Friday, 12 February 2016

Self Drafted Monochrome Top

I'm still doing monochrome here at Studio 63.  Last week I was looking for a black/white or grey, colour blocked type top, not too bulky in case I want to tuck in the hem, and with some drape. Topshop have some nice ones at the moment with 'unfinished' edges and frayed seams. Tempting to purchase one for a birthday tea I was going to last weekend, but I'm still feeling the pinch in my purse after Christmas so buying new clothes is frankly not an option.  Fortunately making a brand new thing is absolutely, totally an option!  Whoop!

This is a quick, self drafted top with a slash neck, no closures and some raw edges. I have combined a fine, drapey cotton in a monochrome abstract floral print and some black laser cut fabric (which I think is probably a synthetic mix). I'm wearing it here with lace print, black skinnies from Oasis and an old necklace (in the first shot) from New Look. The floral seemed to work well together with the black cut-out fabric helping to provide some weight to the fine floaty sleeves.  I only had half a meter for each fabric and so this was a good way of using up these small pieces.

I started by folding the whole fabric length in half to give me the maximum area I had to work with.  Then I arranged an existing, basic t-shaped crop top over the fabric to use as a template.  Cutting around the top, giving myself plenty of seam allowance, gave me the rough shape.  I then folded this in half to check that it was even on both sides and cut the neckline at this point, working outwards from the centre fold.  Pattern completed! Very rough and ready! 

I stay stitched the neckline at this point and neatened all the other edges with a zig zag stitch. Stitching the shoulder seams came next.  Then unpicking them again to widen the neck followed!  The template top I used has a little stretch in the neck band and this fabric has none at all, and is rather delicate too, so taking no chances I cut myself an extra inch here and then restitched the seam.  Both front and back necklines are exactly the same as I decided not to scoop the front section any further

I cut a section of the black fabric to add to each sleeve, giving a kimono style look.  After experimenting a bit with this stage, I decided to attach the black fabric so that the raw edges showed on the outside, finishing the side seams and end of the shoulder seam at this point. The sleeves are cut with the selvage edge as the hem, so no finishing at all required here.

The bottom hem is turned up double for a clean finish and the neck is just raw and slightly fraying with just one line of stay stitching.  I plan to leave this unfinished, although if it seriously frays I might bind it with a slim bias strip.  This top was done and dusted in just a couple of hours and I totally love it!  In fact I was finishing the bottom hem just an hour or so before it made its debut outing to my friends birthday tea on Sunday afternoon.   

It was very freeing to draft a design with only the feel of the fabric and a rough idea of a shape to guide me and making this top was a flashback to student days and my early years in London. I quite often started drafting up tops and skirts and sewing them together just hours before a party or club night.  It's a great feeling to 'run something up' and wear it the same day.  When you step out in your fabulous new threads knowing that just that morning it was merely a neatly folded pile of uncut fabric. 

Make and wear in a day?  Why not!

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