Happy summer, friends! We are truly in the dog days of the season, down here in Texas. It’s too hot to do anything more than bounce from air conditioned building to air conditioned building, guzzling iced tea and dreaming about living somewhere that tops out at 85 degrees max. It’s also the time of year when natural fibers reign supreme and sleeves are banished wholesale from my wardrobe rotation. Only the lightest and most breathable of garments will do!
Normally, this means sundresses for me. This year, however, I’m running after a small toddling creatures and wearing a lot of very practical outfits. Jeans, shorts, flowy tops. Repeat. That’s had me on the hunt for a good all purpose summer blouse. Something loose, but still feminine, and with a bit of interesting detailing. This month, I decided to give the Cashmerette Webster a spin. It’s a semi-fitted v-neck blouse with a hi-low hemline, back crossover straps, and all-in-one facing. Just the sort of thing for a Texas heat wave!
This first Webster Top was made with the long summer holidays in mind. Between the 4th of July and Bastille Day, this month demands a bit of red, white, and blue in its outfits. My to-sew pile brims with patriotic colors and crisp, bright whites. One of my favorite recent purchases was this Red, White, and Blue Polka Dot Embroidered Cotton Shirting from Mood Fabrics (still available on a white background). It’s essentially a clipped dot cotton shirting kicked up a notch with multi color polka dots, instead of the usual tone on tone affair. It’s cheerful and crisp and ideal for shirtdresses or summery tops.
It actually might be a tad too crisp for the Webster’s intentions, as the pattern calls for billowing, drapey fabrics, but I couldn’t imagine this fabric as anything else. I decided to embrace a slightly boxier take on the top and go with it. I cut out the pattern on a single layer, in order to keep the dotty stripes marching straight, and whipped this top up over a lazy July weekend. It was the perfect summer project–quick, pretty, and with no hand-stitching in sight.
The top was simple to construct, with its clever all-in-one facing making finishing a streamlined, efficient process. All the seams were finished with serging (in white, because I’m embracing the color theme…or I was too lazy to change it out) and capped off with a classic narrow hem done on my sewing machine. I lengthened the pattern by an inch, since I’m a few inches taller than who Cashmerette drafts for, but otherwise left it as drafted.
In the end, the top is a little boxy compared with its intended design, but it’s cute and fun to throw on with jeans or red cigarette pants. I wish I’d secured the straps in back just a little tighter than directed and I’ll go up a cup size in the future, just to give a bit more ease around the armscyes and upper bust. What I’m really looking forward to is snagging one of Mood’s gorgeous silk crepes and making a truly slinky version of the dress length, later this summer. Long live summer! (Or, at least, until September when I’ll start dreaming of sweater weather.)