There are a few remnants in my stash that are just enough to make a top or a blouse. I don’t wear collared shirts very often (actually, I don’t think that I wear them at all nowadays) so when the Tessuti Ruby pattern came out I thought that it may well be the perfect pattern for using up some of those remnants.
The fabric is a cotton/silk blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and it was oh so lovely to work with. Not too slippery, because of the cotton content, yet retaining that lovely light and silky feel. Definitely a fabric blend that I want to use more often! Because it is slightly sheer it was always destined for a simple top. Tessuti describe the Ruby as follows: Ruby Dress/Top – this simple sleeveless top/dress features a high neckline, cutaway armholes with self binding on armholes and neckline plus keyhole back opening. The style is slightly flared at the hemline and makes a perfect floaty garment for the warmer months. Suitable fabrics for this top/dress include light to medium weight linens or linen blends, rayons, viscose and silks.
Looking at the photo of the back, I wonder whether it could do with a bit more flare at the back or if it is simply sticking to my jeans? Anyway, I really like this top. So simple, but nicely cut. I was very hesitant about it at first because I could tell that it would need either a strapless or cross back/racer back bra. But what do you know, I do have a convertible bra that will cross at the back, and it works just fine underneath. I really don’t like my straps showing!
I made straight size 12, as per my measurements. I did do a few things slightly differently to the pattern instructions. Rather than interfacing the back opening facing and just neatening the edges, I cut two of the back facing, interfaced one of them, then sewed them together right sides together, leaving the top neck edge open. Then when I turned it right sides out I had perfectly enclosed edges. The seams of this top are french seams, so I really wanted the entire finish enclosed. Having the double layer of fabric also makes it a bit stronger and in this light fabric it doesn’t really add bulk.
The other thing that I did was raid my daughters’ hair elastics for one that matched to use as a loop closure, rather than doing a thread loop. I find these more sturdy and the elastic helps with getting the top on and off. I can actually slip this top on and off without undoing it.
The other thing is what I SHOULD have done differently. I followed the instructions for applying the binding, which meant that I was then having to stitch in the ditch from the right side hoping that it would all catch the fold of the binding on the wrong side (and no, it didn’t and I had to re-do parts). So next time I will follow my own advice as detailed a couple of blog posts back: When binding necklines, armholes and hems like this it is much simpler and neater to apply the binding to the WRONG side of the garment, then turn it to the outside of the garment and topstitch in place, enclosing the seam allowances and covering the seamline. This way you will make sure that the binding is secure and the stitching will be straight and even on the outside. It won’t matter if it wavers a fraction on the inside. Or else you can apply it as instructed and then hand-stitch the binding in place on the inside if you don’t want any visible stitches on the outside.
I have cut out another Ruby, in dress length, and am planning on getting it sewn this weekend at Sewjourn! Yes, I am off again! A fraction too close to Christmas for comfort, but conversely at an ideal time to stop and smell the roses before the last week of school and all the associated activities. I’m looking forward to it!