Ruffled Halters & the Non-Ruffle People

Summer is coming. The Peanut and I both melt into cranky piles of cranky, flushed-red, cranky goo when it gets hot. Sadly we define "hot" as anything over 72°. As long as we remain south (barely) of the Mason-Dixon, we will really need cool clothing come June. This Sunday, in the midst of sewing an in-depth, exciting, I-so-want-to-show-you-right-now-but-can't project, I realized June? It's next week! ...Huh. That kind of snuck up on me.

Since all of my sewing magic (hint, hint) is currently being channeled into this other enchanting (there's another hint) project, let me take this week to show you how us self-defined non-girly, ruffle eschewing girls took on the heat of last summer. With ruffled halters, of course! ...Huh. It's possible the heat also melts our brains.

Sewing for summer: Ruffled Halter top from Oliver + S | The Inspired Wren
Not one, not two, but three ruffles. Clearly I can't be trusted to define my own style.

For some reason last July, I felt an urge to make a red-checked gingham top to pair with blue denim for the Fourth. Apparently it felt patriotic to dress my child like a classic-American picnic table. I didn't have a pattern in mind, just a fabric. I walked into my local Wal-Mart and there it was, a bolt of real (woven, not printed) gingham waiting just for me. Clearly the universe agreed.

Sewing for summer: Ruffled Halter top from Oliver + S | The Inspired Wren
I love simple, elastic-gathered back on this pattern.

I found the perfect partner for the gingham in the free Ruffled Halter from Oliver + S. I think it works for me because it uses a large, loose ruffle on each tier. I'll be honest though and admit the "free" is what first made me look at the pattern. The fact that it's not tiny, twee ruffles helped me give it a second look. And then knowing Oliver + S finishing is always stellar sold me.

Here's the kicker. I liked the first one so much, I made a second one. Two ruffled items sewn in one month. Clearly the heat had gotten to me. Or, you know, the pairing of this silhouette with those curls* was just irresistible.

Sewing for summer: Ruffled Halter top from Oliver + S | The Inspired Wren
How very Summer, bruised knees and all.

Both of these tops are as perfect on The Peanut now as they were when I first sewed them up last summer. Better now that the deliberate raw edges have aged a bit through wear and washing. So at least I know we have two items of cool clothing (plus a few more completed tops and bottoms) ready for the summer heat as I return to doing some charm-work (more hinting there) over my sewing machine. A time-turner would be really helpful this week (seriously, if you missed that one, I can't help you ...but maybe this can).

Sewing for summer: Ruffled Halter top from Oliver + S | The Inspired Wren
Striking a teenager-ish pose.


Top: Ruffled Halter from Oliver + S, size Small 
Beige Shorts: Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts, size 3T. [The denim shorts are store-brought hand-me-downs.]


Umm...these were sewn last summer, before I was blogging and documenting. (Read: I have no clue.)


The silhouette on The Peanut. For a self-proclaimed ruffle averter I think that's saying something.


I like how the deliberate raw edges have aged and of course the amazing finishing inside and out -- Oliver + S is impeccable as always, even in a free pattern.

Sewing for summer: Ruffled Halter top from Oliver + S | The Inspired Wren
*What curls? These curls seen here gracing the melting drama queen last summer.

You should really see all that goes into each project!
...and if you really want to know what I'm up to, head over to Instagram where I can't help but over-share every step of every project, even those that should remain hidden in the Room of Requirement. Each week daily updates on Instagram (and Flickr) of works-in-progress will give you that behind the scenes view you’re looking for, and sneak peeks of First Tuesday Tutorials, too.

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