A Sensible Top – Vogue 9771

30 Jul A Sensible Top – Vogue 9771

Sensible. The opposite of exciting.

I just returned from a real vacation, which for me means getting away in every respect. I often overestimate what I can accomplish in a certain time period, and the refashion I planned to do while away never happened.

Determined to post a project from someplace other than my backyard, I packed my sewing supplies in my carry-on luggage.


This meant I had to check my suitcase and  p a y  for my checked luggage carrying my scissors and seam ripper.

I never looked at my sewing supplies. Then I paid another fee to fly my scissors and seam ripper back home.


 I welcomed myself home with an easy sewing project,

VOGUE 9771

 and headed to the backyard for a picture. 

I was hoping for a more exciting result but this is it.

The silk top would be perfect if I still had an office job, but perhaps it will prove to be practical…… sensible……. all of the things I tried to be when I was buying expensive ready to wear.

 A  h  a  h  !

With little monetary investment in sewing garments the restrictions of practical shopping disappeared. Trying to get the most for my money all these years held me hostage to a practical, sensible and rather boring wardrobe.

Though I have hit a few bumps along the way, this year of sewing has brought my wardrobe to life! Purple silk skirts, red zebra dresses, vintage sheets and more.

Goodbye Valentino – hello happy wardrobe!

EDIT & PS………….  _____________________________________________________

I want readers to know I do not dislike this top. I found the pattern illustration somewhat deceiving which I wrote about here on the Pattern Review.

I simply consider the top  p r a c t i c a l.   I’ve thoroughly enjoyed escaping from practicalities and sewing the cheerful and perky clothes I’ve always admired. This top reminds me of something I would have purchased in order to be practical.

Also, I do not consider practical to be a dirty word. 🙂


  • sewbusylizzy
    Posted at 08:33h, 30 July Reply

    Perhaps not ‘exciting’ but definitely lovely. It’s simplicity and subdued tones means it will probably become a regular as it looks so easy to wear

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:45h, 30 July Reply

      Hi Lizzy! Thank you. Lovely works too. I gave the top a test run today and it wears well. I’m sure it will become a regular like you predict 🙂

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 08:51h, 30 July Reply

    It’s a great top! And I think silk can be worn anywhere…not just to the office! I’m loving the fact that sewing is allowing you to expand the horizons of your wardrobe!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:46h, 30 July Reply

      Thank you, Carolyn. You have a way of remaining positive and bringing out the best in all situations!

  • Lori
    Posted at 08:56h, 30 July Reply

    I think it is a great top and you can add “happy” to it. Wonderful, bright skirt or cardigan, putting on your “new” personal twist.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:47h, 30 July Reply

      Thank you, Lori! Maybe what bothered me is it doesn’t seem to have a personal identity. I wore it today and it wore well. 🙂

  • Cissie
    Posted at 08:59h, 30 July Reply

    Pretty top. I think you’ll find this style versatile. I know I do! Love the tan and white polka dots!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:48h, 30 July Reply

      Thank you, Cissie! I’m so disappointed with the neckline. I never dreamed it would be so high. Live and learn 🙁

  • artattack024
    Posted at 09:55h, 30 July Reply

    It LQQKS designer and I like your backyard!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:50h, 30 July Reply

      Thank you Dorcas! I’m sure I’ll enjoy the top even though I was expecting something with a little more flair 🙂

  • Karen
    Posted at 11:44h, 30 July Reply

    I adore polka dots – and I’ll bet you find you go to this new “sensible” top time and time again. And I agree – sewing is quite liberating!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:52h, 30 July Reply

      Many thanks, Karen! I’m sure it will get its fair share of wear and tear 🙂

  • Dibs
    Posted at 12:02h, 30 July Reply

    Your top is so beautiful. I am on holidays now, and I packed fabric to sew 2 tops. I am on day 3 of my holidays, and I still have not given 1 glance at my sewing box. I am j=only just begining to realise how unrealistic I was when packing. I really want to sew everything I wear, but I only seem to be sewing dresses. no skirts or anything difficult. just dresses. I definitely need to work on that.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:53h, 30 July Reply

      Hi Dibs! You sound just like me taking sewing projects on vacation! I believe you should sew exactly what you are comfortable sewing until you’re ready for a new challenge. Enjoy your vacation!

