I’ve had this beautiful burn-out velvet for years. Years, I tell you. I bought it after I first moved to Wyoming but the purchase was made in the Fort Collins, Colorado Hobby Lobby. (Wyoming fabric sources dried up just before I got there and I was forced to shop elsewhere). I can tell you it is a minimum of 13 years old. In the same time period, I purchased another velvet in the same colorway. I made that velvet into a kimono jacket which I still wear to this day even though there is much more padding on my hips and it positively cannot be tied over my middle. Kimono jackets are nothing if not forgiving of the changes in a woman’s life.
My burnout, however, sat on my shelves year after year because I couldn’t decide how to use it. It was transparent and obviously needed a lining. It was too close in color way to the other fabric mentioned to make another 3rd layer. Top? Blouse? Certainly not pants. I don’t wear transparent pants which because of it is a burnout there are large areas through which my flesh will show. I loved it and refused to donate it. Finally I was a watching Peggy Sager’s a “Let’s Sew” video and watched as she created an inner top attached to the outer top only at the neckline. Bingo! Sorry, I don’t have the link handy which wouldn’t be pertinent anyway because Peggy created 2 tops with the out-layer shorter than the inner thus the inner layer shows too. I did just the opposite. So while Peggy’s top is interesting and dramatic, you hardly know that I’ve done something similar.
Continuing with my blouse, I decide that with only 30% stretch the burnout needed my regular i.e. not the slinky version of 195. I pulled that out and invested not more than 15 minutes converting it from french dart to armscye dart. So glad I did this, but I think I may not have placed or maybe angled the dart correctly.
I chose to use an embroidered, very light-yellow, transparent Tricot for the inner layer/lining. I cut only the front and back pieces without further changes. Then, as always intended, I set up my Brother Serger ( the 1034 purchased because I needed a serger right now) for a 3-thread wide seam. This took longer than expected because I also needed to rearrange the table a little. Sigh, it will need a little more rearranging which will involve removing the machines completely. Eager to work on my new top, I did the best I could with the arrangement of machines. Oh what a good choice. I serged every seam, including the bust dart and hem, on this inner layer/lining in about 15 minutes. WOW…. and it’s beautiful. The seams rolled because I increased the looper tensions. I didn’t increase the needle (I’m using the left needle for a wide seam) tension because during testing it caused the seam to gather. (Note Remember to increase needle tension for future gathering projects.) After set up, which in the future is reduced to changing thread and maybe the needle, this is absolutely the fastest, most elegant rolled hem I’ve ever created and the nicest lining ever .
Know you can’t see too well because this is something I’m not going to model (in my generation we thought showing it all was a bad idea) and I”m showing the back. Front looks much the same. I truly wish I’d invested $200 in that little beast (the 1034 Brother serger) long ago. In one project he proved himself well worth the time and expense.
So onto the upper layer. After remaining inner garment fabric was trimmed of strings, folded, labeled and placed back in the stash, I smoothed out the burn out fabric and cut the 3 major pieces. I used my normal sewing order but skipped finishing the neck. When the shell/outer layer, was complete, I put shell and lining right sides together at the neck and serged. I understitched, some times I want a little insurance that the inside will stay inside. Then I top stitched 1/4″ away from the turned neck edge. The armscye of the lining is tacked to the armscye of the shell in about 4 places. Just enough to keep it in place as I slip my arms in and out.
Unfortunately, I stretched the neck during construction which I didn’t notice until the first try on. I used my normal cheat, elastic. This time I used a long length of shirring elastic. Doubled with the fold threaded through the eye. The tails are then pulled through the loop coming out of the eye and that makes a secure join that won’t come out of the needle. I ran the elastic in the channel between top stitching and neck edge and tied it in the back. I was going to adjust at the next try-on, but it was fine.
So I put a drop of Frey-check on the knot and trimmed the ends. Done.