Silk Summer Tanks Times Three

Polly Tops made with Mood Fabrics silk - Sew Well

My Mood Sewing Network projects this month are all about fabric pairings.  It started with finding this Anna Sui silk crepe de chine panel print at Mood Fabrics online.  I thought it would pair nicely with some of the Mood Mark Jacobs embroidered dot silk I had left over from this shirtdress project, a garment which has mostly languished in the back of my closet. I’ve always wanted to make something I’d wear more often with the left over fabric since those raised dots are so fun!  An easy summer tank seemed just the thing, and the free By Hand London Polly Top was perfectly suited to pairing the two fabrics together.

Then I noticed this gorgeous aqua floral silk crepe de chine also at Mood Fabrics online, and I thought, why not make a Polly Top out of it as well?!  Especially since this Mood Thakoon aquamarine silk crepe de chine was a perfect match.  And, I didn’t stop there.  I’ve also had a bit of this Mood watercolored silk charmeuse in my stash since this dress project, and I figured I might as well have fun pairing it with this luxurious brown Mood silk charmeuse. The center panel of the Polly Top uses so little fabric, you can feature pretty small pieces of favorite fabrics that you just can’t bare to get rid of – all you need is to find a coordinating fabric for the rest of the top!

Polly Tops made with Mood Fabrics silk - Sew Well

I carefully cut the Anna Sui panel so that the border print would be nicely featured along the hem.  I wanted the embroidered dots to be a little more whimsical, so I purposefully didn’t center them.  I also tried to get as many dots as I could fit above the panel, but I didn’t think through the fact that they don’t really stand out when they’re too close to the panel.  Oh well!  I still love the way the two fabrics pair together.

Polly Tops made with Mood Fabrics silk - Sew Well

The back is pretty simple.  The shoulders appear to fit me well here, even though they feel awfully wide from the front.  I made a muslin (or, rather, I made an earlier version also out of silk) that I felt was too long and wide in the shoulders, so for these I tried to nip the shoulders in a bit when I took out some of their length, but I think I could have stood to pull in the entire neckline a bit more.

Polly Tops made with Mood Fabrics silk - Sew Well

But, since these tops were made assembly-line style, all cut and then sewn at the same time, they don’t benefit from the typical process of sewing multiples.  Even so, I’ve enjoyed wearing them.  I just have to pull out my strapless bra and welcome a bit of extra sunshine on my skin!

Polly Tops made with Mood Fabrics silk - Sew Well

The blue one may be my favorite, despite the fact that it’s the one I had the hardest time sewing the neckline for.  Those bright peonies make me ever so glad I had the crazy idea to make more than just one Polly Top this month. But, I probably need more practice sewing bias binding, so I’m thinking of signing up for Linda Maynard’s class at the Sewing and Design School in Tacoma.  I just have to figure out what to do with Baby Girl those days…

Polly Tops made with Mood Fabrics silk - Sew Well

When you order fabric online, it’s always a bit of a gamble as to whether two fabrics will really go together as well as they appear to on screen – unless of course you’ve been smart, not impulsive, and ordered swatches ahead of time.  I was impulsive here, but I figured the black and off-whites were such basic colors, the blues were both from Thakoon so likely to be similar, and the watercolor would blend with just about any brown.  I also made sure the fabrics were of similar type.  The blacks and blues were all silk crepe de chine, and the brown and watercolor were both silk charmeuse.

Polly Tops made with Mood Fabrics silk - Sew Well

I was a bit nervous about working with silk charmeuse since it’s slippery and not matte like silk crepe de chine.  But, despite being a little delicate along the edges, this stuff was fine to work with.  I did opt for store-bought bias tape instead of trying to coax narrow bias strips of the charmeuse into cooperating.  It felt a bit like cheating, but I figured this is just a tank top after all!

Polly Tops made with Mood Fabrics silk - Sew Well

All in all I’m very happy with these new additions to my closet.  Now these beautiful fabrics will see the light of day more often than just when I have the occasion to wear fancy silk dresses. Here’s to many successful fabric pairings for all of us!

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Comments


  • Ginger
    July 24, 2014

    These are so fun! I love all the different pairings you’ve done! I’m cringing a little, though, at the memory that somewhere in the depths of my stash, there’s a Polly top missing the binding… guess I’d better dig it out!

