You know fall is around the corner when the kids return to school. Even though the days can still be warm and balmy, the early mornings and evenings are cooler, sometimes requiring a jacket or light sweater. Since Tessuti is my current go-to company, I was intrigued by this little number. What caught my attention in particular was the raw edge binding around the neck, hem and sleeve edges.
The Silva Shirt Jacket is described as:
… relaxed, collarless style can be worn as either a jacket or shirt. It features three quarter length sleeves, a curved hem with raw edge binding on neck, hem and sleeve edges that over time creates a fringed detail. The Silva Shirt Jacket has been designed to fit neatly across the shoulders giving it a slim and flattering fit. A perfect trans-seasonal garment, it’s best made up in linen, light weight wool crepe or wool gauze, silk crepe de chine and silk double georgette. Not suitable for stiff, thick or jersey fabrics.
The Tessuti website shows this garment made up in what looks like crinkle linen of which Gala has 2 different weights – the crinkle linen and the crinkle linen gauze. I decided to try the Silva in a grey (a neutral alternative to black) crinkle linen gauze. As per the measurements on the sizing chart, I made the size 16.
Since I launder my garments (I prefer not to dryclean), I washed and dried my fabric. I am often asked how to treat the texture in the fabric especially since the texture becomes more pronounced after laundering. I always say, “Have the fabric as you mean to have the finished garment. If you want texture in your finished garment, then don’t press the fabric before cutting out your pattern.” If anything, I may lightly press out any wrinkles that are not part of the texture. Most of these crinkle fabrics seem to become more tightly crinkled near the selvedge, so I try to even out the texture so it approximates the rest of the fabric.
The cutting out and putting together the body of this garment was pretty simple. I did use a wash away stabilizer (Tessuti lists vilene which is a tear away) for the seams. This way I knew the seams were not going to grow as I sewed. When pressing your seams flat, try not the touch the wash away stabilizer with a hot iron as the product could stick to your iron.
One point I did have to consider was how to interface the front facing for the buttons and button holes. Was I going to use a fusible interfacing? If so, do I press the facing fabric flat? Given the sheerness of the fabric, do I use a black fusible interfacing and have it shadow the front of the garment?
Heeding my own advice of go as you intend to finish, I decided to use a sew in interfacing of beige silk organza. The fabric texture is unaffected and the colour of the organza is unobtrusive so as not to shadow through to the front of the garment.
Cutting out the bias strips for the trim was another point for reflection. Since the strips are quite narrow (2cm wide or 7/8″) I found it difficult to get consistent widths using scissors. Instead I used a rotary cutter and cutting mat. I also used flat head pins so I could use a ruler to get straight edges.
Part of the construction of adding the bias strips involves ironing. Yes, you will flatten out the texture and possibly give yourself a wavy edge, but once you wash the finished garment, the texture returns.
And here is the finished garment. Note the fringe like edge of the washed bias trim. This goes in the KEEP pile for me!