A bunch of Deer & Doe Plantains
Introducing my neon disco leopard print jungle january Plantain top, courtesy of those generous mesdames et messieurs at Deer & Doe. These are two more versions of their wonderful free top pattern … perfect for any knits lurking in your stash. This particular fabulous print looks like I shot and killed a spanglestastic disco diva big cat on a sultry nightclub dancefloor somewhere in darkest Africa. The less dramatic truth is that I found it on eBay!
Ahh, eBay, how i love thee. This fabric is so ME. I adore it, and almost did cartwheels round the kitchen when it arrived. Unusually, for an internet buy, when the fabric arrived it was even brighter and bolder than I hoped … it's also incredibly busy, almost fluorescent and features hot pink … so, an all round winner. Even better, this now being my third Plantain top (see versions 1 & 2 here). I have got the making down to a fine art. For this incarnation I decided to add a feature band to the sleeves and a little tab with a button fastening.
This was the first test for my brand new overlocker and I spent much of the afternoon annoying my bloke by telling him over and over how darn amazing the new bit of kit was, and how much it was going to "change my sewing life". It's easy to forget sometimes that there are non sewers who only hear "blah, blah, blah" (in a Charlie Brown's teacher stylee) everytime you open your mouth to spout about sewing related topics. I digress. High as a kite from the combination of perfect finish and a machine that cut the fabric edge as it sewed (seriously, I nearly cried on the first seam) I made this top start to finish in a little over an hour. It looks great with black jeans and is also a perfect companion colourwise for a handbag I picked up on a trip to Madrid last year. Oh, and I have pink shoes that are also the perfect match. In the interests of transparency I should point out that my bloke will tell you I have a rainbow of shoes and it is impossible to find a colourway in the world that I do not own shoes to match … it's not true, but boy am I working on it!)
With my disco neon version pressed and hanging in the wardrobe I turned my attention to Plantain number 4. For this version I fancied trying my hand at some patch pockets on a tunic length version. I got this lovely feather print cotton jersey from Girl Charlee (part of their own Love Pantone collection). I also managed to find a tiny bit of fabric in a chartreuse jersey from my stash to use as trim on the pockets. I added four inches to the length on these pieces and also cut a much wider sleeve so that I could gather them onto a band and create a different arm silhouette.
With the main body assembled and seamed I turned my attention to the pockets. In a very unscientific process I grabbed some leftover fabric and just chopped myself some semi-circular shapes for the bottom of the pockets. I then made some pleats in the top and then added the folded band for the top. Then to make it easier to get a really nice edge finish I basted all the way round on the sewing machine and used this as my pressing line for the curve which gave me a really lovely clean edge. I then pinned them to the front … checked they were level and topstitched on before removing the earlier basting. They looked good but a little bereft when I finished then so I added some vintage purple buttons from my stash. The pockets don't show up brilliantly on this large scale print but they worked so well I will definitely be making them again.
This is a really lovely relaxed tunic and I think will work well dressed up with work trousers and heels, or with skinny jeans and boots at the weekend. Just one last #januaryjungle make to go and I have one whole day left. Stay tuned folks …