Winter Rescue of a Summer Top

The only reason anyone ever needs for doing something out of season is, “because I wanted to,” but I want to explain this anyway. Pretty Grievances has had this Jungle January thing going on all month and it is, without exception, the best online party ever. So of course I’ve been feeling the pull to participate but I don’t have any animal prints in my stash and I don’t want to go buy something that normally wouldn’t tempt me just for some silly Internet thing no matter how much fun other people are having. Then I thought of this insect print top that I’ve been meaning to try to refashion and I thought, “Hmmmm… There are insects in the jungle.” But no, these are the wrong kind of insects. They’re just common, North American garden insects. So, no Jungle January for me but I just had to give Anne and Jungle January credit for having kick-started this project that I’ve been putting off for a while.

Here’s a closeup of the fabric.

Garden insects fabric

I found it when I was searching for a frog print fabric for a quilt I wanted to make for my sister-in-law and, as you can see, it was irresistible. Unfortunately, I made it into this:

My new summer blouse

It’s Simplicity 3535. It looked so cute on the model on the pattern envelope. On me, not so much. It wasn’t even comfortable to wear. It felt too big and poufy and the square neckline was way too wide. I loved the fabric and thought, “I’m going to wear it anyway,” but I didn’t. I put it on a few times, intending to wear it but immediately took it off and hung it back in the closet.

I’ve been planning to try to do something with it for quite a while. I kept thinking that, surely as much fabric as there is in it I can make a cute little top of some kind. I had several ideas but I finally decided it had to be a TNT (tried ‘n’ true) pattern because I didn’t want to risk this lovely fabric on an experiment.

It was hard to get started. Ripping something apart always feels a little bit wrong but once I started I realized I wasn’t destroying a good garment; I was taking a lovely fabric that was trapped in a bad garment and setting it free to be something that could be appreciated.

I did it entirely with stuff I already had on hand. The pattern is Simplicity 9872. It’s a tunic so I knew I’d have to shorten it quite a bit. I had a piece of pale yellow fabric left over from a quilt. (The print is quilting cotton also.) I used that for the yoke. My previous experience with this neckline is that one side always wants to flop down, even if I use a fairly stiff interfacing so I added a button loop and a shiny, clear button from my leftover buttons drawer. When I tried it on before hemming it I decided it needed a strip of yellow at the bottom too. And so…

Ahhh… much better. This is definitely a summer top but it is still January so I layered it over a rarely worn pale pink turtleneck. And suddenly I have an early spring outfit, as well as a summer top.

Garden insects top

5 thoughts on “Winter Rescue of a Summer Top

  1. Lynn Post author

    Soft enough, just average quilting cotton. Even better, it’s lightweight and will be nice and cool this summer.

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