Silk Training Shirt

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When the mom I nanny for showed me this quirky, silk fabric she recently bought, I couldn’t resist picking up some myself. At Fabric Outlet, it’s fifty-percent-off $20/yard.

Total cost: 1.5yd (15) + blue thread/black bias tape (~5) = $20

I decided a loose-fitting t-shirt top would complement the bold, boxer pattern.  I recently purchased a loose-fitting silk dress on-sale at Anthropologie for my birthday, so I used the upper half of dress as a template for my top.  This was my first attempt at sewing silk, so not all my seams are perfect (tip: use a walking foot to keep the silk from sliding around too much) but they look nice enough to an untrained eye. Although I made this without taking pictures of the process, it’s fairly easy, so I’m going to call it a tutorial.  Here it is:

The Method

  • Cut out two equal rectangles of fabric.  Cut the neckhole out of each.  These can be the same, or you can make the front a little deeper like I did.
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  • With right sides facing, sew your shoulder seams together (1, in image).
  • Turn wrong sides in, press and hem the bottom of each side of the shirt (2).
  • Press and hem the sides of your shirt (3).
  • Now, with right sides out, top-stitch along the hem (4), starting from the bottom and sewing up until the point where you want your sleeves to be open.  (I understand this may not be a conventional way to attach your two sides, as it results in a sort of inside-0ut-looking flap on the outside of the garment, but the dress I was copying was assembled like this and I liked the way it looked.)
  • And finally, apply bias tape to the neckline (5). I used single-fold bias tape, which you first open and sew to the outside of the garment.  Then, you fold it to the inside of the garment (so none will show on the outside) and stitch it in place, resulting in a nice hem on the outside.

Done!  If this seems too tricky, I’ll confess that this was only the third piece of clothing I’ve sewn from scratch and my very first top.  If you have some basic sewing skills, the loose and boxy fit of this top makes this definitely do-able for a beginner.

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  1. What a pretty top!! I love the loose fit and the simple shape! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-loose-fitting-short-sleeved-boxy-blouse/2010/06/27/

    –Anne

  2. Thanks for the feature Anne. You’re the best!

  3. this is a lovely top! :) thanks for sharing!

  4. That is so pretty! How perfect for summer.

  1. June 27th, 2010

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