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Anne of Green Gables Inspired Top – Mystery Blogger Challenge

So, a few months ago I started a sewing & crafts blogger group on Facebook after chatting with Sarah at The Crazy Tailor. It has grown quickly! I really enjoy chatting with the other bloggers, asking questions, and building some community between us all. I thought it would be fun to pair up and assign each other a mystery challenge — each blogger gave their partner a surprise theme to sew or craft from! Please visit all the other blogs linked at the bottom of the post to check out not only what they were tasked with, but what they made!

My partner was Fenna at FABulous Home Sewn — she gave me the theme of Anne of Green Gables!

I will admit I haven’t read any of the books in a few years but I truly loved them when I was younger. The idea of a ‘kindred spirit’ has always resonated with me and I identified with many of Anne’s trials and personality quirks. We moved to a different state when I was in sixth grade, and I found solace in sassy characters like Anne (with an e!) as I settled into a new town and new school.

One of my favorite quotes was/is:

“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I love words! My husband always teases me for my vocabulary and I often find myself trying to edit my blog posts so that the phrasing is more accessible.  I guess I find it rewarding to use a word with a precise connotation and nuance, one that means exactly what I want to convey.

Anyways, by now it’s clear that I love Anne and her feisty, wordy ways! What I don’t love is Avonlea’s fashion trends. I never watched the movies, but I reread some descriptive passages, looked at Google Images and mapped out some of the themes: pintucks, florals, high collars, lace, puffed sleeves, and vests. Yikes! There isn’t much ‘prairie’ in my closet so I poked around my PDF pattern files for a little inspiration…and the Parisian top  from Go To Patterns saved the day!

Parisian Top 2 Swoodson Says

I was a second round tester for this top before it came out in the Pattern Anthology’s Just Add Jeans bundle; I love the tweaks that came through into the final pattern. For this version, I left the existing hem (purple material is another set of Target sheets*, I’m addicted!) instead of the band at the waist, and chopped about 3 inches off the sleeves so they ended above my elbow. (There is some pulling between my armpit & bust; I’d love to hear if you have any altering ideas to address that! It is a common problem in my closet from both store-bought and handmade clothes.)

Parisian Top Back Swoodson Says

I love that you can use a woven fabric for the collar, it’s like the best of both worlds! The wind while taking these pictures was ridiculous; the collar lays really nicely and the directions for the process were clear and easy.

Parisian Top Side - Swoodson Says

Side shot! The gathered sleeve cap is subtle, but I really like it.

I like to think it has some Anne in it, with a modern twist!

I also have a confession. I didn’t finish part of my vision! Anne is often described in the beginning of the series as clutching a carpet bag, with all her belongings. I thought it would be fun to make a modern carpet bag and use it as a library book bag, ordered this pattern: Sew Liberated Carpet Bag *, and then ordered the purse frame off Etsy. I didn’t factor in how long it would take for the frame to ship from Hong Kong, which bumped my whole plan out of whack. I finally have all the supplies, and will share it once I’m done!

Do you remember reading Anne of Green Gables as fondly as I do? Are you disappointed I didn’t make something with a high, frilly collar?


PS- you can see an outtake of this outfit on Instagram!

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Saturday 19th of April 2014

Great solution...definitely Anne with a modern twist. Thanks for linking up to Inspire Us Thursday!

Lisa Summerhays

Saturday 19th of April 2014

Finally making it around to see everyone's projects. I must say I am in love with yours! I considered getting this pattern and now I must. Just gorgeous! Thanks for setting everything up too!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 20th of April 2014

Aw, thanks! It is a fun pattern. Thanks for participating :)

Irene @ Sugaridoo

Thursday 17th of April 2014

I love it! What a lovely challenge and what a creative modern twist you gave it!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Thursday 17th of April 2014

Thanks Irene!


Wednesday 16th of April 2014

Love your top! I'm reading Anne of Green Gables with my daughter right now. It brings back great memories!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Thursday 17th of April 2014

Thank you! That is so sweet - the comments on this post are making me so happy that there are so many Avonlea fans!

Deanna {sewmccool}

Tuesday 15th of April 2014

Love Anne of Green Gables and it was one of my favorite books growing up! :) I think the top goes well with the theme - the collar is really sweet!

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