A few years ago I bought a length a broderie anglais on my first visit to Goldhawk Road, I seem to recall it was only about £2.50 a metre and 60″ wide, so a bargain.I bought about 2.5m, a good length but never quite enough! It’s also quite a stiff fabric, so a flowy skirt wasn’t going to work.
Last summer I decided I’d try getting a dress out of it, I was about 50cm short. I had a mad idea that maybe if I opened the fabric out full width, I’d be able to wiggle the pieces closer together and get it out. The downside was that I couldn’t lay it all out to check…the bigger downside was that I still didn’t have enough fabric and had now cut several large pieces out of it! It has sat on the side looking reproachfully ever since!
Yesterday I decided to make a top out of it, I reasoned that from all the large pieces I should be able to get a top out. As it happened the was a fair sized piece obviously left from the end when I realised the last big piece wouldn’t fit. Perfect!
I chose an old Butterick pattern I’ve had for years, 3037, it’s got a mixture of tops and skirts and I realised I’d made the waistcoat style top before in a pansy linen a few years ago, I still wear it a lot and more importantly it still fits me!
The fabric has two stripes of embroidery, one in a heavy paisley design and the other in a much lighter lattice pattern. I decided to have the lighter pattern on seams and things like the centre front wherever I could, just to help reduce bulk at the seams.
It went together really quickly, it’s fully lined, I used a light weight quilting cotton as I happened to have it in my stash, I also thought it would be cooler than the usual synthetic lining. I started cutting out after tea and by bed time I really just had the buttonholes and a little bit of finishing to do. It helped that I new the method of making a lined waistcoat and how to turn it through the side seams, so I didn’t need to follow the instructions, I could just get on and sew it.
Today I popped over to Hobbycraft to buy some buttons, typically I have a button box full of buttons and nothing to use! Hobbycraft don’t have a huge selection but I found some pretty mother of pearl flower ones.
I’m really pleased with my top, the stiffness of the fabric works well with the waistcoat style of the top. Here’s also a sneak preview of a pair of culottes I made a couple of weeks ago, I can’t share them properly until July when they go on the Minerva website but I love them, they’re really comfortable and I like their floatiness! I think I’ll be making another pair soon.