I made up the shiny beetle fabric. It was all cut out waiting to go. I had meant to wait until after Christmas. But those shiny beetles kept winking at me. The lovely off-white tailors’ tacks were calling out.
“The rules”, they said, “the rules of the SWAP allow one previously made item! And your printing course Christmas party is next week. Surely you want to arrive dressed in hand-printed fabric? Please”, the shiny beetles squealed, “make us up. Wear us with pride. We want to go out for Christmas not wait until the sales are on, and it’s slushy out.”
I caved in. An hour or two later I had a shell top, an overblouse, from 1969.
Pattern, style and alterations
Here is the pattern I used (not evident from pattern envelope, which doesn’t reveal the blouse). As a design it could not be simpler. It is basically a bodice block with the dart transferred into an underarm and waist dart. The necklines of these tops are high fitting round neck – a look I like, and feel is authentic to the period. The back dart is another essential ingredient. As is the zip.
I didn’t alter the design of this pattern, but I did add one inch to the length above the bust to bring the bust dart down to the correct position for me (I made the same alteration to the jacket). I added an inch to the side seams to account for my wider hips and I added 5 inches to the length. Why? In my experience these overblouses are not meant to be tucked in. But I quite like the option. So I made it almost tunic length, bearing in mind the SWAP rules which suggest a dress that can be worn as a blouse. So it is long, but it could be tucked, worn out, belted or indeed shortened.
I am pleased with it. I love that it is dark greyish navy rather than black. I love the shiny insects. I like it that my silver jewellery works so well with the silver foil effect.
Here is the full length picture, with dark jeans.
The beetle overblouse may be the first item finished for my SWAP. On the other hand this item maybe over the top (OTT) especially when paired with a two piece suit in the squiggle fabric. I will need to try them on together to know for sure.
My husband say it looks “Goth”. I have sufficient grey linen to make a plain blouse when the time comes.