A Little Chiffon…Thanks Zandra!

Do you remember seeing the Zandra Rhodes Vogue 1491 pattern?


Nancy fell in love with this look and asked if it would work with some of the fabrics we bought in Portland last November. There was a chiffon in her colors and it was worth a try.

First, we had to decide which way the blue section would be the most flattering…can you tell which one she picked?


P1200413 Being such a strange combo of romantic swirls and animal print (Yes, Anne, I know it’s perfect for Jungle January!) it was decided to make the blue go across her shoulders. Simple right? But wait…what are those strange cut out circles for?P1200417

At first glance this reminds me of the tissue toilet seat covers ever-present in US public restrooms, admit it, you were thinking the same thing…but NO…the center circles are the armholes and the half circle cut on the fold is the neck opening…can this be? No shoulder seams, no side seams and just 8 more strips/panels to add to all these edges to make it long enough to cover the arms, a tummy and butt?

Here is being tried on, the basic square, no sleeves and no extra strips/panels over a t-shirt…a little underwhelming, no?P1200429P1200430      P1200431

Here’s a little secret, I am actually wearing this back wards but at that point I could not tell.. Then Nancy dropped by for her try-on.  Things got a little more optimistic:

P1200476   P1200477

We decided it had potential and I went back to the cutting table and used every last scrap of the chiffon to make the strips/panels for the front, back and sides and sleeves. Then everything was basted together for the second try-on:P1200666P1200668

Can you see the black border on the side hem? That was one selvedge edge I was able to add it to the sides without making it a feature on either the front or the back. Then, the only problem was the bias neck binding. I had no fabric left…what to do? Wait, remember those 3 circles I had to cut out for the armholes and neck opening? I had saved them and sewed them together so I could cut a bias strips to bind the neck and in this photo you can see the little tail of the binding just hanging, waiting to be machine sewn and cut off.

We left off the sleeve lower panels as there was no extra fabric and the length was perfect. The chiffon will look very different if Nancy wears a dark tank top versus a light one as in this photo so the animal print will be more prominent depending on her whim. Now, all I have to do is narrow hems every edge and machine stitch every panel.


Nancy looked like an exotic butterfly and since it was her birthday we went out to lunch to celebrate. Notice that she is wearing one of the many chiffon jackets I have made for her in the past. Yes, we did split that dessert, a flour-less chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.


Just 2 more photos to share from the garden, this poppy is almost 10 inches across and popped up inside the red poppy group…who knew they did that?P1200655


Happy Successful Spring sewing, everyone and thank you for dropping by!


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27 Responses to A Little Chiffon…Thanks Zandra!

  1. Girl in the Stix says:

    That is just beautiful! What a creative way to use that fabric! Looks like you both enjoyed the process and the results.

  2. Colleen says:

    Again you make my day by seeing your posts. I wish I could “gift” you in return so I will do this. I thought of this verse I read this morning and think it reflects you. Ephesians 2:10 ” For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Thanks again for taking time to share your knowledge, experiences and friendships as an example to others.

    • mrsmole says:

      My talent IS a gift, along with bag loads of patience and thank you for noticing. People tell me to sell stuff on my blog and make money…sharing is my reward and the friends I meet along the way like you, Colleen.

  3. Tia Dia says:

    What a beautiful top! I have not been interested in any of the Rhodes designs from Vogue, but this looks so good on Nancy. And that poppy is totally amazing.

  4. mrsmole says:

    It really hides lots of things but makes you feel light and airy and chic..who doesn’t want that? Grab some chiffon and join in the fun, Tia!

  5. mlga 730 says:

    Well Done!

  6. fabrickated says:

    I think this is the first time I have seen Nancy’s beautiful face and warm smile. No wonder you enjoy working with her and it’s nice for us to see how good she looks rather than just focusing on the fitting issues some of the patterns have had. This Zandra Rhodes does look quite nice actually although I was pretty surprised at the three holes approach – but with a translucent fabric it is rather pretty. Love the look of your “English” garden Mrs Mole, and the cake looks delicious.

    • mrsmole says:

      Of course we must have an English garden even with our hot summers! Soon some plants will have to shut down and fade away with the heat. I thought it was time to show Nancy to my readers. She is a dream to work for! With that 3-hole pattern, yoiu don’t get to alter anything the first time around…we got lucky!

  7. Elle says:

    A cheerful, appreciative client with good taste? What a pleasure for you! Your garden looks lovely. I love the flowers of spring….

  8. maryfunt says:

    Looks lovely. I think a dark tank top works better. Good luck with what sounds like miles of narrow hemming. Isn’t it nice to have an appreciative client?

    • mrsmole says:

      Even though some brides can be very nice, having Nancy as a permanent client and friend is a bonus! I think i will narrow hem all the parts first before sewing them by machine with French seams.

  9. Lovely garment for a lovely lady. It’s always good to finish with just threads of fabric left.

  10. What a fun top! Personally, I always optimistically try those on and end up looking completely absurd in them…lol! This one is going to be wonderful on Nancy 🙂

    Love your garden, too! Those flowers are beautiful!

    • mrsmole says:

      Maybe the trick is to start with a rectangle? I don’t know as this was my first adventure into holes instead of side seams.Every year the flowers surprise us…with winter frosts some just don’t make it.

  11. JustGail says:

    That’s a very interesting top, and definitely needs a light drapey fabric. And I guessed right on the direction for the blue in the top. Something about the blue vertically drew my eye sideways in those first photos, maybe just the way it was folded?. And WHY have I been picturing Nancy as having short dark hair? No matter, she looks great and very happy.

    Maybe that poppy is jealous of the dinner plate dahlias getting the ooohs and aaaahs?

    • mrsmole says:

      Poppies try to attract whatever bees are in the neighborhood…this pink one is trying too hard!!! Nancy has soft summer Type 2 coloring so muted flowing colors really look great on her…on me…I look tired…ha ha.

  12. Your version is a beautiful improvement. I tried a cape/jacket pattern that was a circle with holes and I hated it. You have made a beautiful garment here!

  13. mrsmole says:

    It might be worth it to make a muslin out of an old sheer curtain and see it is suits you…it really did shock us as to how flattering it could be and with those kimono type sleeves…stunning.

  14. helenkosings says:

    As lovely as this top is turning out, shame on Zandra Rhodes and Vogue for charging what they do for a pattern that isn’t really a pattern IMO. Surely this should have been a tutorial for such a simple garment…… And as always, your garden pictures inspire me!

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