Summer Layers-

Summer Layers-


By now, you know I am all about the River Tunic. My favorite silhouettes are the ones I know I will continue to make every season- in every fabric, changing the lengths and adding a few new details each time. I am making summer weight one now.... here are 2 fav’s just added to my wardrobe.

Linen Pulled-Thread Shrug-

 In Linen- With a few wacks of my scissors, this pulled-thread shawl/scarf is transformed into a new layering garment! 

  1. Folding the shawl and cutting the basic shape is the start. The neckhole center is marked by cutting a small+  shape in the center (big enough to drop over the neck on your dressform). By draping it on the dress form, you'll get a better feel for the size of a neckhole before cutting it out. This one has a simple bias strip to finish the neck edge on the inside. 

  1. Although I like some of the fringe, alot of it is not my style. Notice how some is left at the bottom of the sides (for weight)…and some was saved and  used for ties and neck details to finish. 
  2. A super simple, successful piece sometimes takes more thinking in the beginning: less to work with is more- so work with what you have.  This is a sweet layer over a tee or a sleeveless under-layer . 
  3. A garment can be a lesson in paying attention to those few basic elements and shapes that really work on your body type AND fit your lifestyle. Make and enjoy pieces you will wear. Remember to sew for you.

 Details- Adding some tufts of the cotton fringe to the center front of the neck edge feels like garnish on a dish! LOVE the way it looks and relates to the rest of the piece, creating a quiet focal point there.


 Think about how you might expand the feel of details to companion garments- Here, I used some of the same fringe pieces and some Habu linen thread to detail the bottom of some linen pants. 

 Green Linen Gauze Shrug-

Not sure where this fabric started life…but it is now one of my layering tops. Again, cut in the basic shape of the River Tunic Pattern. Wanting to use the selvedge edge as the bottom, it was cut with a shoulder seam across the top.

One garment informs the next: The shape of the neckhole is just right on the first it was duplicated on the green one. 

This garment asked to be hand-sewn…I used a beautiful, knitted linen thread ( . Using a few different stitches, it has a casual, inviting feel. The hemstitch is in a matching sewing thread. 

A bias piece around the neck edge was sewn with the linen thread. The underarm seam is left open to allow the fabric to move more.  Notice the difference between adding a tie to the top of the sleeve (optional).  The tie seems to lift the silhouette and is more in keeping the airy feel of the piece. Leaving the threads hang at the end of a seam as I worked kept my options open. It lets me continue to ‘see’ how that small lovely thread is integral to the design. I liked seeing more of it than in just the stitching, so the ends are left with knotted tails on the sides and the ties holding the tucked sleeves. 

Finishing: To iron or not to iron. Each garment and material  requires a different finish. In this case, a light steaming, on the dressform is called for. Usually not even touching the fabric, just holding it afew inches away, the garment settles into its new shape though the clouds of steam.


Remember it is always about the fabric!! Use the stuff you love…no practice sewing anymore…use the good stuff now.

 See my short video on these 2 pieces here.

                                                                 Enjoy the Gifts in Your Hands, Diane

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Diane, I just found out about your work through a posting on Threads. I think your choice of textiles and styles spectacular, classic and very refreshing. Wow! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your talent and dedication and your sharing this with us.

sandra baumgartner

Oh my gosh, Diane! Thank you so much for the wonderful inspiration that I just found in my email! I love the use of used textiles and habu linen yarn to create something that looks like a million bucks!


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