Monday, February 17, 2014

Maria's Top

Sometimes you connect with someone and feel that you've known them for a long time.  It doesn't happen often, and it happens even less frequently online. 

Maria Wulf is an exception.  I found her (and her blog, Full Moon Fiber Arts) through the Cold Antler Farm blog.  From there, I followed to Jon Katz’s Bedlam Farm blog, and from there, to his wife, Maria.  I realized almost immediately that I had more in common with her than the first two bloggers, though I read all three of them every time they post.

Maria is a fiber artist.  She works in a lot of the same recycled materials that I do, but we use them – and see things – very differently. 

We recently realized that our 50th birthdays fell only a few days apart.  I had decided to treat myself to a piece of her work for my birthday, and when I approached her about it, Maria suggested a birthday trade.  I was all for it!  She had no special requests, so I decided I wanted to make something for her to wear.

Like a lot of us in sewing blogland, I’m a little obsessed with Alabama Chanin, and it’s been a useful obsession because with the recent polar vortex, it’s been too cold to spend much time in my sewing room.  I cut the pieces for Maria’s top, did the initial seams, and then removed myself to warmer climes to start the hand sewing.

The top is a combination of my favorite KwikSew cowl (cowl only), the recent Tessuti Mandy Boatneck Tee (which I really liked except for the boat neck, which doesn't work that well for me), and a bit of my own inspiration.  I also chose this combination of patterns because I don't know Maria's exact size - she says she looks for a medium when she buys clothing, which is infrequently.  I think she's a bit smaller through the bust and shoulders than I am, but she also lives in a cold climate, so she's likely to put a layer under this.  Fingers crossed that it fits okay.

I wanted the top to be understated, but still lively.  Because Maria sometimes attempts (not too successfully) to hide her light under a bushel, I wanted the red in the top to make itself known gradually.  The underside of the cowl is red, and is only seen in tiny peeks.  The appliqu├ęd flowers and leaves are red, spreading from under the cowl over the left shoulder to the dropped sleeve seam.  The shoulder seams are outlined in narrow red strips, and the hems, both sleeve and bottom, are folded toward the outside and a narrow strip of red hand-sewn over them.  I used medium gray embroidery thread for the stitching, and the top itself is made from a drapy charcoal gray knit that (I think) came from Metro Textiles.

It's going in the mail tomorrow.  I can't wait to see what Maria made for me!


Little Hunting Creek said...

That's really beautiful. Lucky Maria! Happy Birthday!

DawnSSL said...

That is a lovely top! I am not normally into appliques but that is gorgeous!

Tany said...

Outstanding job, I'm sure Maria will love it and treasure it for life!

SEWN said...

It looks fabulous. Love it!