Wednesday, May 09, 2012

McCalls M5661 Version D

The first one of these I made up in a soft, textured silk. It was easy and quick to make up and I really enjoy wearing it, so I thought I would make another.

What fabric to make it up in...? I had some silk, which was "hand printed in England", so I thought I'd stick with the silk theme and use that. It would be simple: I had made the exact top before, and in silk.

This time it was an absolute pain.

For a start, the pleats along the top were difficult to get in place because the silk would not crease at all. It was kind of springily resistant. Which is odd, considering how dreadfully it had creased during the washing process. Once the pleats were in place, I pinned the neck facing on, only to find that it was much smaller than the neckline of the pleated bit. I wasn't sure whether the application of the interfacing to the facing had shrunk the silk, or what.
My interfacing was odd, anyway. It had seemed like a nice, flexible light weight, but once ironed on the whole facing became sort of crisp. Which leads me to the next problem: despite trimming the seams, making notches, you name it, the facing and the outer shell did not sit nicely together and seemed to pull against each other. For goodness sake. It's not bad enough to stop me wearing the top, but it pulls in places it shouldn't. 

In exasperation I checked the facings on my black silk version, only to find I hadn't bothered interfacing them at all, which meant the facings were all lovely and fluid, just like the main top. Goodness know why I didn't bother with the interfacing on the first version. I think I just forgot! It's taught me a lesson though: sometimes you don't need interfacing even though the pattern says you do. My black silk top has been washed and ironed many times, and has not suffered for having no interfacing.
After finally sewing the top together, the buttons and buttonholes went smoothly. The top is It actually looks okay with jeans, but unless dressed down, it looks a bit bridesmaid-y. I will make another one of these tops, but a different version, and I'll be careful about the fabric I choose, and about the interfacing I use.


  1. I love this top. The silk is lovely.

    1. Thank you so much - the silk is lovely and the top is sort of growing on me!

  2. Your pain was worth it, it is really a beautiful top. I love the print on the silk.

  3. Pretty! Maybe try it with light pants (linen/ cotton) if you're worried about it being to Jane Austen-y. And I like the buttons-the first time I made a top with back buttons I awesomely/ crappily used dome shaped buttons-they look awesome but suck if you're planning to lean back-ever..

    1. Who cares about such mundane practicalities as leaning back?

  4. You are sewing up a storm this spring, and I am coveting everything you've made!

  5. Thank you Melissa! I always like your stuff, too.