Turtles for a Tortoise

Up until recently, there was a tortoise in my life. A lovely, grumpy, ageing tortoise called Oswald. She had belonged to my nana, and been passed down through the family and ultimately ended up with me. She had been a constant all my life, and was one of my favourite childhood pets. She broke gender boundaries, she laid eggs a couple of times, ate dandelions, bit toes. and most of all she slept.

Oswald

Sadly Oswald passed away two months ago and I miss her dearly. She made my day – every day – and I loved looking after her.

Because I am a sentimental old fool, I now seek out tortoise-related ephemera and on a trip to Goldhawk Road for my wedding dress fabric, I chanced upon this Liberty turtle print cotton lawn. Not a tortoise per-se, but a chelonian no less. It’s the closest I can currently get. I went for an Archer button up shirt. My third now, not my last, but definitely my favourite.

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Construction-wise I don’t have too much to say that is new. Alterations I made were adding two inches to the length of the body and sleeves. I found out why my Archers seem to fit a bit closer than everyone else’s – my test square is not three inches. It’s just under. Lesson learnt, but luckily it hasn’t hurt me to have a slightly closer fit, I’m actually really happy with it on all my Archers.

DSC_0456multiThis cotton is lightweight cotton lawn and so I pinked the seam allowances and topstitched them down. It makes for a really lovely finish, neater than overlocking. Topstitching the side seams was funny. I felt like a total weirdo with my face pressed against the top of my machine, trying to see down the sleeve.

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The hem is finished with bias tape and the buttons are vintage stash ones. I recently saw a very narrow hem on a RTW shirt and tried to replicate it on this Archer but I really struggle when it comes to the curved edges. Does anyone have any tips?

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2 comments

  1. Rest in peace Oswald. A fitting tribute.

  2. […] 17th: I wore two me-mades, my turtle Archer and my trusty red denim pencil […]

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