Sunday, August 08, 2010

Handkerchief hems and side drapes - Vogue 8651

Handkerchief hems and side drapes. You either love 'em or hate 'em.

I'm in the love 'em camp.

Oh I'll admit that I wasn't at first. I found them a bit odd looking.

Until I purchased a top with that hemline treatment. It's one of the most flattering knit tops I own. And trendy. Especially considering the fact that the entire neckline is embellished with a zipper. Two trends in one. That's why I'm wearing the heck out of it this season. I doubt the dual zipper neckline/handkerchief side drape hem trend can be worn for too long.

Anyway, soon after purchasing above mentioned top, Vogue released a pattern for a knit top (number 8651) with a handkerchief hem. Perfect. Now I could sew another one to kick around in.

Except when I was shopping with my daughter she found a top like this one that she really liked but it was sleeveless and she prefers some type of sleeve. Mom to the rescue! I quickly offered to sew one for her knowing I had both fabric and pattern waiting for me at home. Hey, it's not too often I get to sew for my girl any more...

I pulled out a wonderfully drapey red (because my daughter looks gorgeous in red) RPL knit (probably from Fabric Mart) and got to work. With 1/4 yard less of fabric than the top required I ended up shortening the tunic quite a few inches. Which actually works out well as my daughter is not exactly on the tall side. It will be a better length for her this way.

This is another pattern accurately rated "very easy". It took about 2 to 2-1/2 hours from cutting out the pieces to sewing the hem. The only thing I changed was to add clear elastic to the scooped neckline for stability. To do that I serged clear elastic to the wrong side, turned the edge inside and topstitched in place.

There's only three pattern pieces - a front, a back, a sleeve - so of course it's simple. And don't' bother sewing the sleeves in the round as instructed. Sew them in flat and then sew the side seams. It's much easier that way.

Here's a shot of the top flat so you can see the interesting pattern piece.

This top has a 1" hem, complete with mitered corners (using the technique I blogged about here).

What is not obvious from the pattern drawings or description is that the front is shorter than the back. I actually didn't realize it until I tried the top on. At first I thought perhaps I had miscalculated and shortened the front piece more than the back. However as you can see, the back is longer than the front. (In this picture the curved top edge is the side seam. )

All in all, I think my daughter will look adorable wearing this tunic. It will get her through the remaining summer months and will look darling layered under a long sleeve top, worn over leggings and boots when the weather cools off. Now if I can just convince her to model it for us... Pin It


  1. It's a beautiful top made from a lovely color! And congrats on getting to sew something for your daughter!

  2. Put me in the love'em camp. Beautiful colour.

  3. Beautiful! And in red, too! J.Jill is all over the drapy, asymetrical hems, also. Love how it confuses the eye, LOL. But still gives us grown-ups swirling and twirling potential opportunities.

  4. Like you I wasn't particularly liking the draped side seam tops. After seeing so many recently on other's blogs, I purchased the McCall's version. Love the red one you just made for your daughter. This style top is in my line up for future sewing.

  5. Like the top and it is very "en la moda" right now.

  6. I love handkercheif hems also. And asymetrical. Love this style, as long as the fabric is lightweight and drapey.

  7. Anonymous5:16 PM

    Omg Auntie. I flipping love this! <3




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