My Vintage Inspiration recently posted about unfinished things – disembodied knitted sleeves for example. I too have unfinished projects. One item that has been getting on my nerves was conceived back in May, when I first started this blog; my “Inspired by Preen” silk shell top.
Months ago I cut out a 1960s sleeveless top (Vogue 7379), in a piece of natural silk. I joined the five pieces together at the side and front seams to create a flat (tish) piece. I then used washable gutta to mark out 2″ squares, and painted them to look like a pixelated peony. I had some technical problems with the paint and some of the colours bled. I strenthened some of the colours and in applying the second layer I had a few blips. As you can see in the photographs the painterly effect is very different from the sharp edges of the Preen digital print. I was disappointed, torn between finishing it and chucking it. At the beginning of November, in an attempt to “get organised” I finished it.
Thank goodness for our warm early Autumn weather that means I could wear it for Sunday lunch with the family. Here I am with my fast growing grandson Kit (age 3 months), and I am thinking “Will he fit into that ‘up to nine months’ Christening robe that I made?” All will be revealed on 23 November!
It will also work well with a more formal skirt. I like the 1960s styling of this top – its squarish shape works well with the square pattern.
The pattern calls for the garment to be underlined, to which the facings are attached. I am not fond of this couture finish, so I did something different. The fashion fabric is very light and it needed something, so I chose another piece of natural silk to line it. This layer was more slippery whereas the outside was very slightly crisper. I understitched it at the neckline and armholes, and hemmed by hand. It is really light, but slightly warm, and very nice to wear against the skin. The back zip is hand stitched too.
Of course it is flawed but I rather like it. I love the fabric, the colours, the soft lightness of it. My colour direction is Cool-Bright-Light, and this top is all those things. And although it was an idea that was really about spring, autumn is surprising us. I am wearing it with a yellow (!) leather (!!) skirt that I bought at the Shelter charity shop last week. The skirt is spring-like too – but actually warm enough, with a sleeveless top, in Autumn. Shelter, the UK’s campaign against homelessness was set up by the same man who established my organisation, Notting Hill Housing, Bruce Kenrick.