Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Summery striped top

We've moved into a house, and I've been trying to get back into the sewing groove now that I have more space to spread my stuff out. This is a refashion of a top I thrifted a year or two ago. It was a vintage (I'm guessing '80s) blouse with long sleeves, and like many blouses that fit me in the shoulders and bust (this one was even a little too big in the upper chest), it was too tight in the hips. It is 100% silk, and it's that really soft, suedey silk. (I don't really know the names for different weaves of fabric.) It's very lightweight fabric with a beautiful drape, so I decided to make a flowy sleeveless summer top out of it.
I don't have a full-length mirror in my sewing room yet, and I'm really bad about taking good "before" pictures.
I cut the sleeves off, made the armholes a little smaller, and finished the armholes with bias tape I bought at Liberty in London when I was there two years ago. I love the floral print with the black background! I think it looks perfect with the black and white stripes. The fact that the shoulders were a little too wide ended up giving the shirt a really relaxed cap sleeve look.

Then I tackled the hip issue. I cut two triangles of fabric out of the sleeves I had removed. I decided to make the stripes on the triangles horizontal instead of vertical for a little visual variety. I ripped out the side seams up to a little bit above my natural waist and sewed the triangles into give me a total of about 6 extra inches in the hips. It took a bit of trial and error to get everything smooth, but it worked out. Then I finished the bottom hem with more of the bias tape.

I'm pretty happy with the result. The one tiny flaw is that because the bottom of each triangle was cut straight across rather than scooped in a little bit, the bottom hem stands out slightly around the hips. If I were more self conscious about my hips, it would probably bother me. I may go back and fix that someday, but I'd have to pull off a ton of bias tape and then reattach it, so I probably won't.
It's a nice, easy summer top. I think it looks good with skinny jeans, and more importantly, it's soft and breezy. I could just live in it all summer.

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