Sunday, January 10, 2016


This top comes from the Now half of the Sewing Workshop's Now and Zen pattern.

Above you can see it before I added buttonholes and buttons. I always try to take a few pictures before adding buttonholes. That way, if I completely wreck it, I have a picture of it before disaster struck. I have a buttonhole phobia.


I really like this collar. It has a Downton Abbey feel to it, I think. The distinctive characteristic of each shirt in this pattern is the collar. The Now collar is rolled and attached to the shirt in a burrito style. The longer edges of the collar are completely enclosed via top-stitching. This technique is used also in the Zen shirt which has a double collar.

This is the shorter shirt provided in this pattern, a little too short, I think. So I added 3 inches to its length and 3 inch side vents. I also added the sweet little pocket from TSW's Florence pattern. Lastly I narrowed the sleeves to 11.5 inches. I liked the effect of narrowing the sleeves on my recent make of the Hudson top.

It is a very simple make. I was inspired to make it after receiving my copy of the January issue of Sew Confident. In this issue, Linda Lee's associate Kathy describes a number of variations she has tried with this basic pattern. I cannot wait to try the one that employs a double layer of knits with exposed seams.

This is your basic blank canvas. My fabric is a cross-dyed silk, or maybe a blend, in black and iridescent blue. It reads navy but has interesting shadows and a sheen. I purchased it from Laura Murray as a 3 yard bundle. It washes beautifully, though I may dry-clean it in order to maintain this rich color.

It is also a very forgiving fabric to sew. I placed the pocket poorly and had to unstitch it. None of the original stitching shows! As Mama always said, it's all about the fabric.

Now I have some delicious remnants to incorporate into other pieces. Since I was enjoying this fabric, I stayed with it and made a simple envelope purse.

The straps are bias tubes from a thrifted neck tie.

It is definitely winter where I am so I will need to wear a cami or other undershirt for now. As I sit enjoying a fire, I think I am ready to make a coat.


  1. I have made this same top about 3 times. I also love the collar and I added length too. For the last one, I made a matching tank and wear it open like a jacket. So it becomes a "twin set". Love your fabric.

  2. Gorgeous top. Love the color, and the collar. Lovely work!

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  4. What a rich, elegant shirt. You will WOW everyone when you wear it. Re buttonholes, wouldn't this shirt look great with a hidden placket? Then any buttonhole imperfections wouldn't matter.

  5. Lovely, Martha. I love TSW patterns! So classy and they FIT.

  6. So beautifully thought out and what a terrific result. Oh, that color, I'll bet it looks great on you!

  7. Beautiful work Martha! I passed on your blog info to some women in my casual sewing group (casual as opposed to ASG). We had been discussing Sewing Workshop patterns and I mentioned you as someone who is masterful at transforming these patterns into lovely wardrobe pieces.

  8. What an interesting shirt. The collar is fabulous, different - and the pocket really mixes well with it. Nice!