Cidell and I met up for some snoop shopping a while back and both loved a t-shirt from H&M with a ruffled shoulder. It was just a plain t-shirt with ruffles sewn on top, but the ruffles took it someplace awesome. I filed away the idea.
I bought this Vera Wang poly jersey from fabric.com a few months ago ($5.99/yd) because I loved the nude colored yardage I got last January. I made a Kate Middleton/Issa knockoff (coming eventually) and had enough fabric to make my ruffle top and a sleeveless cowl top.
This is one of those summary posts so here is what I did: -Graded to a 34 at the shoulder and bust, cutting a 36 at the waist (though I ended up taking in the waist) and a 38 at the hip -Added a CB seam and swayback adjustment -Made the top extra long so it would definitely never show my belly when worn with jeans
For the ruffles, I cut strips about two inches wide (I was down to scraps so some are a little narrower), used the serger to finish the edges, ran a gathering stitch down the center and lightly gathered, and just hand-sewed in place, as you can see at left. I just sort of did my best to get the two sides to have about the same number of ruffles. I had to add more to the right shoulder after the first round. If you weren't cutting your ruffles out of scraps, it would be easier to plan for the same length for both sides as long as you were consistent in how tightly you gathered.
I tried to find the original H&M top that inspired me. I didn't turn that one up but found several RTW examples of the trend. I really like the full sleeve ruffle on this Mango top. In the closeup of the ruffle you can see that they've mixed materials in there, with chiffon or organza and what appears to be some kind of metallic tulle or sequins. It lightly references a fur shrug or wrap, giving it an almost retro appeal.
I couldn't find any high end examples of this look, so I was pleased to finally find one on Neiman Marcus, a 3.1 Phillip Lim, no less. The proportions of the model looked a little unusual in the thumbnail photo, and when I enlarged I realized it was a child's dress, LOL. Clearly, I do not have the most sophisticated of taste.
Unsophisticated or not, I adore this top. It's a great bit of drama in a solid color, and works well with jeans for Fridays. I'm wearing it today with a huge necklace, and under a jacket for a meeting it will look quite tame.
I'm less sold on the pattern. The poly jersey is very drapey, so there might be some degree of pattern and fabric mismatch if the pattern was drafted for a firmer t-shirt style knit. It just doesn't fit me that well. It almost looks like I could use more room in the bust, but what I think is actually happening is the upper part of the top gets caught up under the arms, catching the narrower underbust part above my bra. It's roomier than I expected at the waist and hips, and I ended up taking in an inch or so at the side seams. The neckline is very wide and shows my bra straps. Although the armscye appears high, the top still lifts several inches when I raise my arms (though the long length prevents belly showing). I don't think it will be an Old Reliable for me.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.
My own personal Annie Liebowitz (aka Cidell) and I hope to hang out next week, so I'm not going to do photos on my coat before then. Trust me, outdoor photos shot by a great photographer will be so much better than self-timer bedroom photos. It will be worth the wait.