Thursday, April 10, 2014

Burda 09-2013-105, Split/Wrap Front Skirt

Burda 09-2013-105 Thumbnail

After a long stretch of unappealing, Burda finally started getting interesting again late last year.  Burda 09-2013-105 was one of the patterns that went on my list as soon as the magazine arrived.  It has a pencil skirt silhouette, but the front wrap/split means that it's fairly bikeable.  Perfect!

I shortened the skirt three inches before cutting and still had a generous hem allowance for a skirt longer than I usually wear.  This would have been mid-calf had I not shortened it.  Because the shapes of the front openings is the major part of the design here, for my short legs the skirt needed to be at full knee length so the graceful arcs would have their full space to be graceful.  When I pinned it at a shorter length it lost a bit of its sophistication.

Basted Underlining

I love wool crepe for office clothes.  The only downside is that it wrinkles almost as much as linen.  To attempt to keep the wrinkling slightly under control, I underlined it with silk organza.  I stitched the silk organza as one with the fashion fabric at the darts and the seams.  To keep the organza in place I hand-basted it 1/2 inch in from the seam allowances.  Yes, I hand basted.  You can also see where I hand stitched the facings to the organza.

I was afraid that with four layers of fabric at the front waist and belly (two wool and two organza) it would be bulky and add unwanted depth to the gastric region, but it actually sits surprisingly flat.

Slit Facings

When cutting the facings for the skirt front opening edges, be sure to cut them wrong side of the fabric up.  Mirror images always trip me up.  I first cut them right side up, as I had the skirt fronts, and was then surprised when they wouldn't match up with the fronts.  I made a huge note on the pattern pieces to remind me for next time.

The pattern is not drafted with a lining.  Another downside of wool crepe is that it is surprisingly sheer, even when the fabric is relatively thick.  Wearing a regular half slip to deal with the problem was out because of the shape of the front slit so I lined it with a satin rayon.  I bought 3 colors of satin rayon when Fabric.com had them on sale in September 2010 for $2.97/yd.  This was the last of the hot pink and I am sad to see it end.  I've looked for satin rayon for linings since then and never found any as nice at a reasonable price.  I should have bought their entire stock.

Lining Cutting Layout

To cut the front lining I used the pattern piece for the right front, which has center front conveniently marked.  I placed the CF marking on the fold and cut.  The darts on this are fairly wide set and really do sit well over my abdomen.  Normally I get some puffing but it is not noticeable here.  I might give this pattern a try as a plain pencil skirt, cutting using the same method as for the lining.

Lining Cut Out for Slit






To keep the lining from showing through at the front slit, I did not come up with an elegant solution.  I didn't want to use the skirt pieces as drafted and have SIX layers (two wool, two organza, two lining) in the front.  That just seemed like too much.  I just cut a big ol' upside-down U shape out of it and did a serger rolled hem on the edge.  If I make this again, I will likely just underline with the lining fabric and call it a day.





Tape Waistband

The pattern is drafted with waist facings, but a waistband is much more flattering on me.  I can never figure out tucking with a non-waistband skirt, and I feel like the skirt collapses and creases more at the front from sitting without being held in place by a waistband.  I just cut a straight strip of fabric for the waistband, which I interfaced for stability.
 
To attach it, I first stitched the right side of the waistband to the wrong side of the skirt.  I sewed a ribbon into the stitching to stabilize the waistband and keep it from stretching.

Then I folded under the seam allowances on the other edge and folded it over to the right side and stitched. 

Fold Waistband Tab



Waistband TabThe only tricky part was that I was having one side of the waistband overlap at the back and close with a snap.  For the squared off side of the waistband, I folded it so that the lower folded-under edge of the waistband on the outside that would be topstitched down at the front was longer than the back, ensuring the first row of stitching would be covered up.

Finished Waistband Outside


 For the extended tab side, this wouldn't work and I had to line up the two folded edges evenly, gradually changing the matchup as I got closer to the skirt, and then extending the front beyond the back to hide my stitching from sewing the first pass of the waistband to the wrong side of the skirt. 










The finished waistband looks pretty good (not perfect) on the outside and the inside.


Hem Treatment






 To get neat corners at the hem of the front slits, I used the slit facings.  First I sewed the slit facings in place (before constructing the skirt--they have to be finished before the side seams are sewn).  Then to hem I folded the slit facings to the right side and sewed the hem, right side of facing to right side of fabric, as far as the end of the facing.  Trim the seam allowance, turn and press and you have a nice neat corner.

