There is some lovely rayon challis in my stash that I’d like to get out of the stash and into the closet in the form of wearable tops. I’ve been considering a few patterns, among them Simplicity 8523, Vogue 8816, and Burda 7509. What I really wanted was a top that had a nice draped cowl style neck but as I looked at various patterns featuring this neckline I noticed that the ones for woven fabrics were all cut on the bias. I find bias-cut garments to be uncomfortable to wear and generally a pain to cut out during the construction phase. So the Vogue design (shown on the right above) very much intrigued me as only the top front piece was cut on the bias. The part skimming the waist and hip are cut on the straight grain. Reviewers on PatternReview indicate it runs very large so I cut a straight 10 and made the top out of this mystery fiber burnout fabric that has been in my stash far longer than the rayon. Obviously, the fabric does not drape well enough for this design. It’s hard to see this in the photo, but that draped area sticks out in front like some sort of crumb-catcher device. Not attractive at all. Plus, the fit is still too loose over the bust and waist and yet too tight over the hip and the top is hard to get past the shoulders when you put it on. I could probably fix these things, but most likely will not bother. I have a wonderful Vogue pattern for a cowl neck top for knits so maybe I will just stick with knits for this style and move on…
On to the Burda option. I went ahead and tried this shirt even though it is cut on the bias. I was in a hurry to see if it would work and didn’t want to fuss with all the bias finishes on the armholes and and neckline, which was originally cut to be a V-neck as shown in view B. What I did was put rolled hems on all edges. I actually like the look and the top fits pretty well so I thought I might wear it over a cami until I started itching like crazy within 2 minutes of putting the top on. I am actually allergic to some fiber in this fabric blend and even with the rolled hem covering the cut edges something was poking through. I now realize the only way I could have worn something made of this fabric was to use french seams as even serge-finished seam allowances would have allowed fibers to poke through and irritate my skin. Pfffft.
The Simplicity style is probably my best choice for the rayons. I made up a muslin of the pattern ages ago and made some fitting adjustments based on that so even though it’s plain and simple, in nice rayon batik I think it will make serviceable tops for 3-season wear around here. Nothing wrong with plain and simple. Some would call that classic. A couple of classic shells would not go amiss in the closet.
The original inspiration for the purchase of this fabric is lost in the mists of time, but let me tell you it was a mistake on many fronts. And I had lots of it. Sometimes these little misadventures in fabric acquisition have happy endings, like my favorite summer robe made of border print linen I thought I’d use for a pantsuit (you’d laugh out loud if you saw the fabric, perfectly nice in a robe but completely inappropriate for a pantsuit), or my striped denim crop pants of fabric that initially was intended to be a jacket, both of which were declared ugly and un-usable fabric by my 2 most trusted young fashion advisors. This time, the only happy ending is that I got to try 2 patterns with no risk and I am now 4 fabrics down in my current stash-busting sewing spree.
While I continue mull the pattern choice for the rayon challis fabrics, I am sewing a sleeveless blouse of some shirting fabric that’s been hanging around for 15 years or so. That would make 5 fabrics out of the stash and if the shirt turns out, 4 wearable garments in the closet! Good thing because I caved on a Fabric.com sale and ordered some new knit fabric, but that’s another post. Sigh.