Technicolour dream top and sewing themes for 2016

Technicolour dream top and sewing themes for 2016


A Tessuti gift voucher from my lovely Mum for my birthday in September meant this colourful silk was mine, all mine!  What to sew?  Well I of course turned to my TNT Aeolian Tee Dress Pattern and it didn’t disappoint.





As drafted, the Aeolian has a large hem allowance.  For this version, I lengthened the top by 7cm by reducing that amount from the hem allowance.

A longer line top gives me a chance to explore two new styling strategies… namely, tucking and belt wearing!  How did I go?


Although, sewn in December, and photographed on New Year’s Eve just as the sun was setting, this top fits very nicely into two of my sewing themes for 2016.

Theme One:  Sew the silk stash.  My confidence with sewing silk is on the rise, so it seems fitting to add some more silk garments to my wardrobe as there is nothing quite like wearing this natural fibre.  Perhaps a little mini-theme could be ‘the summer of silk tops’.  I am also assuming that it is easier caring for multiple silk items in the laundry rather than have one item that sits in the hand wash pile looking at you for weeks and weeks and weeks…

Theme Two:  Embrace the waist.  This is a body image challenge that will be a test for me.  Proportionally, I’ve always had a thicker waist for my frame and have spent many years hiding it.  It’s not the end of the sack dress, and I’m not sure I’ll head into classic fit and flare, but I’m hoping to find some middle ground.  Pattern recommendations welcome.

Theme Three:  Sew bottom halves… shorts, pants or skirts.  I hoping 2016 is the year I’m up for tackling this fitting challenge.  I’m expecting that classes and/or help from experts will be involved.


Pattern:  Pattern Fantastique’s Aeolian Tee Shirt Dress (top length)
Size:  Small
Fabric:  Italian silk from Tessuti
Alterations:  Sewn in a woven rather than a knit.  Reduced the hem allowance by 7cm for a longer line top.
Accessories:  Belt from Anna Thomas and shoes from Habbot
Photo Location:  Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne



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  • Love that fabric Anna. Perhaps a more fitted shift? Skims the body, rather than fits. With a short hemline. And yes, I think you’re totally up for some bottoms. I learnt to fit by doing a class with Vanessa Lucas, online tutorials and LOTS of muslins.

    • A shift… good suggestion Rachel. I’m totally realise that pants will mean muslin central. Here’s hoping that’s part of the fun!

  • Love love love the fabric…and the pattern…just wrap it up and post it to me in Scotland! Actually I really like all the garments you make and I’m like you, I need to make more trousers and skirts too. If you haven’t done so already, try jeans. They seem daunting but I found that taking time to get the fit right was the most difficult thing about the whole project. Not scary at all!

    • I’m very good at re-homing clothes Joyce, but I’m afraid this one is staying in my wardrobe. It’s already had a couple of outings and I feel very ‘me’ in it. Jeans do sound daunting, but not impossible. I was thinking of starting with shorts as it’s summer here and there is less fabric involved!

  • Tailored pants with a zip? Vogue 7881 is a Claire Shaeffer pattern and has a lot of fitting tips and tailoring techniques, delivered in a professional tone – no talking down to the seamstress! It’s a good learning pattern as it has lots of fitting lines for getting things right. The craftsy pants fitting course gets rave reviews but I learnt more from the Shaeffer patterns about fitting. You can also try the PalmerPletsch patterns from McCalls. I’d recommend using a wool blend as it is incredibly forgiving of alterations, unpicking and re-stitching.

    Jump in and have fun? Stretch gaberdine is also forgiving and a simple three piece pattern that gets fast results is the StyleArc Barb pants. Get the size larger than what you need and take in each seam a little bit until you are happy. With SA you get no help in the instructions, you may need a friend and/or a good text. Readers Digest is awesome.

    If your hips and legs are symmetrical or well matched then you can try on the trousers inside out as you sew. It makes working out the alterations considerably easier.

    Good luck!

    • Invisible zips or elastic waists are definitely a good place to start. V7881 sounds like a great resource. Thanks for that tip and the wool blend one too. I have the Readers Digest bible and the pants version of the Fit for Real People (can’t remember it’s name!). All that is needed now is the positive self talk… I can do this!

  • So colourful, I have never seen with silk. But I love wearing it.

  • gorgeous silk! I love your embrace the waist thing! I have no waist either and that’s exactly what i’m trying to do these days! Have a happy 2016!!! 🙂

  • That’s a beautiful top and must feel fabulous to wear. I look forward to seeing the garments you make during 2016. Enjoy learning and sharing your new skills.

    • Thanks Anna. It’s a lovely fabric to wear. I think I might have caught the silk sewing and wearing bug. Lucky it’s summer!

  • Below the waist sewing is a challenge I’d like to tackle too–but it won’t be happening this year! You may not be interested in jeans, but a ton of American sewists have tried Closet Case’s jeans pattern and I know Lauren at Baste and Gather has released a flared jeans pattern that is getting positive reviews, if you prefer that cut. Grainline Studio’s Maritime shorts have been around for a while but seem to come together easily and have many positive reviews (and I’ve seen many with an extended hemline). I can’t wait to see what you create!

    • I’ve been watching the online explosion of jeans, and although I’ve not been bitten by the jeans bug yet… never say never!

  • This pattern was made for you Anna…and the fabric is just gorgeous! Good luck with your sewing plans for 2016!

    • I think I’ll have to get Pattern Fantastique to change the name of the pattern to Anna’s Aeolian! I’m still not bored with this pattern yet!

  • Oh it’s dreamy! I’ll ponder patterns, maybe a shift with seaming that emphasised the waist…. I’ll,ponder!

  • Amazing silk! I need to do more pants this year, I took one of the craftsy courses on fitting pants and it gave me a lot more confidence with modifications. I’ve made two the same and need to try some others. Happy new year ;o)

    • Happy New Year to you too Colette. I envy your pants progress. Hopefully I’ll be reporting back with my own progress soon.

  • Beautiful! I love those colors.

  • Sew all the bottoms! I am determined to sew up my Ginger jeans this year…. though I’ve see a great contender from Baste and Gather – The Kendall Skinnies. But bottoms always scare me as I still believe the few I’ve made I’ve been so very lucky with the fit. Fitted and tailored seems way harder. And yes to more silk If you’ve got it stashed. It’s a crime not to….

  • That fabric is the bomb! I love it in this simple style. You have totally nailed the tuck and belt combo. I love a good fitted pant with a loose tee tucked.