Monday, April 10, 2017

What season is it? New Look 6374 top in Silk twill

What season is it? As is typical here in the bay area we had a burst of glorious warm weather - sunshine, temperatures where I live around 80˚F a week ago. I know this for a fact because I went to buy some heirloom tomato plants at a master gardener sale. The line was long and the sun was intense. I went in the morning - decided there were too many people and I didn't want to spend a glorious Saturday morning standing in line. So I went on with my other errands, had lunch and then around 1:30 decided to go by there again. Eureka! No line and they still had some of the varieties that I wanted.
But as for planting - the area wasn't quite prepared and I've been in the midst of having a fence rebuilt which also involved tearing down my lovely pink jasmine. It will grow back, or so I hope. So the vegetable patch is still a work in progress and in the days following the great tomato score the skies have opened up. A crazy rainstorm! The poor shivering tomato plants wonder what is happening and so do we all.  April showers, right?
That brings up the question of what to wear. Not really summer clothes weather, not yet time for shorts or floaty summer dresses. As it happens I had started making this silk twill shirt and find that it is just right for those transitional seasons which we briefly have here. Although my usual caveat - if you are visiting the bay area our microclimate weather could mean arctic by the ocean and sweltering 10 miles inland. Visitors you are warned!

green NL blouse2

It was raining when I took this picture so that's why I taking refuge under the patio cover. And you can see the new fence:) minus the lovely pink jasmine which was just starting to bloom :(.   We are a fenced-in bunch here in CA. I was amazed when ages ago I went on a business trip to N. Carolina and saw all the houses and not a fence between them. Plus it was spring and everything was in bloom, I thought it was lovely. I did ask my hosts how everyone kept their dogs in their yard but I don't recall the answer.  Where I live there are so many swimming pools and it's the law (for safety) that they have to be fenced.
Anyway - back to sewing. This top is a silk twill which I actually had some doubts about as I was sewing but now that it is completed it's dreamy to wear. Very floaty, but with substance if that can be a thing. I bought this fabric at Metro Textiles in New York last October and after making this I have about 1 yard left. I saw the same fabric on the Gorgeous Fabrics website, here's the listing.

silk twill shirt front view

silk twill shirt back view

Here's the pattern envelope and drawing. I made this top previously, also in silk and in green which is a funny coincidence, and both of my versions look so different from the envelope version. That looks boring and a bit frumpy. (that dark blue lace, blech)  My previous version is here. I love this top and have worn it a lot.

NL_6374 pattern evn

My and my shivering tomato plants.

green NL blouse w tomato plants

Sewing-wise I don't have much to say about this pattern, it is a bit fiddly to sew, at least that skinny placket is but the instructions are very clear and if you follow each step it should be perfect. If you haven't done a placket like that before I would suggest a first try with a nice well behaved cotton. This silk twill is super slippery and wants to leap off the sewing table at every opportunity. But that's what makes it very comfy to wear.  I cut out this version to the length the pattern specified, as I couldn't do that when I made the first stripe version due to minimal fabric, but this seems a bit long in the back. So since I took the photos and wore it once I shortened the back about 1.5 inches. It still has the hi-lo hemline but just not so long in the back.

silk twill shirt neckline view

I tried to match the dots on the placket but maybe not so well. I think this is a thing that sewing people might see but nobody else will.

This image is probably the best representation of the actual color. I made the sleeves full length and added a regular shirt cuff. For the opening I did a continuous placket which is softer and easer on this type of fabric.

silk twill shirt sleeve cuff

So that's the latest scoop on what I've been sewing. And while I have one quick knit top which I just completed for myself (pattern love! McCalls 7538) my other sewing recently is for other people. Including a coat in plaid (eek) which I will share. And a silk charmeuse blouse (also eek). These tricky fabrics!

Thank you for all the kind words my last post - where I mentioned that I will be teaching sewing classes at a new studio in Berkeley:  Hello Stitch Studio. We are getting sign-ups at a steady pace so if you are interested check out the website and reserve your place in the class.

Happy Sewing, Beth

Here's my garden photo for the day - under the apple tree which is in full bloom and making a carpet of pink petals. And despite the rain still covered in flowers. The prolific nature of this old tree amazes me. And the flower petals look like snow when the wind blows. So pretty!

green NL silk blouse apple tree

apple blossom video


  1. What a beautiful and fun print! That's a great top for you!

  2. I love it. The print is a happy print and the pattern is a great fit.

  3. Beautiful top! I sewed up this pattern recently and I just love it. I may have passed it over had I not seen it here first!

  4. Beautiful new top, and fence! I have a fence to replace too, so fences are on my mind at the moment. Although, it's half fallen down (into the down slope neighbor's horrible ivy)... and my view is so much better. I can see the ocean! No one does it here, but I'm tempted to go with something somewhat transparent. Anyway, this blouse looks just like you. Colors, print, shape, it's perfect!

  5. I think this is a great pattern that gives great results Beth. Love your new version. I would like to make it up again in something fancier now.

  6. A plaid coat? Eesh! :) Can't wait to see that.

    I really love your top. That fabric looks so pretty. And I am a big fan of New Look tops and dresses.

  7. The colors and proportion of circles are just perfect for your size and personality. Nothing like making something out of yummy fabric and then wearing it everywhere and getting compliments! My tomatoes look the same....just waiting for some real sun and bees.

  8. Lovely and the fabric is gorgeous. I think it really suits you.

  9. Very pretty blouse. I have this pattern in my stash so it was nice to see it made up in such a lovely fabric.

  10. Super fabric! When I saw the first picture I thought it was checks but no what a lovely fabric and I love the colours just what I would pick, the style is lovely too x

  11. Beautiful top! Those tomatoes may be shivering now but I'm sure they'll have a glamourous and sunny life in your garden!

  12. That is a really pretty top.. I love the shape. Those colours suit you so well! :) We are all fenced in here too, and have the same pool laws, but it's a good thing, I think. From what I remember when we lived in Pennsylvania, people had "invisible" fences for their dogs; a wire running underground, and the dog had a receiver on their collar. If they ran too close to it it emits a very big-pitched whine, inaudible to us but very irritating to the poor dog! I'm not sure how I feel about them but I know they're super effective, and it means everyone's yard could be open and dogs tended to stay safely within boundaries.
    I hope your lovely pink jasmine grows back soon! :)

  13. Beth, I love your pretty top! I made a tunic from this wonderful fabric and wish more selections were easily available in this wonderful twill. Let me know the next time you're in the Carolinas on a business trip!


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