  • Tia Dia
    Posted at 13:30h, 30 July Reply

    I love polka dots, and this top is so darling! Sensible it may be, but sensible gets lots of rotation, especially in such a neutral print & colour combo. Love it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:55h, 30 July Reply

      Many thanks, Tia Dia – I needed to read this! 🙂 🙂

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 13:48h, 30 July Reply

    I like your top…it is practical, but we all need some ‘practical’ in our lives. I’d pair it with a great skirt or pants (maybe white with a bright yellow, navy or even coral jacket) and some fabulous chunky jewelry…move it from practical to wow! What I’d like to know if where you find most of your fabric! I picked up some nice knit at Jo-Anns in Raleigh the other day, but otherwise, it’s been slim pickins. I’ve visited Mood online. The reason I stopped sewing years and years ago was the lack of really great fabrics that actually resulted in expensive (non-homemade-looking) clothes! You seem to have ‘gotten’ that – not surprising given your sense of style 🙂 Do you find most near your hometown ( hmm) , along your travels, or online? Just curious.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:00h, 30 July Reply

      Thanks so much, Cheryl!
      I get most of my fabric from Mary Jo’s (Gastonia, NC) and online orders. I stocked up on fabric from Mood Fabrics when I was in NY and have since ordered from Mood online. They have a helpful customer service department! I’m sure you can find some great fabric stores in the Raleigh/Durham/CH area. Have you been to Mulberry Silks in Chapel Hill?

      • Cheryl
        Posted at 19:54h, 30 July Reply

        Oooo…no, but I’ll make sure to visit soon! I do miss Mary Jo’s – they had all sorts of things! Thanks for the tip.

  • Becky
    Posted at 14:53h, 30 July Reply

    Well, it is practical, but it is also very flattering and classy looking. Paired with anything, it will look great. It is a year round, practical, lovely top. These are the kinds of things you can wear with anything, and that liberates you to experiment.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:01h, 30 July Reply

      You are so right, Becky. I wore it today and believe I’ll enjoy the top 🙂

  • Velosewer
    Posted at 17:05h, 30 July Reply

    I”m glad you had a well deserved break.
    The top is lovely and not at all ‘practical’ not that there’s anything wrong with that 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:02h, 30 July Reply

      I’ve since tried to redeem myself for suggesting practical is a dirty word 🙂 Thank you so much for the Butterick pattern information. Have you made it?

  • poppykettle
    Posted at 19:25h, 30 July Reply

    It’s not quite as drapey at the front as the pattern picture would have you believe, is it? Pattern Pictures always LIE imho. Still – the top is very graceful on you. Is it cut on the bias? It conforms to your lovely shape beautifully!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:50h, 31 July Reply

      Many thanks, Poppykettle. The top is cut on the bias. I wore it yesterday and it wears well, but I was expecting a lower neckline for starters!

  • CherryPix
    Posted at 19:32h, 30 July Reply

    You look elegantly practical! I smiled at your travelling-with-sewing-accoutrements tale. I’ve been caught in the same predicament. A friend gave me a lovely pendant with a disc the size of a 20 c piece (similar to a quarter), with small openings along the rim which act as cutting edges. It came from a sewing store…not sure what it’s called but it works brilliantly as a scissors-stand-in for handsewing or knitting. Thank goodness we can take knitting onboard again (though I usually take bamboo or plastic needles, just in case there are issues with metal ones).

