Tag Archives: Breton Top

Sewing Fail :(

Have you ever make something and it’s just all wrong? I have……..

This is my trusty Grainline Scout Tee. I have made this so many times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), you would think I couldn’t possibly do it wrong! But you would be wrong. As you can see below, the neck band was a bit of a disaster.


This was the left over fabric from my first Colette Laurel dress and I thought this could be another Breton-style top to add to my Plantain tee. I cut it out ages ago and then sewed it just after Christmas (so this, along with my pink pencil skirt, was my last make of 2015). I don’t remember why I cut out the back in 2 pieces – I don’t know if this was on purpose because of a lack of fabric or if it was a mistake!


I carefully sewed french seams for all the seams. I didn’t even realise I hadn’t hemmed the sleeves until I went to take pictures – this was just shoddy all around.


At this point you might be thinking ‘well it doesn’t look that bad’ but there is a reason I am not modelling this tee. It ended up really small and really short! Here is it compared to one of my earlier versions of the Scout Tee – I did make them the same size!


It’s particularly short at the front – no idea why! I think some bad cutting out is to blame….


For an even more hilarious comparison, here is is next to my Dear Creatures Scout. I did make this a size bigger than all the others, but it looks about 3 sizes bigger here. This version feels a little too big in places, so I think what I need to do if/when I make it again is to use the sleeves and armscyes and length of the larger size but the width of the smaller size.


At lease I didn’t waste any expensive fabric or too much time! Have you every had something turn out completely unwearable?

Style Crush: Jean Seberg

In a week when I posted about my Breton-inspired Deer and Doe Plantain t-shirt and The Foldline blogged about the history of the Breton top, I thought I would write a post in homage to one of the early adopters of the Breton top as a fashion item (rather than an part of naval uniform): Jean Seberg.

circa 1965: Promotional portrait of American actor Jean Seberg (1938 - 1979) sitting barefoot and cross-legged on a stool, wearing rolled blue jeans and a French-striped sailor jersey pulled off one shoulder. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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I didn’t really know much about Jean Seberg before I decided to write this post and I’ve only seen her on one film — The Mouse That Roared (not one of her classic French New Wave movies!). She does were a Breton top in it though!

Jean Seberg mouse that roared(image source)

Jean Seberg was born in Iowa and made her first film, Saint Joan, in 1957, having been picked from a huge open casting. She got fairly terrible reviews in this, and her next film, Bonjour Tristesse, and it was really The Mouse That Roared that was her first success, in 1959. It was her next film, Breathless (in French À bout de souffle) directed by Jean-Luc Godard, which was her first critical success and marked her as a good actress and the herione of French New Wave cinema.

DIRECTINPUT~ This image has been directly inputted by the user. The photo desk has not viewed this image or cleared rights to the image. Fall Fashion trends(image source)
Bonjour Tristesse

She was one of the earlier wearers of the pixie crop and as I was researching photos for this post, I definitely found myself looking at her hair as much as at her clothes! She also wore more minimal, natural make-up than was usual at the time. I love her relaxed style. Although I’m quite vain, I think I’m also quite low maintenance at heart. I’m also lazy, so having short hair I can wash and leave is great for me!

Jean Seberg chunky jumper(image source)

Jean Seberg Coat(image source)

I love the chunky jumper and cigarette trousers combo, and this slouchy coat is amazing! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll probably have picked up on the fact that I’m drawn to the 60s the most as a decade for fashion and style.

Jean Seberg even looked great a bit later in the 60s, which slightly grown out hair.

Jean Seberg yellow top
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Jean Seberg longer hair
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I love the yellow of the dress (assuming it is a dress) above – I wish I could see more of it. It’s amazing to see how many of the vintage sewing patterns I have have similar tops to the one she’s wearing above – maybe I’ll recreate it one day!

Her life wasn’t all making films, however. She gave financial support to several groups in the late 60s which the US government did not like: the NAACP, and the Black Panther Party were the most famous. The FBI, therefore, decided to harass, defame, intimidate and discredit Seberg. The idea was to discredit her with the public and the film industry so her voice would have less weight and fewer opportunities to be heard. In 1970 she was expecting a baby with her then husband, Romain Gary, but the FBI released a story saying the father was Raymond Hewitt, a member of the Black Panther Party. Seberg went into premature labour and the baby died 2 days later. She blamed the stress of the gossip columns printing the FBI’s story for the premature birth and death of her child. At the funeral she had an open casket for the child so people could look and see that she was white. The FBI was regularly wire-tapping her phone, stalking her and breaking into her homes. Apparently Richard Nixon was kept personally up to date by J Edgar Hoover on the surveillance of Jean Seberg. It seems to shocking now that the government would harass an actress for her political views, but I bet it’s still happening and people are still getting black-listed, just as they did during the McCarthy era ‘witch-hunts’. It makes you realise how powerful artistic expression can be – that the government felt it had to stifle people. And some governments still do I’m sure.

Sorry, I’ve gone off on rather a tangent there, but Jean Seberg had quite a hard life I think. She ended up committing suicide in her car (though there is a theory that someone else was there, but they don’t know who) in 1979 at the age of 40. It feels a bit weird to now say ‘but look at all the great clothes she wore’……

I’m not sure what else to write now, so I will just put some pictures of Jean Seberg for your 60s-loving pleasure.

Jean Seberg Painting(image source)

Jean Seberg evening dress(image source)

Jean Seberg stripey dress Breathless(image source)

Jean Seberg Breton colour(image source)

I’ll end this with picture of her looking effortlessly cool, and very French, smoking a cigarette. Is it wrong that I always think smoking looks kind of cool? But, like. smoking from the 60s looks cool – now not so much.

Jean Seberg cigarette(image source)