Top inspired by Rachel Khoo

Inspired by … Rachel Khoo

May 6, 2013 · 25 comments

One of the biggest perks of being able to sew your own clothes is the freedom it gives you to recreate pretty much anything that inspires you. Whenever I see someone wearing something I simply MUST HAVE I get a rush of appreciation that I can draft patterns and sew. Simply being able to sew is so liberating due to the huge number of fantastic vintage and contemporary sewing patterns available to us today, any of which can be modified to better emulate the object of one’s desire!

One thing that I am never in short supply of is inspiration. With this in mind I thought I would start a new series of posts on the blog that focus on the inspiration behind one of my creations and how I developed this into a garment. Where better to start than with the beautiful, individual and truly inspiring Rachel Khoo.

rachel khoo top -copyright remains with the owner

Any of you who read my blog regularly will be aware by now of my small obsession with Paris. It should therefore come as no surprise to you that I thoroughly enjoyed Rachel’s TV series ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ in which she cooked up delicious French meals in her beautiful little Parisian apartment wearing a stunning collection of vintage and vintage inspired dresses. For those of you not lucky enough to have caught it let me tell you this girl has serious style.

Something that really appeals to me about Miss Khoo’s dress sense is how effortless it appears. It is a rare skill in my opinion to look fantastic AND like you just grabbed the first couple of things that you happened to see hanging in your wardrobe that morning. Her appreciation of the romantic is also obvious as is her love of polka dots both of which I share wholeheartedly!

In one of the episodes she wears a beautiful ivory cotton lace top. She is also photographed in this same top in the book that accompanies the series. It caught my eye every time I followed a recipe from the book and, having no idea where it was from, eventually I decided I needed to try and recreate it.

rachal khoo top from 'Little Paris Kitchen' - Copyright remains with owner.

Inspired by Rachel Khoo Top image 6

The top is a t-shirt shape and so I drafted it from my dartless bodice block which I created following the instructions in one of my favourite go- to pattern cutting books: Ann Haggar’s ‘Pattern cutting for lingerie, beachwear and leisurewear’. This book is a pattern cutting bible- I have drafted so many patterns from it and have been really pleased with them all, Haggar’s instructions are wonderfully clear and it covers a huge range of different garments.

I miraculously happened to have some lace in my stash that was a near perfect match to Rachel’s top- it’s actually the same lace I used for my Colette Peony dress. The top has a bound neckline so I cut bias strips of the lace and backed them with some bias strips of matching silk georgette. Backing the binding in this way stopped any raw edges poking through the holes in the lace.  The lace has a relatively stable pattern (as in not too many big holes) so I was able to use French Seams for the side seams. It was an insanely easy garment to construct, it’s only two pieces and the binding!

Rachel Khoo Inspired top image 3

Rachel-Khoo-close-up

This is the kind of top I live in so I decided to make it up in some black lace as well. I also made a dress version which was just the same pattern but extended to dress length and with some very slight waist shaping in the side seams. Three different garments all from the same inspiration! Not too shabby!

Lace Rachel Khoo Top

 

Rachel Khoo Inspired Top Image 4

More information about Rachel’s TV series along with some clips is available on her website for anyone who wants to check it out and her amazing cook book  by the same name is definitely one worth getting your hands on (it is available on Amazon) for her Madeleine recipe alone!

Has your sewing been inspired by someone else’s wardrobe recently?

Thanks for reading!

(The images of Rachel Khoo used in this post remain copyright of their respective owners)

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

mosulli May 7, 2013 at 12:13 am

What a great job on your top. Just beautiful. That lace matches the original so well. French ladies always manage to look so effortlessly chic don’t they? And Rachel too. Perhaps if I moved to France it would rub off, non?!

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amelialowden May 7, 2013 at 10:23 am

Ah thank you! The lace was such a piece of luck!
Yes they really really do and I would def be willing to move to Paris to test that theory! Hehe! :)
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Mrs K May 7, 2013 at 12:34 am

Gorgeous! A beautiful top.

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amelialowden May 7, 2013 at 10:24 am

Thank you! :)
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ClaireE May 7, 2013 at 6:55 am

Beautiful! It looks so similar to the original and a great use of left over fabric.

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amelialowden May 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

Ah thanks! Yep- barely uses any fabric so really great for that!
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Katy May 7, 2013 at 7:14 am

Its such a pretty top. I think I want one now too! The lace is beautiful too. Perfect!

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amelialowden May 7, 2013 at 10:26 am

Ah thank you! I was so lucky with the lace :)
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Elena May 7, 2013 at 8:13 am

Glad to hear I’m not the only one with a serious girl crush on Miss Khoo. Great job on the top. Must hunt out that book on patterns – sounds ace!

x Elena @ Randomly Happy
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amelialowden May 7, 2013 at 10:28 am

Hehe- you most definitely are not!
Yes the book is fantastic, I definitely recommend it! :)
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Sam May 7, 2013 at 8:47 am

This is such a pretty top. That’s what I love about being able to make my own clothes as well – you see something that’s no longer available or way out of your price range and think “never mind, I can make one!”
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amelialowden May 7, 2013 at 10:28 am

Absolutely! So liberating isn’t it! Yay for sewing! :)
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Lizzy May 7, 2013 at 10:23 am

Effortless. Chic. Perfect.

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amelialowden May 7, 2013 at 10:31 am

Ah thanks Lizzy! :)
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Emma Cope May 7, 2013 at 10:47 am

Oh Ami! you strike and score again, stunning top- so you!
I’m sure Rachel would be mightly impressed! :)
Where are your gorgeous shoes from too? Emi x x x
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amelialowden May 7, 2013 at 10:51 am

Ah thanks Emi!
My shoes are from Dune :)
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Gail May 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm

I love this top! It really suits you! I hope we get to see the other two garments as well.
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Lynne May 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm

I love this top! It’s so classic, and would go with anything. What a great idea.

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Nicole May 8, 2013 at 2:31 am

I made the exact same top in white cotton lace about 2 years ago! I love mine and have worn it so many times, it just seems to go with everything. I love your version, beautiful!
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Sarah May 8, 2013 at 11:45 am

I love this! I also really covet Rachel Khoo’s wardrobe and find myself watching her for that as well as the food!

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Angel May 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I prefer your version, it’s more “fitting” (is it the right word in English) and this lace is soooo pretty!
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Tania May 8, 2013 at 10:32 pm

So simple, but so pretty! I can see why you made more!

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Ginger May 10, 2013 at 4:28 am

Adorable! I love this on you– it’s absolutely darling! I looooove Rachel Khoo, too… she is just so cute! I would give anything to be able to live in Paris and cook all the time!
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Sadie June 23, 2013 at 8:27 am

I just came across your blog and I have to say, I love your style! I’m also a big Rachel Khoo fan, you have to try her croque Madame muffins, delicious! This top is just lovely, tres chic :)

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syle June 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm

very very cute ♥ ♥ ♥

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