I’ve had this amazing ivory linen from Guthrie & Ghani in my stash for some time now, so when I realised I have a party coming up with a “white and denim” dress code and couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear to it, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
It’s a barbecue/garden party so I wanted something casual, with room for my food baby (that post -dinner bulge around my belly!), but not too basic. I also couldn’t be bothered to print and assemble a new PDF, so wanted to work with a pattern I had already used and fitted.
Fortunately I remembered coming across this hack tutorial by By Hand London for creating tie-straps. It’s super simple anyway, but reassuring to check someone else’s instructions. It was literally a matter of extending the “shoulder” into a strap with the desired shape.
I started with my Sew Over It silk cami pattern pieces and added about eight inches to my straps. I also added about half an inch to the center front seam when cutting it on the fold, to allow me to have the inverted pleat at center front. I shortened the front and back, opting for a straight back hem and curved front hem. It falls to my low waist area, hiding the loose waistband on my jeans nicely
The front curved hem is also tidier than it looks in the photos, I hadn’t pressed it yet!
I didn’t use facings because I find that with my skin tone, they are glaringly visible in light coloured fabrics, and I also wanted to go with a binding to add a bit of interest to the top. I nearly used a wax print bias binding I had left over from my wax print cami, but I didn’t have enough length for that. I’m glad, because after a bit of a rummage, I found an ivory satin binding instead and I think it looks more elegant and simple with that than it would have with the colourful binding.
Because I wasn’t using facings, I trimmed about a quarter of an inch off the neckline and armscyes to account for not having the facing seam allowance, just a quarter inch binding.
The one “new” technique I tried here was using flat felled seams – a quick Google and a Crafsty blog post explained how to do them and I think it was a good move for this fabric which is thick and cosy. Any other seam finish I’m familiar with would have been bulky or visible.
All in all it was a really quick project and a nice understated but, I think, lovely top. I’m ready to go stuff my face at the barbecue!
– Michelle –