This year I have resolved to sew some different shapes and types of garments, with mixed success. I suppose the reason we (at least I) stick to the same things is that is what is comfortable, familiar, or even perceived to be flattering. Previously I have not sewn many woven tops - I do have a number of button front shirts but other than that all my tops are knits. However now that I took the plunge with this great result I predict more variations on this theme in the future.
So the latest foray into silk tops is this. Which I absolutely love. And labored over - due to the unusual fabric. Although it might not appear unusual as a finished top.
Here's a look on the dress form. This fabric is a silk, crepe de chine, I guess. Which I got in the upstairs discount room at Stone Mountain. They have so many treasures to be discovered there, I rarely come home without something I find in that room. Which has even more fabric now as they have discontinued classes - so they have more space for fabric.
What came first, the new pattern or the new fabric? Actually I bought this fabric maybe 2 months ago? and keep thinking about what to do with it. It definitely presented a challenge because it is actually a border print, or I think you might describe it as an asymmetrical stripe panel print.
Anyway I did remember to take a photo of the fabric before I cut out the top. It was about 42 inches wide with the lighter section separating the black/green stripe sections. I think the yardage they had on the bolt was not cut along the panel so they cut me this portion which gave me some extra of the light portion you see at the top. The main top pattern pieces are there on the table so you can see how I used the stripe and dark/light section.
The uninspiring pattern envelope. My opinion, adding those bits of blue lace on the one in the photo takes it straight to frump town although the color is not my fav plus those elbow length rolled up sleeves rarely look good on anyone. So why did I buy this pattern? Well after my success with my previous New Look top (another version here) I noticed this one which has a nice small placket with a slight angle to open up the neckline, plus it has the shoulder gathers instead of bust darts, so good for stripes. Also the shirttail hem although basically you can add that to any pattern. I think the collar is a bit on the skimpy side and for a winter version I might add some width to it. OK for a lightweight top but it is really neither here nor there, not a binding and not really a collar. Odd. In fact I just made another version of this top where I opened up the neckline and made a round band which sounds complicated but is not really - and I will try to show in another post. Because pattern reuse - I am all about that once I get a good one.
So how did I use the various bits of the fabric? First I cut out the body pieces matching the stripes for the front and back. Then I cut out the front shoulder pieces and the back yoke from the light portion of the fabric, also the collar from little scraps remaining, taking care to reserve as much of the light portion for the sleeves. Figuring I could also cut out the placket pieces from the remaining fabric. I thought about making the placket from the mostly black section although I wasn't sure that would look quite right. In any case once I was ready to cut the placket all that remained was the stripe section so DRAT! I had to cut it out very exactly to match the stripe across the placket and front. Which was a little bit of a pain but now I am so satisfied with how it turned out. Woo Hoo! Good thing I had all my recent placket practice, haha.
A little construction view for those of you who like to see the insides. I used the Pro-Sheer Elegance Couture interfacing for the placket pieces and the collar as well. They (Fashion Sewing Supply) just have the best interfacings and if I could only have one type on some imaginary desert island of sewing I would take all the Pro-Sheer Elegances in every weight and color. Which might be cheating as that is picking more than one but it is my self-imagined desert island of sewing. With unlimited deliveries of snacks from Trader Joe's and wi-fi for my podcast sewing accompaniment.
Sorry about the focus on this one - all the back views are slightly blurry but you get the idea. The back is about 4 inches longer than the front. Like I said, slightly new silhouette for me and in this fabric I think it works well.
Quite breezy when these pics were taken, but you get the idea of how floaty and lovely this fabric feels to wear.
So another try at a new shape and I'm quite happy I did. I can see using this pattern for other types of tops, a long sleeve for sure for winter. And maybe even a drawstring waist. I'll have to see what strikes my fabric fancy in the next few months. Until then it is still summer here !!!! I hope. Although you can notice the evenings getting darker just that little bit earlier each week - boo I don't like that.
By the way, a little plug for Stone Mountain Fabrics - I saw they had this fabric in the store again, both in this color and in red/navy. I seriously love that fabric, it is an RPL knit I guess but the weight and colors are exceptional. Also I have bought two color ways of this fabric which is super soft and lovely.
Next up - more striped things. Including a dress that I showed on Instagram with my lukewarm reaction - and judging by the comments it might be better than I thought. Though still not my color! Stay tuned...
Happy late summer Sewing, Beth
today's garden photo - I found this on my camera roll from back in April, a yellow iris covered in raindrops. Sometimes these iPhone photos amaze me.