and tops that are more dressy than tees.
I've been busy the last couple of days sewing a few things for myself. After paying $30 to $50 each for a couple of shirts, I decided it would be much more affordable to make my own, especially since I have plenty of fabrics that are perfect for clothing. Remember the boxes of fabrics I purchased from the elderly lady a few weeks ago? About half of that is beautiful linens that sew up into great fitting pants. I bought this Simplicity pattern last week and spent a bit of time measuring and fitting the pattern to my size.
I've made two pair of pants: one in khaki and another in black. The linen is very comfortable and hangs very well. I love the hand of this fabric, so I'll probably make several more pairs. I have probably 10 more pieces of fabric in every color! So it shouldn't be a problem.
I also made a few tops. The first one I made is this beige pullover blouse in a light linen that I added embroidery to. I'm not doing that again for a while....it was too stressful. The computer is old and easily freezes, which it did.
I ended up restarting the embroidery program and losing the adjustments I'd made. So then I had to abandon part of the embroidery motif and just drop in the monogram. Since I could not line up the border correctly and it is fairly simple, I chose to put it in manually. And there's the stressful part! Not bad in the end, but I'm not trying this again soon.
So, since I don't want to embroider on these tops and they are a little plain, I decided to try some other form of embellishment. Today I made a blue top using the same pattern from the beige linen one. The fabric is some type of rayon that easily melts, so I couldn't use any kind of iron on.
Some time ago I'd purchased some wooden game pieces on Etsy. Rich and I then drilled tiny holes in the pieces to turn them in to buttons. I stitched several of the wooden buttons on and interspersed them with bright, colorful plastic buttons. I like the end result.....bright, fun and nonsensical.
Although I like these tops, one of the problems I've had is that there has to be a button, hook and eye or some other closure in the back neck. My hair gets tangled in a hook and eye set and the loops that I've made to pair with buttons generally do not stay buttoned.
I redesigned the back part of the blouse so that I could add a button hole and a small button--no pulled hair and no open back! The left back extends over the right side of the back and I added a button hole on the extension. Perfect!
After wrapping up the blue top, I decided that I'd make one more top. This one opens to the front and is intended to wear over a tank top as a light shirt jacket. I used a striped blue fabric that was in the boxes but was too small.
To have enough fabric, I added a Copenhagen blue solid from my stash. I cut the front and sleeves from the stripe, the collar, back and sleeve band from the solid.
The two fabrics are a perfect match, and the top will look smart with a solid white tank. I'm considering whether I want to add some type of closure to the shirt. That might be a little too constraining to work in, so I'll have to wait till it's washed and try it on with the tank to decide.