Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bias Cut Butterfly Top Engineered from Border Print


I've finished my first Britex Blogger guest project! You can see it on the Britex blog.

There is a bounty of riches to be found on britexfabrics.com. Where should a newbie guest blogger begin?

As I love border prints, and I also have a soft spot for paisley fabrics, it didn't take me long to settle on this beautiful 100% viscose panel and border print from Italy. I made a bias, V-neck top using view C of Vogue 7906 (an out-of-print Vogue Basic Design) as a starting point.

You might ask (and rightfully so), "Is this fabric a panel print? Or is it a border print? Which is it?"

It's BOTH!

Generally, a border print is manufactured with the border placed along one (or both) fabric selvedges. This means that if you want the border to appear along a hem, for example, you have to cut the fabric across the grain.

In this case, they placed the border print from selvedge to selvedge, repeating it every 39", so you can cut the pattern on the grain and still have the border appear along the hem of your garment. (Aside from the 18" border, the rest of the 39" panel features a turquoise background scattered with what-I-think-are stylized leaves.)

However, if you know me at all, you know that I like the unexpected. I spent days (maybe weeks) deliberating on how to use this wonderful fabric. I would chose a design and then, days later, I'd reject that idea and go back to the drawing board. I made, and changed, my mind at least 5 times. There are so many ways you can use a border print. In fact, I've created a Pinterest board with all sorts of inspiration for borders and panels.

Fabric hanging from m front porch

I finally decided to use three panels of this fabric to make a top, placing the border along the neckline on a 30° bias angle, and matching the print at center front, center back, and the shoulders. Using a 30° bias, instead of a 45° bias, creates a deeper V-neckline and the causes the print to meet at a pleasing angle. (There is no such thing as the "bias police"! You don't have to use a 45° angle bias, so long as you are consistent and the fabric behaves well at the angle you've chosen.)

Have you ever heard of an engineered print? An engineered print, also called a placed print, uses a print strategically as a design element; the print is possibly even designed for use in a specific garment. I engineered the extra wide (18") printed border to create a symmetric "butterfly" effect. The sleeves are cut on the straight of grain with the border at the top of the sleeve cap.

Auditioning the border placement for the sleeve

Laying out one of the fronts. Just look at the size of that bust dart. ;)

Matching the print

I didn't want the solid fuschia edge near my face, so I cut the front to exclude the fuschia entirely.

Pattern matching at center front

The fuschia appears only at center back, where I quite like it.

Pattern matching at center back

I performed quite a few pattern alterations:

  • enlarged and lowered the bust darts
  • added small darts at the back neckline
  • drafted a back neck facing
  • removed the button front closure
  • narrowed the shoulders
  • slightly reshaped the armholes (a side effect of the bias)
  • shortened the sleeves
  • created a V-neckline

The length of the top, the shirt-tail hem, and the gently flared sleeve are from the original pattern.

When I cut the back pieces, I had an area at the hem that ended abruptly at the selvedge edge, due to the print matching.

So I patched it. I didn't have an exact match for the print, so I inserted a piece that was very close.

This floaty top is absolutely wonderful to wear in warm weather! Despite the fact that uses a woven fabric, has no closure, and uses darts for a closer fit, the bias has enough give that it pops on and off over the head. It skims the body but doesn't cling. It also flutters beautifully in the breeze.

I love it!

(Note: I am wearing the top with black denim pants that I made using Katherine Tilton pattern, Vogue 8837. Sadly this pattern (one of my favorites) is now out of print.)

Thanks to Britex for providing the fabric!

49 comments:

  1. Gorgeous top! I love it! I can't even see the seamlines on your CF and CB, you did an amazing job with the print matching on this.

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  2. What a lovely top - it looks really great on you, and your use and placement of the border print is amazing.

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    1. ps. Do you happen to know if there's a way to cut a circle skirt out of border print (border parallel to the selvedge) so that the border is around the hem?

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    2. I'm afraid that is not possible, Deb. You need to make a skirt that has a straight-edge hem. I do know of a lovely Burda pattern that works beautifully with a border print. Cidell has made it, very successfully, a number of times: http://missceliespants.com/2011/07/08/four-skirts-in-four-days-part-ii-burda-9-2009-121/

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    3. Thanks, I thought there might be some funky way that kind of resembled a reconstructed globe projection.... Mercator projection back into a skirt kind of thing, where the hem is the equator. Thanks for the link, that's a nice skirt. I've ended up replacing the circle skirt with a simple gathered skirt on the dress I was making, it looks pretty good (in my opinion, and hopefully my daughter will agree when she is given it tomorrow :-) )

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    4. You can dart out fabric above the border print hemline up to the waistline to get a circle (think gored skirt). You waste a lot of fabric tho

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  3. I generally admire everything you make and your exquisite attention to details. That's one thing that makes your "makes" sing. This top is *amazing*. Truly. Thanks so much for sharing your creations. - Brenda

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  4. It really shows you took the time to change your mind five times about pattern layout. stunning.