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:53h, 31 July Reply

      Elegantly practical….. I might use that term as suggested attire on an invitation one day just to see what people will wear! Thanks too for the scissor/pendant tip. I’ll look for one 🙂

  • Myra
    Posted at 20:59h, 30 July Reply

    Practical? That sounds boring, this top is anything but BORING! I see so many casual options for this top! I have this pattern and love it! You did a great job in your fabric selection and should give it a real chance!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:54h, 31 July Reply

      Thank you, Myra! I’ll give it a chance…….. as a matter of fact I wore it yesterday. I don’t dislike it at all….. I was just expecting a different outcome especially around the neckline. I’m sure it will become a go to garment 🙂

  • prttynpnk
    Posted at 21:04h, 30 July Reply

    I think the neckline is very interesting, it almost has an avant-garde funnel look to it. The shape is lovely on you and the fabric is lush.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:24h, 31 July Reply

      You’re right – the neckline does almost have an avant-garde funnel look to it – only I was hoping for a soft feminine draped neckline like the illustration depicted. I’m pleased with the shape which has saved the top for sure. 🙂 You’ve been doing some great sewing and I’m envious of your new dressform. What a sweet husband you have!!

  • gingermakes
    Posted at 21:39h, 30 July Reply

    I think this is way cute! But I know what you mean– practical isn’t always that exciting! 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:25h, 31 July Reply

      Hi Ginger! Maybe the word I should have used was “flair” and not “exciting”. The top will be fine but it just wasn’t what I was expecting.
      How are those puckers coming along? 🙂

  • Amy G.
    Posted at 23:00h, 30 July Reply

    Great top and it looks amazing on you. Just look at what you have made in this last year – so if you have a top that is more practical “it’s in good company.”
    You have really inspired me to sew for myself and my home this year.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:27h, 31 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Amy! I am completely amazed that I ‘ve made so many clothes that I am actually wearing….. It’s not that I mind having a practical top at all. I was just expecting a top with a soft feminine neckline 🙂 Hopefully I’ll find just the pattern!

  • Peggy
    Posted at 23:15h, 30 July Reply

    This is a beautiful top! Very classy!

  • Pauline Droy
    Posted at 03:45h, 31 July Reply

    Oh I could see that top in my wardrobe

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:30h, 31 July Reply

      Hi Pauline! I believe the top will be fairly versatile… I HOPE the top will be failry versatile. Many thanks for writing!

  • NinaLBoston
    Posted at 11:49h, 31 July Reply

    Maybe this look is a blessing in disguise . . .
    I made this pattern twice. Once with a lightweight poly with long sleeves and a second time with short sleeves in an ultra-light weight micro faille poly. Both times the front draped exactly like the illustrations — for about 5 seconds. It seems all I ever do is fuss with it! It’s always trying to drift back (might be my lack of adjustment for a curved upper back).
    The second time, I added a “stay” that more or less covered the front of my bra (instructions from a Claire Schaeffer book). I can’t really say that helped so much. Weighting down the lower edge of the cowl on the inside with a metal hair clip (any port in a storm) seemed to help a little. These blouses are now 3+ years old and the micro faille version seems to be bagging out even faster than my recent weight loss would account for. Maybe the bias cut makes it inherently unstable in that lightweight fabric.
    Yours looks darling and fits you well — try to weight down the cowl from the inside and see if it improves.

  • oonaballoona
    Posted at 17:49h, 01 August Reply

    that suitcase story is just too funny.

  • Gail
    Posted at 21:11h, 02 August Reply

    I wear silk for casual wear all the time. It is a great insulator against the Australian summer heat and can be warm in winter.

  • Pendle Stitches
    Posted at 11:06h, 11 August Reply

    This top is lovely. I’m currently sewing this pattern and my mum has made it too. The neckline is considerably higher than they’d have you believe, although with my two small children I’ll have no worries on the modesty front.
    I am intrigued by your hem on this. I’ve top-stitched mine purely for speed and have then top-stitched the back neck and will also do the armholes. But I love the finish on yours. Is it invisible hand-stitches? It’s an exquisite finish.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:46h, 11 August Reply

      Thank you! I gave it a test run and the top wore well, but the neckline is not what is represented especially in view C. The hem is invisible hand-stitches. The fabric was expensive and I treated it with tender loving care 🙂

      • Pendle Stitches
        Posted at 12:39h, 12 August Reply

        Your TLC certainly shows. I sampled hand stitches on my fabric and it didn’t play so I decided to go to the other extreme! It is a lovely top but it is annoying that with all the resources available to them, the pattern companies can’t produce an envelope sketch that accurately reflects the finished garment, or vice versa.

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