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Gemma’s Donny Top

I always say one of the best things about receiving a subscription box is getting the chance to try fabrics you might not necessarily reach for, and giving yourself a bit of a challenge. This month’s box was certainly a double whammy of both for me, and I enjoyed how it turned out!

When I knew the fabric was going to be a slinky chiffon I was apprehensive, as I had never actually sewn with this fabric before. The closest I’ve gotten is silk, and that certainly was a wild ride, full of learning curves and a really slow sew. I’m not the most patient of people, so having to slow down to make something I can usually whip up in a couple of hours is painful for me! But the print of this fabric is so gorgeous that I knew it would be worth it, so I dove head first into my make!

As I knew it would be a tricky fabric for me to work with, I wanted something nice and simple – also only having 1m was a big consideration! My instinct was initially an Ogden cami, which I haven’t actually made in a while. But if I’m going to challenge myself I wanted something with a little more substance, and thought about a blouse. However I drew the line at attempting buttonholes on such a fabric, and so the Donny Shirt by Friday Patten Company was the perfect choice! If you haven’t come across this pattern yet then you really need to check it out: a boxy pull-over shirt, it doesn’t have any fastenings and can be made in nearly every kind of fabric, so a true workhorse pattern.

The fabric is slightly sheer, fine and very movable, so I needed all the patience when cutting out. I used a lot of weights, a rotary cutter and tried my best not to move the pieces too much. I used a fresh, sharps needle, and fresh pins too, although I had to go very carefully with these as I didn’t want to snag the fabric. 

Getting the pieces out of 1m was a test of my excellent pattern tetris skills – I did have to cut the collar pieces not on the fold and join them, but this sacrifice was one I don’t mind making, as luckily the print is non-directional and isn’t noticeable.

You definitely need to finish your seams as it did fray, and on reflection I wish I had gone all out and actually French seamed the garment, as it would have given a nicer finish. 

It definitely was a tricky, slow sew: usually I can whip up one of these tops made in cotton in a couple of hours, but this took me the best part of the whole afternoon. For someone with no patience it really was a test, but so glad I preserved as once finished I absolutely love it! I think the pattern choice was perfect for this fabric and is such a great looking top – fits the ‘jeans and nice top’ category for date night outfits! 

Would I consider sewing with chiffon again after this make? Perhaps, but I’ll take a little break first, however I’m so glad I got to give this a try, another successful subscription box challenge I think!