Friday, 11 December 2015

Tessuti Kate Top

Tessuti put up the call announcing another of their competitions in November.  The Kate Top.  Had to give it a go, especially since mid November I imagined I would have all the time in the world to make clothes not on the Christmas present list.  Guess who got notified today she will be doing six weeks of placement in a row, starting first week of January.

Tessuti competitions in the past have specified that the fabric used must be from their store.  This time that was not necessary.  I went through my "special" stash.  Fabrics that are either really expensive or sentimental for some reason.  I found this silk in Darn Cheap a couple of years ago.  It was $20 a metre and felt like nothing I have ever felt before.  It is a thick heavy, drappy silk with a matte side and a shiny side that is so soft it feels like suede.  It was fuchsia pink.  I kept coming back to it for months until one day for some reason I had some extra cash and bought two meters.  Dyed it with a lot of blue food colouring and white vinegar.

When I was young and naive I wanted to be a textile designer.  Or a shoe designer.  Well there is a textile design degree offered here in Melbourne so I wasted almost three years studying something I would have hated as a job.  My favourite teacher took me aside one day and just said "this is not for you".  Cue breakdown at 20.  Anyway.  I had to study dying techniques.  Failed it the first time, so I had to do it twice.  Failed fibres, yarns and fabrics twice.  Yeah she was probably right.  I am pretty confident with a burn test and how to dye a protein fibre on the cheap.

I wanted to change the pattern in some way, there was going to be an exposed zip, then maybe some gem stones.  I couldn't decide.  I was going through my pinterest boards and something I had pinned months ago gave me my inspiration.

I saw this top while watching Total Divas, a show I shouldn't like but I do.  This was the best photo of that top I could find, it's not on Shop Your TV for some reason.  I call the split high low hem tuxedo tails.  And compared to an exposed zip or hand sewing gem stones, it was so easy and something I will actually feel comfortable wearing.  I really love the resulting top.  I did two muslin's.  I made the largest size first.  The first muslin was way to drappy for what I wanted, darts way to low and the armholes were too deep.  Next muslin, I sized down the side seams and did a 1" FBA raising the dart point.  Left everything else the largest size.  Raised the armholes 1/2" and added the new hemline.  Here is muslin two.

Look how pleased I am
When a muslin makes you feel this fantastic you know you are on to a good thing.  I put it on and thought it looked awesome.  The resulting top went smoothly.  I used the matte side as the good side so I can feel that super soft side next to my skin.  Used a lining weight purple silk as bias binding, because I was worried about bulk.

"She's his lobster" necklace bought off etsy several years ago.  Surprisingly you can still find it here.


  1. That's awful that your favourite teacher said that to you. He/she should have tried to help you instead of copping out like that.

  2. That's awful that your favourite teacher said that to you. He/she should have tried to help you instead of copping out like that.