Is it possible to adapt the Mathilde blouse to a sleeveless tank top? Answer? Yes! I spent this weekend doing just that.
The key to adapting this blouse is to really pare things back. I left out the facings, ignored the back button opening, shaved more of a curve into the front and back neckline and trimmed a bit off the blouse’s length. I also discovered that I really needed to add some waist shaping. If you want to wear the Mathilde as a loose tank top, you will need waist shaping. I only realised after sewing together the main pieces, but it was easy enough to adjust with some chalk and a French curve.
The facings and sleeves were all replaced with some beautiful binding tape I took home from one of our legendary sewing swaps. I procured this, I believe, at the Birmingham meet up. Isn’t it gorgeous?
If I had a Top Tip for sewing swaps it would be this: resist the allure of metres and metres of crazy print fabric. Keep your eyes peeled for the discreet little bits and pieces that your sewing friends quietly slip onto the table. The unusual binding tape, the rarely seen accessory, the vintage knitting pattern. You’ll be so grateful for them when they turn out to be your salvation in times of inspiration.
Adapting the Mathilde blouse began as an experiment with some cheap red cotton sateen bought in Goldhawk Road. The emphasis was definitely on ‘experiment’ and I fully anticipated a learning curve that ended up in the bin. I think it says a lot about this blouse that my wild interpretation is a wearable item and summer fail safe. Perfect to wear with a pair of shorts or a summer skirt. A Sorbetto/Mathilde mash up, if you will.
I’m only sorry I’m not modelling this top for you. That’s because I should be packing right now. Yes, the sleeveless Mathilde was a final, last-minute, panic make prior to my holiday. Because, after three years of sewing I woke up this morning and thought: I don’t have a thing to wear!
Make of that what you will.