SWAP #10 Painted silk sleeveless blouse

In terms of SWAP I think I am now on item 7! After this blouse I still have to make (by

  • the grey silk skirt,
  • grey jacket and
  • westwood skirt.
  • I will be adding a RTW or a previously made item.


I had a nice piece of light weight, but not flimsy, pure silk crepe in very light grey. For fabric painting I much prefer using white fabric to any kind of colour, but pastels do work relatively well. It is nice to line or face the garment, or even trim it, in the plain fabric. However with grey fabric all the colours have a slightly muted cast so I had to work quite hard with the colours, especially the red.

While I had my paints out, and the kitchen table protected with some black plastic, I cut out a scarf and a handkerchief, thinking one or both could serve as my accessory (desirable but not essential for SWAP 2018).

Having taken a big chunk of fabric for the accessories, I decided,  late in the day to line the top rather than create facings, and I didn’t have enough left, so I pieced it. All in all a bodge, when it should have been a lovely straightforward project.

Oh well.

For the fabric painting I used navy and grey, with yellow and red as my accent colours.

Silk painting Fabrickated
Painting the fabric for the blouse
Handpainted fabric
Checking the colours and spacing

I took these photos using the timer, by the way! It is a wonderful invention.


I have been thinking about what pattern to use for a while. You may remember I tried out the free Marfy pattern , but I didn’t feel it suited me. So I reached for I a tried and tested pattern. If you have a good memory you may recall I have used this pattern several times before. I particularly like the skirt pattern.

The wonderful thing about TNT patterns is that you know they will fit, so there is no worries on that account. For my SWAP this year i am using simple self drafted or TNT patterns. I have reduced all fitting problems to the absolute minimum.

Vintage vogue 7379
Vogue 7379


On the other hand I sometimes find with a TNT pattern I go onto automatic pilot, with a false sense of security. Not only did I not plan the silk painting properly (half making up the garment first so the painted pattern is continuous), I didn’t plan the finishing at the start, and I ended up redoing the zip three times. What should have been quite a quick and simple project ended up taking more time and it’s not as nice as I would have liked. More haste less speed is a very true saying, isn’t it?

If I make this pattern ever again here are my tips for myself

  • Cut out, make up flat, use batik wax on the seams and darts
  • Paint the silk
  • Cut out a lining in the same fabric, but unadorned
  • Sew together at neckline and armholes and then pull through
  • Then put in an invisible zip at CB
Hand Painted silk blouse, Vogue
Hand Painted silk blouse, Vogue 7379

I like it. The colours are quite subtle and nice, and I think this blouse will co-ordinate well with my plain grey and navy items. I suit light colours best, and have made the blouse with the deeper colours towards the hem and the lighter colours towards the face. The silk feels really lovely.  It is loose, comfortable and slightly warm, but while spring is just starting, if you look closely you may see goosebumps.

Finally, because I was doing silk painting I also made a scarf that includes the same colours, but not in a matchy-matchy way. When I am doing silk painting I rarely plan, or look for inspiration or something to copy in advance. But this scarf looks like a 1950s pattern I think. I think, because my SWAP is so navy and grey this splash of colour will be important in making some outfits up.

The scarf has four separate quadrants so you can wear it lots of different ways.

Hand painted silk scarf
Hand painted silk scarf (still wet)

18 Responses

  1. The Demented Fairy

    Gorgeous. I am always in awe of your silk painting- you seem so calm and confident with it, but I know I would be terrified, and cock it up horribly with my slap dash ways! This will slide into your SWAP admirably.

    • fabrickated

      Thank you DF but it is so easy. It suits slap dash types as you can just add more paint until you get a look you want. You are actually so skilled in construction and want a dramatic look I feel sure you would excel in this area too.

  2. ceci

    Oh, the blouse and scarf are exactly what I was hoping for…..I love the airy feel of the blouse’s painting and the more dense but similar coloring of the scarf.

    The batik wax for the darts and seams – does that go inside? to prevent bleed through?


    • fabrickated

      Yes Ceci. The idea is to wax the seam allowances and the dart take up etc so that the paint doesn’t bleed through. Obviously you learn these things through making mistakes….

  3. Carolyn

    I like your top because everything doesn’t have to match ~ well at least to me! I like the disjointed print. It looks abstract and intentional. This is a great new piece to add to your SWAP wardrobe!

    • fabrickated

      You are very kind and I really agree Carolyn that matchy matchy is a very dated look. Colours which harmonise and enhance each other are better. Of course really current fashions are about disharmony and clashing, or mixed patterns and print – the thrown together look. I am working on this!!

  4. Jenny

    I love the top too, both style and the fabric you have created. Has the dart effectively been transferred into the diagonal seam line In the vogue pattern? And is there a similar style line in the back? Also how will you launder your silk top? Will it need hand washing?

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