I bought a zip-up tee from Zara a few years ago, and it became a strong favourite in my wardrobe. So this month I decided to attempt a copy of it using this beautiful Royal Blue silk jersey, with some contrasting details in yellow ribbing.
This particular silk isn’t that hard to work with, it is a bit slinky but it pins well and I sewed all the seams on the overlocker, as I would with any other jersey, and had no issues. 
As I was working without a pattern, there was a bit of improvising along the way. I’m fairly confident now with tracing existing garments to get the main pattern pieces but there’s usually some piece that you can’t trace. In this case, the zip opening and the placket was a bit of a muddle. Lots of folding, topstitching, hand stitching, adding of extra pieces to cover unsightly seams… but I got there in the end and I’m quite happy with the final effect.
I cut the sleeve ribbing quite short to make it tight on the arms, and I really love the way that’s turned out.
I did have a design change as the garment was coming together. I had done most of the zip opening and the neckline when I tried on the garment. My first thought was “Oh, I’ve accidentally made a cycling top!” So at this point, I unpicked a small section of the neckband and sewed in some shoulder stripe details. I think it lifts the garment to have more interest and has a strong nod to the sporty but still looks wearable for a night out.
Have you ever had a change of design halfway through a make? That’s one thing I love about making my own clothes, I can adapt and edit as I go.
I have worn the garment out and about a few times and the silk has coped well with machine washing afterwards. It’s great to have a pattern that I know fits well and I can play around with, and now I’ll be able to bang out different versions of this top whenever the mood takes me. 
Until next time, happy sewing!

Duncan