Hem at Front Slit




To finish the hem, I hand stitched the fashion fabric to the organza so it would be invisible.




Side






I am quite proud of how careful I was with this skirt and did everything "right."  The only unsatisfying thing is that the upper front does not side quite flush against the under front.  I was very careful in putting it together, laying it flat on the table and making sure everything lined up exactly.

What I *wasn't* thinking is that I am not shaped like a table.  Two pieces that sit together perfectly on a flat surface don't necessarily do so on a cylinder.  I should have folded up a towel to create more of a rounded human shape to line up the front pieces.  I'm sure eventually I will undo that side seam (serging and all, ugh) and align the front pieces better, but I have not been in the mood yet.

That quibble aside, I do like this skirt a lot, and it is fairly bikeable (not total freedom of movement to swing my leg over the frame, but it is possible without fearing ripping the skirt).  I love the color, but it made it a bit impossible to photograph as the camera just didn't know what to do with it--most of the photos are a little out of focus!  I redid them, but the second set was worse than the first.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Burda 11-2011-114, Hot Pink Surplice Tee

Burda 11-2011-114 Thumbnail

Burda 11-2011-114 has been on my list ever since the magazine was published!  I got this fabric at Golden D'Or in Dallas in December 2011 and way overpaid for it at $8.50/yd, but I love the color and the subtle "space dyed" gradation.  It is extremely lightweight with little recovery and I don't expect to get more than a dozen wears out of this top before the fabric stretches out beyond redemption. Alas.  

The biggest negative for this pattern is that the front piece is a giant fabric hog and I couldn't find an efficient cutting layout that didn't waste a lot of fabric.

The center back is drafted on the fold, which doesn't work for my swayback.  I used my TNT tee to shape the side seams and add a center back seam.

This is the "easy" sewing pattern with illustrated instructions for the November 2011 issue.  I am sure I would have figured it out eventually from Burda's written instructions, but it was really nice to have the illustrations here.

Back Neckline

The back neck finish (which wraps around from the front) is quite clever.  You fold the right front's self-facing to the wrong side, then place the right front and left front right sides together.  Then you fold the left front's self-facing around the whole back and sew.  When you open it up the join is very neat and tidy.  In wearing, my top does not have the gathered V-dip at the center back neck shown in the illustration; it just looks like a plain old neckline.





Underlined Lower Back





The fabric is very soft and lightweight, one of those fabric where sometimes you can't actually tell if you're touching it or not.  Surprisingly, it was not hard to sew.  The edges didn't curl or ravel, though it did like to spit out pins.

Because the fabric is so lightweight, I underlined the back only in a tricot.  With the front two layers already, a lining would have been too much (and would have interfered with the drape of the neckline).


Interface Armscye to Prevent Stretching

With the front's cut-on yoke, the shoulder seam is not at the shoulder but several inches below it in the back.  Combine that with the dropped armscye, and this lightweight fabric has no support at all on the shoulder.  The armscye opening will eventually be at about my knees as the fabric stretches and stretches in wearing.  
To try to contain the stretch at the armscye, I fused bias strips of interfacing to the seam allowance (retrofitted after it was sewn).  With the dropped shoulder, I'm not sure how much good it will do but maybe it will buy me a few more wears. 

The tunic length of this top as drafted was *not* flattering to me, especially in this lightweight fabric that shows every lump and bump.  I shortened it 3 inches from the drafted length.

Front









I couldn't tell from Burda's photos whether the neckline would be annoyingly low and require a camisole, but it sits perfectly fine on me--no gapage!  I really like the style of this top and the bright color offers some cheer in this neverending winter.  Seriously, it snowed on Tuesday.  Again.

Though the top will likely be short-lived, the pattern is a keeper.  With the dropped shoulder it would make a cute sleeveless summer tee with shoulder coverage, and I'll eventually turn the red merino wool I got from Fabric Mart into another version of the long sleeve top.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Burda 08-2013-131, Raglan Tee with Integrated Scarf

Burda 08-2013-131 Thumbnail

I'm always looking for an interesting t-shirt variation, so I had mentally bookmarked Burda 08-2013-131.  Then when Dibulous made it, I got really interested.

Fabric Mart 12-2013

I have a lot of fabric purchasing to confess.  A lot.  But let's start with these pieces from Fabric Mart back in December.  They had merino wool jersey on sale, how was I supposed to leave it on the table?

