Last year, my mother took a trip to Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. She had a lovely time, and whilst she was there, visited Injalak Arts, where local people produce, amongst other artworks, screen printed and handpainted textile art.
Mum had a few things going on after this trip, such as moving house, but a few months ago she arranged to come to my house for a sewing day. She wanted to make a wrap skirt with her fabulous screen print. She then turned up at my house, not only with her skirt fabric, but with another piece, she'd bought as a remnant bargain, about 60cm of a heavy twill/ light cotton canvas, with quite thick multilayered paint and a wide unprinted margin. The print is by Joe Guymala, and is called Mayhmayh (Different Birds). Despite this title, I am quite sure that there are a kangaroo, an echidna, a lizard and an insect or two in the print as well....
She thought I could make her a top from this fabric.
I tried very hard to persuade her to do something else with this canvas - a gorgeous cushion? A tote bag ? No, it had to be a top. She was sure that I could manage to make something wearable, even though the fabric was stiff and heavy.
I spent most of the sewing day reading my Burda magazines. Such a hard life that I have.
Eventually, I came up with this candidate, Burda Style 06-2011-106.
technical drawing from https://burdastyle.ru
It wasn't quite right.
I altered the pattern - small bust alteration, more A line shape, round neck line with back opening instead of a slip-on-over-the-head V, more sleeve overhang. The final version met with qualified approval.
With some trepidation, I cut out the top, and there was not enough fabric for the length that Mum wanted.
I made the top, mostly, anyway. I made a placket and cloth button loop for the back neck fastening from self fabric. This was tricky to handle in the canvas, so I used bias binding to finish the neckline and sleeves - turned in for the neckline and as a bound edge for the sleeves.
The top then hung in my sewing room looking balefully at me every time I went in.
I kept introducing trim fabric candidates from my stash, but nothing suited.
Eventually I took the top to our local quilting shop, and found a tone on tone green that was instantly appealling
I hemmed the top, with a side split, in the green quilting fabric.
My mother is very pleased with it.