The top that was meant to be a dress.
As much as I like how this top turned out, it was the result of a mistake that I saved.
This top was meant to be the top part of a dress made from New Look 6181 pattern view A, the short dress:
As the line drawing of view A illustrates, the dress has a v-neckline, loose “blouson” fitting bodice, a two-piece sleeve with an open seam, and short skirt. It also has a lovely cowl-draped back. The back is the nicest part of this pattern and really should be featured on the cover of the pattern. The back is so nice in my opinion, that it could be worn as the front for a face-flattering draped cowl neck.
Here is the line drawing from the pattern showing the cowl back and string tie:
The short dress, view A with modifications, is the intended dress.
I was inspired by some dresses I pinned on Pinterest that I wanted to emulate the look:
Dress and outfit pinned from Polyvore
Little blouson dress
I wanted a fast, easy, pretty and comfortable silk dress to wear, so I bought this pattern.
I had some of this lovely teal green silk charmeuse in my stash I bought at Josephine’s Dry Goods last year.
Silk fabric draped on dress form.
I decided to modify the front of the neckline of the pattern to a more curved shape to compliment the curved and draped cowl back neckline. I thought this would look better than a V-neck for this dress. So, as I was cutting out the pattern, using chalk and a curved ruler, I just drew a new front neckline right onto my fabric.
Drawing in new curved neckline using my chalk tool and curved ruler.
So, plugging along, I cut out all of my pattern pieces including the front bodice, the back bodice, the skirt and the sleeves. That went pretty well….
All set to cut out
The cutting out and marking process was (pleasantly) surprisingly fast! Everything was going well until I was ready to sew and realized I left out a major part: I only have the front part of the skirt! I cut one skirt piece on the fold, not realizing I need two skirt pieces! ARGH!!! I did not have enough extra fabric to cut out the rest of the skirt, so the whole dress idea had to be scrapped and re-thought.
I figured I would continue sewing the top of the dress and see how it went as just a top. I finished most of the work in about 2 hours, eliminating the back sting tie, the front neck facings and the sleeves. I cut two bias strips from the scraps of fabric for the arm holes and finished the neckline and bottom with a narrow hem.
Although I am very disappointed in myself for not thinking ahead of time and for not realizing that I did not have enough fabric for the dress I wanted to make, the top came out pretty nice! I am pleased with the neckline change and think it looks better and mirrors the curve of the back of the top. I also like it sleeveless in this case, and am happy I didn’t add the sleeves for this top. Had I thought ahead, maybe I could have just lengthened the top all together and made it a little more flattering worn loose and untucked. Or made the dress sleeveless, having enough fabric to make the both the front and back of the skirt. But, I was not thinking ahead….at all…
Front of top:
rounded front neckline of silk top.
Side back to top showing cowl drape
I think this top looks best tucked in:
Worn tucked in looks nice with a skirt or pant.
Side back view of top
Cowl back of top
Or, the top can be reversed and the cowl worn in front:
Top turned backwards, worn with cowl drape in front.
Overall, I am pleased with my new silk top, and chalk this up to a wearable mistake and practice for the dress version!
The top has a lovely drape, can be worn frontwards or backwards, and is a beautiful color of teal green.