I always enjoy watching Anna Sui’s fashion shows. Her designs are playful and fun but not toddler like and twee. The fabrics she uses are usually prints and are often mixed together in interesting ways. When I saw this “Famous Designer Conversational Satin Faced Silk Chiffon” on Moodfabrics.com, I was pretty sure it was hers even though it wasn’t titled as such. I just adored the cats sitting on chairs, the red apples, the little scrolled frames and the texture, and snapped some up a few months back thinking it would certainly sell out quickly. (There is only a little left as of this writing. If you like it I would purchase some quickly.) When it arrived in the mail, the selvages were printed with her name, so I had been right about it’s origins.
I knew I wanted a blouse of some sort and I knew it had to be a simple
design as to not cut up the print too much. Long sleeve printed blouses
have a way of looking like something my grandma would wear, so I opted
for a sleeveless version. I wanted it to be playful and fun to honor
Anna’s aesthetic and chose Butterick 6185.
This is kind of a sleeper of a pattern IMO. The envelope has all the
garments rendered in fun colors and prints, but they’re just
elastic-waisted separates and an unlined jacket, which I am not into.
(No offense if you are.) However, the simple V-neck blouse or dress with
the double collar I found super cute. I briefly thought about doing the
under collar of my blouse in white but dismissed it for possibly
looking too young.
The collar was cut from some black wool crepe left over from this dress
and is also from Mood but has long since sold out. Ideally I would have
used a lighter cotton-type fabric since this is a warm weather top, but
I didn’t have enough of any on hand and those collars are fabric hogs. I
find silk rather warm anyway and don’t wear it too much in the summer,
so will probably wear this in spring or fall or when I plan to be mostly
indoors. I pre-washed both the print fabric and the lining to make them
better fit into my wash-and-wear lifestyle. As long as I don’t forget
to drip dry my blouse and shrink the collars in the dryer, it should be
I cut a size 12 through the shoulders and a size 10 from the bust down
and got a really good fit. The envelope picture looked a little strange
around the front armholes and for me was drafted with too much fabric in
that area. I used another sleeveless shirt pattern to guide me while
carving out the front armhole and cutting the shoulders in a good 1
inch. I’ve started really examining pattern envelope pictures for
possible issues I may have. It’s a good habit to get into to avoid
surprises. That or make a muslin of course.
I like the slightly cropped nature of this top, but after viewing these
pictures I don’t think it looks very good proportionally with pants on
my body. It’s a little short. Keep that in mind if you have a long torso
like I do. If I make this again to wear with pants I will lengthen it 2
inches. This one I will wear with skirts. There is a CB seam down the
back and I tried to cut the fabric to look as pleasing as possible at
that seam. It’s a good thing I had some extra fabric because the first
backs I cut had some awful twinning.
This collar was fun and easy to do and is sandwiched in between the
print and the lining. There is a facing included with the pattern that I
only used to cut interfacing for the lining with. If a lining is not
needed for decency, I would probably use some bias tape or a bias
binding to finish off the neckline. I always like to avoid facings if at
all possible. I put a dab of Fraycheck right at the center of the V to
avoid any threads raveling out.
When you look closely at this fabric you can see some textural leaf
elements. Those are the sheer bits of this fabric and are really very
cool. Since the collar needed a bit more support then just a thin
chiffon to hold it up, I decided to line it. The lining I added is a black stretch silk georgette
also from Mood. It has a lovely amount of stretch to it that I bought
for another project but opted to use for this instead. It did dull a
little when washed but I didn’t mind since I was using it for lining.
Instead of making the 5/8″ narrow hem at the armhole (anyone else HATE
the look of that?!), I finished them off with some bias bindings cut
from the lining fabric.
I sewed all the seams but the neckline with French seams. Whenever I use
that type of finish on lined garments, I make sure to press the seams
in opposite directions to avoid bulk. The hemline was a simple double
fold narrow hem that was actually really trying and took a whole evening
I like most of the stuff I make but I am completely smitten with this
blouse. It turned out looking exactly like what I had in my mind’s eye
and that’s always so rewarding. Also, I have another silk blouse to add
to my collection! There’s no such thing as too many silk blouses in my
Note: All of these fabrics were purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.