Thursday, September 22, 2011

Simplicity 2360, Fluttery Top of Anna Sui Silk

Simplicity 2360 Thumbnail

I scored this beautiful Anna Sui silk at PR Weekend Philly last year during our trip to London Textiles. If you recall, we went bin diving into their huge stash of remnants. Silks were $5/yd, everything else was $3/yd. There was a touch over a yard of this fabric, so I paid $5 for it. I have since seen it pop up a few times in places like Vogue Fabrics and Fabric.com, for around $12.99/yd. Score!

Anna Sui Fall 2007 Ready-to-Wear Collection Slideshow on Style.com The fabric's selvage says Anna Sui (copyright 2006) so I went hunting in her collections around that date and found this look in the Fall 2007 RTW collection. Frankly, I like my use of the fabric better!

When I bought this, I was planning to make another Simplicity 2938 pleat neck tank for wearing under a suit jacket. Although the print contains two of my favorite colors--turquoise and hot pink--somehow it looks very subdued and I wasn't sure I'd love the finished item.

Source: shop.nordstrom.com via Trena on Pinterest

However, when I pulled out the fabric to make it (I decided in the Spring that the next time the serger was threaded in black I'd make the top first thing so I could at least cross one thing off my sewing list--I do not sew a lot of black!), the first thing I noticed is that it takes a little looking to tell the right side from the wrong side. I started thinking if there was a way I could take advantage of that, and remembered that when I made Simplicity 2360 the first time, in the green poly charmeuse fabric from Spain, I thought it would make a lovely top. So I scrapped my sensible plan for a suit-suitable shell and went with fun (are you at all surprised?). It is fun that is still in fashion, at least! I saw several variations on it during my recent snoop shopping forays, including this Julie Dillon dress for $138 from Nordstrom.

Waist Seam Allowance CasingI did not change much on this go-round with the pattern. Instead of a drawstring, as I did for the dress and later regretted, I went with the pattern and turned the waist seam allowance into a casing. When I made the dress, I thought that I might want to lengthen the upper bodice pieces to move the waist seam down around an inch or so to my natural waist. When making this iteration I put on the dress and considered it, but then decided to keep it as drafted. When it was complete I wished I had lowered the waist. The top looks great with skirts, but does not work with skinny jeans *at all* because the waist is too high. I was hoping it would be a good top for jeans. Now I have to make yet another! The waist seam is the only exposed seam; for the rest I used French seams.

Front Gather When it came to finish the neckline I had two problems. First, there wasn't enough fabric left to cut a bias binding, even a pieced bias binding. And second, it was too wide. I knew it was too wide from making the dress, but somehow didn't think to fix it before cutting. I actually (gasp) stay-stitched the neckline to keep it from stretching out.

I finished the ruffle with a serger rolled hem, as before. I also used it to finish the armscye edges. Then I got the crazy idea to use it for the neckline and then gather the neckline somehow. I liked this little gathery ruffle feature in Burda 12-2010-105 as drafted (I ended up turning the ruffle under some picot elastic because my fabric was too floppy) so that's where I went. I serger rolled the neckline close the staystitching. I always lift the knife when I'm doing a rolled hem on the serger; I find I can't get the fabric to stay on the stitch finger if the knife is engaged.

Then I found center front and measured 3 inches on either side of it, cut the shortest length of elastic that would stretch six inches, and then zizagged it in place while stretching. Love this feature! It totally looks intentional, and not a way to hide my bra straps.

S2360 Side Closeup Love this top! The pattern definitely works for a blouse, with the caveat about lengthening the upper bodice, as mentioned above, if you want to wear it with pants. I originally thought this top could be added to my Endless Combination wardrobe from last Fall as a match for my Burda 01-2009-112 hot pink corset waist pencil skirt given that the print has hot pink in it. But the hot pink in the top is so subdued that it is not strong enough to counterbalance the flourescence of the skirt. However, it goes with several other items in the closet (the most tame and predictable being the black skirt I paired it with here). There is one crazy outfit I am looking forward to wearing in cool weather. Cidell will not approve.

I would like to see what this pattern looks like with the longer sleeves. They are cut-on dolman sleeves, so it could be cute or sloppy. Nobody else has made it that way (that I can find), which certainly gives me pause! But I can envision another one of these in the closet, if the right fabric presents itself. Not that I can do any more fabric shopping, given my recent escapade on Fabric Mart's website (details forthcoming).

