Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Summer Top and the RAMBO Project!

Summer has come to San Francisco!

This means, in my neighborhood at least, chilling cold weather, and thick wet fog that causes what I call "fog rain". If you walk under trees in this fog, they drip on you. You stay drier if you avoid trees and shrubbery.

Just yesterday I was walking to the drug store and ran into a neighbor. We joked that it's obvious from our heavy wool coats and thick warm scarves that summer has finally arrived!

Despite that, some nice (and even hot) weather is coming to Mountain View, so I need more warm weather clothes. I bought some mesh fabric from Smuggler's Daughter called "Summer of Love Letters" and whipped up a top. I've made this top before (it is not available as a commercial pattern), in a winter version. I've enjoyed wearing it and plan to make a few more.

Of course, I will wear this one with a tank underneath, as it is sheer, but not too sheer.

The Rambo Project

I was tickled when Erin of Seamstress Erin, invited me to participate in the Rambo Project.

She was gifted with a box of turbans that were used in one of the Rambo movies. She sewed up a few of her own, then decided to share the wealth. She gifted 14 turbans to various bloggers and scheduled a blog tour, to see what we would come up with.

Before I cut into mine, I tried to actually wear it as a turban, which is not an easy feat—it is 3 yards long and about 18" wide, and stretchy as heck in the long direction. (It is one of the stretchiest wovens I have ever seen in the long direction, but perfectly stable in the short direction.)

I have never seen a Rambo film but, as I wound it on my head, I was channeling John Rys-Davies, as Sallah, in Raider's of the Lost Ark—a favorite film of mine.

Just like any wearable made from a rectangle of fabric (such as a sari or some ancient Greek garments), there is a real skill to wearing a turban.

I don't have that skill.

I was reluctant, at first, to cut into my turban. You see, I really liked to wear it as a scarf! But I forced myself to get over that and, cut it out I did. I even went to Britex for additional supplies. I have almost completed my project, and will post it on June 9th.

I invite you to follow the blog tour, starting from Erin's blog. Erin is inviting anyone who would like to join in, to make something inspired by the film. Those who are participating are using the following badge on their blog:

I am very curious to see how different bloggers used this fabric.


I want to thank you for your thoughtful comments on my Lekala post! The intent of that post was not to trash Lekala—they have some nice designs and the customization works very well for some. I may well buy more of them, but I would enter more "ideal" measurements and do my own alterations. If they ever improve the software to perform actual FBAs, I would definitely give them another try with actual measurements.


Are you aware of the Modcloth shopping website? The other day, I was enjoying some of the shoes they currently have for sale. For example:


  1. Well, I NEED those shoes with the doll heads in the heel....great top, love the print and that pattern is fabulous!
    I can't wait to see your Rambo project...I thought you should wear it as a turban always!

  2. Love that tunic! I'm gonna copy that style one of these days. It looks great on you. I can't wait to see what you do for the Rambo Project. I never would have expected turban fabric to contain stretch, but it makes sense, considering the wrapping that goes on. What a fun project to participate in! As for shoes, I'm thinking I like the Mary Janes. Cute idea!

  3. Oh, I can't wait to see what you make from your turban! I make stuff from sarongs from our local charity shop quite often. I view them as cheap yardage.

  4. Love your top! And you do look good in a turban - I must say Sallah in Raiders is one of my fav characters. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the fabric.

    That shoe with the dolls head in the heal is going to give me bad dreams!

  5. Love the tunic and the fabric.

  6. I had no idea Modcloth had such unusual shoes. I might have to stop by and check them out. I think your turban looks good--looking forward to seeing what you did with it.

  7. The Rambo project is a fabulous idea and I agree with BeaJay you wear a turban well! Sounds almost like bengaline with the extra stretchy weave going the length of the fabric and I can see would give it staying power when worn as headwear. Really looking forward to seeing your inspiration turban creation (and love that asymmetrical top).

  8. Lovely top, Shams--a cheerful colorway! I can't wait to see what you do with the turban fabric!

  9. That is some pretty fabric! I can see why you like this pattern; both of your versions came out wonderful. Like others, I'm looking forward to what comes from the turban.

  10. I love that top! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the turban.

  11. I think I'd like the shoes with the dolls heads but where are the bodies of these girls??? Interesting project with the scarves - I'll be looking out for the finished products.

  12. Great to see your post today. I always look for your posts! Love your top! Glad you've had some sewing time!

  13. I like this top even better than the blue version! So airy looking. The turban is fab and can't wait to see what you make of it. The doll heads are just creepy but I like the notebook mary janes! Would be impossible to resist taking a marker to them though.

  14. The top tank you made is really cute, the shoe with barbie doll heads is really creeping me out but for the rest of the shoes they look great. What kinf of Dressmaking Fabric did you use for that tank top.

  15. Very good idea for the top: asymmetry, some draping, no unnecessary volume, no too cute ballet tutu references. Looking at your other tops/dresses: there is a chance a version with a lower neckline/cowl would be good too.
    Thanks for the link to Smuggler's Daughter. Is the email address toofunny2 the current one? Tried to send an email, not sure it reached you.

  16. I love the new top! Smugglers Daughter has some really nice pieces. Can't wait to see what you do with your Rambo fabric!

  17. When I lived in Manhattan, and walked down the avenue to do some errands, on the way home, I would look up about a block or so away from my street, and see up on the 3rd or 4th floor of this older apartment building, on the black wrought iron grill they had in front of the window, on the top of each "spike" was a doll's head. I am not kidding. Anyway, loved the turban by the way, and the shoes with the dolls heads, well, they brought back memories!