A drapey colourblock top

I’m a big fan of the occasional “quick knit top”, but this time around, I wanted a knit top with a more challenging design to give my brain more of a 3-D spatial workout.

I was really intrigued by the pieces for KnipMode June 2011 #15 when I first saw the magazine, and even after tracing it out and laying the paper pieces together, I still wasn’t 100% sure how they were going to fit together.

I thought it best to make this up using scrap fabrics (just in case!), so I pulled out a couple of those awkward, less than 1m offcut fabrics from my stash:

(I should point out here that in Knip’s version, they used satin for the side panels and the back yoke, and jersey elsewhere, but I didn’t have suitable woven scraps so I just used jersey everywhere.)

To be honest, while I enjoyed the challenge of constructing the design, I wasn’t so sure about how the design would look on me throughout the entire construction. But as soon as I tried it on for the first time, I was struck by how well my colourblocking worked, and how nicely Jonathan Saunders the look is!

I get to tick three separate SS11 trends here – colourblocking, muted hues, AND volume! All in one top!

Now you know my feelings on tunics, but I am able to admit when I’m wrong – because I really like the hip-length on this top! I think the hip part could’ve been tighter, though, to further accentuate the blousy front part, but it’s comfortable as it is, and the lower front band (piece A) does it’s job well in lengthening the torso line.

I’m wearing this top here with my Jalie jeans, but I think it’d also work well with leggings. If I wore leggings.

You can kinda see how this top works by the side view. You might think that with that much fabric gathered at the front that it might not be flattering, but the lightweight drapiness of the silk jersey really helps to keep the bulk down.

In case there’s any doubt in the construction, here’s the top inside-out on Susan. You can see that the pink side pieces do indeed meet in the middle, and the fit inside is much more close-fitting than the drapey outside would suggest. I think this a fantastic solution to getting the drapey, billowing shapes that are on-trend at the moment without walking around wearing some voluminous sack like Burda would suggest. So I thank you, KnipMode, for showing us another way!

It’s difficult to see in the black fabric, but the back is seamed differently at the hip – the back is just split into two pieces (the top pink yoke and the lower back black portion), and the lower front band (piece A) joins the back at the notch. So if you wanted to shorten this to a top rather than a tunic, you could make piece A much narrower, double it over, and cut off the bottom of the back piece shortly after the side seam notch.

The only problem with this top is that it’s been far too cold to wear anything sleeveless for the past month! I’ve already switched over to my summer wardrobe, so I’ve been wearing them anyway and then spending most of the day in a ratty grey marl cardigan I keep in my desk drawer. I know some of you are sweltering in the heat, but spare a thought for those of us in “summer” and actually contemplating wearing gloves (I kid you not. I wanted gloves the other day. In June!). Yet I’d still rather have this then a Pennsylvania summer with its 90-90 heat and humidity!

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