Off the Shoulder Top

DSCN1597When sewing, do you start with the fabric or with the pattern?

That is a question any seamstress is faced with frequently.  The answer varies every time.  At least for me it does.  If a mega block of free time somehow comes my way and I decide I want to use it to work on a sewing project I can start by doing one of two things.

I can open my computer and click through hundreds of patterns for shirts, dresses, skirts, and pants until I see an item I want or need in my closet.  (Or drive to Joanne’s Fabrics and look through actual pattern books). Then I could match the selected pattern with a fabric that works with it.

The other option involves wandering through aisles and aisles of different types of materials until one speaks to me.  And by that, I mean I look at it and either fall in love with the appearance or feel of the fabric or I know exactly what to make with it.  This is a riskier way to go as one can often end up purchasing piles of fabric that they actually have no idea what to do with.  Contrary to common belief, sewing is not cheap so ending up with unused fabric is a sad thing.  Of course another reason selecting the fabric first is a less sure way to go is that a lot of the time, I find there aren’t really any good or exciting fabrics at the store and I end up disappoited.  Joanne’s Fabrics is about the only close and affordable place to purchase fabrics other than online.  While Joanne’s is slowly, slowly improving on its merchandise, the ratio of rayon, knits, and linens to stiff cottons is sadly disproportionate.  What type of fabric is mainly used at all the top clothing stores?  Rayons, knits, linens, and sheers.  So yes, Joanne’s Fabrics is a little slow on the uptake for trends and requires much patience, but I can’t hate on the store too much as I have gotten some beautiful pieces from them at good prices.

In fact, the fabric used for the top in this post was discovered during one of my aimless wanderings through Joanne’s Fabrics a week or two ago.  I hadn’t been there in a while so I was curiously checking inventory, happily noting the increase in trendy rayon, when I came across this gorgeous rayon.   The intense color really struck me and I knew instantly what I wanted to make with it.

DSCN1580    Lucky for me, my mom is at that pro level where I can describe what I am picturing and she can make it whether or not there is a pattern that meets my specific description. With many adjustments, she turned McCall’s pattern number 6558 into the exact top I was picturing.  My mother is very useful.  And I love her, of course.

DSCN1566 (2)

I can’t get over how beautiful and unique the fabric is. It has that magical quality of looking equally good paired with black as it does paired with white. Paired with this velvet black skater’s skirt and kind of intense black choker that I got at a thrift store and never actually wore, it has a very formal feel.

DSCN1663 (2)Wearing it with these wide legged, white linen pants (also a thrift store purchase) gives it a much more casual, almost beachy feel.

So in summary, I absolutely love everything about this shirt.

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