I’m on a quest and I think dear Reader that I will need your assistance. I’m looking for a pattern for the perfect sleeveless shell. I want a pattern that uses maybe a metre or a metre and a half of fabric. A pattern that can be used with my odd-shaped leftovers, my remnants and my impulse purchases. It needs to work well tucked out as I’m a hang-it-out-er rather than a tuck-it-in-er. There has to be a good balance of pit-podge-coverage and collar-bone-display. It has to pass the Shelving Test: I need to be able to heft a weighty tome onto the top shelf without fear of rip-age or kidney display. Work and play appropriate.
I’m asking too much you say? I say, that together, we might find the one. The Perfect Sleeveless Shell.
Why start with this picture? Well, it’s the one that I like the best. (Rather sadly) I think that this might be compelling evidence that my back side is my best side. Which is rather a shame because all of the interesting noises come from the front side. Although my nearest and dearest might suggest that that too is open to debate!
The ‘Diana Variation’ is a princess seamed sleeveless shell, I traced an extra small grading out to a small at the waist/hips. It is made from Liberty Tana Lawn harvested from the scraps bag. As the arm holes and neck are finished with bias binding I suspect that I might have used around a metre of fabric. I’d say it was a weeny bit tight around the arm. Also, something that I didn’t spot until I came to sew the side seams… the back pieces run shorter than the front pieces. Design feature or error? The line drawing doesn’t suggest a deliberate discrepancy and there is no rear shot of the model. I guess her best side is her front side!
What do you think of this pattern? If I had to rate it today, it might get a 7.5/10. With a few tweaks I think that this could be a really useful basic. I have at least three more stashed patterns lined up to Test for the Quest, but in the meantime do you have any that you can recommend?