The pattern review is here and all photos are here.

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On the sewing machine right now is a dress that I know I won't wear. I realized halfway through this project that the color is terrible on me. The fabric is a seersucker type denimish with tiny stripes of white, dark gray, and red. These colors individually look fine on me, but their overall effect from a few feet away is a pinkish-blue that is very similar in hue to my skin tone, several shades darker. I look like putty in it. I debated whether to just stop and throw it away, or finish it to wear a couple times and then donate. My enviroguilt stopped me from throwing it away. I am trying to finish the remainder of it with dispatch, taking shortcuts here and there, but it is still driving me crazy.

What is your strategy in this situation? Just toss? How do I talk myself into that?

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Thanks to all for the info on your Bernina walking feet in response to my difficulty with it. I tried oiling the needle bar and the foot bar, per Jne4sl's excellent suggestion, but it made no difference. I think I need to face up to putting my machine in the spa and living without it for a while. I'm not sure I *can* live without it! I have been trying to devise projects that can be done entirely on the serger, and/or contemplating actually using my treadle as a sewing machine instead of decoration.

37 comments:

LinB said...

Follow your original instinct to finish it and donate it. Don't spend as much time on making the inside lovely; don't wear it first if you don't like it. But do give some other woman the option of having a handmade garment to wear, that may well flatter her. I sometimes have to trudge and drudge through a project that I have come to despise. The feeling of virtue and relief when it is out of my machines and in the Goodwill donation bin is worth all the pain.

MySummerTouch said...

Great blouse! How much fabric went into it?

MySummerTouch said...

About the new project - don't waste your time on somrthing that you don't like and won't wear! I'd save the remnant for my daughter's dress, save it to make a gift for a girl. Or make it into something else, shorts, skirt or something like that if you have enough fabric, so it would be away from your face.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

MySummerTouch--I had about a yard of this fabric. It was tight getting all the pieces to fit but I worked it out!

Amanda S. said...

Cute top! About the soon-to-be-wadder, I would probably stop working on it, especially since the color of it is the problem. Although lots of times I am doubtful if the thing I'm working on will be as cute as I envisioned. If I persevere, I usually end up liking it. Sorry, this is not much help. :)

countrygirlcouture said...

I love that blouse! I think it need a skirt in that pinkish color to go with it. ;-) As to the wadder, just keep plugging away, if nothing else it will help you decide if you want to try the pattern again and some woman will be blessed to find it at the thrift store. :-)

livinginred said...

I love the way you handled the gaping neckline. Fabulous solution that looks intentional and smashing. I frequently have the same problem, so I'm starring your idea.
I also have very similar coloring to you, and I ran up against the same problem regarding the dress. I chose a bright orange paisley patterned fabric on a cream background. I thought it would be too wild. Alas, it blended with my freckled skintone and made me look nude. I have no idea how that happened. It has the too-wide neck problem, so I have just let it hang there, trying to decide if I should fix it, cut it up for scraps, or just donate it. I think, donate, and so that is my recommend to you. Just finish it minimally and gift it to charity.

teebee said...

This might be my favorite thing you've ever made. Lovely.

Pammie said...

Are you modeling for Anthropologie? You could be a catalog model with that blouse. I love it - I love how the femininity complements your petite figure! I'm going to look up princess seam ruffled blouses! Great job and congratulations. Well, just remember - you can always have a backup career as an Anthro model:)

Audrey said...

Pretty blouse, I do think the gathered front neck line looks better on you than the original. The center front neckline gathers were used in a similar style blouse, Simplicity 2554, which you made back in July.
As to the dress situation, maybe you can face the collar with a fabric that coordinates with the stripe, but flatters your skintone. I have a picture, in my fall inspiration file, of a similar designer dress made in black and white plaid with the collar facing in black patent. More contrast than I think you would want with your dress, but you get the idea.

AngelatheCreativeDiva said...

Great looking blouse. Your elastic fix seems to have made the ruffles more sumptuous. Definitely a plus in my book. I love it on you. How about a berry skirt and black patent or suede accessories? As for the wadder, you'll get majour kudos for finishing an then donating it. But you'll also get to see how the dress looks on you before you do so. So think of it as a muslin.

