Tag Archives: indian fabric

The From India to Ireland Shirt

I was recently at the Met with my friend Becca checking out their latest, rare, textile show. Because the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume wing has been closed for renovation for, well, forever, the costume exhibits are few and far between, it’s always very exciting when they have something going up that has a costume slant, and this particular exhibit was pretty amazing, it was a really cool look at European trade in India, Japan and China between 1500 and 1800, and the ways that European tastes effected Asian textile production, and visa versa. Really amazing objects and cloth, and if I had been able to take photos inside I would have to show you, but you will just have to trust me on this one.

Now, I don’t know if a ton of that trade made it to Ireland, but I can personally attest to the fact that one piece of Indian cloth recently say Ireland’s emerald shores, and that’s because I brought it there, in shirt form. Check it out:

ITI 1Just about a year ago now, what’s his face brought me a bunch of amazing spectacular fabulous fabrics from India, and this was the last of them, and my personal favorite. The other two projects can be found here and here, if you are curious. All of these fabrics were wonderful and a joy to work with, but this was the one I was most excited about and, typical of me, the one I wanted to deal with last, because I wanted to make sure I could make something good enough for this awesome fabric. So once I nailed down my Archer skills on my last jaunt with Grainline Patterns delightful shirt pattern, I thought, there it is, do that thing. This fabric is nice and a good shirt weight, and I thought that the lovely little figures dancing all over it might like being on an Archer. I only want to sew something the fabric also consents to, you know?


The cutting of this made the repeat a little off, but you know what, whatever with that, I kind of like it, and my mom liked the asymetrical look. In fact, these photos were taken in the National Gallery, a nice small museum with THIS amazing painting (WORTH GOING FOR THAT ALONE), and a very sweet Irish woman came up to me during our imprompteau photo shoot to tell me how much she liked my shirt! How nice is that? The Irish are a kind kind people, it almost makes me sad I’m not one of them.

ITI 4This shirt was very easy to put together, especially because I had already used the pattern once and remembered Jen’s amazing tutorials. I love this pattern. I’m a true convert. I want to go to China or the Amazon and preach about it. I want the Crusades to come back in style so I can go and tell the world about this pattern and, and this part is important, NOT KILL ANYONE. The ONLY thing I would change for next time would be to make it a little smaller but that is literally it. Nothing else. It’s so good I could cry. So comfortable. So flattering. Tell your friends. Spread the message. Get the good word out there. Archer for life!

ITI 6This fabric is just so baller though. I love a conservative style in a wild print, don’t you?

ITI 9What else is there to say that has not been said, shouted from the mountaintops about this blessed pattern? I love the cuffs, and the placket looks so good and is SO not hard. I’ve seen a bunch of versions where people have been topstitching the cuffs, I’m going to try that next time. I used white thread on this which I think was a nice look, a little nerve wracking but I had faith in the great and powerful Archer to see me through. ITI 8The buttons were vintage ones I got for free. They are some kind of shell or something, not plastic. A little collar shot for you so you can see my collar stand. I hope it’s nice enough that it makes YOUR collar stand. HEYo!

ITI 3That’s what she said! That’s what she said! 

ITI 7A little fabric close up for you. SO pretty, no? I love this. I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s the coolest.


Oy, weird grimace. What is the deal with my face? Okay, ignore that, look at the shirt! Look at the shirt!

So the point is, I made my own little textile exchange happen, through my love of this fabric and the Archer. Now I’m back on US soil, having waved a fond goodbye to Ireland after a lovely trip. In a little over a week I’m off to San Francisco but before then I promise there will be a plethora of sew-along updates as soon as I get back to Brooklyn, and some treats and giveaways! Now, wont that be fun? Not as fun as this shirt, but then, what could be?


Filed under Clothing, Grainline Patterns, Sewing, Travel

The Indiophile Tunic

My sewing backlog is out of control. I keep making stuff and not documenting it. What is my deal? I have a tripod. I have no excuse. I just always end up throwing things in the laundry and as I step into the shower remembering that I was supposed to take photos of that and now it’s dark and my hair is wet and everything is the worst. So I go talk to some food about that, and, and this is the important part, NOT TAKING PHOTOS OF MY GARMENT. And the cycle, she continues. How do you guys do this? Do you find it to be as much of a struggle as I do? Am I alone in being decent at the making but bad at the taking (of photos, which I know you guys get, I just love to end on a rhyme…).

However, today was stunning, and I wore something new, so I basically forced my friend Sam into snapping some photos of me in Washington Square Park, which is just a stone’s throw from where I go to school. It’s usually filled to the brim with hip NYU students and ornery homeless people, and today was no exception. Sam and I felt just right at home. It looked a bit like this:

IT 9Nice, right? The trees are just starting to bloom, the grass is growing, the homeless people didn’t spit on us, it was a pretty good day, all things considered. And Sam ever so kindly put up with my terrible modeling, because she is a good friend.

So, remember when I told you all that my friend brought me back fabric from India? Well, I made something with some of it…

IT 6The glare from the sun caught this at an angle and so there are odd large green hexahedrons on my legs. And a little one that in this photo looks like a hair ornament. So that’s fun.

The pattern is Butterick 5548, a tunic that I thought went well with this fabric, one of the three (THREE, I’ve said it before but thank you, Rohan!) that I have. This one was a border print, and sort of a lightweight kind of a thing, cotton, I believe? So tunic seemed like a good choice. Check out the weird pattern image:

B5548I guess what I find so weird about it is that both of those models are actually the same person, but I feel like they are pretending it’s two difference people with the change of hair and pants and shoes. And it’s awkward. But the pattern is cute! I used the longer pattern and shortened it by about a foot, and yet it is still quite lengthy.

IT 2But I like it! What else did I change, hmmm, I guess that’s about it. It’s a very simple pattern to stitch up, only a few pieces and really the collar is the most complicated part.

IT 4It’s sort of flipping out in this photo, but I think you get the idea.

IT 1

I loved wearing this today. I finished it last night after Game of Thrones (guys, I’ve gotten into Game of Thrones! That’s why I’m not taking any photos of my garments, I’m too busy with Game of Thrones! Obviously!, and it was perfect for today’s weather. The shot cotton (I don’t know if you can see it in these photos but it’s sort of a lovely shot cotton in two shades of orange) seemed to brighten the day for me. I never wear orange, but I like this! 

IT 3


As you can tell, this fabric, amazing and wonderful as it is, wrinkles like a sharpei dog.


See the resemblance?


IT 8A little close up on the gold border print. So pretty, right?

IT 7As a thank you (read, way to torture) my lovely photographer, I took a photo of her so the world can see the person behind the magic. Thanks, Sam, and thanks, Rohan, and thanks, today, because the weather was simply gorgeous!

Stay tuned for my Mad Men dress coming soon, which I swear to you I will document, by all that is holy, I will take photos of that damn dress!



Filed under Butterick Patterns, Clothing, Sewing