You´ve had a sneak peak of this shirt, but now I´ll show you some details. It took me quite a while to get to this endresult. First I was actually going for this shirt. I tried to figure out the pattern and it sort of almost worked, but the fabric choice wasn´t quite right. Turns out you can't just replace a cashmere and silk blend with 5 euro jersey. (Who knew? Probably lots of people.) So then I had a shirt that was cut out for a drapey cowl neck, but I actually didn´t want a cowl neck shirt. So what to do with all this extra fabric in the middle? I considered a few options (Pintucks? A knot? Pleats?) until I remembered a friend who was planning to smock the back of a shirt into a V shape. You need twice as much fabric for smocking as you want the end result to be, and smocking was on my 'techniques to try'- list anyway. The perfect choice!
I like that it is so wide, the fabric is thin jersey so it still shows your figure. I made the cowl by slicing the pattern (Renfrew) in half and creating a V shape in the middle. This creates extra fabric down to the hem. I figured this out by looking at the shirt that I started to make. You can see the extra fabric there too. In my first muslin I only slice the top part in half, so the bottom half would still be sort of fitted.
The tears involved in the top had to do with the neck and sleeve bindings. I had sewn them in without stretching the binding. They looked horrible, the neckline wrinkling at the curve and the sleeves sticking out. I couldn't figure out how this worked. I could have just looked it up, but in the end I figured it out through some logical thinking. Why take the easy way if you can figure it out yourself, eh? (Right, next time I'll save me some frustration and lost hours picking seams and look these things up. Duh!) Anyway, they look pretty much OK now. The smocking is a little messy in the corner, I still have to fix that. I've listed two tutorials for smocking here, in case you want to try it. Smocking seems like an oldfashioned technique to me, but maybe that's just because my grandmother made me a smocked dress when I was 3. I love the structured effect though, it makes it look interesting yet it could still count as a fairly basic top. And it does draw some attention, I've seen several peoples' eyes wander in this direction for longer than usual. Which was not exactly the intention, but a logical consequence come to think of it. ("Stacked Triforce Triangles" said a certain someone. I guess we all have our distinct frame of reference :)) What are your thoughts, would you try it? Do you consider it modern or oldfashioned?