Monday, February 14, 2011

the butterfly blouse

Last fall, I stopped in to a local indie fabric store to see what she had stocked. I don't go in there very often for a couple of reasons. There's the part where her fabrics are fairly expensive and I know for a fact they're sold elsewhere in the country for much less. I don't like that part.

Then there's the part where the shop owner is ummm, how you say? not very nice. That bothers me too. Shouldn't small business owners be friendly? This lady, she is not. I digress.

Anyway, I fell in love with one of her silks. It's white charmeuse with giant black butterflies all over it, and I knew I had to have it. So of course, I waited until she almost had none left before I bucked up the $30 a yard for it. I got exactly 42".
So. What to do with 42" of silk charmeuse? First, throw it in the washer and dryer.

Yeah, you read that right. I said something to Princess Charming about being careful with it, and she scoffed at me (which she does every time I'm in there, so I'm used to this). She said "I wash and dry everything in this store."

Hrmph. I figured if Princess Charming could do it, so could I and that would also cure the problem I have of wearing silks, which is I have small children and how can I keep dirty handprints and Cheetos crumbs off of silk????

I needed a quick and easy top pattern to use this beautiful silk, so inspired by a vintage t-shirt from the seventies and a vintage pattern I have in my stash, I created something that's either totally cute and modern or way hideous and unwearable. I'm hoping it's the first one.

This is the easiest top to make. A poly jersey yoke, a silk body and a poly jersey band at the bottom. Voila! Spring and summer top. The vintage pattern I used for inspiration had me double the knit yoke to form a self-facing, but I didn't want all that extra fabric at the top. I tried it when I made my prototype and it was a little too bulky.
Originally I had arm bands around the sleeves and a ribbed neckline and didn't like the way it looked at all, so I cut them off and narrowly hemmed the sleeves and neck. This is why the neck gapes a lot more than I'd like it to.

I plan to make another version with longer sleeves in rayon knit that will be a lot less....voluminous? The word ease doesn't even begin to describe the air conditioning factor of this top. Anyhoodle, when I get that one made up I'll share the pattern in case anyone else is interested in making this.


  1. This is lovely, simple and beautiful, nice work. Sometimes owners of stores are snobby, prideful and just plain hard to get along with. At least you got some great fabric, this shirt it looks like a hundred bucks!

  2. Super cute. And you are nicer than me, because I would've gone home after one time of her being snooty and found what I wanted online. But we already knew that part about you being nicer...

  3. Your amazing! I am itching to get some spring things sewn now : )

  4. DEFINITELY the first one! DEFINITELY! That is soooo cute Heather!