Sunday, June 19, 2016

How to Wear an Elephant

So a dear friend gave me two lovely tea towels for my birthday. She knows I have a thing for elephants and who doesn't need new tea towels?

BUT I could not bear to use them as tea towels. They were so cute. I thought, "I could make a shirt out of these." (I have obviously been reading a lot of "re-fashion" blogs! This one's my favourite.)

And that is what I did!

I started by tracing the shoulder slope from a sleeveless shirt that I liked to wear, and sewed the two towels together:
I then traced the side seam and sewed them together at the side leaving a slit at the bottom. Then I tried it on. I could barely get it on. Obviously tracing a knit shirt to a woven fabric has its pitfalls.

So I ripped out the seam, marked the armhole a little deeper and stitched the back and front together with no seam allowance at all.
I just ran the pieces through the machine with their finished edges side by side. I used a wide decorative stitch and it worked out great. It also progresses beautifully into the side slit.

Here is the back:
This towel was a little longer and had a lace trim as well as a ribbon on the one end. Perfect for a hem of a shirt.

The other towel was a little less busy with a larger motif. In other words, it was perfect for the front.
Ya, that's a pretty big smile.
I'm pretty pleased.
It has a simple ribbon edging--no lace.

I know the shirt is not well fitted and sits a little awkwardly, but I love it and it is just what I was imagining. It is comfortable (it is the perfect crispness for cotton--almost like linen) and has an easy fit. (Once I get it on; it barely fits over my head.)

Later I may cut a rounded neck in the back and redo the front. (A rounded neck? A slit tied with ribbon?) But for now I couldn't bear to cut into the towels and liked the idea of just using the two rectangles to make a shirt.

On top of loving the shirt, I serendipitously acquired two skirts recently that are the perfect shade of pinkish orange to go with it. (Before I got the tea towels. Life just works out sometimes considering this is not a colour I normally wear!) And it's a good thing because I have a wedding to go to today and obviously I was going to wear this shirt for its grand debut. It was nice to have something matching and dressy (or dressy enough for a summer afternoon wedding) to go with it.

Here is a shot of my wedding outfit:
After I had it together, I was looking for a necklace to break up the big space of white on the top. I couldn't find anything the right length and "heft" until I tried this knitted necklace I made last time I went to Squam. It was exactly what I was looking for, except I wasn't sure about the colour. Then I noticed that it is the same tone of greige of the ribbon on the bottom of the front and the lace on the hem of the back. Serendipity strikes again!

I also added some turquoise bangles to my wrist to break up all the orange that was going on. But it turns out I didn't really need to because when I got to church, this same friend had part two of my present ready to give me:
A parade of elephants on a bracelet that will match everything! :)


  1. loved seeing this today, and love even more your blog about the process.



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