The merino is quite thin and not suitable for a fitted tee.  So I needed to come up with top patterns that are a bit loose and will work with this thinner fabric.  As a plus, it is quite drapey!

Original Swatch with Dyed Fabric

I love orange, but I was a bit disappointed in the unsophisticated color "Orange Pop" or whatever it was called turned out to be.  It was just not rich enough for my taste and I fretted that I'd made a mistake in buying it.  I figured I had nothing to lose so I tested a small swatch in a fairly dilute dye bath.  OMG, a million times better!  So I popped the whole piece into the washer with a little bit of fuschia dye and came up with a rich, deeper orange that is much more suitable for office attire.  I felt very proud.

Compare to TNT Tee Raglan Back
Now it was time to tackle the pattern.  I traced out the pieces and then compared the raglan top I drafted from my TNT tee to the pattern. It is drafted *large.*  Note here that I traced it to the cut line of my TNT, not to the stitch line of my TNT--that's how big it was drafted!  The finished back fits nicely, and still retains the eased look of the original without being humongous.

And also, the armscye is seriously dropped.  There is nothing more unflattering to a small bust than a dropped armscye, especially on a "petite" (aka short person) like me.  Well, maybe a giant dart to nothing.  Or empty bag syndrome.  But still, a dropped armscye is up there.  I slimmed the profile of the top a bit and raised the armscye to its normal position.

The sleeves were also very wide, and I slimmed them based on my TNT pattern, as well as raising the armscye.

I also raised the armscye of the front piece, matching it to my TNT.

The tie seemed like it would be too wide for my frame, so folded width out of the tie at the end, tapering to nothing by around 4 inches from the front neckline.  This had the added bonus of allowing me to actually fit the pattern onto my fabric.

Giant Pattern


The front pattern piece is spectacularly enormous.  Even though I had a generous 1 1/2 yard cut of this surprisingly wide fabric, I could barely fit the pattern onto it.  I had to copy the back and sleeve patterns so I could lay everything out at once to get it all to fit.  Getting this pattern to the point of sewing was incredibly time consuming and tedious!!!

Because of fabric limitations, I couldn't cut the sleeves as long as I wanted, so I finished them with cuffs.  The top has a bit of a 70s feel so I gathered the sleeves into the cuffs for a bishop look.

Clip at Scarf/Top Join

Once it was time to sew, this went together much more easily than you would expect.  The tie extends into the front by way of a long dart.  At the join between front and tie you have to clip into the very end of the dart to get a nice turn.

The tie is sewn right sides together and then turned right side out.  Because the tie is cut on the bias, it was a bit of work to get it folded properly and sitting flat; I had to press and steam it to get to that point. In a lightweight drapey fabric like I used here, I think the front could probably be cut on grain.

Untied

Here you can see how and where the tie extends out from the top.  It looks like the tie will be incredibly long, but it's actually not.

Original Neckline

The front neckline as drafted was very high for my taste.  I do not like a super high crew neck like that, so I lowered it about 2 1/2 inches, and it is still relatively high, especially compared to my usual neckline.  Given the shape of the front pattern piece, I don't think it would be worth trying to lower it before cutting; just wait until you have it sewn and adjust to your taste.  I finished the neckline with clear elastic and a twin needle.

Side



This top came out perfect for what I was hoping for.  It definitely has plenty of ease, but tucked into a top it blouses nicely.  It has a nice style, but doesn't seem too gimmicky or tied (get it?) to a particular fashion trend, so I think it will be able to stay in the closet for several years, depending on how well the fabric holds up (it's a bit fuzzy, but I can't tell if that's new abrasian or fabric characteristic).

I was surprised at how fussy the tie is.  It can really only be tied in that one place.  Theoretically I could wear it tied high (very unflattering to me) or tossed over the shoulder, but I think these clearly look like a stretch for the style and I will stick with having it tied where it extends out of the front.

A while back I tried to see if I could knock off the Temperley London Delilah top, but my attempts were comical.  Now that I see how it works with this tie--there has to be a dart extending into the bodice, I might give it a try again.  The results probably won't be great, but perhaps they will edge slightly above comical?

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Inspired by the Movies: Vicki the Silver-and-Gold-Digger from The Parent Trap (1961)

Parent Trap Thumbnail

When Pattern Review announced its "Inspired by the Movies" contest I was kind of stumped.  I have made a zillion costumes based on movie characters, but the requirement for this contest is that the final result *not* be a costume.  Which is a clever twist but was not inspiring me so much.  I was trying to think of contemporary movies whose style I liked and was really coming up blank.  TV shows, yes.  But movies?  Nothin'.

