My latest make is a beautiful flowy and drapey self-drafted circle top that makes me feel like a beautiful butterfly. The colors on this fabric are so vibrant, and the color combination on the fabric is one of my favorites:
This fabric might have been the most beautiful fabric I have ever touched. It is a silk cotton blend, feels so soft to the touch. Has more body than a pure sheer silk, and while it was slightly more stable because of the fiber content, I did have some challenges that I will talk about in this post.
Here is a view of the back and side view:
So in love with these sleeves!
Here is the fabric I selected. It is abstract, if you look at the large pic of the fabric air drying, you will see it has large butterflies. So when I ordered the fabric, I knew I had to make large flowy wing-like sleeves!
I did not know exactly how to pretreat this fabric since I typically don’t work with delicate fabrics. I wasn’t sure if this needs to be pre-shrunk, or whether it should go to the cleaners. So I asked the fabulous Erica Bunker, who is a seasoned seamstress and has worked with a range of fabric types. She suggested I wash and press it. I did not have the heart to throw this fabric in the delicate wash in the machine. So I hand washed it. And that was so much fun. I love to touch and feel fabric. Something about hand washing the fabric made the creation of this garment a lot more personal
I let the fabric air dry overnight.
The top was freehanded, no pattern. I will show you a sketch so you know how to make your very own top: I declare this as the laziest pattern in the world if you decide to make a paper pattern. I just drew on the fabric itself.
On the neckline, I did a bias tape. It came out beautifully. Here is a closeup of the neckline/ neck finish.
I had just the right amount of bias tape sitting around. I did attempt to make bias tape from the silk itself, but it was not stable enough.
Now lets talk about hemming this top- I ran into some challenges here. I tried the rolled hem foot on my industrial, and I could just not get comfortable enough with it. If I were doing a rolled hem on a straight hem, that would not be an issue. But hemming circle hems can be challenging as is. Add in the slipperiness of a silk, and that makes the hemming more difficult.
So upon the advice of my mentor. I tried the rolled hem on my serger. His name is Sergio, and for the most part, he is good to me. But he just shred the silk to pieces.
It’s not his fault. My thought is that an all purpose thread was too heavy for this fabric. So I resorted to YouTube land and found out that you can add stability to silks by roll hemming 2 layers. So I tried that and it worked. I folded over the hem and rolled hem. I disengaged the knife and then trimmed really close to the hem as shown here. The hem is more “lettuce edgy” than I would like, but I can live with it.
Honestly, I meant to take this online class about sheer fabrics, but time got away from me. Now you know this is the next class I am buying. I studied with Sara Alm at Apparel Arts and she is brilliant. I probably would have saved a lot of time and trial error had I taken the class!
They say that rolled hem is the ideal finish for sheers, but I think I would have preferred a bias tape finish on the hem as well. I might come back at a future time and apply the bias tape to the hem.
Overall.. I love this top. It’s light and fresh for spring! I paired it with white skinny jeans. I have not worn these in months and I definitely had to jump up and down to squeeze into them!
I ordered 2 yards of this fabric. What I loved about this project is that the amount of waste was very little. I used a majority of the fabric to make the top from, which is one big circle (donut) and the remaining fabric was used to create an infinity/ circle scarf. I love an all white outfit for spring with a pop of color. I’ll share the scarf with you soon! It’s my new favorite!
The sleeves, the neckline, and the print are my favorite parts of this butterfly top.
I hope that you enjoyed reading about this make. I am getting started on my Mommy and Me Easter make after this one.
Hope you are having a fabulous week. See you with my next make.