Rust might not be everyone’s favourite colour, but I’m sure I will be making lots of lovely rust-coloured garments this summer. All Ikea’s fault, because they specialled off their rust coloured linen curtains for a ridiculous price. Was there a palace revolt of bean counters against the designers or was it just some sort of embarrassing mistake? Whatever the reason, I couldn’t help but go berserk and buy several packets. Each pair of curtains is 5m of linen, which makes …. uhm … let’s not do the maths, too embarrassing! Suffice it to say that I love the colour (which is just as well), and the price of around $8/m allows me so much more freedom to experiment than if I had to shell out the usual $25-40 in the fabric shops. So it’s a win-win, Ikea gets to get rid of stock they clearly don’t want and I get to get rid off my fear of ruining expensive fabric when trying out new ideas.

I started making inroads into my stash of many meters of red-brown linen with a tunic painted with a super simple abstract in black. I really like the colour combo even if it is not particularly spring-like. But with the long sleeves it will be just the right weight for the change of season and in any case, autumn is sure to come again. 🙂

The pattern is the Tessuti Athina, what else, this time in the longer length, meant to be worn over loose pants. The motif was painted on with a brush with screen printing ink and the signature had to be stencilled as such fine lines are hard with a brush on the rough texture of linen. Too easy to spoil the whole thing at the last moment with some gluggy blobs. I used screen printing ink because I was too impatient to wait the 8 hours or overnight you need with dye before being able to sew this up. In all my impatient enthusiasm I forgot to peel away the newspaper under the fabric while the ink was still wet, so now I have bits of newspaper permanently stuck on the inside. Serves me right, but I could always claim that it adds to that ‘artisan look’. 🙂

I modified the Athina slightly by installing slits at sides, to about high hip level. Makes more sense with something this long and allows easy access to my pant pockets.

Next in my line up of rust coloured linen garments is a calf-length tunic with short sleeves, again split at the sides to the waist.

This could be worn over pants or possibly even a skirt. I have tried this look before with a knit and long sleeves in winter, but when you need a jacket over the top to keep warm the super long tunic can look awkward. So short sleeved for summer, when jackets are not necessary, is probably a better idea.

The pattern here, surprise surprise, is not the Athina but the Georgia dress by Elizabeth Suzann Studio. More about the sewing details and modifications are on PatternReview.

The stencilled motif is an old favourite, one of the Matisse cut-outs, stencilled with freezer paper and this time I took my time with thickened dye, to preserve the soft hand of the fabric.

I had a brief flirtation with using these giraffes, but I am a bit wary of animals on my clothes.

Too cutesy? Maybe not if it is sufficiently stylised and the safari theme suits the colour. I might still try it if I find I like wearing this new silhouette of a long tunic with split sides over pants. Apparently we are in for another cool summer on the Australian east coast, so I won’t be wearing sleeveless dresses all that much.

This is linked to MMM.