Like many of you when Vogue bring out their new season’s patterns coupled with a 4 day sale at $4.99 each (cheaper if you’re in BMV Club) I just have to take advantage. My problem is that I buy the patterns I like and then procrastinate for months and months before I get round to actually sewing them which is usually the following season!
For UK and EU customers – it always pays to purchase 3 patterns at a time: postage is $15 whether there’s 1, 2 or 3 in the parcel; 4 patterns and the postage goes up to $25.
This started as Vogue 1516 with some fabulous and expensive Italian printed silk chiffon from the hallowed Joel and Son. And just for the record, it was bought in a sale and probably a remnant, in case you thought I’d won the lottery. On a purple background, there’s red, yellow, pink and olive green – luscious.
The silk has large hand-painted watercolor-type flowers and I wanted a pattern that didn’t cut into them – so something simple. The Tom and Linda Platt pattern has a loose-fitting pullover top with side seam slits, topstitching, and three-quarter length bat-wing sleeves. I went for view A: where the front and back yoke extend into sleeves with slits. View A has sleeve slits from shoulder to end.
Now, I say this started as V1516 and it did but a few “design” (Corecouture) alterations happened along the way…..partly because of fabric and partly just because….
I’m not that keen on boat necklines for myself so the first thing I did was scoop the front neck. One issue creates another and the new scoop neckline creates a natural drop shoulder issue – bra straps on show! If you are content with this then there’s no issue at all. Hooray for being over 50!
As always, I never seem to have enough fabric because sometimes I buy fabric and then decide what to make: I would strongly suggest that you decide what to make and then buy the fabric, but anyways, the sleeves were elongated with deep cuffs – narrower and more fitting than a loose sleeve. Also it gives to option of wearing high towards elbow or low down to wrist.
The silk chiffon is translucent and that’s part of it’s beauty however, I would always have to wear a cami underneath – is there an alternative?
Yes. Buy a small length of coordinating plain silk chiffon and line the top. Due to the seam along the above-bust line this was the perfect location for a slip stitched red chiffon, leaving gaps for the sleeves. It was cut long deliberately so that it hangs below the top and adds an extra dimension.
And it works a treat – no see-through but the top still retains the ethereal silk touch.
The shell fabric was hemmed with a hand-rolled hem stitch and the lining was finished with a deep hem, slip stitched in place.
All internal seams are Frenched but there’s top stitching in yellow along the front and back yokes to emphasise the arm slits.
I wasn’t that enamoured with total sleeve slits so these are shortened from shoulder to long cuff – there’s a bit of upper arm on show but not everything – bingo arms and lower arms are covered.
The neckline was also treated to some extra attention. I cut a bias strip of ivory silk organza and this became the facing (binding). Machine stitched first, then turned inside and top-stitched in place, it adds the perfect neck-line finish that’s almost invisible.
A wee bit of hand tacking (basting) really doesn’t go amiss here. If you are going to splurge on silk organza then my advice is to always choose ivory instead of white, it’s so much more versatile and will blend with many, many more colours.
Silk chiffon shifts; sometimes it’s square and sometimes it’s wonky – learn to live with this quality. I really and truly measured the hemline but when wearing the top it moves and is organic – different hem lengths mean just that……
And what do you do with those teeny tiny silk leftovers? Well you don’t throw them out that’s for sure; those poor silkworms had to spin for hours and hours – you utilise every inch…… Grab some cheap plastic/wooden bangles and wrap them in silk.
Fold the leftover fabric in two to hide the raw edges and wrap around and around, glue in place or stitch to secure. Always make three – two is not enough and four is too many.
This particular top may appear to be an orphan but wait…..there’s more to come and everything will fall into place (promise) …