A new top; this one is top "p" from the Japanese pattern book Unique Clothes Any Way You Like, by Natsuno Hiraiwa. I was intrigued by and loved the look of this little thing from the first, and always knew I would get around to making one up. I love how when you see it from the front you are just like... oh, an ordinary little top, it's OK but not breaking any ground here; but from the back, wooo, what is happening with that top? Is it a wrap, is it a shawl or is it a top? As is usual with the delightfully unpredictable nature of Japanese designs, one isn't quite sure.
I finally got brave enough to use some of the fabric I bought from Tessuti's in Melbourne nearly a year ago (!), a piece of milk-chocolate coloured heavy-ish silk that has a quietly textured matte surface, and blessedly no right side, making it ideal for this project. It is completely divine against the skin; soft, slippery and drape-y, so naturally a real *&%# to work with. Out of the three pieces I bought in Tessuti's this is the first to be made up. So if you hadn't worked it out, I have to confess right here to being pretty overwhelmed by those fabrics; I know that is pretty silly and illogical, but you know when you've bought something really special the likelihood making a big ugly expensive mistake looms a heck of a lot more menacingly... Well, it's not like I can just pop back to the store to get a bit more now, is it? Hmmm, whole different kettle of fish when you're two thousand miles away, right? And fabric from Tessuti's is not cheap even to start with... I think you can grasp at the foundations behind my trepidation here now. But I think my new top is a success.
The design is a simple concept once you've seen it laid out flat like below; the back when worn has one twist in it, and the two fronts are attached one positioned up the other the down, and the back piece has the armholes; one up and one down. So clever, no?
The top is not difficult to make, the only proviso is that care must be taken with the finishing. Since the hemlines are sometimes inside sometimes outside the finishes are visible and so have to be done well. Hence, the side and shoulder seams are flat felled, and the lower/upper hems are finished with a self bias strip and hand-stitched down to the other side. So the bias strip ends up half on the inside and half on the outside and switches from one to the other halfway along the hemline. Hmmm, if you're not understanding well it's kinda hard to explain. But nowhere near as hard as it was getting those silk bias strips stitched down neatly in an even width hemline... whew. This fabric is soft and drapey, but it has quite a springy robust nature and was not the slightest bit obedient.
I need get out some nice easy cotton or linen next I think...
Top; top "p" from the Japanese pattern book Unique Clothes Any Way You Like by Natsuno Hiraiwa, made of brown silk
Shirt; my own design, a mix of patterns, black cotton, details here
Jeans; Burda 7863, khaki stretch gabardine, details and my review of this pattern here
Boots; Andrea and Joen, from Uggies in Dunsborough (now renamed Boutique Eco)