Well, to start at the beginning wouldn’t make much sense when describing how I went about making the Maya Top by Marilla Walker. Having identified a lack of simple tops in my wardrobe I thought it would be an ideal layering garment.

As someone who needs to think about adding extra bust accommodation into most things I was slightly concerned about the lack of darts so talked myself into compensating with adding a pleat in the front to give a bit of room where I need it. I didn’t trust that it’d work for me like I’ve seen it work for others as I’ve had a few bad pattern experiences of late which have involved a complete redraft to make something wearable for my shape. So in my hesitation, I made changes before I started. Also, sleeves, I decided.

I must say too that I always toile but try to make it as enjoyable as possible so may experiment with dyeing different fabrics or playing around with something that I’m not too bothered about and giving it serious amounts of care and attention. I try to make making muslins a rewarding experience and always aim to have a wearable piece at the end of it because I’m not really into discards, any fabric is worthy or precious in my eyes. Well, any natural fabric anyway, I’m not big into synthetics – they literally make my skin crawl. I have a bit (lot) of a thing for making stuff from other stuff and my soft spot is for linen tea towels so pick them up wherever I can. Making my Maya mock up involved six from my little collection depicting images of the Mary Rose, Australian sheep farming and the New Forest etc. Along with this I had some remnants of linen I’d dyed previously with black walnut shells. I set about making it, here’s some photos of the process:

I used bias tape for the hem, it was left over from another project.

Then I set about doing some decorative hand stitching on the walnut dyed sections of the reverse facing, cuffs, pleated section and rump pocket.

It wasn’t until last week that I completed it so here are the results of my toile for the modified Maya.

And this is the back view:

I’m pretty pleased with it and it is very roomy, so in between time of completing my slow sewing on the toile I decided to trust the pattern and MW’s lovely drafting and make a vanilla version. I ended up making a button fronted hi-low blouse:

And then I dug out some treasured vintage fabric and made a plain fronted one.

Note that I still included sleeves. I rarely wear sleeveless things because of blistering in UV light which then triggers disease flares. This time of year is perilous for me so sleeves are essential. I am smitten with the fit around the neckline and it means that I can use some of my favourite fabrics on a pattern that I now trust. I have also made a dress with the pleated style using a bark cloth curtain and black corduroy scraps and will post another time about that. Marilla Walker’s Maya and other patterns can be found here

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