So I found an amazing silk jersey print at G Street Fabrics while they were having a sale so it was $5.22/yd. This border print was printed not with the border along the selvage but in panels. There were three panels in the bin. I bought all three.
I turned two of them into the BWOF 06-2010-123 sack dress. Diane Drexel asked on that post what the dress looks like when worn backwards. I couldn't believe I hadn't thought to try it! So I did. But while some things can be worn frontwards and backwards for different but cool looks, some things cannot. This dress looks like a nightgown when worn backwards, and not in a sexy negligee kind of way. It was worth a shot.
Anyway, I had one panel left, plus a few small bits leftover from the dress. I wanted to make work pieces out of them. So I turned the bottom half of one panel into a simple elastic waist skirt. Then I used the top half of that panel and the leftover bits I could scrounge into a simple self-drafted top. I am pretty pleased!
When laid flat on the table, you can see how simple it is, just a rectangle for the upper bodice and a contoured tube for the band.
I cut two rectangles for the upper bodice. I just used the full 45 inch width of the fabric and then cut that in half along the fold. The length was determined by the length of the fabric I had remaining after the skirt, which was about 18 inches.
Then I sewed the shoulder seam, adjusting the neckline opening until it was narrow enough to cover my bra straps but still a wide boat neck.
Next, I figured out the length of a comfortable armscye (about six inches for me) and sewed the side seam below the armhole opening.
I finished the neckline and armscye simply by turning under twice and stitching. I turned under the front neckline about twice as much as the back neckline because I feel chokey if a neckline is too high.
For the lower bodice, I made a contoured tube, larger at the hip. Because of the size of my scraps, my lower band is made of three pieces, but if you have ample fabric two pieces with shaping at the side seams will be fine. The lower band has about an inch of ease at the waist and inch a half ease at the hip.
I gathered the upper bodice to the waist edge of the band and stitched together. I pressed the seam down and then stitched in place to make an elastic casing. I wasn't sure I wanted to do the casing, but I prefer the way it looks with the seam right at my waist rather than falling below.
Then hem the lower band and you're done! This is super easy and turns out a stylish top, as you can see from the examples below (but they are boring solid colors--fie upon boring solid colors).
This is a great piece for work, as is the skirt. I feel that I got quite a versatile wardrobe out of this purchase! The skirt and top can be worn as separates or they can be put together (tucking the hip band into the skirt and using a belt to cover the join) for a two piece dress. I'm not sure I'm crazy about the dress look so I might never put it together that way, but having the option is nice.
If you have a great knit print to show off but not much of it, I highly recommend this pattern/method. It is really so simple!
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.