Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Big Style

As you can see above in Bill Cunninham's Sunday NY Times offering,  off the shoulder tops are very much in vogue right now. and there are lots of ways to wear it. I finished a blouse version of Hot Patterns Urban Gypsy Friday and wore it out to dinner with friends.  This top is in a lovely black and white stretch cotton from emmaonesock and probably as old as the fabric I used for  my dress!     Every season I make a list of sewing projects and a blouse is usually on it and until now hasn't made it to the sewing machine.  

This version uses the alternate sleeve that comes with the pattern.   It's quicker to do well, no baby hem. It's still not the original version with it's shirt tail hem.  One more would be nice, using the tie sleeves, and the original hemline.   After all, I bought a strapless bra for my dress and I wouldn't mind getting a little use out of it!   

I really enjoyed working in a nice woven cotton instead of my usual knit tops.  Knits can be finicky, and this was not in the least.  the only issue I've have with this top is that I made the elastic too short to stay further down on my arms. I think I may open it up and put longer elastic in. it's a fine line between too long and not long enough!  I would ere on the longer side if you make it.  I didn't really notice it until I sat in the car.  Because of the seating angle I think, the shoulders rose. 
One of the reasons I bought this pattern was how current it is.  But, I am not a big fan of over sized shirts or anything else for that matter.  This shirt has too much ease as drafted in my opinion.  I carefully measured the hips and even at a size smaller there was 8".  I of course then added an fba and made it worse.  It's also totally straight at the side seams. When I altered it to make the dress, in addition to narrowing it I shaped it at the side seams, in at the waist and pegged the hem a good inch on each side. I do have to shimmy into the dress a bit to get it over my hips, but it's fine once it's on.  I have to keep saying that if you are making a muslin  add Horizontal balance lines.  I could see that the one for my bust was pulling down at the sides, so I added another small dart to level it out.  I rotated it into my existing two darts and then equalized the two darts.  I almost didn't see it, but after spending a long time looking into the mirror I realized what the problem was.  Finally learning to see after all these years!

I have a number of shirting fabrics in my stash for that planned shirt that never materialized.  I saw a gorgeous white cotton and  linen shirt from The Row in Elle magazine that I would love to replicate. (of course I have several whites to choose from) It has a large notched lapel and collar.  The Row's shirt wraps, but I'd probably add some buttons and a bit more shaping.  Now to find a pattern, or maybe I'll finally  draft it myself.  I've taken all of Suzy Furrer's drafting classes and several in person from Kenneth King.  I have Kenneth King's cd books, but I found Furrer's classes easier to understand.  I drafted a notched collar and lapel for a coat I made in late winter.  I tried to draft it using KK's book and couldn't get what I was looking for, but I did using Furrer's class and it came out exactly what I wanted.  I'll write a future post on the coat.  I love it and it's probably the best coat I've ever made. 


  1. I really loved your dress and now this top! So much so that I am encouraged that I might could wear off-the-shoulder too and have just ordered some fabric to try with the Cynthia Rowley pattern:)

  2. NICE! Great way to use that pattern again and fitting you perfectly. I still shy away from these off the shoulder tops, also because it requires that strapless bra that I don't have.
    Definitely draft that notched collar yourself. It's easy as you've experienced before and might take less time than finding a pattern you like.

  3. You are backing a winner here! Love the style and the fabric choice. I think we share a passion for black and white.

  4. I think this is one of the few fashion trends I've actually liked in a few years, I must embrace it before it disappears!

  5. You look fantastic! I'm going to add an off the shoulder top to my wardrobe too. Yes, it's trending; but it's super cute too. A winner.

  6. You look fantastic! I'm going to add an off the shoulder top to my wardrobe too. Yes, it's trending; but it's super cute too. A winner.