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  5. Pretty colours and beautiful work.

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  6. Fabulous. Thanks for the intricate details of the make.

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  7. I love the top and the fabric. It's fabulous

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  8. Very clever use of the print!

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  9. This has such a 70's bohemian vibe to it! Lovely and thanks for sharing the details! Love that print match on the back at the top and the bottom!!!

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  10. Lovely! Looks great on you. I agree with Carolyn--my first thought on seeing your top was "how '70s . . . in a very good way!" Great info on how you approached using the fabric to achieve your vision.

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  11. Winner-Winner--again. We seem to have a kindred spirit when it comes to tunics/tops. You (and Margy of A Fool for Fabric) and a few others continue to amaze me with skills and ideas

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  12. Your top is a winner! Thanks for giving me permission to cut a garment using a bias that is not 45 degrees. I love how you think out of the box.

    Karen

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  13. After all the dithering about what to do, you ended up with absolute perfection! It really gives credence to the concept of dithering... ;-)

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  14. I'm so impressed with your engineering on this. I had to read twice to be sure there was a seam CF and CB.

    Side note: You look great. I lost 80 lbs in 2012, so I can really appreciate the ongoing struggle in one's head space.

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  15. Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for showing us the details of your creative imagination. It's hard to believe the original fabric and the top you created are one and the same.

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  16. Wow - you did a fantastic job matching!

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  17. aren't you clever! great use of the fabric and I Love the colors on you. (not black :)

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  18. I believe this is the most flattering garment I've seen you create. It's beautiful! The way the garment moves is just lovely and the fabric itself is gorgeous. Excellent job!

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  19. So beautiful, Shams! I thought you said you couldn't rock a boho style top? You sure can, when it's beautifully shamified! ;-) I love it!

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  20. It's beautiful, really dramatic yet elegant. I love it on you.

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  21. Great looking top and such pretty fabric/panel print. I love your border print Pinterest board. As always a great job!

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  22. These colors are gorgeous on you!

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  23. Cool collections. Thanks for the great post about the fabric. Apparel Fabrics

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  24. So cute Shams! It very much appeals to my love of the 70's peasant vibe. I'm extremely impressed with your pattern matching skills. Great job!

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  25. What amazing pattern matching work. A real inspiration!

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  26. Gorgeous!
    Those are YOUR Colors...

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  27. It was so interesting to read about pattern placement, and how you worked with the print. It is a lovely piece, and the colors are gorgeous!!!

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  28. Love the Bohemian Butterfly.

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  29. This is fantastic. Great job on the pattern placement and matching skills.

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  30. Thank you for the super useful tutorial! Love the idea of the Pinterest board on borders. You've got pattern placement down!

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  31. Amazing what you did with that fabric. I especially like how you handled the fuschia.

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  32. So beautiful and perfect on you, Sharon! really flattering and pretty without being at all saccharine or twee, just very very nicely done :) i'd like to see it styled as a 'cocktail' outfit, that would be so fun too!

    "Just look at the size of that bust dart." oy, i wish i was in a position to be shocked! ;) The size of that dart reminds me of why i like to 'spread it around', so sprinkling a bit of the dart at center front, waist, etc. But your decisions here were spot on, i love everything about the print placement and shape of this blouse and it's also fun to see someone else fussing about all this as much as i do. altho it doesn't seem to affect your productivity the way it does mine, haha!!

    It's also great to see someone who's 'big up top' make design choices which usually get 'ruled out' as emphasizing the bust/shoulders (in this and your last garment). It goes to show that 1) you have to consider the garment as a whole and other factors may tone this down 2) it's boring for everyone to try to look the same and 3) people can tell anyways how you're shaped!

    Have fun with all that walking and take care, steph

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  33. Amazing...a work of art and it looks beautiful on you!!!

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  34. Oh yes! Such clever use of the border print and a wonderful post on such a complex project. The finished top looks gorgeous on you.

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  35. Brilliant! Just wonderfully "engineered" and made!

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  36. brilliant. just brilliant. amazing work.

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  37. The fabric, it is all about the fabric! You made it sing.

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  38. Amazing pattern matching! It is a perfect top for you.

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  39. Oh! Wow! This is quite a lesson on placement and motif matching!

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  40. Your skills are just amazing. Not only the ability to actually construct (and your constructions skills are awesome) but also being able to see what the fabric could become. Stunning.

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  41. I'm so inspired by this top.

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