Fabric: Stretch rayon/elastane crepe from Joel and Son Fabrics, London.
I continue to sew the fabric I purchased last year in London.
This top started out as Vogue’s classic pattern, V8815. The pattern features a jewel neckline, waist darts, peplum and a variety of set-in sleeve lengths. I made my usual alterations to the pattern: shortened the armscye, high round back, forward shoulder, full bust adjustment (FBA) and sway back alteration. I migrated the dart formed during the FBA to my waist, where I intended to create a bunch of geometric overlapping pleats/darts vaguely inspired by the Madeline knit top from StyleArc. As sometimes happens, the fabric had other ideas.
This deadstock remnant caught my eye with its beautiful colors and liquid drape when I visited Joel and Son Fabrics in London last fall. I didn’t have enough fabric for sleeves, so I extended the shoulder, which drapes to create a cap sleeve. The fabric’s stretch took me a bit by surprise; it gives the fabric “spring” which really didn’t work with pleats or darts. Instead of fighting with the fabric, I decided to gather it into the peplum.
The elastane (Lycra) in the fabric made it a bit challenging to sew. I struggled to find the right combination of thread, needle and stitch. In the end, I used stretch needles with Seraflex thread and a straight stitch. I hand understitched the peplum to reinforce the crisp edge. I also hand hemmed the sleeve and replaced the pattern’s faced neckline with a self-bias binding. I really love this blouse, not only for the compliments I get, but also because I remember my lovely trip each time I wear it!