04 December, 2010

Why buy poly? Thanks, Mom!

Despite it being December, my declared month of jackets, I'm still working on sleeveless and almost-sleeveless tops.  Apart from that one white shirt, I've done exactly zero long-sleeved tops as yet.  My fiddling with pattern design is slowing me down, yet I can't resist.  But I do now have a nice collection of linen, cotton, and silk tops, and a few lightweight poly ones too.  What?! Poly?! Yes, poly!  the fabric that many of us love to be so snobbish about. 

Ummmm... why on earth would I want to wear polyester in +44°C?!  Well, for starters, it'll be +44 only some of the time.  Better reasons, though, are that:

Poly georgette - the lightweight stuff - breathes.  I always check my fabrics for breathability - I call it the Lauren Bacall method:

Bogie and Bacall, what a great couple.  But yeah, I simply put the fabric up to my lips and blow.  If it doesn't offer any resistance - and these polys of mine certainly don't - I know I'll have a cover-up that'll let the breezes blow in and out and cool me down.

It's indestructible no matter how hot the wash water, or how often you wash it.  I've heard people complain that poly stinks.  But not in my experience:  not if you toss it in the wash after each wearing?  Nor if it's loose enough not to cling?

It's colourfast.  I admit I'm a teeny bit concerned that my linen and cotton tops will turn dingy and drab after a few cycles in the wash, and I'll be left with - gasp! - a suitcase full of nothing to wear!!!  Heheh, here's where the polys will hold their own!

It never wrinkles. So the gal who lives out of a box can occasionally aspire to look like a lovely Rapunzel rather than hideous Rumpled-Stiltskin.

When I was expecting my youngest, my Mom Who Sews made me a three piece outfit out of a poly like that. It consisted of a tank top, a button-down collared shirt, and a wrap skirt that, with velcro and side ties, was able to grow and then shrink right along with me. That was over a decade ago, and I have literally worn that outfit - usually as separates - to death every summer since. To death, yes, except it refuses to die. In fact, it looks as brand new today as it did the day I received it. And, because of its very simple design, it remains chic and timeless.  The way it resists all wear and tear, it'll take a nuclear blast to destroy it.
That's why my money's on a few poly tops as backups if nothing else - just in case.

This latest top is a little different than the last: the side seams are curved, and there's no bottom band. Instead, I used two remnants from this and a slightly different pattern in the same colourway to make a two-sided ascot.  
 I'm not usually a florals type of gal, but I thought a few blue and gold blossoms will do wonders to relieve the unremitting drabness of barren desert and cheer everyone up.

Oh, and am I taking Mom's gift with me on my upcoming junket?  You bet I am.


  1. I have recently become a poly convert myself! There are some horrible ones out there, but the good ones are amazing! Learning to tell the difference is the trick. I like your Lauren Bacall method.

  2. Cute top, glad you put that poly to good use. I wonder how your breathable polys handle humidity. Poly in this climate with summer humidity rates around 80% is not pleasant - but I am prepared to be surprised - I'll be interested to hear how they perform.

  3. When poly first hit the sewing market, it was THE fabric. I still like it, especially blended with natural fibers. Your top is so pretty-fresh and happy looking.

  4. It's the non-wrinkling that sells me. I generally prefer a blend to straight cotton, especially in a heavier weight (and don't even touch linen).

    What a fabulous and airy top!