Then I was thinking about the yellow skirt I had planned and what I would wear with it and suddenly a little tickle in my brain reminded me of one of my favorite movies of all time:  The Parent Trap.  I prefer the 1961 version, but I will tell you that I also own the Lindsay Lohan remake and like it almost as much as the original.  I am not a purist.  Though it makes me sad to see her being cute and undrugged.

At any rate, I have watched this movie dozens if not hundreds of times, can recite every line along with the characters, still laugh when the cake gets stuck on the bird beak, and there it is in the middle:  Vicki's yellow suit with a silver top.  I love Maureen O'Hara's wardrobe, but have neither the hourglass figure nor the bullet bra to carry off her looks.  But Joanna Barnes as Vicki?  That I can do.

While reams of ink (to mix my metaphors) have been spilled on Maureen O'Hara's Maggie (here is a fabulous rundown of all her outfits), I couldn't find much on Vicki's costumes.  I assume this is partly because she's the villain and mostly because as a femme fatale she is a total fail.  The costume designer really was not giving us anything to work with in seeing Vicki as the seductive younger woman.  All her clothes are too big, hiding whatever figure she may have.  Her hair is gray grandma hair of the kind where you go to the beauty parlor to get it set once a week.  She mostly wears heinous suits--hardly the kind of attire that screams bedroom!

Hayley Mills's character calls her "very nicely put together" and Maureen O'Hara's character refers to her as "that plotz-faced child bride with the electric hips," and yet...no.  Nothing we see her in makes her look sexy.  I think it's a rather cheap trick on the part of wardrobe to make the villain unappealing visually as well as morally.

White Cowl Dress

She first appears in her best wardrobe item.  It's all downhill from here, trust me.  She waltzes onto the scene in a fresh white cowl dress, the color suggesting bridalwear.  The fit is nice--not curve-hugging like Maureen O'Hara's clothes will be, but at least figure conscious.  The style is perfect for sitting pool(?--that thing always looked like a slimey pond to me)-side and trying to cozy up to the teenage daughter of your man-target.

I love that chunky necklace, too!

Chanel Style Jacket

The next time we see her is at the country club.  She is seated the entire time so you don't get much of her outfit, but this is where she starts her run of suits.  This Chanel-style collarless checked jacket is nicely tailored and a good start, and it appears she is wearing a coordinating sheath under it.  OK, I guess she's trying to convey gravitas.  I get it.


Yellow Suit

The next outfit is my inspiration, the Silver-and-Gold-Digger Outfit.  I don't know if that is what the costume designer was trying to convey, but I think these should have been her signature colors.  She was blatant about what she wanted out of life and from Mitch, she should have worn it on her sleeve!  This photo shows the matching silver purse.  The only place I could get her matching yellow shoes(!!!) was in the tiny fuzzy shot from the back.

A yellow suit is a little much for my life, but a yellow skirt with a silver drapey top is just about right.  I went on a journey to find the right drapey top.  I didn't want to try to copy what she is wearing (not that you can see much of it), but to reimagine it for what a mid-level gold-digger might wear today (Mitch was wealthy, but he didn't seem *rich rich*).  I went with her method of alluring rather than showing off the goods, and adopted a very current silhouette in Simplicity 1805 (see all the examples in the S1805 blog post) that a woman in the fashion know--who is slightly clueless about how very little men care about what might be fashionable if it isn't tight and short--might wear.

The skirt was a lot simpler to choose.  The pencil skirt hasn't changed much over the years!  Burda 07-2010-120 offered a nice version with the interesting dart variant.  I went with silver shoes instead of yellow--again, more current--and put on my best seductress face.  Luckily, I have a marketable skill and a good job because I am no better a seductress than she turned out to be.


Gray Suit


Here we have the nadir of Vicki-dom.  My heavens is this terrible.  She is at Mitch's house TO SET UP HER WEDDING and she is swimming in a dirge of a gray suit with a brown shirt under it.  Brown.

Her mother is sporting a fairly adorable naughty widow dress while Vicki is manning the guestbook table at the funeral.  Terrible.



Brown and Gray

She does have a good necklace again, though.  I can't tell if it's same one she wore with her white cowl dress, but the two strand pearls she wears with the Chanel jacket and the yellow suit appear to be the same, so I think she is an unwealthy girl trying to stretch her wardrobe staples while she runs in wealthy circles until she can hit the jackpot herself.

