Well this is awkward. One of the reasons I’ve cranked up my sewing lately is because I’ve had a few recent encounters where I’ve found myself wearing the same thing as someone else at the same time. IN THE SAME PLACE! I know it shouldn’t matter and it’s not a big deal, but there’s something slightly dispiriting about grown women in matching clothes. Cute for small sisters in novelty dresses or sulky teens in their uniform stripes/cut-offs/Docs. Not so cute when you’re a few decades down life’s path.
The problem is, in our little corner of Melbourne there are a couple of local clothing labels that almost everybody loves. In the past few years their distinctive prints have taken over the wardrobes of many of the women I work with, socialise with, encounter at the school gate or just pass on the street. This isn’t a bad thing – they’re lovely labels (with lovely prints). But the risk of meeting your ‘match’ at the pub or the supermarket or the coffee queue at work is ever present.
So after turning up to a party in the same outfit as my friend and enduring hilarious air hostess jokes all night, I vowed to try to sew more, to avoid the anxiety of matching lady syndrome. And just when I felt like I was getting somewhere, I discovered that my fellow Bombaziner Klarissa and my friend Kimberly had both made the very same t-shirt as me – in the same week. I give up.
The t-shirt is of course the Aeolian tee from Pattern Fantastique. And we can’t be blamed for our ‘group think’ pattern selection – we were all inspired into action by Blogless Anna’s recent Aeolian carnivale on the PF blog. So despite the pattern triple-up, and at great risk of looking like three awkward women in matching outfits, we decided to photograph our Aeolians together – to illustrate just how adaptable this tee can be. Because while it’s one pattern, I think the Aeolian becomes an entirely different top depending on the fabric, print and person wearing it. It’s infinitely customisable.
The pattern is made for knits, but adapts easily for wovens, and we did a bit of both. Kimberly used a loosely textured off-white knit from Rathdowne Fabrics, which is soft and slubby with plenty of drape. There was an irregularity running through the piece she bought, which she turned into a feature across one sleeve – I love it. Klarissa’s is made up in a gorgeous check linen from Primoeza. The fabric really holds its shape (she was unnecessarily worried about wings) and gives her tee some structure, which makes it a bit more dressed up. And mine is a Nani Iro double gauze from Miss Matatabi. It’s light and lovely to wear but it creases and crushes a little – I’m hoping the print hides some of the evidence.
We all had pretty quick and easy sewing experiences. The pattern’s straightforward and clear with helpful illustrated tips and interesting details like the faux flat lock finish for hems – it’s so nice to learn something new when you’re sewing a t-shirt (or dress). A few small adjustments were made along the way – Kimberly reduced the width of her knit neckband, and I added a visible bound neckline to mine. My neck got a bit tricky as it gaped – the double gauze didn’t translate super simply to a knit pattern – but I got there in the end. After five attempts and some serious fabric shredding….
So humour me. We may be three grown-ass women in matching tops, but if you saw us walking down the street together (or posing nonchalantly in front of a grey wall) – would you even realise? I like to think not.