Bias-Cut Camisol

Pattern: slip from Vogue's Anna Sui Misses' Dress and Slip #1177
Fabric: 1 yd cotton silk blend
Cost: $18

I love love love cotton silk blends. Whenever I go to the fabric store I drool over their rich feel, luxurious softness, and relative stability. And in an array of jewel toned colors, they are so pretty! But at $18 a yard they are a bit more than I like to spend on most of my projects (hello grad school budget!). I do have a yard of gold and a yard of white in my stash, and I decided it was time to sew one of them up for a quick mid-semester project.

With limited yardage, I landed on making a camisole top. I've seen quite a few of these around, and they seem fun yet casual. I also need some for under jackets and such. I dug around in my stash and found an Anna Sui dress pattern that came with a slip, which seemed like a good and free option. The slip is cut on the bias so that the top hugs your curves, and I had just enough fabric to make it in my size.

Overall this is a very simple top to make, but the precious fabric and bias cut require careful handling. I used french seams on the sides and drafted facings for the neckline for a seamless look. Unfortunately I made the decision to draft the facings on the grain rather than the bias which proved too constricting, and so I had to cut them shorter for ease of mobility. I guess I should have known better, but I don't often sew things on the bias so it was a learning experience.

Interestingly enough, I've actually made this pattern up once before in the same type of fabric, but cut on grain. The bias cut definitely improves the comfort. However, I repeated one mistake in cutting it the exact same size, which for me results in extra fabric at the armpits. I had to unpick my precious french seams and facings and perform some garment "surgery" to get the fit right. In the end, however, it worked out well.

I'm not as in love with the top as I could be. It might have worked better in something a bit drapier and less prone to wrinkling, and I still haven't made my mind up about the color. I'm also not convinced about bias-cut garments - the fabric doesn't behave the way I think it will on the body, and overall feels a bit shifty. This is definitely the type of garment that requires technical knowledge, despite its simplicity. I have worn it out, however, and I think I'll give it a few more chances to win me over. And I still have yard number two in white to experiment with.


  1. It's very pretty! I think the color says 'autumn' a bit more but it's a color that I love!

  2. It looks great! It can be hard to find a good slip pattern–very clever of you to find one in the dress pattern.

  3. It's beautiful! I love the color and the bias drape is perfect. I've been meaning to make some of these up too, but it always seems to get pushed down the queue...

  4. That colour is fabulous. Always handy to have a good slip pattern!

  5. It looks great on you, and what a beautiful, lustrous fabric! I imagine it'll be perfect for layering in autumn - I hope it wins you over soon!

  6. This is just lovely. I made several items in a bias cotton silk blend recently and I, like you, just can't really get with the bias. I don't often wear things (handmade or rtw) that are bias cut and I didn't enjoy the slinkiness all that much.

    1. Glad it's not just me. One of my theories is that bias-cut garments have to be e executed perfectly, and you can tell if anything is 'off.' But maybe I just don't like the feel!


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