Springfield for Autumn

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I didn’t intend to make a sleeveless top for Autumn. I didn’t intend to make one for Summer either if I’m honest. Like my mother, her mother, and doubtless many of my ancestors I have “sturdy” arms. The kind that render much of what is on offer on the High Street unwearable (or in some memorable cases, “untryonable”. Oh friends, the indignity of being stuck in the changing rooms at Gap, in a misguided shirt-dress moment, my arms stuck in the air like some tragic 90’s throwback, unable to free myself because of a skimpy bicep allowance!)

So when Jenny at Cashmerette patterns released her Springfield top last year, I was less than excited. Or so I thought…

I’ve worked in many interesting buildings in my time, the one thing they have in common?* Terrible Air Conditioning. To pay for my fabric habit, I’m an accountant for a law firm in a rather swish building in the Auckland CBD. On any given day at my desk I can be freezing, sweltering or pleasantly temperate…

How does one dress for this, in Auckland’s already notoriously changeable weather? I like to call it Cautiously Optimistic. I’m cautiously optimistic I’m dressed appropriately, just in case I’ll take a cardigan/jacket/umbrella/socks/sunscreen…

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My solution? layers . Its a bit of a uniform, pants (in the non-knickers sense of the word UK readers), a pretty top/blouse and a cardigan, often topped off with a scarf of some sort. I tend to avoid jackets , they are usually made from woven fabric and often the arms end up being so tight I cant lift my coffee cup….and I really need that coffee ok?

After reading Jules’ post about Planning to Sew , and realizing I couldn’t even begin to plan without organizing my stash , I had a big sort out. Several things I learnt (besides I need to stop buying fabric & patterns for  while?)

One, throwing out all the UFO/Disaster projects I’ve been holding on too because I like the fabric, is good juju…

Two, almost all of my disasters are in rayon

Three….I need to get better at sewing rayon before I commit even more fabric carnage…

A simple pattern I could make in rayon, in my size, which would look great under layers? Why hello Springfield…

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First up a toile. In my wisdom I decided to ignore what I learnt making my Dartmouth top, and instead cut a straight size 18. Nope, no idea what I was thinking either.

As my toile ended up a little big around the bust (surprise!), I followed the instructions from the Cashmerette sew along here , and graded the pattern at the bust & waist for a much better fit.

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80’s power ballad moment…

For this version I didn’t do the Princess seams at the back, the fabric is so drapey I thought the looser flowing cut would work better.

Its a simple sew, although I did take the time to do French Seams, and I was super careful with my binding (hint, stay stitching and LOADS of pins are really important when binding slippery fabric!)

“The inside should be as pretty as outside” – my Mother

I’m really happy with this top, I love it with jeans as per the pics, for work I have navy blue pants & nude patent heels that will work a treat. It feels lovely to wear, and the floral print elevates a super simple shape into something a little more special.

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Jenny has released a Pattern Hack course for this top, I already have a V neck faced version lined up, and that’s just the start…

Open kimono: I wont lie, I agonized over these pictures, do I really want my bare arms online?? Arms quite frankly I wish looked better/firmer/more tanned…. Talking the talk about body positively is one thing, walking the walk, online, bare biceps banging in the breeze, is quite another. It feels a bit weird, but the reality is, while I still covet Michelle Obama biceps, they are never going to be mine. Accept and move on…

Gap moment recreation/flashback!?

Kristina xxx

* One of my first jobs in London was in an old building (that’s UK old, like properly old!), the Air Con consisted of opening the windows. The older gentleman who managed the office liked the blinds down, some issue with light on his screen apparently….but one day, in a fit of heat induced rebellion I opened a blind, and guess what was out the window? The most glorious view of St Paul’s Cathedral, the dome was literally glistening in the sunshine. I gasped, it was the most fabulous sight, which I enjoyed it for a full forty five seconds until I was politely asked to please lower the blind…


  1. sewfitted says:

    You look fabulous in your floral top! I also like the combination with the green cardigan. I also have sturdy biceps. For outside/ leisure I wear sleeveless. For more professional settings like work, I tend to cover my biceps. But here in the Netherlands the number of days that you can wear sleeveless are very limited. So when the temperature is right, I cease the occasion.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thank you! Yes I like covered up for work, I need to get more confidence to go sleeveless for casual in warm weather! At least the warm spring weather is coming for you now, hooray!


  2. Lorraine says:

    Your Springfield is really beautiful! It’s inspired me to get the pattern now after months of procrastinating as I almost always sew tops in knit fabrics. Thank you for showing us your lovely top.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks so much, it’s a great top, you’ll get loads of wear out of it!


  3. Rhonda L says:

    Perfection! I’m inspired to make one to (optimistically) wear to a party tonight.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks! Thats awesome, although I hope you sew faster than me!!😊


  4. Dette Ryan says:

    Looks good sister and given your cardi collection, I think you are onto a winner. How much fabric is required and width as just looking at all these smaller pieces I have and thinking ‘perfect’.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Ha ha , yes, perfect for the cardi collector in me!:) Depending on which view you make a 115 cm wide fabric needs 1.6 to 2 metres, a 150 wide peice 1.2 to 1.4 metres, stash buster:)


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