I have to admit that in the past I’ve had relatively little success sewing garments for myself, particularly woven tops. The armscye was never quite right, and blouse collars often make me feel like a have the neck of a giraffe. Instead of taking the time to learn how to make pattern adjustments, it was always just easier to make clothes for my daughter instead – instant cuteness with low fabric requirements. Perhaps I was feeling bold after my slipper success, but I signed on to test the Women’s Driftwood Blouse from Twig + Tale, and I am certainly glad I did. I have now made three tops and one dress, all of which are getting worn regularly because they fit, are comfortable, and I feel good wearing them!
My first blouse is a short-sleeved rayon version with ties at the front. I had never sewn with rayon before, but wanted to try something light and floaty with excellent drape. Overall, the fabric was not as slippery as I thought it would be – the main challenges were pressing the long bias strips, which had a tendency to shift around, and attaching the neck binding, which forced me to be very patient and do lots of pinning!d
E couldn’t resist hopping into the photos with me – here I am looking ever so happy, trying to restrain my child from wiping her tree-sap-covered hands all over my bum. I honestly was very happy to have my little imp join me, since looking natural in photographs is apparently not my forté.
After my first success, I decided to try something different – a linen-viscose blend a-line dress with long sleeves and a button-and-loop closure at the neckline. I love, love, love this dress which has been perfect for wearing to the beach and generally feeling rather elegant this summer. I would probably add a couple of inches of length next time – I don’t think the pattern is intended to be quite this “mini”, but I didn’t account for my giraffe legs (at least they go with my giraffe neck;-)
By this point, I felt so confident with the pattern that I was willing to cut into my extra-special merino wool/cotton blend knit that I had been saving for I-don’t-know-what. I modified the pattern by omitting the keyhole and adding a band at the hem (there is a post on the Twig + Tale blog about how to do this) I had been planning on sewing a thin elastic casing for the sleeve hem, but when I tried it on, I quite liked the look of the fluttery sleeves, so just finished them with a rolled edge.
The fabric is a fairly stable knit that is so light and soft – merino wool really such an amazing fibre. I’ve been wearing this regularly in our hot summer weather, and it is so comfortable.
And one more, phew! Another merino knit, this time with long sleeves in preparation for the cooler fall weather that I’m dreaming of. Again, I made a few modifications. As written in the pattern, the Women’s Drifwood is intended to have a faced keyhole at the front, but I thought it would an interesting feature to move the keyhole and ties to the back. It was a simple modification – I just created a facing piece based on the back body pattern piece and transferred the keyhole cut lines. Again, I added a band at the hem to give a blousier look, and I added wide cuffs to the sleeves. Store-bought tops are often a bit too short in the arm for me (or become that way after they have been washed and dried…), so it feels luxurious to have extra-long sleeves.
If it isn’t obvious at this point, I would highly recommend the Driftwood. It is a wonderfully-designed, cleanly drafted, simple pattern that provides a great base for customization. I have many more ideas for different options I’d like to try!