Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Silk Ruffle Top for a Toddler: a Review of McCall's 7142

"You sewed a top for a one-year old out of silk?"  Yea, I know it's not the most practical fabric for a toddler's top. But oh my goodness do those ruffles hang beautifully in this fabric!
The pattern is McCall's 7142, a little pullover top and leggings.
Suggested fabrics include cottons, dotted swiss, and knits. But no silk.  However I had four yards of this China Silk on hand and knew the one-year old would look adorable in yellow. I, on the other hand, cannot wear that color and I'm sure the only reason I purchased the fabric is because it was bargain-priced at $1.99 yard.  I purchased four yards in January 2010 from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  And it has sat in my fabric stash ever since it arrived. Not much of a bargain though if you never use it!
I washed the silk in cold water and dried it on low heat. Turns out it didn't require dry-cleaning after all.

The ruffles on the top are created with 10 fabric rectangles cut on the bias. Each of the four sides are hemmed. Since I was sewing this the night before the child's birthday party, I finished all the edges with a narrow hem on my serger.  A word of advice: Don't hem bias strips when you are tired and in a hurry. Even using a serger these required a little more care than they received.

The 10 rectangles are gathered in the center and stitched to the lower skirt portion of the top.
When I was topstitching the straps, the fabric wanted to pull down into the thread plate.  I placed a piece of pattern tissue paper underneath the strap to prevent that. Once I was done I tore the tissue away.
This cute little top has a tie in the back!   Again, I was in a time crunch and hemmed the edges with my serger.
The front upper yoke is fully lined and the top of the back yoke is elasticized.
This was a fun little top to sew. Without the ruffles it could probably be sewn in less than an hour.

No pictures of the one-year old wearing this as I sewed an XL (24 mo) and she would currently fit in the M (9-12 mo).  She's a tiny one so it may fit her next summer, or she'll wear it over a long-sleeve tee this winter.

Since the one-year old won't be modeling this top anytime soon, I leave you with a picture of the birthday girl wearing her birthday dress that her mom purchased on Etsy.


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  1. This is so adorable! I don't dry clean any of my silks and I sew a lot garments in silk for my young girls, all crepe de chine though. I machine wash it all the time. It really is tough! I think the recipient will get loads of wear out of this beautiful top.

    1. Thanks Debbie! I never think of silk as tough, but you're right, this one washed up beautifully

  2. I wash all my silks too. They're surprising tough! Sometimes it changes them slightly ( loss of some sheen) but it's never stopped me sewing them up anyway. And then you have a garment that can be worn everyday.
    That yellow top is adorable. And probably much more robust and practical than most people would think!

    1. Thanks! I've only washed a few of my silks, but I think I'll try it more often. The top was a hit at a the birthday party!

  3. That is just the cutest top ever! What love and care you lavished on the fortunate little girl's garment.

    1. Thanks Carol! I can't wait to see my great-niece model the top.

  4. Oh, Sharon, this cute little creation is like something you would purchase in a high end children's boutique! I can't believe you made it the night before! You are one brave woman! As always, great work. I have one question, you finished the bias pieces with a serged narrow hem. How do you think a rolled hem would have turned out? I have done minimal bias sewing, just curious, I respect your sewing knowledge and your opinion of this option.



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