February 19, 2015

Quite similar, yet very different

Last week, I did a modest wardrobe clear-out. I mainly just removed things which didn't fit properly and those I really didn't like anymore. Of course, it's always a great moment to get a clear picture of what kind of clothes you need. Or don't need. I was reminded that I really don't need more jackets because I kept all the ones I have and I don't have many occasions to wear them. Which is a shame because I'm still sorely tempted to try and make a really 1950's style skirt suit... But that's a story for another blog post. 
What I do need are tops. Preferably in other colours than black which do suit at least some of my colourful skirts. And no plain long-sleeved t-shirts either. I like tops with a bit of interest...

Although that's not a short list of demands, it shouldn't be difficult. After all, there are loads of great patterns for tops out there and I'm not even limited to patterns. But it always seems difficult to come up with the right kind of top. Most of my skirts are kind of 1950's in style, but not all of them. Trouser styles are all over the place, from 1930's to eh... right now. It's been a year or so since I realized that I will never find any style of top which will work with all of them, and I'm OK with that now.
And yet: What was it to be this time?

After some brainstorming and looking at pretty pictures in search of inspiration, I ended up staring at this great little sweater on a picture in a Libelle magazine from 1956. The article was about high-quality French knitwear.

It's a lovely thing and I thought I would be able to create a shape like this in jersey. 
As you know, I've made plenty of twist-designs before but this is not quite the same. There are no visible seams in the lower bodice and yet at the top the right crosses over the left...
I think I should have been able to figure this out on my own but why try to re-invent the wheel? I was pretty sure I had seen a Studio Faro pattern puzzle tutorial that should work for this.

I had two options in mind:

The Double Drape Tee, which has criss-crossing draped bits at the neckline but at a very different angle

and the Drape & Twist Jersey which has draped bits which are more similar to those of my vintage inspiration but in the middle of the top.

I decided to start drafting the thing with a look at both tutorials and quickly found out it was the second one which would work in this case. 

And this is my end-result! The pictures aren't great. I had to use the self-timer again and I guess I'm out of practice with that and went back to that boring corner next to the dining table. Maybe I'll ask E to take some nicer pictures this weekend...
My vintage silk plissee skirt is looking pretty good in these though. I should wear it more often.

I took this picture to allow you a proper look at that drape detail. It's not quite the same as in the original image, partly because of the proportions which I had to make up as I went along (and I really don't understand the model's anatomy: her drape seems to be at the same point of her chest as mine yet it is wider even though here the cleavage of the top looks deeper...) and partly because I twisted part of the top drape when sewing it down. The shoulders on mine are also a bit wider. That and the long sleeves where by choice.
I think it looks good though.

The instructions for the drape were pretty clear but you can only see how it comes together when sewing. In this case, I already suspected the folds under the draped parts might be pulled open when wearing the top, and they did. I fixed that by sewing together the pleat seams at inside and tacking down the bottom pleat on the right (left in the picture. It's more visible like this than when I wear the top).

I'm happy with this addition to my wardrobe and I think I may try and make another version with a wider drape later.


  1. Excellent! What a buty! I love this top! I am very impressed!

  2. This top is lovely. You did a great job!

    I'd love to see what your pattern piece looks like. And if you do make another one, I would also really appreciate a few in-progress photos. I won't ask for step-by-step because I know those are a pain and really slow things down, but a few pictures at critical junctions would be so awesome!

    1. me too! I would love to see the shape of the pattern pieces. Gorgeous top! Kimbersew

  3. really really lovely - it will be a very hardworking top as i would say it would pretty much go with anything

  4. Pretty top! I'm currently despairing about a bought twisted top pattern. Your self drafted version looks so much easier, but I will not yet give up...

  5. This top is really cute ! Thanks for the links !

  6. Love this twist top Lauriana! A beautiful take on the twist. :)