Friday, September 7, 2018

Making a Handkerchief Halter & New Pants

It's the end of a very long, exhausting week and it's raining and I'm covered in poison ivy (despite eradicating all that I find, I seem to always get it each time I mow my yard). It's been fun this week with the excitement of the fair after a summer of getting ready and the boys did very well in their project areas (Judah 1st place, Malachi 2nd, and David 1st with 4th overall placement in the STEM project area) but I am ready for a weekend with nothing going on! 

I have a lot of projects to blog about but I figured I ought to do this one while it is still slightly possible to need to wear summer clothes. It's still hot here but getting much cooler in the mornings and evenings. This entire summer was one of the hottest ones I've ever experienced and one of the rainiest!

Anyway, sometime over the summer I picked up a pants pattern at Wal Mart; Simplicity 8389 to be exact. I liked the straight, wide legs and the comfortable elasticized waist and the front pleats. I don't find patterns from "the Big 3" to be very inspired but once in a while they work just fine for a plain, basic design! While I love my Arenite pants, the close fitting ankle was just too hot to wear over the summer. I don't wear shorts often (getting a bad case of poison ivy on ones butt is a strong deterrent 😅) so a loose open ankle pant seemed to be the answer. 

I made my first pair of these pants in a pink striped textured cotton (possibly a cotton/linen blend) I got at a fabric sale in the spring where a local quilting group was selling off the large collection of one of their members who had sadly passed away. I made them straight from the pattern with the only adjustment being the length. I'm not terribly tall (5' 5"at my last measuring 😄) so everything is just a little bit long on me. The pants have a partially fitted waistband with elastic at the side fronts and back, pleats at the front, in seam pockets and lovely, long loose legs! I put these on as soon as I was finished and have worn them frequently since. They go with everything and are suitable for all my activities!

This summer I liked wearing these with halter tops since it was so muggy and hot. I had a big stack of handkerchiefs that the boys used to use for toy parachutes but have since abandoned to use up. This is how I made all my handkerchief tops - this method worked well for me and is so quick and easy! This method makes a double layer top which I prefer, since these aren't worn with a bra.

Ok, so first I squared up a handkerchief by cutting off all the edges and tearing them straight. It's amazing how OFF grain some of these prints can be. Oh well, better to be on grain than have a perfectly straight print, when it comes to these garments! The I folded the handkerchief in half, forming a triangle, and sewed around the raw edges, stopping about 2" from the corner to allow for turning.

After that, I turned and pressed the triangle, tucking in the raw edges of that 2" left for turning. To secure everything and make it nice and tidy I topstitched all around the edges.

Time to make the top neckline! I turned down the top point of the triangle til it measured about 7" across. I then sewed along this fold, and trimmed away the point of fabric.

To finish the raw trimmed edge, I zig zag stitched over it and topstitched the neckline again, parallel to the first line of stitching. The handkerchief portion was now done!

To make the ties, I cut strips of black knit fabric and sewed them into tubes, turned them right sides out and pressed them. I attached a tie at each corner of the neckline and each side of the waist.


This is a great type of top for super hot days, to wear around the house or yard. I sure got a lot of wear out of mine! And I may squeeze in a few more wearings before the weather turns too cold.

My favorite part of this outfit is the hair decoration Malachi made for me out of a bluejay feather he found and an old beaded bracelet. I love the things my boys make! I'm so proud of them and their creativity and deep appreciation of nature.


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