Here a little silk top that I whipped up last weekend. This sand-washed silk is from my favourite shop on Goldhawk Road (UK Textiles) who have an amazing selection of silks in the most gorgeous colours. The first time there, I picked up some rust coloured silk and made a simple shell top. It’s become a firm favourite in my wardrobe, so when I went back to the shop in December, I picked up some more silk. This time I went for a summery turquoise. The fabric has been sitting in my stash ever since, mainly because I was contemplating whether to make the exact same top again or something a little bit more exciting. In the end I decided to use the same pattern, but hack on a ruffled hem.
The pattern is from the book The Great British Sewing Bee – Fashion with Fabric. It’s called the Sleeveless Shell Top and is a simple little top with an all-in-one facing and two hem options, a high-low hem and a straight one. While I love a high-low hem, this one is rather pronounced. So this time I decided to even out the hem a little by adding 3 cm in length at the front and shaving the same amount off at the back. Then I separated the pieces roughly at the waist seam, following the shape of the hem curve. It’s a little bit difficult to see in the pictures, but the top now still has a slight high-low hem.
Since I had only one metre of the maybe 120 cm wide fabric the rest of the design was determined by what I could squeeze out of the piece. Basically I needed two rectangles with a 17 cm height and significantly wider than the waist seam to allow for some nice ruffles. The best I could manage was a ratio of 1.25:1. I’m not sure what the perfect ruffle ratio is but I think it works well enough. Was does help is that the piece is cut on the crosswise grain, which gives the ruffles a little bit more structure. Cutting it that way was the only way to fit all pattern pieces but it also had the added benefit of me being able to use the selvage as the hem. In this case the selvage is so pretty that it totally works, and who doesn’t love an opportunity to avoid hemming? I gathered the ruffle piece with two rows of wide stitches. Once attached, I topstitched the waist seam to make sure the seam allowance sits towards the top of the bodice.
In terms of sizing I cut a size 12, taking out 1 cm at the centre front and back. I omitted the back keyhole detail that the pattern suggest since the neck opening is wide enough. The ruffle has french seams, the rest of the top is finished with pinked seams. While it’s not the most durable of finishes, I struggle to find anything better on such delicate fabric. I used the treatment for my other silk top and it’s still holding up so it should be fine, especially since I tend to hand-wash my silk garments.
All in all this was a super quick and satisfying make. I’m glad that I finally sewed this lovely fabric up. After all it’s so much nicer wearing a fabric than having it sitting in your stash. And this really turned out quite cute and will be perfect for snazzing up my work wardrobe. Oh and this?