Back in February I went to Birmingham (as you may remember form my Wilder Gown post) and although I didn’t see Lana Del Rey, I did manage to go to the fabric shop Guthrie and Ghani. In the shop they have lots of remnant bins full of lovely fabrics that never make it online, so it’s definitely worth a trip if you happen to be in the area. I absolutely love remnants; for some reason they’re my favourite part of fabric shopping… maybe it’s the feeling of treasure hunting (similar to why I love charity shopping) or the satisfaction when you discover a one-off bargain?
One of the remnants I bought was about 1.5 metres of tencel twill in an unusual teal-ish colour. I knew from the start it was destined for a Sade blouse, and I thought the drape and weight of the fabric would show off the dramatic long sleeve view really well. I also decided to add the diagonal split back, which I’d left off both of my previous versions.
I’d already toiled the pattern, so I just cut out my adjusted version from last year (if you’re interested in the adjustments I made you can read about them here). However, once I’d sewn the bust darts I thought they looked a bit longer then on my other versions, and lo and behold I had traced the original bust darts and not my altered ones! Disaster! I panicked for a moment and then did a pinned fitting, and they actually looked fine. I don’t fully understand how two completely different bust darts could both fit me, but I’m not about to question it!
I had a bit of trouble hemming the bias edges on the back. I did all the things you’re supposed to do: stay stitching, handling the fabric very carefully etc, but they still managed to stretch out. I have to confess I didn’t interface any of the hemmed edges like the pattern tells you to, as I did this on my first version and thought it seemed unnecessary. Plus, this tencel is pretty bulky once you’ve folded it over itself, and I didn’t want to add any extra to that. One of the bias edges looked much worse than the other, so I made sure it went underneath in the overlap! No one will ever know…
Like with my previous versions, I did concealed bias binding on the neckline instead of the visible binding the book suggests:
I added elastic at the base of the sleeves instead of ribbon, as I thought ribbon might look a bit craft-storey, if that makes sense. I briefly considered making some rouleau ties, but then I remembered I’m a lazy sewist who despises turning out narrow tubes! I’m really happy with how the elastic turned out; It’s a subtle way of drawing the sleeves in without distracting form the rest of the garment.
Here are the sleeves in all their glory:
I know I say it a lot, but this is one of my favourite me-mades ever. It makes me feel quite smug when I think about how much a top like this would cost in a store, which helps to ease my guilt about how much money I spend on fabric! It’s exactly what I wanted, an everyday top with some elevated details that make it special. The best thing is when the wind blows and the sleeves billow out!
(Oh by the way, the trousers I’m wearing here are the ramie Safiya trousers from my previous post. I’ve been trying to think more carefully about what colours I want in my wardrobe, so everything goes well together, and I think this outfit is a good start!)