A colourful life

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Wardrobe essentials 2020 - a chiffon flower top

I had the Montrose top pattern by Cashmerette in my sight for a while. I thought it might be a good pattern for the Liberty fabric I received for my birthday last year. Somehow the months passed and I never made the time to purchase the pattern, download and print it and make the top. I finally decided now or never a couple of weeks ago.

The Montrose top is a style that I could self-draft but I don't enjoy the process and have no time to do so. Also, I am familiar with Cashmerette patterns and know that the sizing works for me. If I have the option, I always go for a pdf pattern. Cashmerette patterns can be printed in layers so you only need to print the size you need. The result is a clean pattern without irrelevant and confusing size lines. I love that. I also rather enjoy to print and assemble pdf patterns, much more so than tracing from a pattern sheet. I also like the robustness of a pattern printed on normal printing paper.

As with all new patterns, cutting into your best fabric is a bit of a gamble. I am not much of a risk taker but I am trying to be more thoughtful/sustainable when creating and with that in mind, I didn't want to make a toile, which is then thrown out. I decided to use a fabric that I had for a while, bought for next to nothing in the sale. If I remember correctly, it was no more than £4 pounds per metre. I lost the label it came with but I am fairly certain it is some variety of polyester. I try to avoid fabrics that are adding to the plastic mountain but sometimes the desire for something beautiful trumps my ecological principles. I am only human. i just love the flowers, jasmine I think. The fabric has a good drape and is lightweight, not dissimilar to the Liberty fabric, although it is far more slippery. Lightweight slippery fabrics are a bit of a pain to cut accurately and indeed it was a total pain. I ended up pinning the paper to the fabric rather than just tracing around the pattern with a very soft pencil, which I normally do. The cutting lines were still wonky.

Sewing was straightforward, the instructions are clear and there is nothing particularly challenging. I was a bit distracted by an audiobook and noticed too late that I sewed the wrong sleeve into the wrong armhole. I noticed because the notches for the second sleeve didn't match. I must have made the notches of the first sleeve match somehow... I blame the structureless fabric as much as my audiobook. It was too obvious to let it pass. I ended up cutting a new set of sleeves because the fabric was a bit distorted from the sewing and unpicking.

The neckline is a simple narrow facing cut on the bias. Did I mention that the top comes in two versions, one version is a scoop neck with short sleeves and a curved back yoke, the other version has a jewel neck, elbow length sleeves and a keyhole back. I made the scoop neck version but with elbow length sleeves.

I wore the top when I went for afternoon tea with one of my oldest friends. I love the shape of the top, it is flattering and has a summery feel, and for February, it looks nice layered with a cardigan. I felt pretty wearing it and I look forward to sewing another version with my Liberty fabric.

P.S. Taking the photo in between gusts of wind and rain was not fun... but it is just too dark inside for decent photographs