So lucky or unlucky depending on how you look at it, I managed to score my 5 weeks of annual leave for this year all in one go and first up, directly following 3 weeks of end of internship leave. That's 8 weeks of leave. And despite some ongoing guilt about abandoning Russell to the boarding kennel again after a stint whilst we were on a country rotation, we bit the bullet and decided to go overseas. And what better than eight weeks off and a holiday to motivate me to sew.
With plans to travel to Bangkok and both North and South of Thailand, from beach to mountains, this chiffon cover up seemed light enough for my carry on bag and versatile enough for all occasions, especially given that visits to temples and royal places require modest dress; covered shoulders and knees.
Starting with one meter of fabric, and two meters of pom pom trim (which as it turns out is stretchy) is all you'll need.
Fold the fabric in half length wise and cut about a two inch long strip of the folded long end, this will make the 'collar'.
Using an oversized t-shirt as my template; stolen from the man, I eyeballed the sleeves and sides, cutting two rectangles.
I then split the centre front in half to the fold mark.
Folding the long strip of collar fabric in half width wise, I proceeded to french seam it to the opening made in the centre front of the top by sewing the wrong sides together and then encasing the seam and sewing the right sides together.
Followed by flipping the whole thing right side out to basically topstitch it down.
Next to sew up the sides I also did a french seam, because all those fine chiffon threads are not being amenable to a zigzag stitch or pinking shears.
Match the front and back parts and sew along the big right angles that make it t-shirt shaped to make sleeves as below.
To finish the bottom edge and the sleeve openings I sewed a teeny tiny hem line by folding the fabric over once and stitching it in place.
And then folded it in on itself again to encase the seam. That's the picture of the double seam inside, but only one should show on the outside.
Next using lots of pins to attach the pom pom trim and sew it around both the bottom edge and the sleeves.
And you have the perfect cover up for all seasons.
Now for some shots of Chiang Rai which is north of Thailand.
We visited some of the beautiful areas, including a tea plantation.
There are also quite a few hill tribes in the area, known for their handicrafts, and I couldn't help myself.
A cross-stitch pouch.
This woman was weaving scarves at a the Chiang Rai night market.
And I bought this piece off her to make into a clutch, it's actually a traditional skirt.
This piece I got at one of those tourist markets opposite one of the temples with a view of the Golden Triangle. This is also a skirt and is actually six times as wide and has a really beautiful black and white woven pattern, I paid about 5 AUD.
And a shot of one of my many favourite Thai foods, freshly made roti with banana and condensed milk - which costs a 5th of what the person in the photos is holding (so 20 baht = 60 cents)