Contemporary Tops

Comedy of Errors: Vogue 8816

When I flew recently, TSA had me remove my (oversized) shirt to go through the body-scanner.  Fortunately I had something modest on underneath or I would have been whisked away to one of their “privacy areas”.  I’m currently muslining a Guy Laroche suit (Vogue 2578 OOP).  The jacket has a flared sleeve and a zip front.  And it occurred to me:  “I should make something for underneath, just in case.  And not just for TSA, but for warm days in the car.”


So, I searched my scrap fabrics and patterns for a shell/shell-like top for it.  I chose Vogue 8816 (OOP), a drape-neck sleeveless top and some leftover cream 3-ply silk. I’ve made the top twice before (pre-blogging days) and have been mostly happy with them. It’s an easy top, and can be made in CDC, charmeuse or lightweight jersey.

How is it that the easy projects always seem error prone?  Here is a list of just a few things that went wrong on this easy project:

  • In a previous version, I cut the tissue paper to a size 8 at the waist.  What?  I guess I was changing it to a more fitted silhouette.  I re-graded to a 12.
  • I was cutting out single layer, as I didn’t have much fabric, and I thought to myself, “this silk is more transparent than I remember.”  I compared it to the (unfinished) blouse and realized that I didn’t prep the 3-ply, but the silk CDC next to it intended for lining the jacket.
  • I was cutting the last piece out, when I realized that I laid the pattern out on the cross-grain, not the length-wise (except the upper front, which is on the bias).
  • Since I couldn’t do french seams with the overlay, I serged to finish the seams.  And serged into both shoulders (but did not cut into the seam). I have no idea how, except that I think the light fabric folded up underneath. I’ve never serged silk CDC before, and don’t plan to again!
  • I thought I kept my hands clean, but when I was doing the machine narrow hem, I saw a spot… hidden in the hem, thank goodness.

Anyway, this is a simple drape neck top.  It’s rated as easy, but definitely more interesting in light silk (the previous two were in silk jersey and cotton jersey).  I used french seams on the lower blouse and to attached the upper and lower parts.  I serged the shoulders and underarms, and used a narrow machine hem (a la Claire Schaeffer) on the lower hem and sleeves. I wasn’t thrilled with the narrow hem finishing on the sleeves, but otherwise this top is a fine piece if I take off the jacket.  Draped necklines can be fiddly, but this one is more modest than most.

While I was making this, I thought I would make another tank-style top with a bit of hammered silk CDC in chocolate brown.  In the process of looking for that fabric, I found 2 yards of chocolate brown CDC I had never logged in my spreadsheet.  I’ll use that to line the jacket.  But that led me to clean, re-organize, and re-inventory the stash.  I didn’t find any other fabrics. But now that everything is neatly sorted and folded, it’s not overflowing…  Don’t worry, I’m still going to work on sewing more than I buy.

My camera likes to pick up every wrinkle.  And I wrinkled it getting it on the dress form.

1 reply on “Comedy of Errors: Vogue 8816”

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