This week in honor of the Oscars Susi challenged us to create something inspired by a movie. I knew right away that I wanted to sew myself a top based on the beautiful Regency style dresses in the Emma movies.
Emma is not my favorite of the Austen movies, or books for that matter, but every time I see with the Masterpiece Classics or Hollywood version I’m stuck by the beauty of the costuming. Last time, I promised myself I would make a top at some point based on them & this was the perfect chance.
My original plan was to try revamping a man’s x-large t-shirt into an empire waisted top. So, I got to cutting up one of Matt’s old t-shirts. My plan was to trim the neckline & sleeves with bias tape & then make a sash out of some stash fabric. I think it would have worked except, the sleeve holes were just too long & without a serger I really couldn’t sew them like I wanted. I still think its a good idea that I’ll maybe address at another time especially since I know how to do the top now.
Like every good Austen heroine I always have a bit of needlework at hand to keep me busy.
In the end, I used a pattern, Simplicity 3750, I couldn’t have found on that was more spot on to the look I wanted. For the the fabric I ended up using a quilting cotton called Cottage Rose (seriously could the name sound more perfect for an Austen inspired top?). The sash is in a cream color with a small tone on tone pattern of leaves, it reminded me of a muslin in color. I was worried the fabric might be a little heavy for the pattern but, since the top is not lined at all I think I’m glad for the slightly heavier fabric. I ended up doing a few tweaks to the pattern to make the sash fit me in the right place. I also added some slits on either side at the bottom which I think makes it lie nicer when sitting down. Other than that, I left out some bias tape trim the pattern called for & did some nice double top stitching instead around the neckline & armholes. Now I have a sweet little summer top perfect for garden parties & picnics on Box Hill.
© 2005 – 2011 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish