If you happened to live one street over.
If you happened to be awake at 11:00 p.m. last Friday night.
If you happened to glance out your front window at just the right moment.
You would have seen a woman, sprinting down the sidewalk in her flip flops, whisper-yelling at her bulldog puppy who had decided to take a flyer. They were both running at full-tilt for an entire block until, in desperation, the woman made a rolling dive to capture the
little monster adorable puppy.
Tomorrow, a new school year begins… and like that little bulldog, I feel like I’ve been running at full speed with the school year right at my heels. These final weeks are always a mix of wanting to do as much as possible, because summer is almost over; and wanting to do as little as possible, because summer is almost over. Today I opted for dog walks, a coffee date with G, watching the olympics, finally approaching the “back to school” section in Target, and finishing a pair of Moji pants from Seamwork. Whether this qualified as accomplishing a lot or a little I’m not sure, and frankly, it doesn’t matter.
Part of my “accomplish a lot” list this summer has included making myself some new clothes for work. I cranked out a few tanks to make fall days in a school with no AC bearable. The Wiksten tank pattern is all over the sewing blogosphere. It’s a solid, straight forward, pattern that includes a dress option (it’s on my list) as well. After doing a bit of research I found that the Wiksten runs a bit big, so I cut a size smaller than my measurements suggested.
Attempt #1 was made in a super light chambray shirting that had been living in the stash for awhile. I finished it with french seams like the pattern suggests, which makes it as lovely on the inside as it is on the outside. In addition to learning that the pattern runs a bit big, others found that there was a bit of gaping at the back of the neck. I took several bloggers’ advice and angled my back pattern piece to remove a couple of inches from the neck. Worked like a charm.
(Turns out I didn’t iron these. They had been jammed in a ball in the corner of my suitcase while I was teaching in the mountains. Also, I may have confused the camp office staff when I asked to borrow four wall tacks for ten minutes…)
Attempt #2 was made from a piece of Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous in Traffic Denim. This time around I finished seams with my serger instead of using french seams. I also did an excellent job of stretching out the collar when I neglected to under stitch. I left off the pocket on this one because A. the pocket is adorable, but supremely unuseful, and B. The fabric is so pretty I didn’t think it needed anything extra.
In terms of difficulty, I’d rate this a one seam ripper pattern. The french seams are an extra step, but not tricky, and other than that, it’s two pattern pieces and some bias binding. Slick. I’ve got a piece of black handkerchief linen that might need to become a Wiksten tank dress.
Tomorrow morning teachers will hit the ground running. While it is always a bit hard to see summer go, I feel pretty fortunate that going back to work means spending my days teaching, learning, and making music with kids. Tonight I’ll enjoy the end of summer, and look forward to a great fall filled with ironed tank tops.