A Colette Patterns Laurel in Liberty print silk
It's already my favourite item of self-made clothing. It's rare for me to want to wear something I've made straight away. Often it will hang from my picture rail for a few days first so that it has time to settle in my mind and I can come back and look at it more objectively and try to gain some peace of mind that it doesn't look too overtly like I've made it myself (in a bad way, at least). Happily, I haven't felt that this top needs any settling time. The only thing currently stopping it from breaking out of my wardrobe is that I love it so much that I want to save it for when I'm going somewhere special - there's every chance this will be soon, for a weekend with my sister. (I've been tempted to make her one too, but the last time we worth matching outfits was when I was 6 and she was 9, after our mother bought us matching miniskirts and jumpers to wear on the plane journey as we emigrated to Australia for a few years. It may be a treat reserved for when one's leaving the country with the knowledge that you have no chance of future contact with anyone who has witnessed your matchiness. Or just for when you're 6 and 9).
The blouse is really quite loose-fitting, but the pattern's cleverly placed diamond-shaped double-point darts at the back mean that it follows the curve of your back, giving a fit that's loose, yet tailored. I used double-pointed darts to try and rectify a dress I was making that didn't look quite right last winter and while the dress never came to anything, I realised then that they're an amazing way of stopping something from being shapeless when viewed from the side. I may want to add them to everything now.
The silks I used while making this (a Liberty print crepe de chine and a sand-blasted silk that happened to be an identical colour to one of the flowers in the printed fabric) were slippery, but thankfully not too prone to fray, which meant that I could actually enjoy making the piping for the collar and the narrow binding for the sleeves.
Inside it's finished throughout with french seams. Grainline Studio has written a fantastic tutorial which will give anyone new to these all-enclosing seams the confidence to try one not only on a straight seam, but an armhole too, called 'French all your Seams' (I love that title!) which is well worth having a look at if you're working with a fine, light-weight fabric. I contemplated overlocking this blouse as it's so much quicker, but the idea seemed slightly obscene when I considered how much I adore this fabric.
I'm entering this top into the Colette Patterns Laurel sewing contest. Have you made your own Laurel entry? I can't recommend trying this pattern highly enough - it's such a lovely blank canvas for showing off a special fabric or adding in your own details. Obviously, because I love this pattern so much, I have several more already planned in my head and hopefully soon to be made. I think this may be my summer of Laurel.