Saturday, 24 October 2015

Silk Sutton Blouses

I actually made these two tops months ago but other projects always seemed to get in the way of getting them photographed and blogged! I don't know why because they've been in regular rotation in my wardrobe being super easy to dress up or down.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk True Bias Sutton Blouse

I purchased the True Bias Sutton Blouse pattern almost as soon as it was released. I own quite a few ready to wear tops like this, they're so easy to grab in the morning and feel comfortable in all day because of the loose yet flattering fit. I'm also a big fan of a v-neckline and easy kimono sleeves. Shortly after buying the pattern I ventured along to the Biddle Sawyer Silks factory sale at their Berwick Street shop (which has since sadly closed). Their silk is top quality and I came away with two pieces which both turned into Suttons; a lightweight maroon hammered silk satin and an amazing black silk morocain. I had a feeling these would both be tops I'd want to wear a lot so would want to be able to throw in the washing machine rather than dry clean or hand wash. Therefore I pre-washed both fabrics in the machine on a gentle cycle at 30 which is how I was the finished tops. I often treat my silks this way and have never had a problem. It did give the morocain a slightly sand-washed finish which I really love.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk True Bias Sutton Blouse and Tropical Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt

For my first version I used the maroon hammered silk (hammered means the fabric has little dimples to it which you can see in the close up shots below). I decided to make use of the matt reverse side and use the satin as the right side for the yoke and the matt side as the right side for the rest of the top. I'm really pleased with this choice as it makes it a little more casual than having it all satin, plus the satin on the inside feel so nice to wear! It's quite a delicate silk so I wanted to give the top some durability by using french seams. The vents at the hem of this design means it's impossible to finish the side seams this way so I decided to omit this feature, level the hem off and finish it the usual way.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk True Bias Sutton Blouse and Tropical Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt

I cut the size 0 despite my measurements falling almost exactly in the size 2 as in the instructions Kelli makes it clear that the design includes a lot of ease and I've got quite a small frame and am short with it I'm not a huge fan of things being massively oversized. The amount of fabric in it still feels a little overwhelming but it's really grown on me. Even with needing to cut the bias binding to face the neckline I managed to get the top out of 1m (of 150cm wide) with some fairly big scraps left over.  I'm really, really pleased with the finish I achieved on the neckline by the way!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk True Bias Sutton Blouse

I made a few alterations to the pattern before cutting my second version from the silk morocain. It's heavier and thicker than other silk crepes so I thought the oversized look would be even more exaggerated in this. I felt like the kimono sleeves on the first version were a little 'wingy' for my liking and this definitely wasn't going to improve in a fabric with more body. I therefore removed 1" along the armhole edges to reduce the length of the shoulder seam and how far the sleeve might stick out from the shoulder. I also removed 1/2" on the double from each side seam and am much happier with this slimmer fit.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk True Bias Sutton Blouse

The silk itself is absolutely gorgeous to sew with and I love the matt finish which wears in nicely with each press and wash, I'd use it all the time if I could afford it! It's one of the most expensive types of plain silk and even on Goldhawk Road I've never found it for less than about £25/m; however I managed to pick up this metre piece for just £6 in the crazy sale!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk True Bias Sutton Blouse

As this is a thicker silk I finished the seams on my overlocker and followed the instructions exactly this time and included the side seam splits and longer back hem. I love this detail for adding a bit of interest to a simple top and really liked the instructions for how to finish this cleanly. I had less success with the neckline binding on this one but am pleased with how skinny and neat it finally ended up. It is a lovely finish but it is very fiddly and tricky to get it to match exactly at the centre front.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk True Bias Sutton Blouse

In the photos I'm wearing the maroon version with my third Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt. I love this pattern! The high waist is flattering and the fit is great on me now I've worked out the length I like. I can whizz one up in a couple of hours too so it's a super satisfying project. I made this one in a tropical print cotton sateen from A to Z fabrics on Goldhawk Road. Both A to Z and A One Fabrics are great places to go if you are after printed cotton sateens in that mid weight with a bit of stretch. The stretch in this one means it does loose a bit of it's close fit towards the end of a days wear but a quick wash or press and it pings back into shape. It's a brighter and bolder print than I would usually gravitate towards but it's actually had a surprising amount of wear; including to the Sew Over It summer party and the renewal of Sally's vows in Vegas! I think using a bright print on a simple and classic separate like this makes it much easier to wear as you can pair it with plain neutrals to tone it down. If you're interested in more details on this pattern my first two versions and a more in depth pattern review are here.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Tropical Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt

I've mainly worn both of these blouses thrown of over a pair of skinny jeans with pumps;  they're great for wearing at work all day then still feeling dressed up enough to go out for a drink that evening. I have also worn them both tucked into high waisted skirts and shorts but as you can see from the side on picture below it's not ideal for that because of that deep pleat at the back and therefore the volume of fabric at the waist. I don't mind it but I'm really tempted to make another and remove the centre back pleat, I'm just waiting for the next perfect piece of silk to come along!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Silk True Bias Sutton Blouse and Tropical Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt

16 comments:

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    1. Thanks Nilla! It's a really great pattern for making up in a special silk because of the simple lines

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  2. Perfect mix of fancy & casual! Both are gorgeous. Love the use of the shiny side for contrast with the matte side.

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    1. Thanks Noelle, I was especially pleased with that choice! I'm really please me with how versatile they are for dressing up or down

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  3. Both gorgeous! I've never seen silk morocain but it sounds amazing to sew with and to wear.

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    1. O it is just gorgeous! It's got some weight and thickness to it which feels so luxurious...and it should do for the price!

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  4. Nice work. I can't wait to learn to sew on silk...

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    1. Thanks Iris, it's really not that tricky, you should give it a whirl! Just make sure to use a fine sharp needle when sewing and lots of fine pins to keep everything in place. Cutting is the trickiest but really because it's so shifty, I like to do it on a carpet or rug to help keep things still

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  5. Both gorgeous - it's always lovely to have luxurious 'everyday' pieces to wear!

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    1. I can so see you in these Lizzy! Everyday luxury is definitely something that you nail!

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  6. Both are gorgeous, I made the Sutton in a very light silk and never wore it, it just made me look enormous. I think you need some weight in the silk to pull it down, also I made my size according to measurement and after reading your comments I probably should have downsized.

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    1. That's a really interesting thought about the weight in the silk Mags, perhaps that is why I like these when I never usually like how I look in oversized tops. I definitely recommend downsizing, there is so much design ease!

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  7. I just love both your blouses - that flowing style does suit that silk and that neckline... WOW you should be proud! I looked up your silk and yikes did you get a bargain! Thank you for sharing your work.

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    1. It really was! I got out of there quick before they realised how much of a deal they were giving away! I am very proud of that neckline, the wonder of a bit of steam hey?!

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  8. That skirt though!!! Perfect for Vegas ;-)

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    1. Haha! I flippin love that pattern! So pleased I wore it that day!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!