Silk, Shibori and pattern hacking

I love silk noil or raw silk. I first found it when I was working at JoAnne’s Fabrics and I bought the entire bolt of tan 45”. I made wonderful wide leg drawstring pants out of it and a tank top. It had a great drape and being silk it just wore really well. It does have a bit of a texture which is a turn off to some, but me I love it. I ordered a ready to dye white from Dharma Trading because I wanted to dye it in the indigo vat. I accordion folded and bound it then dipped it into the vat a few times, letting it oxidize about 20 mins between each dip. The outcome was awesome but it definitely had a darker edge to one side so I wanted a pattern that would incorporate that edge.


I went looking for a big four pattern, something maybe with a center seam or fun piecing. I found a Butterick or Simplicity pattern that was a peasant style dress with pleats in the front and the back but I really didn’t follow much of the pattern other than the pleats. The pattern had sleeves and I decided that living in southern California sleeveless was more practical because I always dress in layers. I kept the pleats and and the basic outline of the bodice. The front pleated area I showcased the selvage (which was dyed darker blue and left it raw) edge by making a seam down the center front. I also didn’t have enough yardage to make the maxi length of the pattern so I ended up with a tunic length with a slight hi-low hemline. I would be living in this if it were maxi length.


The neckline facing was the next thing I had to figure out I again wanted to showcase the raw edge of the selvage because it just had this really great texture.  I made a strip from the leftover selvage edge that’s in a medium blue and I whipstitched it onto the neckline first to see how I liked it. I was worried since it wasn’t on the bias that it wouldn’t lay right. Once I had it on though it looked great so I chose a decorative stitch and machine stitched it down. The arm holes were next, I attempted the same treatment for them as I did for the neckline but didn’t like the look. Also when I tried it on I found that I need to add bust darts to keep the armholes from gaping open, so I added those by pinning on my body and marking the darts to then stitch. Then finished the edge of the arm holes by turning under the edge a quarter of an inch twice so the raw edges were completely encased.


I am very happy with my top, I love how comfortable it is and the crinkly dyed bits make me even more in love with the chemical magic that is indigo. I also tried to be all technologically advanced and purchase a camera remote. However I failed to notice it was for bluetooth which my DSLR is not. So we have low quality iPhone shots, boo. I have remedied the situation and now will be all set with a camera ready remote. I couldn’t put this off to wait for the remote, I had to share, and let’s be honest most things aren’t 100% perfect every time. This captures all that makes me happy about this top so I will forgive myself this post. Hope you will too.


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