A few months ago I was lucky enough to pick up about a yard and a quarter of some silk chiffon. I thought it would work for a sleeveless top to wear with one or two of my “dress-up” skirts. I also picked up an older New Look pattern, which included a simple top.
I decided to make it first in some linen, left over from making a pair of pants a few years ago. When I studied the pattern instructions, I figured it would be a snap. And it would have been, if the size bore any relation to the measurements indicated. I took this thing in. And took it in again. And again. What started as a size 14 is now about a 10, at least through the armhole and sides.
I also had to re-angle the bust darts to lower the points. The thing is still too big across the top of the chest. This I don’t understand. Usually something with a shallow oval neckline hangs nicely on me and looks good. I slapped a pocket on (possibly crooked!) to break up the vast expanse. The top is alright — I’ll wear it because it’s simple and I love the linen. I like the bottom shirttail-like hem. And I learned a new to me technique about facings. The facings encompass both armholes and neck. The instructions were to attach the front facing to the front, and then to slip that between the back facing and the back. When sewing the back facing to the back, you also sew all four shoulder seams together. The result is that the shoulder seams are hidden in the facings. Pretty cool that.
The silk chiffon presented a whole new set of challenges. After I finished cutting out the front, with a slightly dull rotary cutter, and discovered the fabric would not lie still, I almost ditched the whole thing.
I decided to press fusible interfacing to the facings before cutting them, and that worked. And scissors seemed to work better than the rotary cutter. I did manage very nice rolled hems, following instructions I had read on another blog just a week earlier. In fact, I would have to say my sewing machine loved the fabric. The only real problem was cutting it.
So now I have at least two new outfits.
I don’t know if I’ll use this pattern again. I like an oval neckline, and I like the side slits and the bottom. Also, there’s a slight curve in the centre back seam, which is nice. But I don’t like how it fits across my upper chest. How can something so simple, not hang properly from the shoulders??