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