Monday, 16 April 2012

Blocked Silk and Jersey

The other day when I walked through the turnstiles into work I saw a woman ahead of me wearing a striking little blue top with her boring black business skirt. The top had cute short sleeves, the sort that look most fabulous on young arms, but the thing that most intrigued me was the way the top was blocked with two different fabric types - a more solid fabric on the upper part of the bodice (and sleeves), and a more lightweight, drapey fabric in a similar colour on the lower part of the bodice. It was so intriguing that I hustled over quickly and then walked just behind her all the way to the lifts so I could get a good look at it. Bad manners! Anyway, I came home inspired... and that's all that matters! (No, just kidding, and I hope I wasn't making that poor woman feel harrassed.)

Putting that inspiration together with what was in my stash and also with some more net-a-porter ideas (see below) I decided to whip up another version of the silk satin polka dot top in a combination of something ancient that I hope is silk plus a cosy sort of jersey.

Nice job of posing by the hedge...

Posture!  Don't tip over!

The (possible) silk was only just enough for the top 1/3 of the top, only as far down as the armhole band (which is sewn on the inside of the top).  I had such a small amount of this, and not even cut with parallel edges grrrr. Don't you hate that?

For the bottom 2/3 of the top I used some jersey that's a lovely colour and drape, and that coordinates really well, but that looks like it will pill in an instant - if I could only recall whether it was from Lincraft or Tessuti I'd be able to make a better prediction! I still have so much more of this jersey fabric that I'm  considering extending the top into a dress :-). I'm thinking of an elastic casing at the waist and a gathered rectangular jersey skirt (well this Tracy Reese pattern is the one that sprang to mind). If I were to do this I'd have to sew a slip though as the jersey is quite light and a tad transparent. 

The silk and jersey played together very nicely despite their different characteristics
Do you think this looks like silk?

I'm reasonably satisfied with this top - it came together as I thought it would - but it's not at all the same as my original inspiration top. Stylistically I think the change in fabrics should be happening higher up the bodice, but I hadn't wanted the little sleeves to be two toned. So perhaps I should have though this through and made narrower sleeves. Oh well - you live and learn!

I'll leave you with a couple of the professionally colour blocked tops:

Camilla and Marc via net-a-porter
Gucci via net-a-porter

and if you like the top on the right, make sure you check out Audrey's summery Creamsicle colour blocked top

Finally - don't forget, I've got a pattern giveaway on at the moment - please do enter if your pattern stash isn't too full! Entries close around this time on Tuesday night (ie 48 hours away).


  1. What a simple, yet interesting top! I really really like the two fabrics together...the difference in visual texture and shade. That blue silk is gorgeous. And I so like the shape.

    Very chic.

  2. Beware the well dressed public...sewing stalker on the loose! Glad I'm not the only one.

    I was thining that I would prefer the blocking line higher, but then I went back and had a look at some other projects that I have loved recently. Check this one out

  3. Neat idea- and well executed too! It reminds me a little of the leather and knit tops from last winter, but in a cooler, more summery version.

  4. I like Katherine's term "sewing stalker" Hey, inspiration can come from anywhere. Its a great top. I can just picture it worn with a black skirt. It would look so nice. Lucky you to have the perfect fabrics in your stash.

  5. Very pretty top! Great idea -- never would have thought to mix the two types of fabric!


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