The Top: Part One

This is McCall’s 7127 – a pattern that I almost didn’t purchase. I had been doing some online pattern shopping one evening, as one is apt to do, and I came across this super cute, dropped shoulder, crossed back top designed for a somewhat stable knit. You see, about two years ago I stumbled across Girl Charlee Fabrics (most likely through links from other bloggers) and was completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knit fabric! In the town I live in, thankfully there is a fabric store, but there’s only one, and this one doesn’t stock much besides polyester sweatshirt fleece. Which is fine, sometimes, but my preference for sweatshirt fleece really does run towards bamboo. I digress; so I got really caught up in purchasing all-the-knits in lengths of about 4-5 yards per fabric/pattern. The massive thing I didn’t consider, was that knits come in all sorts of weights, and textures, and opacity. Of course I didn’t order any swatches either. One of the challenges of living in Canada, is that ordering a swatch means you may or may not be able to order the fabric once the swatch shows up and you decide you like it.

So, being the sane person I am, I just went for it and ordered – a lot. This bird fabric, while I very much like the pattern, ended up being much too lightweight and sheer, to be used for its intended purpose of a dress. Instead, it’s more of a t-shirt weight, so I have made up 5 different tops now in this fabric. I still have this one, and I think the other 4 have found homes with my friends. I am a big believer of “just put a bird on it”, but “just put a bird on 5 of them” seemed a bit much, even for me.

When just standing and not trying to pose for a photo I am assured that the back hangs much nicer than what it’s doing above here. That being said, it is my backside, so I can’t confirm this statement. I made this up in a straight size 10 with no alterations. This, in and of itself, is a miracle. I thought for sure that this would take some folding and manipulating to get it to sit the way I wanted. I really like the top and have, as I’m sure you guessed, made multiples.

The really interesting thing I found with this top (aside from the fact that it took only a few hours from cutting to being completely finished) is that when I did a quick look on Pattern Review there were (at the time) only 3 reviews and they weren’t terribly positive. Please know that I am not saying the reviewers did or said anything they shouldn’t have, I’m simply mentioning that this pattern was a perfect fit for me and my body, and it’s interesting how different we are all shaped. Also interesting to note is that this top doesn’t look very good on my friends.

Please excuse the wrinkle on the bust;  I had my photographer for only a set amount of time and I wanted to get as many things photographed as I could. Clearly I didn’t realize the hangup that had occurred.

This second top I made with a very light weight cotton jersey (another Girl Charlee purchase) and used a woven rayon for the back; I was interested to see if I could mix and match fabrics. It works, but I’m not sure that I love the way that it drapes. Again, you can’t really tell as I have my hands up (I have no idea what I was trying to accomplish by this pose…) but when my arms are down, it doesn’t drape quite like I had hoped it would. That being said, it does still get worn with a pair of white linen pants and I quite like the “Hamptons” look that it conjures.

Has anyone else tried and liked, or disliked, this pattern? Do tell…!

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A dress of painted gold

Sounds rather extravagant doesn’t it?

Well it is!

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The basic pattern is New Look 6401 with some modifications. I made 2 muslins out of old butter yellow bed sheets, and you can imagine the look on the bride’s face when she tried those beauties on. After two muslins I was ready to cut into the fabrics. The dress has three layers to it; a lining, an underlining and the fashion fabric. It was well worth it to triple layer it as it helped to decrease any showing of bumps or a very attractive undergarment. The seams were sewn and serged. A center back zip was switched out for an invisible side zip and all three layers have machine stitched rolled hems. I really like the way the machine hem made the dress fall as she walked. The fabric wasn’t pre-washed and it was professionally ironed just before wear. That many layers and an old, spitting iron were never going to end in anything happy. I added in blue satin ribbon as stays to keep her undergarment straps in place and used some vintage snaps from my grandmothers stash. I can’t think of a better place for them to have been used.

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Above 2 photos by Danielle Bossert Photography

This amazing fabric was purchased in India and is a base of 100% silk (in a beautiful off white) that was allegedly painted in gold. It may be gold, and it may be paint, but either way it is the type of fabric that’s a pleasure to work with.

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My beautiful girlfriend was married to the man of her dreams a few years ago and I was lucky enough to be a part of the special day, in a small way. After a few unsuccessful dress shopping trips, and a few discussions, I offered to make her wedding dress. She graciously accepted and so the dress came to be.

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They had decided on a 1920’s prohibition themed wedding and they pulled it off in a truly magical way. The photos you see here are not from my typical photographer, but from a few talented women; Miranda of MKDegroot Photography and Danie of Danielle Bossert Photography.

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There’s some photos of the wedding, and some of the dress.

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Hope you all enjoyed the meander!