Sunday, 22 May 2016

4-hour silk top- Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger

At 10 yesterday morning I had 2 metres of Liberty Torrington silk crepe de chine, and nothing to wear for my sister's marriage blessing in the afternoon.  By 1.35 I left the house in a brand new top! 

The pattern is the Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger.  I wanted a top which was loose and comfortable but which covered my shoulders.  I had made a top from a different pattern last weekend, but despite me making a muslin before cutting into my proper fabric, there was a problem with the fit which renders it unwearable (until I can figure out how to alter it).  I had been getting ready to make the sailor top and had already lenghtened the pattern and done a full bust adjustment using this tutorial.  So on Friday evening I made a muslin of the Sailor Top, and on Saturday morning I set to cutting out my precious silk.

This was my first try at working with silk, so I had read up on some hints and tips.  First one- I pinned the silk between layers of tissue paper, with the pattern on top, and it cut like a dream.  I also read that microtex needles were good for sewing with silk (they were not.  They wouldn't pick up one single stitch, but I had not problems with a standard needle) and to use special silk pins (which are nice, and very sharp). 

Once I got to sewing this was pretty quick and easy. I used my serger to finish all of the seams which looks nice and neat, even though I did have to mess around a lot with the tension settings on my machine. 

I didn't use facings for the sleeves- I just did small double folded hem and it worked very nicely.  I didn't follow the pattern for the hem at the bottom, either- I was lazy and in a desperate hurry so I grabbed a roll of bias tape and used that.  I thought it might be too stiff for the silk fabric, but it drapes pretty nicely.

Oh and the main place I cheated was on the collar.  Firstly I understitched the facing, then I basted the facing and main collar piece together.  When it came to sewing it I attached it all in one go, instead of attaching just the main piece and then the facing.  I pressed the seam allowance down and serged the edges.  It's not as tidy as the 'proper' way but it still looks good, and it was super quick.

I'm really pleased with this top.  It does gape a little at the neck, so before I make another I will amend the pattern to sort this out. Sara at Sew Sweetness had this same problem so I'll be using her instructions for how to fix it.

I hope I'll find the time to do more silk sewing soon.  It was well worth the effort!