    • Sew Well
      July 24, 2014

      I know. Having to put bias binding on all the seams was a huge hurdle. It actually doesn’t take too long at all though if you have the bias binding ready and make sure to stitch carefully. Do it! I can easily see you in one of these tanks.

  • Erica B.
    July 24, 2014

    Those are really great tanks!

  • Lladybird
    July 24, 2014

    I love all of these, but ESPECIALLY that blue one! It looks amazing on you – really makes your eyes stand out more than they normally do :)

    • Sew Well
      July 24, 2014

      Thanks! I really like the blue one, too. Since these tops used so little fabric, I have enough of both blues to make another top… I’m now trying to decide if my closet can handle two bright blue tops!

  • Cennetta
    July 24, 2014

    Hi Amy,
    These are super cute. Great job pairing up the fabric.

    • Sew Well
      July 24, 2014

      Thanks!! I have been inspired by your beautiful color choices of late!

  • Helen // Grosgrain Green
    July 24, 2014

    These are all pretty, but I especially love the blue one. I’ve never fancied this pattern before, but your versions make it appeal so much more.

    • Sew Well
      July 24, 2014

      I actually hadn’t thought much about the pattern as well until a few sewing friends of mine started raving about it. I think the fit here could still use a bit more tweaking. Funny, considering I just made three! Too bad I didn’t make them one after the other. I did try though – there was a fourth made prior to these that was taken straight from the pattern.

  • CatDoesIt
    July 24, 2014

    Beatiful pieces

  • puu
    July 24, 2014

    you’ve really inspired me to download the pattern and inspect my stash of silk scraps and leftovers – i love what you have done here.

    • Sew Well
      July 25, 2014

      I bet you’ve got a stellar stash of silks that would be amazing as the centerpiece of a Polly Top!

  • Amanda S.
    July 24, 2014

    That blue one makes your eyes POP! These are all fun and perfectly suited for summer.

    • Sew Well
      July 25, 2014

      Thanks! The blue one is very vibrant!

  • Lori
    July 24, 2014

    Those are all so amazingly beautiful and you look fantastic. I like all your pairings and guess what I have that blue floral. You and I have such similar tastes in fabric.

    • Sew Well
      July 25, 2014

      I bet you do! We always choose the same fabrics! Hahaha! Early on Sarah and I posted the same fabric one month, but since then I’ve been lucky enough to push off projects if I get the inkling that someone else is working on a fabric I’m also interested in.

    • Mikel
      August 11, 2014

      Superb inriamftoon here, ol’e chap; keep burning the midnight oil.

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    July 25, 2014

    the only issue I have with these… if I love them all! You have really made this simple pattern sing with your fabric choices. Lovely!

    • Sew Well
      July 25, 2014

      Thanks! I love the idea of pattern singing with the right fabric choices!

  • Peter
    July 25, 2014

    My favorite is the brown (the charmeuse) but they’re all charming. Well done!

    • Sew Well
      July 25, 2014

      I have to admit after a week of wearing these tops, the brown is actually the one I reach for first. I actually wore it yesterday with my Nina cardigan from last month. It may now be my favorite!

  • Crystal
    July 28, 2014

    I want every single one! I’ve been pining all summer for easy breezy tops and each time I try, I get swarmed by Over-Fit-Over-Think demons. I should listen to you and relax. It’s OK to overlock and use packaged bias tape on silk tanks!

    • Amy
      July 28, 2014

      I did cheat on the charmeuse one, and I have to say that I’m okay with it! I tried making my own bias tape with charmeuse earlier this year, and the neckline really gaped and looked pretty awful. I realized that I have so few hours to sew these days that I need to feel okay making pretty things, and making them well, but not necessarily making them “couture”. :)

  • chrs
    July 29, 2014

    Oh my! These are gorgeous and completely inspiring. I just ordered the free polly pattern and can only hope my results are equally pleasing.

  • Fiona
    August 2, 2014

    What a great selection of tops! Well done for working with such tricky fabrics…especially for all that binding eek! I think the charmeuse one is my fave…but it’s so difficult to pick!