But overall, costume designer, shame on you.  In this scene she is set up as a foil for Maureen O'Hara's adorable print dress with contrasting scarves at the waist, but they are not even going to pretend it's a contest.  Give a girl a fighting chance to live out her dream of a life of unearned leisure!


Vicki Pink

Realizing that dour suits are a losing proposition, Vicki attempts to bring on the feminine.  Except she went so far into feminine that she emerged as Easter Parade Matronly.  You thought it couldn't get worse than that suit?  Think again.

Vicki Pink Full Length





This polka-dot confection has tucks and fripperies galore to hide those "electric hips" and is an unflattering tea length.  Seriously, honey, you need to cut your fabric allowance in half for just about everything you wear, and this one is public enemy number one.

And where did that third pearl strand come from?  Mysterious.









Vicki Oversized


Not to worry, Maggie has her covered.  Literally.  When Vicki joins the camping trip on the fly, Maggie dresses her up in some of Mitch's pre-Weight Watchers items, telling her to "just cinch it."



Vicki Brown Closeup

She also managed to unearth another shirt in that most bridal of colors, brown.  Even so, Vicki is kind of working that cinch and the shirt is unbuttoned as low as she can reasonably go.  She's making an effort.  Then Maggie shoves her into a truck and waves goodbye.



Vicki Bandana

Although the camping trip is a disaster, she does manage to style that Members Only jacket in a fairly cute, preppy way by tossing it over the shoulders.  She also found a different shirt that is a deep burgundy and almost not-brown! Our girl is clawing her way back to youthful one muddy shade at a time.  The kerchief over the rollers is kind of stylin' too. She appears to have a lot of practice wearing them given how soundly she sleeps.  I take back what I said before about the beauty parlor; she has to DIY like the rest of us schlubs.


Vicki Curlers


And here's our parting shot, she all fury and curlers and oversized men's pajamas that actually could be sexy in the right situation.  Two teenage girls, a grizzled farmhand, and a pair of motor-tongued bear cubs is not that situation.  Also, real bears licked her feet?  Or were those wooden stunt feet? I would not let real bears lick my feet, I don't care if they're bitty cubs that wouldn't hurt a fly.

Hecky gets her boots and she storms down the mountain to dig for new treasure.  I hope for her sake that she ran so quickly she left her wardrobe behind and had to get by with a well-cinched pair of men's pajamas.  Cut those pants into shorts and unbutton a few extra buttons and you have a sort of adorable variation on a salwar kameez.

Side
Electric hips?
Front

Actress Joanna Barnes was a good sport in all this, and even reprised her role in the Lindsay Lohan remake as "Aunt Vicki," the mother of actual, if still unsuccessful, femme fatale Meredith Blake (played by Elaine Hendrix), who gets to wear actual attractive clothes.  I assume Joanna privately sneered at her as an amateur.  Anyone can work with a fitted sheath.  In her day you had to make a pastel polka dot HeeHaw reject dress look good!

Vicki, I salute you.

You can see the full album here and my pattern review contest entry is here.

=====================

Three posts in one week!  I'm sure you can guess the contest deadline is today.  Ha!  I have been spending *a lot* of time at work on a big project, but I don't want to give up my real life to do it.  I am glad I don't have to do any more late night blogging, though.

And I've been so busy that I haven't told you that Cidell and I finally did another podcast! You can find us on iTunes, too.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Simplicity 1805, Silk Dolman Tee

S1805 Thumbnail

One of the things I've been meaning to get into my wardrobe is a pullover top with a cut on sleeve.  It's a dolman top, so how hard can it be?  But I've been too lazy to draft my own, so when Joann had Simplicity at 5 for $5, I picked up Simplicity 1805.  Had it been $2 I wouldn't have gotten it.

Zooey Deschanel in Derek Lam
It turned out to be fortuitous because I got a haircut the next day, which is a whole other conversation, and while I was waiting I picked up the Lucky magazine they had out and was instantly enchanted with this dolman top on Zooey Deschanel.  It's Derek Lam, and I just love how the simplicity lets the fabric be the star, and the perfect proportions.  And I already had the pattern!  The "Eh, it's only a dollar, it's ok if I end up giving it away" pattern was muslined and earmarked for a fabulous silk within 24 hours!

