A while back I had a Cynthia Rowley shell pattern that I really loved. It was a tank with small gathers and bias trim around the neckline. I made it up in a silk twill I bought in New York and I LOVED that blouse! I wore it and wore it and finally I had to accept that it had to come out of rotation. It needed some time off.
A couple of weeks ago my dear childhood friend from Nebraska came out for a visit. She was able to stay for two days and since she's a fabric lover we went to LA for fabric. We went to Mood and The Fabric Store and I picked up a few prints, a couple of bottom weights (I really needed some basics but you know how it is...) and this silk twill. When I saw it at The Fabric Store I knew I would make up my beloved shell again.
This time I used New Look 6035. It's a great basic pattern and I'm sure I'll use it over and over since I wear sleeveless tops so often.
I made two changes to the pattern:
Shoulder darts were added to the back neck. I think the pattern makers in the sixties really had it right when they put shoulder darts on everything. It eliminates the icky gap I get at the back neck and honestly it's the easiest adjustment you can hope to make.
Twisted bias trim was added to the neckline. I cut strips of bias fabric 5" wide, pieced them together and sewed them into one long tube. I probably used about 90" of bias....maybe more...I wish I would've measured. Ugh.
Beginning at the center back, I gently twisted, pinned and folded the bias into soft folds. There was no rhyme or reason to my twisting I just kept working until I like how it looked. I'll be honest here, this took quite a while and when I was happy with the pinned result I hand sewed it to the shell. I do like hand sewing so this was enjoyable but all total this process probably took me 2 hours (primarily in the car or during my lunch break, I typically save my hand sewing for these times).
The shell itself went together in under two hours not including time spent stitching down the neck and sleeve bindings (again, I saved those for my "down times"). I will certainly use this shell pattern again. It's a great "basic but not too basic" pattern that I can keep simple or embellish
I went to Santa Barbara, California for a quick getaway with my daughter. The weather was perfect for hiking (and eating) and it was wonderful to have some time with her while she's back from school. She took these photos for me... I turned the camera on her....hee hee.
Thanks for reading. Happy Sewing!
Hi! I'm Diane, a wife, mom, sewing teacher and pattern designer from sunny Southern California. I share my sewing adventures here on the Blue Dot Blog formerly Gatorbunnysews. For more info click here.