I spent the first weekend of December in New York and was exhilarated by the Christmas sights and festivities throughout the city. I spent the second weekend of December visiting my parents in Southern Pines, NC thoroughly charmed by small-town Christmas celebrations including the cutest horse and buggy parade.
I went from being among millions of people dressed in black to hundreds of people dressed in red inspiring me to do the same.
On a mission to recreate this Elizabeth McKay top, I chose a red and white silk charmeuse from Mood Fabrics for my first attempt.
I began with Vogue 1323 because the lines of the front and sleeves were similar.
After making a muslin of the bodice for fitting purposes I experimented with alterations on the bodice neckline and ruffle variations until reaching an acceptable resemblance to the original. I eliminated the plackets and standing collar and made a new facing for the ruffled neckline. “Winging it” is hard to document, but now that the first attempt is complete and somewhat successful, I have an organized plan for the next time which I will share in detail.
Overall I believe my efforts were successful resulting in a new top that is perfect for the holidays in South Carolina.
Four distinct differences between my top and the Elizabeth McKay original are apparent:
- There are two sets of little gold ball buttons connected by a chain on the Elizabeth McKay neckline. I could not find these cute buttons anywhere!
- The back of my top features a yoke simply because the pattern came that way.
- I added a full cuff.
- I did not include a side zipper to avoid interference with tucking the shirt into skirts and pants.
But once again I was reminded it never pays to be too proud. While strolling around Southern Pines in my new Elizabeth McKay knockoff, I walked right into this framed sign in a little shop.
After all the work I put into making my top, I’m taking exception with this quote! Herman Melville obviously didn’t sew.