Light Gold Silk

August 27, 2006

The idea

I wanted a nice elegant top to wear with jeans, since I am living in Florida, were Proper Dress Required means sparkly flip flops, shorts and T-shirts. To wear the jeans with a nice top is considered elegant here. I will wear blouse this at work, or when going out for a walk or a fancy dinner. I think this top can be mixed and matched together with jeans, a nice skirt or a suit, so it can be worn on any occasion. Simpler to put on then a dress, that can be too elegant and sometimes inappropriate, I chose to do the top and a matching skirt, out of the same fabric. Putting on a dark T-shirt with the skirt should work just fine. The blouse and the skirt together will be just as nice as a dress.

The Fabric

Browsing around at Fashion Fabrics Club online fabric store, I bumped into this Yellow silk charmeuse.

Set#R655 “Yellow Satin Charmeuse”
Solid Yellow
Stretch Silk Satin Charmeuse Fabric
Suitable for Blouses, Dresses, and Special Occasions
97% Silk
3% Lycra
45″ Wide
Hand Wash Cold or Dry Clean
Yellow is far from being my favorite color, but from the picture it looked a little darker and not the bright. It will look nice in contrast with blue or black. I have bought it together with a silk dupioni dark navy and a sheer silk print, which I cannot wait to sew. The navy dupioni is for a serious suit, and it will look good with any of the other fabrics underneath.

I cannot believe the huge selection of silk they have: from sheers and organza, to suit weight, even home decor, in all colors and prints, everything! I was amazed! Prices range from 6$ to …who know. For a natural soft fiber like this it is worth it! Of course, now I will spend the time hand washing it and then iron it, but it can also be taken to the dry cleaners.

The patterns

For the top I have both some time ago a nice pattern from Burda International 2006, model No 8132.

For this wrinkly blouse a simple skirt will do, just below the knee. I always wanted to make the one from Burda magazine 05/2004, but I was always afraid of those front seams. I guess I got a little courageous this time and decided to give it a try.

The Cutting

After preshrinking and ironing the silk, it was cut time. It was around 7PM on a Friday evening.
The blouse pattern already included the seam allowances, which really confused me, and I believe that the blouse is now a little larger than it was supposed to be. Since the fabric is stretchy, I decided not the put a zipper in the back of the blouse. I am also used to seeing all the details on the pattern pieces, like the numbered corners, that indicate the order of the seams. In this pattern they were missing from the small schema of the pattern pieces, and they were displayed only inside the big pattern sheet. I missed that quick reference to look at from time to time. I have complicated my life and abused the copyright. I have copied the pattern in my size, instead of cutting it of the provided sheet, in order to be able to have it for later in all sized. Anyway, enough criticizing, the final result is great and following the instructions given in detail, step by step, really helped.
The skirt
I definitely started easy. With my elastic natural silk, I eliminated the zipper on the skirt, and quickly put it together to see if it fits without zipping. And I was right! I have managed to sew almost all of the skirt with the serger, except for one seam. I used a trick my mom thought me: wet and iron each seam, the result will be perfect and it will be easy to iron it from now on.
I did the front and back seams, then the laterals, had a fitting and I was ready to sew on the lining.
Simply sew the round facings at the top of the skirt.
Use clear elastic for a very thin seam at the waist line, and a little support, so the skirt does not come of by itself.
Sew the elastic in place in one step with the serger, while sewing the facings to the skirt.
Next, sew on the face of the facings, a little seam, very close to the edge of the skirt. This will help make the fabric fold towards the back.

Around 9PM (after 2 hours of cutting and sewing), I simply rolled a hem and I had the skirt ready!

The Blouse

Lay the inset piece with no interfacing on the interfaced inset piece, with the right sides of both pieces facing up.

Baste and stitch edges together.

Pin upper side front pieces to upper front pieces, right sides facing.Baste and stitch seams.Baste and stitch lower side fronts to upper side fronts, rights sides facing.
To gather the edges of the upper front pieces and lower side front pieces, first stitch two closely spaced lines of machine basting (longest stitch setting).Pull bobbin threads of machine basting to gather each edge to match corresponding edge of inset.Know gathering threads.Distribute gathering evenly.
First stitch inset to one half of bodice front, right sides facing.Then stitch inset to second half of bodice front.Stitch seams exactly to ends of seams / into corners.
Baste and stitch shoulder seams. Baste and stitch side seams. Lay front facing pieces on back facing pieces, right sides together. Stitch shoulder seams and lower edges of facing. Pin facing to neck edges, right sides together, matching shoulder seams. Turn under allowances on front and back edges of facings.Stitch facings to neck edges.Turn facings up. Topstitch facings close to seams, catching allowances.Turn facings inside, baste.
Hand sew back facing edges to front facing edges to insert attachment seams.
Rolled hem with embroidery used in the lower looper of the serger.
This is it!

One Response to “Light Gold Silk”

  1. seoulfashionista Says:

    I love this more than the pattern illustration. You did a fantastic job with it!

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