I recently saw this See by Chloe top at Saks.Com and fell in love with it. I searched The Stash and sadly didn’t have any silk print with the same type of design but I did find a beautiful jersey that I bought from Gorgeous Fabrics recently (sadly, it’s sold out)!
Then I found this pattern (New Look 6648 ) and it all came together:
I actually like the pattern a little more than the designer original because it’s not as voluminous – important when you are only 5’3″ tall!
To give it the same feeling as the See blouse I decided to add an exposed facing and sleeve bands. This takes a little more time but is well worth the effort. Notice that I used a round neck instead of a square one – just my personal preference. It’s just as easy to make a square neck if you prefer. I also lowered the neckline 1″ because it was a little high on me. Next time I will definitely narrow the neckline at the shoulders – it is a lot wider than it appears. I’ll be needing some lingerie guards! That is the only alteration I made to the pattern. I cut my usual size 8 but, depending on the fabric, I could go down to a 6 next time. It’s cut very generously so no FBA was needed.
Before I show the facing I want to mention that I sewed the shoulder/sleeve seam conventionally and pressed the seam open. I find that this type of seam often draws up and doesn’t hang nicely when sewn on the serger. You can see that my seam has retained it’s drape.
To draft your facing it’s a good idea to first trim down your neckline seam allowance to 1/4″. I always use 1/4″ on all enclosed seams. It’s easier to sew accurately and saves the extra step of trimming later. Next, using a small ruler or gauge, mark your facing line directly onto the pattern. I made mine 1.75″ wide for a finished width of 1.25″. You can make yours as wide or as narrow as you like. Then simply trace this off to make your facing pattern pieces.
I then block fused my fabric and cut out my facings. Notice that I cut the facings on the opposite grain so that they would show up better. If you are going to do the work it’s nice for it to show!
Now for the tedious part: After you sew the facing shoulder seams, you’ll need to turn in 1/4″ on the outside edge. To make this easy and accurate I sewed 1/4″ from the edge and then used the stitching as a guide to turn the edge in. As you can see, I turned the edge in just past the stitching so that I wouldn’t have to remove any of it later.
Give the edge a good press and flatten well with your clapper or a seam roll:
Then it’s time to attach the facing right side to the garment wrong side and stitch.
Next, clip your seam and press it open. Notice that I alternate clips on the garment and facing. I think this makes for a much nicer finish especially in heavier fabrics because you won’t get those little indentations from the clips showing through.
Understitch attaching both seam allowances to the body of the garment. I always allow the garment to lay in it’s finished position so that the clips are allowed to spread open and conform to that shape. You want this:
Lastly, press the neckline edge allowing the facing to peek out a bit
then topstitch the facing in place. Some sort of topstitching or edge foot is really helpful here.
The sleeve bands were merely sewn into a circle, folded in half and serged on in the round. Then I edgestitched the seam to give the appearance of a binding. Easy! My bands are 2.75″ wide. I cut them 6″ wide to start. I wanted them a little wider but that’s all the fabric I had left after a stupid cutting error. Since I liked the original length of the sleeves I trimmed the garment sleeves 2.5″ so that I would retain that length (2.75″ band width minus 1/4″ seam allowance).
Because there is so much volume on the top I wanted the fit around my waist and hip to be as trim as possible so I needed to eliminate the ruching on the band. This is a super-easy fix here as only the outer band is ruched, the inner band is flat. Simply measure the width of the inner band from the cut edge to the foldline marked on the pattern. Then draw a new line at the same width on the ruched section and fold (or cut) away the unwanted tissue.
Note the fold line towards the bottom of the pattern piece:
I drew a 2nd line the same distance away on the ruched side of the foldline:
New pattern piece:
The finished garment: