Ultimate summer top

Ok, so this is a glorious top I’ve made here! And it was also the most enjoyable project ever! Two contributors to the joy were – the most pleasant fabric and a very good pattern. Am beyond happy with how this top turned out – wore it the same day that it was finished!

Here I again have the story that starts with fabric. This beautiful silk/cotton voile sat in my stash for a year – I bought it last year not having any particular idea for it. This summer I’ve kind of made a deal with myself that I would try not to buy new fabrics until I manage to mostly clear my stash. Since summer sewing plans should be slowly wrapping up, and that’s because this summer will soon end, I have recently made an inventory of remaining summer fabrics in my stash. There was this stack of five summery fabrics that were still left, and this particular one sat among them.

I had been considering which pattern to choose for this delicate fabric for quite long. At first I thought of few dress designs, actually had even purchased one dress pattern initially intended for this fabric. If this were to become a dress, it was clear that it would need to get fully lined or maybe even underlined, as this is fairly sheer and lightweight fabric. However, the more I thought about it, the more I got convinced to move away from a dress idea. First of all, I’ve made a load of dresses this summer. Second, I was unsure if I’d have enough of fabric – this was narrow width fabric (110 cm) and I had only 2.5 meters of it. Eventually I decided to find a nice top pattern for it, and since Instagram was full of Fibremood Belle photos, I also became curious to try it out.

Ok, so Belle is a gorgeous design of a top, and also, not the least, the pattern works very very well. There were no adjustments needed, the top came together perfectly. Just to clarify, I am in no way affiliated with Fibremood, I just truly liked this pattern.

It is worthwhile mentioning, that it is not a very simple design to make. This top involves a lot of gathering and a lot of hemming. So it is not one of those two piece tops that you could make in couple of hours. But it is not somehow complex either, it simply takes a little bit of time to make it.

The first step was to make the closure at the back. In order to get this area reinforced, I applied interfacing both to the facing and to the main piece, along the stitching lines. Then the neckline got finished, I followed the instructions and used bias tape there.

Next, all the ruffles needed to get done. I made the “enhanced” version with 4 sleeve ruffles, although simpler version with only 2 is also very nice. Both ruffles on each side are actually different, so it is important to follow the instructions to make sure they are sewn in the right order. But before sewing them to the body of the top, all of them needed to get hemmed. And that was really more challenging than appeared at first.

The trick here was that it was the concave side of the ruffle that had to get hemmed. I tried to use my rolled hem foot to make a very narrow hem, but it did not work at all on a concave curve. That was why I needed to turn to the good old method of ironing and stitching. There are few steps to it: 1) straight stitch is done at 5 mm from the edge, 2) the edge is turned at that stitch and ironed, 3) the hem is turned once more and ironed, thus creating a nice narrow rolled hem, 4) finally, the hem gets stitched using a regular foot. It took quite a long time to finish all four hems of all ruffle pieces, but those hems turned out really nicely.

Then all the ruffle pieces had to get gathered and attached to the side of front and back pieces. Finally, a small triangle was sewn into the underarm seam, thus closing sides and also separating those ruffle ends nicely. The last step was to hem the top, and with that my little piece of perfection was done!

For this top I needed some 2 meters of this gorgeous sky blue fabric (110 cm wide), it is called Hazy floral silk/cotton voile, its composition – 55% silk / 45% cotton. I bought this fabric last year from The Fabric Store online. Pattern used was Belle by Fibremood, I cut it in size S. Other notions were: a small piece of lightweight interfacing, a bit of interfacing tape, one small button, and coordinating thread. This top cost me 25 Eur. It was made in July, 2021.

When I first tried it on, after finishing and ironing, I suddenly became all smiles – it is such an enjoyable garment! Those ruffles are such a happy part of it, that I was tempted to just move around and feel how ruffles move. I was so excited about the final result that I put the top on the same evening and went to the concert. It looks so chic with white pants and shiny heels! I am sure, it will look perfectly with white shorts and sneakers too! Love it so much! πŸ™‚

Let’s all stay healthy!

~Giedre~

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