Friday, April 22, 2022

Literary Sewing Circle: Premeditated Myrtle Inspiration


Time for a little more inspiration for your Premeditated Myrtle sewing project! Today we're going to be looking at some of the elements of the story to see how we might pull them out to inspire a project. 

The most obvious symbol/image to adapt from this story is the Lily. You could be literal by using a lily print, or a pattern named Lily, or go more abstract with a floral theme (and bring in the whole flower show). Here are some ideas:

This Lily Dress by CocoWawa Crafts seems like a perfect match - that little middy collar on the dress feels like something a young girl like Myrtle might wear out and about visiting the Victorian seaside. You could even wear the top view with some bloomers to go for a dip ;)

Or if you want a whole Lily themed wardrobe, this Lily set by comes with a dress, skirt, tunic and blouse. They're famous for their linen so this would be a super relaxed capsule summer wardrobe. 

Another lovely linen Lily Dress would be this one by Tessuti. It's a loose and comfy design with lots of room for showing off great fabrics. 

If you want to go in a different direction and make a topper instead of a dress, try this Lily Jacket by Decades of Style. It also has a vintage flair that might work for you -- don't you think the lines of it rather resemble a lily stem?

If you're looking for something a bit more relaxed, try the Lily Cardigan by The Tailoress. Easy knit comfort. 

Or you could go out on a limb -- or out on the water? -- and make the Nénuphar Jacket by Deer & Doe. Nénuphar means water lily, and while Minerva Wodehouse's lilies are definitely garden varieties, we can branch out in our projects! 

You might be interested in the fancy key that Myrtle finds in the vase of lilies she's given by Priscilla Wodehouse. If you're a knitter, this (free!) Skeleton Key fair isle sweater by AndreSue Knits is the perfect fit for a murder mystery.

Maybe Cook's useful and all-purpose apron will be the inspiration you need. I love this Grace CrossBack Apron from TotoShopUA on Etsy -- she has a variety of apron patterns, and even some for kids if you want to make one for someone more Myrtle-sized. 

You might be inspired by the practical outfit that Miss Judson dons while bicycling with Myrtle early in the book. Practical riding skirts and bloomers abound! Check out the classic Big Sky Riding skirt by Folkwear - whether horses or bicycles, this should do the trick.

Or investigate these Sporting or Bicycle Bloomers by Laughing Moon Mercantile for something historically inspired. 

You may also be intrigued by this set of free Victorian Convertible Cycle Wear patterns, part of an academic project based at Goldsmiths, London. While the 6 patterns are only in UK size 12, there is a ton of cool Victorian cycling info there, and maybe you can grade a pattern or two. 

You could, of course, just go with fabric as your theme. There are endless options for floral prints, or you can stick with lilies. Like this White Lilies & Lavender print by Southwind on Spoonflower.

Or something a little more subtle like this Woodland Lilies print by Kaija Heitland at Indigenous Nouveau for a beaded effect.

You can find key themed prints like Castle Keys coming soon at ThreadCount Fabrics

Or a bit more mysterious and Victorianish, this Boo Skeleton Key print from Cotton & Steel 

Or maybe Priscilla's precious typewriter is the spark for your ideas. You could use a fabric like this Typewriters in Cream by Camelot, found at Pins And Needles Fabric.

You could even just make a Peony inspired t-shirt with this cat print jersey called Kitty Meow from Spool & Spindle

Or, use one of these fab cat prints from Sunshine & Peony!

Multi Kitty Garden

Cat Tea Party

Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoyed the read and are having fun coming up with your sewalong project. If you have other ideas to share, please drop them in the comments!


  1. I've enjoyed reading the book, and especially liked the breathless pacing and the ending. Depending on what I find in the stash, I'm considering making a split skirt with pockets by Melissa Watson for McCalls (8260) or an apron by Simplicity (9564), a new release. Cook's ever-present spanner wrench amuses me. It reminds me of the hammer I used to keep in a drawer by the kitchen sink. It made sense at the time!

    1. Wasn't a fun read? So glad you also enjoyed it. I love that McCalls split skirt -- hadn't noticed that pattern before but it is super cute. Excited to see what you make.

  2. So much inspiration ..... I really like the apron link above, and have my eye on one. I do like aprons. But I am thinking of machine embroidering a Calla lily to come out of one of the pockets.

    Premeditated Myrtle was a good read. I could 'feel' the frustrations of Myrtle in her endeavours and her having to put a brake on her actions and speech. Sometimes the emotions were palpable! I thought the cook had a great role and I enjoyed her presence.
    At first I didn't really think the clothes 'spoke' that much about the characters apart from being aware of who wore what, and I am not sure why I felt that, but as I reflect back, the clothing descriptions really set the scenes (again!). I must remember if ever I write (not in this lifetime), to make sure I use garment descriptions frequently to subtly give so much more information about the characters.

    Other than that, Liz Haywood has recently released a pattern for zero waste culottes which would be just perfect for a lady's bike ride! (plus so many other occasions). I may look at the version without the skirt back.

    1. Glad you liked the book as well! I thought Myrtle was well drawn and realistic as an adolescent. And I enjoyed the clothing descriptions for sure - they showed things about the characters but also about the changing social expectations. The bicyling outfits/rational dress comments were inspiring to many of us, I think -- those culottes by Liz Haywood are interesting.


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!