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Golden silk asymmetric blouse

16 May 2012, 13:14

From a total loser of a silk blouse to a triumph of a silk blouse, all in one afternoon! After the Burda FAIL, I turned around, cut into my gorgeous butter yellow floral silk charmeuse I bought at Ditto in Brighton last weekend, and sewed up this blouse in about two hours flat!

The layout of this blouse is really cool, and the entire blouse is just one piece, with only one side seam (and two shoulder seams). I took a photo of my fabric when it was laid out on the floor, and I added some annotations in pink (below) to help show where the drapey side comes into play. I hadn’t realised it from the diagram, but the CF neckline is on the straight grain, and the CB neckline is on the cross-grain, with the only side seam on the bias. Very cool, and the design feels quite Bunka.

I used the leftover silk in the bottom left corner to make several bias strips about 4cm wide, as I prefer a narrow bias edge on my silk blouses instead of finicky facings. I also left off the shoulder bow, as I felt there’s enough going on in this blouse already!

We were very lucky to catch the “golden hour” on Monday evening, which just makes this silk come alive in these photos! I’ve paired it here with my grey leather skirt to try and give an edgier look to the twee floral of the silk.

The extra fabric on the left side creates a flowing drape section under the arm, but surprisingly, doesn’t expose your entire midsection! It’s really well drafted in that regard – even when the wind blows, you only get the barest peek of the side bra, and I’ve seen more than that in RTW vest tops.

I think this blouse really works best when viewed from the draped side. Not that I’m going to be walking around like this all the time, but I really do love how the drape flows, and I don’t miss the shoulder bow one bit!

From start to finish, sewing this took me about two hours, and I made it using my own order of construction and finishing details, which I’ll share with you now, in case others feel inspired to sew a similar design.

My order of construction

  1. Sew the bust dart and press down

  2. Sew the shorter shoulder seam (all seams are French seams as I was sewing silk)

  3. Sew a narrow hem to the draped edge (I like a two-step method, of sewing close to the edge, trimming, then folding over and sewing again, though a rolled hem would also work well here)
  4. Sew a folded, narrow bias strip to the neckline and un-draped armscye (Much more on this narrow bias edge technique here)
  5. Trim the seam allowances on both, and press the folded bias edge out

  6. Sew the wider shoulder seam, and also the side seam

  7. Press the folded bias edge (on both the neckline, and armscye) to the inside, and stitch down

  8. Sew a narrow hem or rolled hem on the bottom edge of the top

    1. Hendrik is still in drydock, so this was entirely constructed on my JL Mini sewing machine, desktop ironing board, and tiny travel iron!

      Before you ask – Yes, you can buy individual Manequim issues – on eBay, and there are several copies of this issue up right now. Or you can subscribe to Manequim, which was fairly painless to set up, and is actually a tad cheaper than Burda for me, even with the overseas shipping.

      I’m entering this in Pattern Review’s natural fibers contest, as it happens to coincide nicely!

      Natural Fibres Contest

      tags: , , ,


      1. Ooooh, very nice!

        K-Line    May 16, 02:23 PM    #
      2. Looks fab – and completely agree now about the leather skirt to avoid twee!

        Gail    May 16, 02:41 PM    #
      3. I never would have liked that from the magazine but it looks good on you. I really like that the bra isn’t showing either.

        cidell    May 16, 02:57 PM    #
      4. Definitely a winner!

        Nancy K    May 16, 03:37 PM    #
      5. Beautiful! I love the draped look.

        Elizabeth    May 16, 03:51 PM    #
      6. Very pretty! Love the drape and the one-piece pattern looks really cool!

        T. Sedai    May 16, 04:20 PM    #
      7. Ooooo, pretty! Like liquid gold. Nice rebound after the Burda flop!

        Karin    May 16, 05:14 PM    #
      8. This is stunning Melissa I cannot believe how different it looks compared to Ditto’s picture.

        Lisa P    May 16, 06:34 PM    #
      9. Totally love this! I may have to get that issue on eBay.

        The Slapdash Sewist    May 16, 07:03 PM    #
      10. Really lovely blouse, and it is just perfect paired with your yummy leather skirt!

        KC    May 16, 07:28 PM    #
      11. I love it, it’s awesome Melissa! It looks great from all angles too.
        I quite like the bow, but agree in this fabric it could be too much – I think neckline details like that look best if you wear your hair up anyway.

        Sherry    May 16, 08:05 PM    #
      12. Gorgeous Top! Glad you got a success.

        Katherine    May 16, 10:12 PM    #
      13. This is really elegant. Great choice and all the best for the contest!!

        velosewer    May 16, 11:01 PM    #
      14. I knew with your depth of talent you would come back with a triumphant pieces. It’s stunning.

        velosewer    May 17, 06:52 AM    #
      15. I really wasn’t sure about it from the initial fabric/diagram, but it looks fantastic! Good work! And all on that tiny machine. My mind is boggled.

        Sarah    May 17, 09:59 AM    #
      16. I just love this look. Interested in your thoughts about how to adjust a pattern to achieve the asymmetric drape. Maybe I just to really stare at your pattern photo.

        Gail    May 17, 10:44 AM    #
      17. I knew that would be gorgeous with the grey leather! You brightened a very crazy work week with these photos :-)!! The silk falls so perfectly. Well done!

        — M Kate    May 17, 05:03 PM    #
      18. Grey and yellow, lovely! Thanks for posting all the details too.

        Catherine Daze    May 18, 07:12 AM    #
      19. That is so pretty. I am seeing so many of these interesting drapey asymetrical blouses and dresses lately, I need to try one.

        Beth (Sunnygal Studio)    May 18, 04:02 PM    #
      20. It looks really great and you are in full fashionista mode because leather and silk, wow! Great outfit!!!

        Lakaribane    May 20, 03:11 PM    #
      21. That top is one that I might like to try, but I do not get the Magazine and local bookstores don’t sell it. Darn.

        — patsijean    May 22, 07:51 AM    #
      22. Great looking top, interesting that its side view isn’t too revealing.

        pella(pattern pandemonium)    Jun 4, 06:44 AM    #
      23. Ha! I was planning to make this top so I googled this Manequim issue and pattern… and of course you’ve already made it :) This is a wonderful bonus to see your version and review of it as I don’t read a bit Portuguese. This turned out so lovely!!

        kathy    Nov 8, 02:47 AM    #

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