Finished Objects: Summer Ginger and Tulips Tee

I can’t just sew a simple skirt for a class sample in a nice tasteful fabric everyone will like.  No no, I have to sew with a funny fabric and an eye-blinding color I’m head over heels for at the moment.  Why not pair it with a bright pink tulip printed tee?  Why not indeed?  Something in the back of my mind tells me I should make this again in a tamer fabric…

But I like it.  I hate making samples using excessively normal fabrics I wouldn’t wear.  I’m digging these obnoxious colors together, especially for summertime.  The top is a “boat neck” version of my Blank Canvas Tee free pattern. (The first “hack” is coming soon!)  It’s become my casual-wear pattern of choice because I can run one up in no time.  I used a tulip printed cotton knit.

We had some "outdoors work" to do today, and I'm bored with standing around for photos.

I made version 3 of Ginger by Colette– a shaped waistband and cut on the bias.  The thing about pique is that it’s “spready.”  The fibers are loosely woven and that creates a bulky but surprisingly airy fabric.  Of course the fibers want to spread, especially on the bias.

It’s shorter than my usual length, but wearable.  It’s also comfortable, and Colette once again did a great job of thoughtfully drafting a simple pattern.  It’s a really great little basic skirt and works well with a wide variety of fabrics.  It’s like a blank canvas skirt.

Then I un-tucked it and my awkward feelings about the outfit melted away.  Perhaps I shouldn’t always tuck?  I’m cool, I’m comfortable, and it’s ok if I get a little dirty.  Useful clothes!

I mentioned before that I will begin teaching again- Wednesdays (am and evening) from the 8th of February.  I’ll finish the sign-up and in-depth info page tomorrow morning and link it here.

Basically, it’s a 4 week “Sewing Foundations” course.  We’ll make a simple shopping tote, Ginger, and a Blank Canvas Tee.  The idea is that anyone could take this class- a beginner or an intermediate looking to fill a few gaps in their knowledge.  The three pieces are very plain and simple, which allows for a LOT of personal variation- color choices, fabrics, embellishments, necklines, fun pockets, etc.  At the same time, I teach solid sewing concepts which will apply to future projects- grain and cutting, three ways to finish a seam, interfacing, basic knits, invisible zippers and hems are among the skills covered.

It’s not so challenging that a perfect beginner can’t make these items successfully, but a more experienced sewist would still have fun.  (A little stenciling, perhaps?)  I used to teach pajamas to beginners and gradually picked up that pajamas were not very exciting either to a new sewist or to an experienced one looking to get her hand back in.  This should be way more fun!

While we were gardening, I snapped a few shots of Stephen’s monkey shirt:

He likes it, and I’m working on a concept for the next one.  (Won’t be for a few weeks.)

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the keyhole blouse I made for Sew Weekly’s “Accessorize” challenge.  We had to build a garment around an accessory.  I chose a favorite pearl brooch, used the Not a T-shirt pattern and some black flocked cotton reclaimed from an old skirt.


  1. I don’t tuck shirts in all that often. It just doesn’t feel right to me. I suppose tucking in should make it feel more defined, but it seems like it throws proportions off to me. I’m short, if pants or a skirt are at my waist, then there is less than a hand width before my bust starts.

    I love the tulip top and I think the skirt and top go together just fine. It’s a great sample because it shows a simple skirt doesn’t have to be boring.

  2. I love both pieces separately and together. Untucked is the look I would choose, as I am very short waisted. If I want waist definition, I wear a skinny belt.

  3. I love the skirt. I think the colour is perfect for summer. It will match lots of other summery colours and it looks nice against pale legs. All in all a work horse skirt for summer in my eyes!

    • Thanks Karin, I think I’ll get a lot of use out of it, too…

      I think that’s one of the reasons I’m digging aqua at the moment… It really works with my skin tone…

  4. Sometimes I start the day out tucked in, but by mid afternoon I am untucked! The new top is really pretty – love the print.

    Good on you for not teaching pyjama pants! A skirt is just a few straight lines, and covers a lot more useful techniques for future garments. I start teaching this term too!

