Frills and foxes

It is the most miserable day here today. Its dark and chilly and it hasn’t stopped raining all day, and I’m thoroughly pissed off about it! Where is my summer weather?? I should be swanning around in skirts and floaty tops, not sloshing around in my raincoat and boots (Malu is getting quite a lot of wear this week, I’m pleased to report that it is pretty waterproof!). To make myself feel better I’m making lasagne for dinner and drinking red wine, and its all smelling pretty good (though there is enough bacon and wine in the ragu to make anything smell good), and I’ll blog about the floaty top I wish I was wearing…

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Its another variation on the Scout pattern, this time with a frill. I’ve had this fox print chiffon in my stash since last summer, and I’ve just never been able to figure out what do do with it. I had never sewn with chiffon until this week, and even though I thought it would make a really cute button down shirt, I decided to stick with something more basic! I think it was a good decision, because it was a bit difficult trying to wrangle my pieces into shape. I really do love this pattern, it just fits so well! One day I may even make it up exactly as shown on the pattern.

To make the frill, I cut the pattern off at the lengthen/shorten line marked on the pattern, and then cut a strip the same width as the bottom part of the pattern but twice as long. I thought I’d have to cut the fabric in a single layer, but because the fabric is so sheer, and has such a distinct and regular pattern, it was easy to match the fox faces up and keep my grainlines straight! That was probably the last easy part of the construction of this top…

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As advertised, the chiffon was super shifty! It also frayed like nothing on earth, which made things a bit tricky too, especially when it came to binding the neckline. I used french seams on all of the seams, including the one joining the gathered frill to the bodice. I wasn’t sure if I could manage that, and it was a bit fiddly, but I managed in the end! All of the hems were done using my rolled hem foot, which looks awesome (if I do say so myself). I’m not thrilled with the way the binding looks at the neckline, I just couldn’t get it even, and it looks a bit wobbly and amateur! I think I’ll need to have a practice with my rolled hem foot on curves, it would be a much neater finish on chiffon. Or I could really push the boat out and try a hand rolled hem…

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Aside from the neckline, I am pretty happy with my finishing techniques, it looks nice and neat and tidy! I’m not totally sold on the silhouette on me, however. I’m not sure if the proportions are out, or if its cutting me off at an awkward point, or a bit of both, but I’m not sure its flattering! Its definitely pushing me out of my comfort zone, anyway. I think I should have made it longer, but I’m not sure if the extra length should be in the frill, or in the bodice of the top. Thoughts/opinions appreciated!

While I was sewing this top, I pictured it with my little olive green shorts, but when I pulled them out of my drawer for the photos they were a bit…tight. Ahem. Just as well I’ve bought the Maritime Shorts pattern! I think shorts will balance out the fullness of the frill a bit better than full length pants.

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It tends to sit back off my shoulders a wee bit, which pulls the hem up at the front. I actually don’t mind how that looks, I just hope it doesn’t look like maternity wear! It is wonderfully swishy, though that might make it a bit dangerous in the Wellington wind…

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17 thoughts on “Frills and foxes

  1. As I mentioned on Instagram, I really love the fabric. Seeing it in total even proves my impression. It could have been a bit longer, in the bodice I think, but it looks cool like it is and in no way like maternity wear!
    By the way, seems like we have similar weather this week, although you might have some degrees more. πŸ˜‰

    1. I’m not usually a fan of anything that will add bulk to my hips either, especially if theres no waist definition to offset it, but I kept seeing tee shirts this shape of other people and I got curious! I’m not sold on it, but I love the fabric so it’ll probably get worn…

    1. Thanks! It wasn’t as tricky as I thought it might be, but if i ever decide to make something more complicated out of chiffon I think I’ll try stabilising the fabric with gelatine, even though it sounds like such a messy process!

      1. Not sure it’s an ‘authorised’ method, but I found a can of spray starch in the laundry and that worked quite well to stabilise some shifty chiffon I was trying to work with before Art Deco this year. I just sprayed (liberally), ironed, and went along my way: much easier than anything to do with baking ingredients. (Of course I only discovered it once it came to hemming time, so all the other seams are a bit dodgy, but the hem looks great!)

  2. I have just stumbled on your sewing blog Kirsten, I love all the things you’ve been making – they all have such professional finishes and are sew uniquely you (sorry for the sewing pun – couldn’t resist!) Your projects are inspiring my sewing too. This top is so cute, and you’ve done such an awesome job with the chiffon! I’m too scared to sew with it… anything slippery is a no-go for me. But I have been thinking about sewing something similar in terms of shape and fabric opacity but I’m still not sure about that volume on me.

    1. Thanks Em! The chiffon wasn’t as bad as I expected, though next time I think I’ll take Laurens tip and get some starch spray. Even if used just on the seam allowances I think it would help! For the volume thing, I think the proportions need to be just right to balance out the fullness, and I didn’t get it quite right with this one! Can’t wait to see what you come up with πŸ™‚ (and never appologise for puns!)

  3. Really pretty top. Looking at your hips, which are not at all large, I would drop the skirt portion 4 cm or so, just to go beyond the widest part? What about binding the gathered seam? I wondered if that might be an easier finish in chiffon? You wouldn’t have to turn the binding under since it won’t unravel on the bias?
    Sorry, too much, too late? Just happened upon your blog and am adding it to Feedly!
    Yay, for bloggers in the same hemisphere!

    1. Thanks for your feedback, its always appreciated! Binding the gathered seam would have been a good idea, I might try that next time. I think its too late for this top (I think it might get passed on to my sister, she’s shorter than me so the proportions might be better), but if I make myself another version I’ll take that into account πŸ™‚ I’ll pop over and have a read of your blog!

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