Silk and modal top from scraps

I had a silk pillowcase that was past its useful life and a gorgeous tee-shirt made from modal and cashmere that was no longer wearable, and kept thinking that there was enough fabric to harvest from each to make something, but had no idea what so they languished in my stash until I happened to see them together and thought – a combination top!


I decided to use a combination of Vogue 8062 Views B and C as the basis for my pattern and set about hacking it a bit.



In retrospect I’m sure I could have found a pattern closer to what I was looking for, but it was too late by the time I had worked this out!

I wanted to use as much of the silk as I could and finagled enough for a single front and back yoke and a back with a nicely curved hem. Obviously the yoke had to be hacked into the pattern, and luckily this is quite easy to do.


I thought I might need a back opening to get it on and off as View C has a front opening,  so did one of those cuff placket bindings and a bias neckline, and after all that effort I didn’t need it.  I used the dropped shoulder as in View C, cut the shaping off the tee-shirt sleeves and added them on and it all worked perfectly.


Then all I had to do was fill in the gaps with the rest of the modal/cashmere fabric.  I cut a front, and joined it to the silk I had cut out for the back, but didn’t like it at all as it looked weird somehow. At this point I thought I had wasted a day, not to mention my lovely scraps, and decided to sleep on it.

In the middle of the night the solutions came to me (you know how it does!) and I decided to unpick the side seams and add in a split back from the leftover tee-shirt.


It turned out shorter than the silk which upset me a bit, but then I decided I quite liked it. I zipped round all the edges with the coverstitch machine, managing to keep some of the hems from the original tee-shirt.


The original tee-shirt had split sides, so I managed to keep them too. It’s much shorter at the front than the original, but I can live with that.

Whilst I was making this top I kept thinking that I would dye it with some plants, but I wasn’t sure how the modal/cashmere would take to it. I had scoured the two items before sewing but decided that I didn’t really like the two different colours so thought another little while in a gentle scour pot might fix it.

It turns out that this was a terrible idea! The white got whiter and the silk got yellower! I took more photos but the day was very bright and they aren’t that clear, but you might get the idea.

IMG_2776I also think I may have shrunk it a little.


And it’s really hard to get the creases out.  IMG_2782

I’m still happy to wear it though, and it feels lovely next to the skin.IMG_2792

I also made another Elbe Textiles Sorrento Bucket hat. This one is made from some beautiful linen table napkins I found in an op shop (15 for $1), each one had a medallion in the corner which I tried to keep. The napkins were quite small so I had to do some piecing and I had to unpick all the hems.


I lined the hat with an old tea towel I bought from Odel’s in Sri Lanka possibly 15 years ago, which has screen printed elephants on it. It’s not in the best shape so I won’t be reversing the hat, but it makes a lovely soft lining and I love the stylised elephants!IMG_3720I think my kids took it on camp as it has our name on it. I made the straight XS for the hat and I now have a perfectly fitting hat that won’t blow off!

I was just thinking that everything in this post is recycled or upscycled, which is always nice.




10 thoughts on “Silk and modal top from scraps

  1. Kudos for recycling, upcycling and pattern mashing! Did you find the Elbe Textiles hat true to size? What? No picture of you in the hat?

    1. Thank you! I’m wearing the hat in the last pictures with the pink shorts. It is reasonably true to size. I fell between the xs and the s, and after a few have decided that the xs is probably best, so shaved the tiny bit off the pattern.

  2. What a brilliant idea to use tea towels and napkins for your hat – and what a lovely hat. Inspired to raid the huge pile of tea towels in our household for use as lining.

  3. I quite like your custom designed T shirt, in the wonderful silk and cashmere blend fabric. WIth its Interesting multilayers and coordinating colors. I know those fabrics feel wonderful on the skin.

  4. Somehow I had missed this post. I can’t believe you made a XS size as mine is a Large! Anyway, your Sorrento looks very smart. And your top turned out so cute after some head scratching. I totally agree with you: new ideas and solutions often emerge in the middle of the night or in early morning, when you wake up . Feels like magic!

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