Viscose Linen Solina top from Named Breaking the Pattern book by Laura

Hello! I'm Laura aka The Specky Seamstress and delighted to be making my debut here on the SMS blog

Anyone who follows me will know I'm a sucker for an animal print fabric and all the better if it's a big cat print. I've been thinking a lot recently about my work wardrobe - it's the reason I started sewing, wanting smart, well fitting clothes that still showed my *ahem* quirky personality. So finding fabrics that fit both of these is always exciting.  

The moment I saw this leopard print viscose linen blend I was in love. Subtle enough to be "grown up" and fun enough to be "Laura"  I could just picture a gorgeous blouse that could fit in just as well at the office as at the beach, just as well paired with a pencil skirt and blazer as with jeans and converse. It didn't disappoint in person,  it's a lovely quality fabric that is soft and drapey. The natural linen slub comes through beautifully with just a hint of texture and the soft outline overlapped print is just stunning.

I changed my mind a few times as to what I was going to make with this fabric, I knew would make a stunning button down shirt and I might even pick up some more to do just that, but I had a flash of inspiration after seeing a hacked version of the Named Clothing Solina top online.  It's an unusual design, with waist ties that are sewn into pleats at the front, to form a bow at the waist.  The pattern comes from the book, Breaking the Pattern and is inherently hackable.  The original pattern comes with a zip, but removing the collar and the back darts has given me a more wearable, versatile (and comfortable) garment that becomes an incredibly quick and simple sew, in fact the hardest part is learning to tie a pretty bow at the front! 

It's the sort of pattern that works well, but differently in a number of different fabrics, it'd be fab with a cotton lawn and I'm even tempted to try it in a jersey for a different take on a t-shirt or jumper. I love a slightly unusual take on a basic.  It's even got good colour blocking/scrap busting potential - I've already made a version with contrasting ties! 

The versatility is just a win and I love how I can style this up with shorts, thick tights, bare legs, heels, skirts or jeans, dressed up or dressed down.  I love the loose fitting sleeves that still fit under a cardigan (a rarity for sure!). This make is certainly going to get wear all throughout the year and I'm looking forward to see what other people choose to make with this beautiful fabric, please tag me if you buy it and make something! 

Laura was provided the fabric free of charge in exchange for this blog post. Laura chose which fabric she wished to use and what she wanted to make with it. All thoughts and opinions are her own.

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