Finally – a finished project to photograph and show!
I’m starting a job hunt and doing some interviews. Good times, obvs. The shell that I currently have for my suit is a lovely lightweight neutral knit, but I’m starting to wonder about the wisdom of wearing knits to an interview or with a suit in general. Knits just scream casual to me – even when, as with this one, they don’t look like a t-shirt. I wanted a silk blouse – silk crepe de chine, in particular. Partly because it’s so lovely, partly because I just don’t like the shininess of charmeuse, but also partly because I have a cheap as chips local source for the crepe de chine. Yay Indian fabric shops!
Besides, with this cheap silk source ($10/yard!), I just want to make up some nice silk tops. I was thinking Colette Taffy, which calls for 1 3/4 yards of 44″ fabric in my size (8). I know that Colette typically over-estimates the yardage requirements, but having muslined Taffy up, I think it might take the full amount.
On a sunday when I really should have been prepping answers to behavioural interview questions, I headed down to Vancouver’s ‘Little India’ with my suit jacket in tow to see what I could pick up for a nice shell. You’d think an almost-charcoal grey would be easy to match things to. Maybe I’m a colour perfectionist. It’s tough.
I fell in love with a medium blue silk at the 2nd store I went to, but they only had 1 1/4 yards left. A full half yard less than the Taffy calls for. Alright, I said against my better judgment, I have to have it. I’ll change my plans.
1 1/4 yards of 44″ fabric isn’t a lot to play with. I narrowed things down to three choices: Sorbetto (no photo needed), Simplicity 2593 View B (now out of print), or Vogue 1208, which I’ve been wanting to make as a top – to recreate a silk Nanette Lepore bow-shoulder top I fell in love with a few seasons ago, but, at $275, couldn’t afford.
I squeezed a top length version out of the fabric I had, and it comes down to about my belly button. It’s too short to wear untucked with anything, but tucks quite nicely into a high waisted skirt, like the V1247 rachel comey I’ve paired it with.
Here’s the back view, untucked:
The pattern is super simple with only 4 pieces: one front, one back, a piece for the bow, and a piece for the bow tie. I ended up lowering the front neckline but about an inch or so. I didn’t follow the directions very closely, though they seem easy enough. This is because I didn’t line it, and so with such a simple garment, the directions really didn’t apply to my version. I made some self-bias binding for the neckline. However, I’m not super happy with how that turned out. You can tell on the front view that the neckline doesn’t sit flat as I wish it would.
After wrestling with that for a while – and realizing after the fact that perhaps I should have tried to squeeze out a facing from my scraps – I just did narrow hems on the arms and the hem.
The narrow hems work well on the arms, but I’m not happy with the hem . Maybe it’s because the hem is sewn on the bias, but it’s really rippling (as it does on the original dress). That rippling looks nice on the dress, but it’s kind of weird on the top version (especially such a short top!).
I’m still wanting to change up the hem – this top is still definitely a work-in-progress. I know it can be great so I want to tinker with it until I get it right! I’m thinking of getting some black crepe de chine and adding a 1 to 1.5 inch non-bias band onto the bottom. I’m hoping that the straight grain band on the bottom will anchor the fabric down, and get rid of that annoying rippling (can you tell it *really bugs me*?)
I might take the opportunity to re-do the side seams as well. I knew that one wants to use a longer stitch length when sewing on the bias, but did I remember that when it was time to set needle to fabric? Of course not! So I do have some seam puckering that I hope I can smooth out! With these changes, I think I’ll have a blouse that I’ll really love. Here’s hoping!