Category Archives: new skills

New project: Silk charmeuse bias cut cowl top


I made a new silk top, using some beautiful silk charmeuse I got at Fabricker, and some awesome stretch mesh lining I bought at TexStyles.

I haven’t hemmed it yet, because it’s bias-cut, meaning I have to let it hang overnight. I’m not sure how long I’ll make it yet.. probably a little longer than hip length. In the photo above, I’ve cinched the waist with some scrap silk that I’m thinking of making an obi/cummerbund with… I haven’t decided yet whether I like that better than the elastic gathering I’m supposed to do on the sides. I’ll decide that later 🙂

This was a new skill set for me. A slithery silk mounted on a stable knit that supports the drapes in an awesome way, and serves as a lining, too. It’s kind of cool because you sew the silk to the mesh, then flip the whole thing inside out and you’ve got the 2 halves of the blouse ready to stitch together, and all the seams are already encased in the lining. Neat!

I did a really hideous job on the grading and full bust adjustment, but the bias cut is pretty forgiving, so you can’t really tell (or I’m telling myself that, anyway)! I’ll most likely wear this just as I am now… black skirt, maybe a black cardi on top. I really need to get a long string of jet beads, too. Yay, fun with sewing!

Fabric: White silk charmeuse with black flower silhouettes ($18 yd, 2.33 yds) . White stretch mesh ($6)
Time: Oh all the time in this top is in the redrafting of the pattern! That took a whole weekend! The sewing itself once the pieces were cut only took about 3 hours.
Make again? Oh definitely. Might even skip the lining and make it out of a knit next time. I’m a sucker for cowls.

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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in creations, new skills


Charmeuse sencha, deconstructed

Thank you so much for all your lovely compliments on my Sencha blouse! As promised, here’s a photo post detailing all the steps… well, most of them, anyway 🙂 It’s hard to remember to stop and photograph when you really get going!


This is going to be a pretty picture heavy post, so let’s put it behind a fold, shall we? All the photos are up on Flickr, so if you want to just browse through those, click here. Hopefully all the photos will show up.. I had to rotate a few and that caused them to be “temporarily unavailable”…but if you’re having trouble, go check them out on Flickr!

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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in creations, new skills


Sencha: Finished!

I finished my silk top! What do you think?


I learned so much on this project! I’ve got lots of photos to share, but here are my big take aways from this project.

Sewing with silk is not hard.

My new sewing machine is awesome.

Organdy interfacing is pretty cool.

Blind hemming really requires the same color thread. I only have black and white silk thread, so I made do, but I might re-do it some day.

Fastenings are not always necessary.

I’m sure I’ll remember more when I go through the photos!

I’ll be wearing this to my friend’s puppet show tonight… It’s an adult show called Riddley Walker, put on by our awesome local puppet troupe, Trouble Puppet.

I’m definitely ready to get into trouble!



Posted by on October 14, 2011 in creations, fabric, new skills



You guys? Sewing with silk is actually coming pretty easily to me!


I don’t want to show pics yet, but I’m almost done with my Sencha blouse…

Promise I’ll update tomorrow!

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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in creations, fabric, new skills


OMG I have just cut into the silk!

So far, I’ve only put in tailors tacks and cut it out with my rotary cutter…

What I’m really scared of is putting the bits together… Will they play well with feed dogs??

More coming soon!


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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in fabric, new skills



In anticipation of sewing my Sencha blouse (another Colette!) I steeled my nerves and bought some silk charmeuse.

Sarai at Colette has spoken so eloquently about working with silk, that she makes the prewash sound almost easy!

So I decided it was time to try something challenging…


This came in the mail a few weeks ago, and after washing two swatches, I convinced myself that I would not, indeed, burst into flames for washing silk in my washing machine*.

So I did.

And I line dried it. Outside. Next to a splintery wooden fence.

Ha Universe! Take that!

It worked so well, that I ordered two more colors… This time from ThunderLily because their colors were so gorgeous… these are designer remnants, I believe.

Be still my heart!



*I have a front loader, which I set on the silk/wool setting, added a small amount of wool/silk safe soap (I hear baby shampoo works, too) and let ‘er rip. Then I took the silk outside on a cloudy day and hung it from the line folded over.

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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in new skills, prep


I’ve been too busy to blog!

Oh dear friends, it’s been a busy sewing month of September! I’ve had a rough time trying to stop and blog what I’ve been up to! A lot of the projects I’ve been working on have been in muslin, rather than finished fabrics, so I guess I wasn’t as excited to show you the results 🙂

All except this one…


I’ll be catching you up on all my projects over the next few days, but here’s a quickie preview!

During the month of September, I…

  • Visited a new sewing store in town, Common Thread
  • Dropped my vintage Bernina off at the store for a much-needed tune-up
  • Bought a bucketload of patterns, many from Colette!
  • Bit the bullet and bought my first silk charmeuse…and then washed it! A terrifying process that worked better than I could have dreamed!
  • Bought a new sewing machine… introductions will be made later
  • Learned how to grade a pattern
  • Learned how to modify a neckline
  • Started watching Project Runway… I’m not sure I’m happy about it, either. More on this to come.
  • Started working with voile for the first time
  • Made an adorable shirt out of lace + knit…on a whim! My first time working with either and it was so rewarding! (see above)
  • Modified my dress form so that it actually matches my own measurements…what a difference!

I’ll also confess that it’s been busy at work, and here at Maison du Chat… but October marks the beginning of fall here in Texas, and I’m so inspired by my successes that I can’t wait to finish some of my projects and share them with you!

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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Field Trip, new skills, planning, Rookie Mistakes, shopping