Designer Top in Silk Charmeuse

Silk Charmeuse Top

I spent the first weekend of December in New York and was exhilarated by the Christmas sights and festivities throughout the city. I spent the second weekend of December visiting my parents in Southern Pines, NC, thoroughly charmed by small-town Christmas celebrations including the cutest horse and buggy parade.

Silk Charmeuse Top

I went from being among millions of people dressed in black to hundreds of people dressed in red, inspiring me to do the same.

On a mission to recreate this Elizabeth McKay top, I chose a red and white silk charmeuse from Mood Fabrics for my first attempt.

elizabeth mckay top I began with Vogue 1323 because the lines of the front and sleeves were similar.

Silk Charmeuse Top

After making a muslin of the bodice for fitting purposes I experimented with alterations on the bodice neckline and ruffle variations until reaching an acceptable resemblance to the original. I eliminated the plackets and standing collar and made a new facing for the ruffled neckline. “Winging it” is hard to document but now that the first attempt is complete and somewhat successful, I have an organized plan for the next time.

Silk Charmeuse Top

Overall I believe my endeavors were successful resulting in a new top that is perfect for the holidays in South Carolina.

Three distinct differences between my top and the Elizabeth McKay original are apparent:

1. I did not include a side zipper to avoid interference with tucking the shirt into skirts and pants.
2. The back of my top features a yoke simply because the pattern came that way.
3. I added a full cuff.

Silk Charmeuse Top IMG_2167

Once again I was reminded it never pays to be too proud. While strolling around Southern Pines in my new Elizabeth McKay knockoff, I walked right into this framed sign in a little shop.


After all the work I put into making my top, I’m taking exception with this quote! Herman Melville obviously didn’t sew.

Silk Charmeuse Top



  • Erica B
    December 12, 2012

    That is a stunning blouse!

  • Lora
    December 12, 2012


  • Carole Mellin
    December 12, 2012

    Just the right print for that blouse. I love the neckline.

  • Cissie
    December 12, 2012

    Another gorgeous creation! Love the fabric. Your ruffler is surely your favorite attachment. I keep trying — but might have to have a hands-on demonstration! Your results are always impeccable!

  • Amanda S.
    December 12, 2012

    Very nice!

  • Fran Giacobbe
    December 13, 2012

    You always impress! This particular fabric compliments you beautifully.

  • Amy
    December 13, 2012

    Beautiful! You and your ruffles always make me smile. Keep up the great style!

  • anne jewell
    December 15, 2012

    i actually like your version better than the ‘inspiration’ piece.

  • Ginger
    December 15, 2012

    This is so cute!

  • Teri Stich
    December 21, 2012

    What a perfect top for you! I love reading about taking this from that and adding something else. I will be there some day!!