So if you’ve seen any of my previous posts on Instagram it will come as no surprise that I’m a fan of the Marilla Walker patterns Maya top. I’ve made several versions tweaking it ever so slightly but for these two tops I went even further with my pattern hacking. The inspiration came from this top which was made out of raw silk (also known as silk noil). Once I’d seen it I was very taken with it and decided to try making my own version.
Silk noil has become rather popular as a substrate however when I first started searching for it in Australia I was unable to find any sources. Fast forward a few months and a local sewing buddy mentioned a source that she’d seen. A + R fabrics is a relatively new online Australian fabric store based in New South Wales and Trin (the owner) is so lovely and helpful. I ordered some swatches first and when they arrived I immediately knew that this was exactly what I was after. Unfortunately because I took my sweet time in ordering (I try not to rush into buying things) the raw colour was sold out! By the time it was back in stock I felt very sure in my decision and clicked buy without hesitation.
I stalked pictures of this top on Instagram in order to try and figure out how to re-create this top. I removed the sleeve cuffs, widened the body and created a slight high-low hemline. I made the centre front hem four inches higher than the centre back hem. I finished the neckline, armholes and hem with double fold bias binding. Before cutting into my precious silk noil I made a test version out of some leftover rayon from Tessuti fabrics which had been hanging out in my stash for way too long! I was very happy with how this turned out so dived straight into cutting out my silk version.
And even though I expected everything to go smoothly after this, it sadly did not! My first stumbling block was that the width of my one metre cut of fabric was slightly narrower than the rayon so there wasn’t *quite* enough fabric to cut out everything. No problems I thought, I’ll just add a centre seam to the back piece (the pattern originally was one just one front and one back piece). I didn’t bother cutting out another pattern piece thinking “oh I’ll just fold the piece in half and add on a seam allowance.”
Unfortunately I was a bit too engrossed in my Phryne Fisher audiobook (side note I absolutely love this series of books!) and cut out two front pieces by mistake (big fail)! Of course I had to accidentally cut out two of the smaller sized pattern piece and there was not enough fabric to cut out another back piece. What I ended up doing was piecing together several other scraps of fabric and managed to just cut out a back piece, albeit with far more seams than planned. I overlocked and topsitched the seams which I feel actually adds a bit of interest and I’m pretty happy with this happy accident.
Once I’d had my pieces cut out there was not much fabric left at all and still had the bias binding to cut out. Luckily somehow one is always able to make more bias binding than expected with fairly small scraps and that’s what happened in this case. The rest of the sewing went smoothly and I ended up with a top that was exactly what I was after – yay!
I’m wearing it here with another recent make, my second pair of closet case patterns Sasha trousers. I’d made my first pair in between having my first and second child in the very short period of time where my body had gone back to normal. I made the same size as previously as my last pair of pants still fit me well. This stretch peachy coloured cotton stretch twill is from Blackbird fabrics but from a couple of years ago?
The instructions suggest basting the side and inner seams to check for fit and I ended up having to use a 3/8” rather than a 5/8” seam allowance just for the top part of the leg as it was a tight squeeze otherwise. Also, I did not interface or stabilise the waistband at all (same as with my last pair) as I found it too restrictive. My waist measurement was one size larger than I’d made so that’s probably why. With no interfacing the waistband relaxed just enough to be comfortable yet did not loosen up too much to be gaping.
- Pattern: Marilla Walker patterns Maya top and Closet Case Patterns Sasha trousers
- Pattern mods: Maya top: bodice widened to 24”, high low hem with 4” difference between centre front and centre back. Sasha trousers: view A shortened to view B length, 3/8” seam allowance around top part of inner and outer seam then increased to 6/8” seam allowance around bottom half of legs for slightly slimmer leg
- Construction mods: Sasha trousers: waistband un-interfaced
- Fabric: Maya top: silk noil in colour raw from A + R fabrics. Sasha trousers: stretch cotton twill from Blackbird fabrics
This outfit has been perfect for work and it’s exactly what I had imagined it would be. I feel comfortable, put together and stylish and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Happy sewing xx