This month I became painfully aware what an impact changing the clocks has on a blogging routine (I am such an amateur in blogging!). Being at work the whole day makes it impossible to catch enough daylight before or after work to take pictures and gloomy winter weather on the weekends doesn’t help either. On top of that I was incredibly busy the last couple of weeks, so it wasn’t until yesterday that I managed to set some time aside to take some pictures. As the weather outside was rainy and very stormy we decided to stay inside and snap some photos of this not-very-winter-appropriate silk top. My boyfriend worked miracles and they turned out all right, despite the bad lighting.
The fabric for this top was an impulse buy at Darn It & Stitch here in Oxford. They only have a small selection of fabrics, most of it novelty print kids fabric. However, they do have a couple of rolls of silk and when this lovely structured pink silk (I have no idea what type of silk fabric this is) was on sale I bought 1 meter to make some kind of top out of it. It then sat in my fabric drawer for a while until I realised that it was the perfect fabric for this pleated silk top that I had been planning for a while. I first came across it when I saw Sophie’s gorgeous version and since then I wanted to make this Salme pattern (I love pleats). However, when I finally realised that I had the perfect fabric for it I wanted to make it straight away and as I don’t own a printer to print the pdf pattern, I decided to work with something from my pattern stash. I settled on the Silk Woven Tee from the Great British Sewing Bee – Fashion with Fabric book (by the way, there are a lot of cute patterns in this book).
The pattern calls for a zip in the side seam but I am not a massive fan of zips in tops which is why I decided to just go up one size (to a 12) and to omit the zip. Other than that the only change I made to the basic pattern was to shave off a little bit of fabric at the back of the neckline.
Cutting the fabric was quite challenging. While 1 meter of fabric would have easily been enough for a simple top, the pleating ate up a lot of fabric. The only possibility to make it all fit was to add a seam down the back of the top. The pleating itself required a little bit of math and accurate measuring but came together really quickly. I did French seams where possible, the rest of the seams are finished with the pinking blade of my rotary cutter. The neckline is finished with a facing which I sewed down by hand at the back and the shoulder seam. The hems are finished with a 1.5 cm fold over hem.
Overall I like how it turned out. It is a little bit of a struggle to get out of this top (a little bit of ease would have been helpful) but nothing a little wiggle dance couldn’t solve. Another issue that I had was that the facing wanted to peek out at the neckline. Due to the thinness of the fabric I couldn’t really tack it down at the front. I am not sure if there is an elegant solution, in the end I decided to use some iron on adhesive. This adds some stiffness to the fabric around the neckline but since the silk itself is slightly stiff it is not really noticeable.
Fit-wise I am quite happy. The only thing that bothers me is that it is slightly too slim at the hip and therefore rides up a bit. Next time I would probably just add a slit to the side seam, which would solve the problem and could actually be a nice design feature.
So far I have only worn this top to work. It’s quite a nice combination of smart but interesting. The only issue is that because of the sleeves it just doesn’t sit well under blazers and cardigans. I probably have to resort to sleeveless blouses for work in the future. Nevertheless it is a cute top and in warmer weather it might get some wear on a night out. Is it bad that I am already dreaming of summer?