This is the silk fabric that I bought from Claire’s Goldhawk Road meet-up. I was told by the shop-keeper that it’s a MaxMara silk. The texture makes me think that it’s crepe. The print runs diagonally in one direction.
This is the first time that I’ve made something in silk. It drapes beautifully, and takes on gathers very well. But, it slips and moves so much. It was hard to keep the grain straight and maintain precision when cutting, as it was easy to distort the shapes of the pieces. I pinned a lot.
To pre-wash the fabric, I used a very small amount of my normal washing gel and hand washed it. To condition it I used a little hair conditioner (yes, I did & it’s Aussie conditioner with nut oils). I figured if it was good for my hair and scalp, it would be fine for this natural fibre.
Marking was also tricky. The fabric didn’t work well with chalk. I normally use tailor’s tacks, so I stuck with this. I also used long running stitches in an off-white thread to mark the lines of the darts and the tucks.
The only adjustment I made to the pattern was shortening the sleeves by about 1.5 inches. I drew a new line 3.5cm from the ‘shorten/lengthen here line’, and folded the pattern piece to that line.
I wanted to cut the sleeves so that the stripes would be a mirror image of each other. It probably shouldn’t have involved so much head scratching, but it did. I ended up cutting one sleeve on the straight grain and one on the cross grain. (I think over time the sleeves might stretch differently though.)
I used muslin fabric for interfacing on the cuffs. It has a nice drape and is light without making the silk stiff. (If I had organza, I might have used that instead).
For the shoulders and side seams I sewed French seams. It looks lovely and is perfect for this fabric which frays a lot.
I tried the top on without a zip and it came on/off ok, I was glad about this as I think a side zip would have affected the drape and symmetry of the fabric.
I like the key-hole opening at the back. I used a snap fastener instead of a button, as I didn’t leave enough loop to get a button through. It works well and is much easier to fasten.
This top is the same pattern as the high flying birds top, but it has a totally different feel. It’s much more formal looking, and will look great with trousers and even with a suit (if I had one). It’s certainly very ladylike.