Hello!  I’m excited to share about this project. I started out with inspiration from the Jema Panel Dress Pattern by Style Arc. I loved the patchwork application and thought it would be fun to make. As you may notice from the title, I did a pattern switch for the final garment, so I’ll share more about that as well.

For the fabric, I picked a lovely grey Crinkle Viscose Fabric.  My favorite aspect of this fabric is the texture! I love bringing textures into garments. Being a multi crafter (a knitter, spinner, sewer and crocheter), I find when I can work with different textures in sewing it brings all of my passions together.

Atelier Brunette offers bias tape and piping in really unique fabric bases. Most often I’ve seen premade bias tape & piping in polyester/cotton fabric bases. I was really intrigued to match the same base of fabric (viscose) in the piping and top together.  Viscose can be a delicate fabric so the thought of using Premade Piping from Atelier Brunette is an amazing convenience (vs making it yourself). 

I used a Janome Skyline S7 (or an Atelier 7 in the UK)  for this project.  With crinkle viscose being a delicate fabric, I selected the straight stitch needle plate on the machine.  I also used a Microtex 70/10 sewing machine needle. I used a walking foot for the straight seams (to be delicate with the crinkle texture) and an open needle plate with an overcast foot for the overcast stitches (to finish the inside seams).

Supplies;

2m Crinkle Viscose fabric, Stone

0.4m Atelier Brunette Posie Piping, Green

70/10 Microtex needle

Matching grey thread

Tailors Ham

Wonder tape

Iron

Fabric clips

Glass head sewing pins

Muslin/toile:

I have been saving my favorite woven scraps of fabric. I found a variety of chambrays that I decided to use for the muslin.  I had decided ahead of time that I wanted to make this garment into a top rather than a dress. I referenced the curved hem and length of the Beatrix top to select a length.

I decided to trace out all of the pattern pieces and then overlap the seams. I taped them all together to get a visual for the dress.

This is a all-in-one printed pattern. That means as a result that the paper pattern is very large. I don’t mind tracing off a pattern but I found in some areas as I was tracing, multiple sizes were overlapped and were more difficult to distinguish my size line.  Not a big deal, just something to note.

With this being a patchwork dress, the more seams you introduce into a garment the more variation you can have. This is definitely workable and adjustable but something I noticed as I sewed the muslin (the bust dart lines from my tracing were not symmetrical and needed to be adjusted in the future).

As I was working through this project, I drew a diagram in my sewing notebook so I could reference each of the pattern pieces visually. 

I studied the finished garments for the size 10 that was provided. I referenced the body dimensions to the finished dimensions and subtracted each to compare how much ease is in the bust, waist and hips for this size. Typically with grading, the amount of ease varies in each size.  I referenced size 10 as I was initially looking at the 8/10/12 sizing for my bust/waist/hips. The easiest way for me to tackle this project was to look at making one size. I took the hip size out of the equation because I’m making a top and not a dress. I decided to study the amount of ease in the waist for the size 8. The size 10 had 13.5 inches of ease in the waist. Going back to the size 8 waist, I felt like this would be enough for me to try a straight 8 for my muslin.

One thing I did not anticipate is by shortening this pattern into a top, you lose the width of the panels for the patchwork effect (in the lower panels).  The panels are really the feature in this pattern so I didn’t like the idea of losing the patchwork look by cutting off the dress. As this was a fit muslin, I left the pattern pieces as is, to reference.

Although I do still like the pattern (and would like to make it again), I changed my mind to not use this pattern for the final project. I realized with the drapey nature of the viscose, the multiple patchwork seams would be challenging.  I had also planned on adding the piping in between each of the front patchwork panel seams.  

Final:

For the final I decided to go with a pattern that I have made before. I found as I decided to switch projects, I should have ordered more piping as a buffer.  The amount that I ordered was 1.6m. As I looked at a different pattern to switch to, I also wanted to keep in mind a project that would accommodate the length of piping that I had.

I selected the Mademoiselle Gus top by PM Patterns. The designer of PM patterns is French  and I have really enjoyed her design aesthetic. This is the second time that I’ve made this top.  The pattern has a neat detail where the front has gathered features at the waist and shoulders. The shoulder seams are around the top of the shoulders. I liked the idea of adding piping at those seams. 

With only a small amount of piping needed I was able to fussy cut which section of piping I wanted to show in the seams.

Ties:

As I have made this pattern before I went back to look at my pattern notes (on my blog). The first time I made this, I thought about removing the back tie and replacing the closure with a hook & eye or a button. I found that if I took away the tie adjustment and added a fixed closure, this brings up the neckline to be more tight than I like. 

For the ties, I initially made ties out of linen a gray linen. 

I changed my mind before I sewed in the ties and went a different route.  I decided to make ties in the same crinkle viscose fabric. I felt the linen ties would be too heavy with the lighter weight fabric.  I also sewed the ties at a 5/8” (1.6 cm) seam allowance rather than the suggested 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance (for a slightly smaller tie then intended).

Bias tape:

The pattern calls for bias tape to be cut out and used to finish the neckline.  With the texture and delicate nature of this fabric, I really appreciated getting out Wonder Tape to help hold the edges of the bias tape in place as I sewed the final neckline seams.

You can see the wonder tape peeking out under the seam.  If you haven’t used this tool before, I highly recommend having it on hand.  It dissolves in water and is so handy to use in applications like this one.

Ironing:

I played around with ironing swatches and seams before I started sewing the project. I found that if I wasn’t careful, the iron would flatten out the texture of the crinkle viscose. This is an issue as if you do this before you sew the garment, the fabric will shrink back up after you wash it and will change size. As I wanted to keep the texture of the viscose I found that having the iron at that a nylon setting (the lowest heat) and using steam helped get the wrinkles out of the fabric while not flattening the texture of the viscose.

Finishing the seams:

I decided to skip the serger for this project and do the finishing of the inside seams with an overcast stitch.

Using an overcast foot (size M) with this stitch works so well together.  It’s a handy option to finish seams without a serger.

Final thoughts:

I’m really enjoying wearing this top.  I don’t always lean toward solid fabrics (vs prints) but I do enjoy their elegance and versatility.  

I did skip the sleeve tab feature on this top (as I also did in my first version).  I see this as an optional feature that you can include or remove.  

I have to say, the pairing of the bottom band with the gather and fabric does make this top feel very Edwardian to me (which I love).  That might partially be because I’m rewatching the Downton Abbey series and really enjoy studying the fabrics and styles of their wardrobes.

If you haven’t worked with a woven viscose before, I encourage you to jump in!  I wish you well in your own sewing adventures!

Rachel @oakbluedesigns

www.oakbluedesigns.com