This has been a popular style with designers for several years.  There are plenty more examples out there, like this Michael Kors satin top ($542) and this Rachel Comey from Fall/Winter 2012.  The silhouette seems simple, but if you make it in a high-end fabric it drips luxury.

Back Pattern

Before cutting, I used my TNT pullover woven top pattern to determine the side seams, add a center back seam, and add darts in the back.

The back neckline was seriously, seriously wide.  Here is my final pattern laid over the drafted pattern.  And keep in mind that my final pattern has a center back seam, so the cut edge of the tissue is not even the seam line!  I normally have to narrow the back neckline of commercial patterns a bit, so I didn't think too much of it other than remarking at how ridiculously wide it was drafted.

Gaping Neckline






I actually muslined this *gasp.*  Although it is a wearable muslin.  When I sewed up the muslin I realized I should have had an inkling there was something going on with the front neckline too.  There was *serious* gaping at the front neckline.




Inverted Pleat to Take Up Excess Width







As a slapdash fix to the muslin, I took up 2 1/4" inches total in an inverted pleat at the center front neck.  I swear they rotated the bust darts to the neckline but then forgot to remove the excess width.  I don't see how this would work for anybody.

Front Pattern




You can see the dramatic change in my final front pattern where I folded out that gape!


After my muslin, the additional changes I made were to increase the width of the sleeve opening to match my inspiration, cut it to the length of the TNT (the tunic length just doesn't work for me), add a keyhole opening at the center back neck, and correct for sloping shoulders by shaving a slight amount off the shoulder edge from a few inches out from the neckline.  The muslin was sticking up a little at the neck edge of the shoulders.


Floral Front


When I was done getting all the information I needed from the muslin I chopped the sleeves short.

This is an airy cotton batiste ($3/yd on our Pilgrimage to Fabric Mart) that will be nice to wear in summer.  

And designers haven't left the short dolman sleeved top in the cold--check out this Reiss silk top for $210.

With the pattern altered and it being two fairly unshaped pieces, the silk version was...not a breeze.  I was using a silk charmeuse from Paron, puchased last November; it was $15/yd, but with a Groupon I ended up paying an average of $5/yd for several silks.  A steal!  As beautiful as it is, though, silk charmeuse is just fussy to sew with.

Back



I used French seams, which makes for a lovely inside, but I am severely disappointed with the puckery back seam.  For some reason, although it has perfect tension on regular seams, my machine cranks up the tension when I sew the second pass of a French seam.  I honestly have no idea how the machine can "tell" that's what I'm doing, but I have to actively stretch the fabric from both sides of the presser foot to get a smooth seam and I clearly didn't stretch enough for the CB seam.  I am loath to unpick it because silk does not recover from needle holes and I'd rather live with a puckered seam than a shredded one.  Does anyone know why this happens?


Sew Bias Take to Wrong Side

For the back keyhole opening I first cut a shaped keyhole and staystitched it.

Next, I stitched self bias tape on the wrong side, right side of bias tape to wrong side of blouse.

Fold Bias Tape to Right Side




Once the first pass with the bias tape was sewn, I pressed the bias tape over to the right side and pressed under the remaining raw edge.


Hand Tack Upper Keyhole Edges Together

Next I topstitched that folded under edge in place, and steamed steamed steamed to get it as flat as possible.


Finally I hand tacked the neck edges together to complete the keyhole--this is just decorative, I did not need a slit to get it over my head.  Then I bound the neck in a continuous bias piece.


Completed Back Keyhole

Before binding the keyhole I made two tiny horizontal darts.  Because of my "forward head" (aka bad posture), I sometimes get gaping at back slit openings and I didn't want that.  I don't know that the darts were totally necessary, but they made me feel better.

Hair Clips to Mark Hem






Marking the hem on silk is a pain because pin holes.  I have a couple of packs of hair clips for millinery and was like, duh, use clips to mark the hem!  It wasn't quite as easy as using pins, but I got a reasonably straight hem considering I am working with silk charmeuse here.

Sleeve and Lower Hems







I decided to do a regular stitched hem for the sleeves and the lower hem.  I normally do a blind hem or a twin-needle hem, but somehow the stitched hem seemed right for the style.  I think it works.

Side









All the care taken on this simple top was worth it for the end result (other than that stupid center back seam, ugh).  It is as luxe and classy looking as I'd hoped, and looks and feels high end.  I have some dressy events coming up and I feel pretty confident this will be making an appearance at least once in the next couple of weeks.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.