Saturday, October 20, 2012

Matrix Top

This top started with a sample of a pleated pocket that Diane Ericson shared at DOL. I loved it. In her version, the background fabric was "built up" around the pocket, similar to the center of a log cabin quilt block, except framed with background fabric.

I wanted to use the same idea of a pleated pocket, but to attach it to the background fabric like a regular patch pocket. I made three sample pockets before I was happy with the result. I experimented to figure out how to minimize bulk while retaining the pleats - a challenge in this substantial fabric. I used a single thickness of the fabric - the top edge of the pocket is the fabric selvege.

The futuristic "matrix" print is a 100% woven rayon twill from Emma One Sock. It is amazingly soft, drapey and has a "brushed" surface. The companion fabric is a solid black 100% rayon faille that I acquired from my friend Heather N, who recently did some destashing.

This pattern is quickly becoming my favorite TNT for woven fabrics - it's an OOP Adri pattern from Vogue, used most recently for my artist smock. (And, yes, I did use my smock at DOL!) For this version, I made these changes:

  • Lengthened to fingertip length and created side slits.
  • Used the same v-neck I had used for the "casually elegant" jacket, but this time I drafted facings, since I used bias binding for that jacket.
  • The top has an asymmetric closing. I used black snap tape with white snaps for the closure. The snap tape is inserted into the right front edge between the outside and the facing, similar to a piping. (An idea from Diane E.)
  • I rolled the solid black facing to the outside far enough to create the effect of a tiny, 1/16" piping. (Another idea from Diane.)
  • I bought less yardage than usual, which is something Diane suggests to encourage a more creative approach. Because of this, I had to piece the sleeves. I decided to create a vertical insert in the sleeves. I put pleats in the sleeve inserts to echo the pleats on the pocket.
  • The sleeves 3/4 length and are edged with more of the snap tape.
  • I found two tiny holes in the fabric. I patched them with pieces of the fabric and frayed the edges.

There is a lot going on in this top, and it's a bit hard to see the detail because of the dark print, but I enjoy the subtle effect.

Constructing the pocket.
Creating the pleated sleeve insert.
One of the completed sleeves.
The snap tape is inserted into the right front between the garment edge and the facing.
One of the tiny holes that I covered with a self patch.
Completed patch.
The completed pocket with the other tiny patch above.