There are so many brilliant blogs online, and some many tallented makers, more often than not, I want to ditch what I am making and make what they have shown, and this happened after I saw the Issey Miyake top some time ago on Handmade by Carolyn.. The fact that it wears well tucked in and out, was a bonus, and it had an effortless quality about it. I wasn’t sure it it would suit me, but it had such a simple look, I figured it was worth a go.
I made the blue top some time ago, It was an inexpensive polyester, and has a peach-skin finish. I top stitched the folds, as in Carolyn’s blog, and while it was tedious, it is also very practical. It launders a dream, the top photographed on mannequin is just out of laundry with no ironing. It is incredibly comfortable to wear (and I would agree with Carolyn comment of it looking very ‘arty’), and I have worn it a lot, and thought it could be good to try and make up another, my sister had commented that the front opening would look better if the opening was not as low down, and I also had the tension a bit tight on the top stitched pleats.
When I re-read the post from Carolyn’s blog, and read the comments, one comment mentioned permanent pleating and showed a photo of her own pleating (which looked amazing), so I decided I would make another one with no top stitch in silk (bit risky on silk as it seems its not the easiest to perma-pleat)
I had a purple silk dress to refashion. Its a dress I got years ago, and haven’t worn for a long time, so thought it would make a good candidate for another top.Basically it is a pinafore style dress with soft pleats at top and each side of the dress was the exact amount of fabric I needed for top!
I made the purple top, hemmed, and put the front and back opening on each side, basted the pleats and pressed them (see below), I bar-tacked the pleats and did the side seams, the shoulder seam, and removed the basting. The pleats move so beautifully and the fall of the pleats work so well, and really shows the fabric at it’s best. I am now trying to find an excuse to make another polyester top with permanent pleats, as in the ‘pleat test’ this came up the best.
The solution I used is about 50:50 vinegar to water. After basting, I spritzed the silk well, put a press cloth over and spritzed that, and pressed till dry, and repeated. Both pieces were done flat on a folded duvet cover on the kitchen table, and both pieces were left for a few hours resting after pressing. I did a quick press the following day on a polyester scrap and silk scrap – they got half the treatment of the silk and then only rested for 10 minutes before being gently hand washed . The polyester held the crease very well (i gave a final press at a high temperature), the silk not so well, but the crease marks could be seen, which meant they could be placed back while the silk was damp. (As I tend to spot clean/hand wash and steam clean silk – bought a whirlpool steam clean unit years ago, probably indulgent at the time, but after having it for more than 10 years, its brilliant – I figure the purple top should be easy enough to maintain?