Heather is the new pastel

My good friend Vanessa is dotty over orange.  The way I love aqua, she loves orange.  I’ve been content to let her own that color for a good many years, but what with the pretty corals I keep coming across and the fact that coral is pretty much opposite aqua on the color wheel, I’ve been attempting to branch out from my #1 favorite color.

Enter this pretty peachy pink heathered poly cotton rayon knit from Harts Fabric.  I bought it with some Christmas money and it’s been ageing in my stash as I’ve pondered how to do it justice.

Burdastyle 12/2009 has proved to be one of the better issues of Burda in my stash.  While working on my motorcycle jacket, I kept coming to this pattern–a basic henley.

I love that it uses snaps instead of buttons, and I like the easy go with everything feel it has.  I knew I had found my pattern for this pretty fabric.  But I was less enchanted with the smallest size being a 36. I’ve made my peace with grading, but for such a basic top, I figured it really wasn’t worth my time to do so.  So out came my TNT.

I traced the shoulder, armscye, neckline and a couple of inches below the armscye without cutting out anything yet on my tracing paper.  I also quickly transferred the seamlines since Burda does not use them (and can I say how much easier that is than dealing with those monstrous 5/8″ things on Big 4 patterns?!) I superimposed that over the Burda tracing sheet and copied the neckline, and grabbed the CF placket, and boom.  A complete graded pattern in 5 minutes.  When it came to cutting out, I then just overlayed the tracing onto my TNT front, secured with pattern weights and cut away.

The top came together in 100 minutes (I’m timing myself for t-shirts now just for your benefit, readers).  It typically takes me about 90 to sew up a t-shirt, but it took a little longer to hammer the snaps in.  I wished I had added 1/4″ extra along the side seams.  Because my TNT is based on a rayon lycra with a little more stretch than this fabric, it’s perhaps a bit more snug than it would otherwise be.  I’ll give myself a little grace for that because this is the first time that I’ve used something other than rayon/lycra with my TNT.

But mostly, I love this color.  Pure versions of colors can often wash out my fair skin.  My solution  to this has always been to gravitate towards pastels, but I often think that pastels can be ageing and dated.  Thankfully, there have been a lot of heathered knits and chambrays that I’ve come across lately that do the same work of a pastel (mixing in white with a more pure color) but with a fresher, more textured, less Easter-egg look.

ETA: For more info on snaps (and because Julie asked):

I got lucky and was given some vintage pearl snaps from a lady who was cleaning out her stash a while ago.  They’re called Ginger Snaps, and they’re definitely better than the Dritz snaps…I’ve had 100% success with them and it’s about 50/50 with the Dritz snaps.  The nice thing about them is that they are colored on the side that fits into the pearl prong, so you can’t mess it up.  There is an excellent tutorial on pearl snaps here:
I didn’t interface my placket either because I find that it can sometimes can outweigh the fashion fabric and then I have gaping issues.  The two layers of fabric really are enough, but if your fabric feels unstable or like it needs some beef, by all means, interface it.
Etsy is an excellent resource for pearl snaps, and really a lot of different notions.  I’m finding that the more I use Dritz products and the more I use non-Dritz products, the less I like the Dritz…I have a lot fewer headaches with them for whatever reason–and I don’t even use a snap setter–just an old wooden spool, a fabric pad under the snap to protect it, and a mallet.  There’s a store here that sells pearl snaps: Cowgirl Snaps
You can also find Ginger Snaps on Ebay and Etsy: Green Ginger SnapsOrange Ginger SnapsSpiffy Red/White/Blue Ginger Snaps
Snap Source also sells good quality snaps and setting tools.  Their setters are the ones that Sandra Betzina uses.  I keep meaning to get some every time I’m at Denver Fabrics…

How do you break out of color ruts that you find yourself in?

My full review of the top is here.

For you T-shirt Project followers, this is an unofficial entry.  I’ll take another look at the henley at some point in the course of the project because it’s kind of an interesting shirt. Also, I love this one so much I’m so in for making another one.  You’ll still find it in the Flickr page for the project.  You can now click up at the top of the page to a special page just for the project, listing participants and a few other links.  Enjoy!

7 thoughts on “Heather is the new pastel

  1. Tips for snaps? I have not had luck with the pronged snaps that are light enough for tee shirts and wovens. Can you tell us what brand you use and also any tips for putting them in? many thanks.

  2. You know, I know what you’re saying on the seam allowances… but when you often go to the closet and try on something to find out you’ve grown half a size, built-in growth room can be pretty handy! 🙂

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