Tag Archives: orla top

Orla in chiffon

Way back when I made my first Orla top, fresh from Tilly and the Buttons, I imagined how it could be in a chiffon.  I am a huge chiffon fangirl- pick the right design – I usually go for polka dots (Link to my Sarah shirt, Simplicity 2154) or vintage florals (link to my anti-climax top’ Butterick 3082) – & it can be conjured up into the most special looking of tops, suitable for dressing up or down.  I mean it is ethereal, willo-the-wisp type fabric, yet it has all the benefits of a polyester – easy care & easy wear.  I must sound like a broken record, but I know that making something that can be easy care easy wear (ie no ironing) extends the usefulness & wear of this garment exponentially in the badger wardrobe of lazy style. 

orla

Let me reveal to you just how much I wear my chiffon tops mentioned above.  My Sarah shirt, barely a month old has been worn weekly – particularly underneath a grey v neck sloppy jumper & my grey ultimate pencil skirt.  This is the most cosy of outfits & has seen me through various occasions – going to the theatre, going to a kind of informal job interview, looking a bit country chic at home & also going to see my very first 20 piece ‘Big Band’.  My my anti-climax top’ (read the link to find out why it has that name) is a semi smart & going out stalwart.  I wear it with an office skirt, tucked in with cardi when needed.  I wear it untucked with jeans & my faux suede jacket to gigs, or same top combo with a denim skirt.  The secret for me is the retro styling matched with the retro floral.  Sometimes there is a place for a simple blouse that has a reasonably high neck.  It sits at just the right level not to be uncomfortable & strangling.  Just the last time I wore it, I was complimented (by a bloke- for real!) on how nice my top was.

orla top  

I have bought my chiffon at various times from the Birmingham Rag Market, & after using this piece, have only one more length left.  It ‘s red & floral is likely to be a So Over It Pussy Bow blouse in case you are wondering …watch this space…

orla (4)

So the Orla top, by Tilly and the Buttons, has joined the wearable & desirable chiffon league in my wardrobe.  Without the collar it has a similar neckline to my anticlimax top- also having those lovely neck darts (I adore neck darts, they always seem to work so well on me & get such a snappy fit!). 

orla top (3)

Remember Orla also has the suavest set of bodice darts ever – back darts plus curved French darts in the bodice front.  They might be showing up just that little bit more in chiffon – great excuse for tidy seams & finishing.  Speaking of which, I sewed all seams as French seams- both because chiffon can fray & produce irritating whiskers but also because the seam finishing would potentially show through the garment’s sheerness.   I also took advantage of my overlocker for sewing the first part of the French seam as this trims off all of those pesky whiskers to create a lovely even thin seam for enclosing inside the second part of the French seam.

What I also envisaged when I first made my Orla in chiffon decree, was that I would change the back opening from the exposed zipper to a single button opening – keeping the back as one piece if I could.  Working slightly on the fly, after I had cut out most of the pieces, including the single back piece, I had to design the button opening.  As a design feature, I thought a nice keyhole opening would be cute & also be the simplest to manage on a single back bodice cut on the fold.  I redrafted the back facing to be cut on the fold with a circular hole in the centre.  I made a rouleau loop to pin into place between facing & bodice before sewing. I did not cut the back bodice keyhole until after I had sewn the facing to the back bodice, thus using the new facing as the template. 

orla top

Everything else was as per Tilly’s clear & beautifully photographed instructions.  I do like the hem facings for such a shaped hem as this – it really makes for a satisfying solid feeling finish.

orla and circle skirt 

So I was able to pair this top with my easy black circle skirt for the special birthday party I told you about.  Wearabilty of chiffon is enhanced with an under layer!  It would be too transparent to wear without the defence of a camisole or vest.  Not having a black camisole or strappy vest & not wanting to rely on my only black slip, I hastened to make a Savannah camisole vest, a Seamwork pattern, out of black tricot. 

savannah

I thought about embellishing it with lace, but did not have enough black stretch lace in my stash.  Besides, something like this that will be a little on show will be best plain.  Classier.  Savannah can be made from woven fabrics cut on the bias. 

I figured that using a stretch fabric I could get away with cutting it straight grain, which is what I did.  I used my twin needle for sewing any of the horizontal seams- the hem & the top edges.  Side seams were sewn using my overlocker.  I made straps out of folded fold over elastic which I also stitched using my twin needle.  By far the fiddliest stage is sorting out the straps, but all in all a perfect make.  I’m very pleased with the end result & the fit is more roomy than SoZo’s camisole vest (which I had also considered, knowing what a great pattern that is).  The fit, in this instance, was what I was after as in a manmade fabric like this, gives a bit more breathing space.

orla and circle skirt

Wearing the three together, predominantly three black garments, did make me think about colour.  It has been a while since I have made black clothes.  But strangely enough, it is still so wearable, despite thinking that navy is the new black, somehow, there is always black, isn’t there?   

Hello Orla!

Well hello again!  This will mainly be a photographic post showing the Orla top I helped test for Tilly and the Buttons, the latest in the collection.  Have you seen it yet?

orla

It is actually a very useful and cute style – one that I may have dismissed, thinking that it might not be my usual shape, but having made it, I have found that i have been wearing it a lot.

orla top

Everyone needs a matching brolly!

It can be an over the top of your skinnies (or in my case my navy Ultimate trousers is outfit of choice)- or it is very easily tucked in.  It has sleeve options and snowdrop collar/ no collar options too with an exposed zip at the back.

orla top

It’s shaped very nicely with amazing eye poppingly adorable curved French darts, and the shaped hemline seriously covers your buns in a flattering way because of the shaping.  This is not a ‘tunic’ but a shift top & there is I reckon a difference in the silhouette.

orla top

I know there were a few changes made to the final pattern so don’t want to mislead you in anyway, and I will mention them as I go, but there were not any fitting issues for me to speak of.

orla

Look at that curved hemline!

Yes, I actually made a toile!  Out of an old bedsheet as I wasn’t sure whether I needed to do an SBA, and I didn’t in the tester version.  That was very pleasing to me 🙂  so I bought some cotton from my local fabric shop- Bath’s Sewing Studio.  I love it there.  I chose this awesome turquoise polka dot (& also some fabric to make even more floral shirts for the special men in my life for gifts).  I was also able to buy the edgy (for me) metal toothed zip for the exposed zip at the back.

orla top

I have not really sewn exposed zips so this was  a learning for me, & to assuage any feelings of concern, Tilly’s instructions of course guide you through the process smoothly with plenty of glorious technicolour photos.

orla top

 

Sorry, leaping ahead a bit there.  Yes, fabric and notions chosen, I made the long sleeved collared version as I could smell autumn coming.  There has apparently been a bit more room drafted in the sleeves since I made this tester version.  And the French darts in the front may have been lowered slightly too.

orla top

There is some pretty pleating at the sleeve cap with gathers.

orla top

And the reason that the curved hem sits so nicely is because it has a facing.

orla top

Hmm, I do like this a lot and can imagine it would look lovely in some chiffon (of which I have a few options in my stash – in storage at present) but what about a pretty way to show off some Liberty, or a voile or how about a speckly viscose? Or if I went for a solid  I would be tempted by Swiss dot – lots of colours at the Fabric Godmother…And I have just spied this silk chiffon (rather a treat but love the florals) and think that it could work- without the collar though?  What do you think?  And do you know what?  I might miss out the exposed zip & make it with a smaller back opening  a loop & button at the neck.  That would work for me too.

orla top

Showing the facing at the back of the zip- OK might not be 100% spot on, but as a first attempt it’s pretty tidy.  Oh yes, this deserved a label too 😉