As cool weather arrives, so does the usual wardrobe crisis. What to wear when the temperature drops below 20˚? No idea. Good to see that the wardrobe is slightly less populated these days, thanks to a clothing swap and also thanks to a vast bag of stuff cluttering up the bedroom floor, shortly to make its way to the Brotherhood of St Laurence. However. The T-shirts of the last few months will not be enough this morning. What was I wearing in spring?
I pull out a top I made and wore a few times in the spring. It’s Tessuti’s Ola top, very simple and wearable in the lovely versions they show on their website. It has the potential for patchworking a range of fabrics together.
The one above is somebody else’s work of art. I made mine in a heavier fabric: printed linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics, a wild abstract scattering of green, blue and grey on white, which was irresistible when I saw it on line.
It’s always a bit of a risk, buying fabric like this. You can’t rub it between your fingers, get any sense of how it might feel as trousers, skirt, shirt. A bit scratchy? Semi-transparent? Who knows?
My linen isn’t really what Tessuti suggested for the pattern. It’s too heavy. It doesn’t move with the body; it’s a little stiff. There seems to be too much of it under my arms. But I still love its wild colours.
Today, however, when I put it on with plain blue cotton trousers underneath, it doesn’t look good. It’s attention-seeking. It’s over the top. I’ve spent the summer in loose striped T-shirts, why would I want to dress up like this? I swap it for a long singlet and a shorter striped T-shirt, and I’m done. Add an old blue cotton shirt, found in a garage sale last year, and I’m all ready to head out into a cool autumn morning: sunny after yesterday’s heavy rain.
It feels as though there’s a mismatch between the fabrics I love and the things I want to wear. I want to dress plainly: no frills, nothing too tight, mostly dark colours, everything designed to last. But show me a wild print on pure linen and I’m lost. Apart from this top, I’ve also made two printed linen versions of Tessuti’s Eva dress, and mostly they just hang in the wardrobe waiting for a party.
What I wear in summer is loose trousers and loose T-shirts, and in winter heavier trousers with (bit of a gap in the wardrobe here, actually – warm loose top needed!) or a Tessuti Eva dress adapted to make a plain dark pinafore dress out of brown suiting wool.
For some reason, a long heavy dress in winter is fine, but a long loose linen dress in summer barely gets worn.
It remains to be seen if the current project – Marcy Tilton’s ‘little French house dress’, Vogue 8813 – ends up being worn several times a week, or not. At least it’s made out of common-or-garden striped stretch cotton. Fingers crossed.