Sunday, March 28, 2010

more silk for spring

I seem to keep sewing silk blouses over spring break. Maybe it's the season, or the recent return of the sunlight (not today, of course, now it's pouring).
(the inspiration)

Whatever the reason, I love these crinkle silk pocket tees from j. crew, how about you? They're on sale for $29.95 right now, but even at such a deep discount, I couldn't justify the expense - especially because they've sold out of my size in the cedar colour, which I loved. However, I did buy some lavender-label crinkle silk from last winter, in both a bright chartreuse and a lovely kelly green. As I tried on a kelly green oxford shirt in a consignment shop while browsing with my mother last week, everyone crowed over how good the colour looked, so I figured I'd use that as an indication that I should cut up the darker green silk for this T-shirt.

(my guide)

I needed a little help to make it; I have oodles of trouble sewing with slippery silk fabrics; they slide all over and I usually end up with wonky seams and things that don't fit somehow. So, a basic Simplicity pattern to the rescue! At only $6.55, plus a couple bucks for thread, it's a lot cheaper than the sale shirt (I got the silk on major clearance at $1.95/yard and bought enough to get free shipping).

I skipped adding a pocket to mine because the way I see it, the pocket's just for show, anyway, and I'm not sure I'm quite cool enough to pull off the late 1980s quotation that this shirt seems to be. So, no pocket. I also ended up cutting the scoop neck on pattern D a bit larger and trimming with bias binding I cut from the remaining silk (I did try it with the facing first, but it was a mess, and much too small of a neck opening).


I think it turned out well! I did a bit of googling and reading up, and it seems that steaming wrinkles into silk is the way to make permanent crinkling. Although my fabric had a light overall crinkle texture, I wanted sharper and more irregular texture like the j. crew original. So after finishing the sewing, I lightly dampened it, squeezed it with a towel to remove excess water, then cranked my iron (dry, no steam!) to the highest setting, balled the top up on my ironing board and basically commenced to burn and/or steam the heck out of the fabric, pressing the iron down for 10+ seconds at a time on a section of the fabric, then moving it. I turned the blouse itself two or three times, so that I could steam/burn all sides of it. It worked! It was still a bit damp when I stopped and hung it to dry; I'll be sure and post if for some reason these crinkles don't hold permanently, but I hope they do.


Oranges And Apples said...

yeah, great job!

Glass Of Venice said...

Hey, i just love it. Thanks for sharing. Good work.