    • Thanks, Sherry!

      Ooooh! I’m glad you’re teaching in person, I’ve learned so much from you electronically. I’m going to go check your blog for details now! :)

  5. I may be showing my cross-Tassie prejudice in saying this but you live in Brisbane, surely those two bright colours together are nothing compared to the general colour scheme? I mean, there’s no actual sequins sewn onto them hehehehe.
    Lovely clothes, great ideas for class!

    • Beh heh heh heh.

      I guess I could scatter a few sequins around the neckline… ;)

      I was thinking about summer and bright colors the other day, and how I used to not like brights and I think I had an epiphany about light…

  6. Those garments are a great idea for the class and I think those colours look great together. Brights are always so nice in summer.

    I only started tucking my shirts in this year. I don’t know why I didn’t before…perhaps it reminded me of being told to tuck my shirt in at school or I ws just trying to ‘hide’ my hips with a longer blouse? Anyway I have now realized that tucking in can be quite slimming on the hips and changes the look of some of my outfits for the better.

  7. I just love those colours together on you – it looks like you could never possibly be in a bad mood while wearing that outfit. I’m rarely a ‘tucker’ but opt for tops that end at the top of my hips, more or less. Your t-shirt looks perfectly shaped and the right length for flattering un-tucking!

  8. All of those outfits are awesome (the key hole outfit is totally me!) I would wear the first outfit untucked myself. I am short waisted as well, so for the afore mentioned reasons tucking doesn’t work well on me. I also don’t love my stomache area so I avoid belts and bands and shirt edges running through that area. Empire level or hip level for horizontal lines on this girl.

  9. Those colours look surprisingly great together. I’m sure I’ve seen that tulip fabric before somewhere… its going to bother me now. Every time someone posts a Ginger skirt, I’m tempted, they look so great, but I just hate wearing centre front seams. This is disjointed, too much sewing has fried my brain.

    • I don’t mind disjointed… It’s what I do best.

      I probably wouldn’t have tried the pattern except I want to use it in my Foundations class… I don’t generally bother with patterns and it’s a little shorter than I’d usually wear but I have to say it’s a very well made pattern indeed. Good work, Colette.

  10. Fantastic colours and not eye blinding at all. Besides it is really really nice to see ‘not black’ or other ‘boring’ colours for samples, as you say. Dunno about the tucking in thing. For me it depends on the garment, surprise surprise, and as I wear a lot of knit tops I don’t tuck. Can’t remember what I did when I was working. I suspect I tucked some shirts in and not others …. t’was far too long ago to remember.

    PS Wish I could come to your course, but can’t quite justify the weekly return air fare!

    • Oh what a shame! :) Once I get back into teaching offline, I want to start offering what I do as online classes, too.

      Thanks– my husband rolled his eyes a LOT at the pink/aqua combination but I love it and I’m pleased other people do. :)

  11. Pingback: Don’t Buy This Sewing Machine- A Cathartic Rant « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  12. It totally looks cute as a gardening combo… although I confess the first thing I thought was–how is she not getting that skirt dirty! (I’m such a mess in my garden. I keep trying to find cute things to work in and go back to my ratty army pants.) I like that above knee-length on you. Good luck with your class; it sounds really fun and well-rounded!

  13. I like the obnoxious colors! They’ll give your students the courage to try their own obnoxious combinations.

    And teal and pink are fabulous together ;-)

    And I particularly love the keyhole blouse. I want one for me!

  14. The t-shirt stencil turned out great! And I love the lovely-colored Ginger. You are very right in teaching people to sew INTERESTING things. It’s analogous to teaching someone to play guitar on a decent quality guitar … or to sew on a decent machine.
    I’m very tempted to buy the ginger pattern, but I never tuck in my shirts, so would it be a waste of a lovely waist? In your case, I think you can go either way.

    (Can you tell I’m doing bloggy catch-up today, with all my comments?)

  15. Pingback: My OWOP and Finished Object « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

Is it kind, useful or interesting? Great!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s