Karin said...

The blouse is fab! And I agree, a better use of the fabric than the designer herself! As for the putty coloured dress, you should probably just cut your loses and stop. In our area there are textile recycling bins. They separate the wearable clothes that can be passed on from the dross which can still be used for the fibers.

MushyWear said...

What a sophisticated blouse. It is gorgeous!

Lindsay T said...

That's a really, really cute top.

Adelaide B said...

This is really really cute. The fabric and the pattern suit each other, and it looks great on.

LadyWhoSews said...

Now you've done it...I have to put that pattern on my wishlist!!! Lovely work, beautiful fabric...and it looks good on you!!!

Anita said...

I would finish it just as (well, almost as!) obsessively as if I was making it for myself, and donate it. My Sister's Place in DC welcomes donations of new clothing for the women in their residential programs. They serve victims of domestic violence. http://www.mysistersplacedc.org/in-kind-donations.html

Cennetta said...

I love the blouse and the dress. As for the dress, can't really order any advice. So many times I've thought to can a project, but after finishing it I love it.

June said...

Re blouse - the silk drapes in the ruffles very nicely. I really like how it looks with the silver belt.

Re wadder - finish and then donate. It will look lovely on someone.

Re time away from machine - sounds like you're ready to learn to knit!

Sarah C said...

I love this blouse! The fabric is perfect for this pattern and it looks great on you! I have had this pattern for awhile and now it is at the top of my sewing list!

MelissaB said...

Cute blouse! I don't know what to say about the other project. It's hard to finish something you're not in love with, but I understand the wanting to not toss it in the trash. I think it would depend on how much time I wanted to put into it and how far along I was in the project as to what I'd do.

Sew-4-Fun said...

Pretty top! It looks great with the black skirt and belt. Pity you can't wear it with pants though. Oh well, there's always more fabric and next time. :)

ELMO said...

Love the ruffle top, I would finish the unwearable project, it's always good to practice, then donate.

Linda said...

I really like this top. It is very flattering on you.

meli88a said...

I like your use of Anna Sui's fabric better too! This pattern is really cute as a top.

Mrs. Micawber said...

Awesome fix on that neckline - looks better than the original, extremely stylish, and perfect on you. I love the way it pulls the flounce in and enhances the drapey effect. Definitely worth repeating.

Enviroguilt - great word. It's what keeps me from doing much sewing these days. That Threads article on fiber waste just got to me.

Aroura said...

That top is soooo pretty. I'm sorry the waist is too high for jeans, but I cannot wait to see your next version for jeans! Those ruffles and flounces are gorgeous.
I'm sorry about the "other" project. I'd probably set it aside for a little bit, and come back to it when I wasn't feeling quite so negative about it. Even if you really hate it in the end, it could be good for charity. In any case, good luck with it!

Sue said...

Very pretty top - love silk!

Isabelle said...

Love your top! Classy and cute at the same time. This style and the whole outfit are wonderful on you.

AllisonC said...

Love it, the solution to the too wide neckline is just brilliant, I think it makes the design even better.

kbenco said...

That is so pretty. Anna Sui just wasted that fabric IMO!
I love Audrey's suggestion for the dress. If all the colours are good on you individually, a solid near the neck should enliven the dress. Goodwill is all very well, but you deserve the benefit of your own work before someone snaps it up for pennies.

emadethis said...

The neckline does indeed look intentional, and the ruffles have a lovely oomph in the silk.

Sigrid said...

Gorgeous blouse, love the style on you.
No advice on the dress, I've done both in the past, thrown away and given away after finishing. No help there.

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

Genius neckline fix!

gwensews said...

Your blouse is so cute! Nice sewing! I would not bother working on something I know I won't wear. I would use the fabric for a muslin. As for your Bernina walking foot, first,I would make sure the foot you have is the one that fits your particular model. There are feet made for specifically for each model and not always interchangable. If it is, indeed the correct match,then it's probably not being installed correctly.

McVal said...

Cute! and WAY to save the day!

BeckyW said...

I found this post when googling Simplicity 2360 as a blouse, because I was thinking of making this with a piece of silk fabric. I really love how yours turned out and I think it will be perfect for my fabric.