You might have seen this post go live yesterday on MSN. But, I wanted to give a little bit of a preamble here to explain that a good bit of the behind-the-scenes inspiration for making these Polly Tops was this month’s #oonapalooza. Not in the tops themselves, but in the making of three. You see, back at the end of 2012, Oona wrote about making three pairs of leggings in a post that I still vividly (vivid being the key word here!) remember. I know my way around Photoshop, but that woman puts me to shame. I think that post is partly what led me to make multiple pairs of leggings here, and now to attempt to Photoshop three of me together in this post here. Thank you, Oona, for shining so brightly that the rest of us can’t help but smile and shine right along with you.
My Mood Sewing Network projects this month are all about fabric pairings. It started with finding this Anna Sui silk crepe de chine panel print at Mood Fabrics online. I thought it would pair nicely with some of the Mood Mark Jacobs embroidered dot silk I had left over from this shirtdress project, a garment which has mostly languished in the back of my closet. I’ve always wanted to make something I’d wear more often with the left over fabric since those raised dots are so fun! An easy summer tank seemed just the thing, and the free By Hand London Polly Top was perfectly suited to pairing the two fabrics together.
Then I noticed this gorgeous aqua floral silk crepe de chine also at Mood Fabrics online, and I thought, why not make a Polly Top out of it as well?! Especially since this Mood Thakoon aquamarine silk crepe de chine was a perfect match. And, I didn’t stop there. I’ve also had a bit of this Mood watercolored silk charmeuse in my stash since this dress project, and I figured I might as well have fun pairing it with this luxurious brown Mood silk charmeuse. The center panel of the Polly Top uses so little fabric, you can feature pretty small pieces of favorite fabrics that you just can’t bare to get rid of – all you need is to find a coordinating fabric for the rest of the top!
I carefully cut the Anna Sui panel so that the border print would be nicely featured along the hem. I wanted the embroidered dots to be a little more whimsical, so I purposefully didn’t center them. I also tried to get as many dots as I could fit above the panel, but I didn’t think through the fact that they don’t really stand out when they’re too close to the panel. Oh well! I still love the way the two fabrics pair together.
The back is pretty simple. The shoulders appear to fit me well here, even though they feel awfully wide from the front. I made a muslin (or, rather, I made an earlier version also out of silk) that I felt was too long and wide in the shoulders, so for these I tried to nip the shoulders in a bit when I took out some of their length, but I think I could have stood to pull in the entire neckline a bit more.
But, since these tops were made assembly-line style, all cut and then sewn at the same time, they don’t benefit from the typical process of sewing multiples. Even so, I’ve enjoyed wearing them. I just have to pull out my strapless bra and welcome a bit of extra sunshine on my skin!
The blue one may be my favorite, despite the fact that it’s the one I had the hardest time sewing the neckline for. Those bright peonies make me ever so glad I had the crazy idea to make more than just one Polly Top this month. But, I probably need more practice sewing bias binding, so I’m thinking of signing up for Linda Maynard’s class at the Sewing and Design School in Tacoma. I just have to figure out what to do with Baby Girl those days…
When you order fabric online, it’s always a bit of a gamble as to whether two fabrics will really go together as well as they appear to on screen – unless of course you’ve been smart, not impulsive, and ordered swatches ahead of time. I was impulsive here, but I figured the black and off-whites were such basic colors, the blues were both from Thakoon so likely to be similar, and the watercolor would blend with just about any brown. I also made sure the fabrics were of similar type. The blacks and blues were all silk crepe de chine, and the brown and watercolor were both silk charmeuse.
I was a bit nervous about working with silk charmeuse since it’s slippery and not matte like silk crepe de chine. But, despite being a little delicate along the edges, this stuff was fine to work with. I did opt for store-bought bias tape from Pacific Fabrics instead of trying to coax narrow bias strips of the charmeuse into cooperating. It felt a bit like cheating, but I figured this is just a tank top after all!
All in all I’m very happy with these new additions to my closet. Now these beautiful fabrics will see the light of day more often than just when I have the occasion to wear fancy silk dresses. Here’s to many successful fabric pairings for all of us!
This post can also be found on Mood Sewing Network. I used my MSN allowance towards the purchase of the fabric.