Inspired by Emily Thorne| Silk Top

Up until the last few days we have been having the most amazing spring weather here in London which got me all enthused about some new season creations. One of these was a silk top  inspired by the always chic Emily Thorne (played by Emily VanCamp) from Revenge (yes another guilty TV pleasure of mine don’t judge !) I love her classic, elegant style and this silk blouse jumped straight out at me as a must- make. These are the kind of tops I end up living in as they are so easy to wear- particularly with skinny jeans.


The top was really straightforward to draft. I didn’t want any darts as I always prefer not to have them in silk so I drafted a simple dartless shell. Once I had the fit sorted I added the centre front pleats and the neckband.


I got some silk crepe from  Beckford Silks– one of my favourite online fabric suppliers.  They have the most amazing selection  of colours and the quality of their silk is fantastic for the price. This is one of three recent silk projects I have worked on recently and I have compiled a list of all my favourite tips and tricks for working with silk that I will be sharing with you all in an upcoming post.

I can tell I will be wearing this top a lot and am considering stitching up a cotton voile version for the Summer. Meanwhile I have been wearing this one layered with my favourite, super cosy White Company cardigan while we wait patiently for Spring to return (I am writing this curled up under a blanket!).





Do you like wearing and sewing with silk? Oh and what do those of you that have seen it think of Revenge?

(The third party images and designs used in this post remain copyright of their respective owners)

72 responses to “Inspired by Emily Thorne| Silk Top”

  1. Looks lovely! The pleats really are a stand-out feature. To answer your question… I have not tried working with silk yet because I’m a scaredy-cat! Slippery fabrics scare the bejesus out of me! Maybe i’ll muster up the courage after i’ve read your tips!

  2. only stumbled across your blog today – love it all !!! as a lapsed sewer/knitter I admire just how easy you make it sound and wonderful it looks 🙂
    Yesterday I collected my first adjustable dummy/form and am itching to make a pair of trousers (the pattern for which I’ve had for a fair while now!)…and I remember trousers being particularly difficult to fit by yourself (especially when you don’t really know what you’re doing!). But, the trousers might be put back on the back-burner, I love the idea of this little silk top…and like you say, Spring is only round the corner…we even lose that all important hour next weekend.

    • Aw thanks Louise! So glad you like my blog 🙂 Yep Spring is definitely here now so I think a little top like this would be a perfect project! Trousers can be pesky to fit but you never know your luck, maybe the pattern with work out well for you? Happy sewing

  3. I love your silk top! I always look forward to reading your blogs! I have been searching for a pattern like this for several pieces of silk in my stash. I can draft a shell pattern but not sure how to add tucks & slit to the pattern. Any tips that you would like to share would be greatly appreciated! Thanks,

    • Hi Susan! That is a good idea for a post! In a nutshell the speediest way to add tucks is to draw up and fold the tucks/ pleats you want on paper and then trace your pattern piece over the top. I will add a tutorial though as easier to show than describe! Hehe

  4. I love your silk top! I always look forward to reading your blogs! I have been searching for a pattern like this for several pieces of silk in my stash. I can draft a shell pattern but not sure how to add tucks & slit to the pattern. Any tips that you would like to share would be greatly appreciated! Thanks,

  5. What a lovely top. I get you about longing for seasonal change. Here in Australia I am longing for winter and all the great things I will be able to sew

    • Ah yes I bet- funny how you just reach a point where you have had enough of whatever weather you’re having! Hooray for living in places with changing seasons! 🙂

  6. Lovely top. I’m excited about your upcoming post on silk. I love silk tops but I find it somewhat difficult to work with. I would love a silk archer from grainline.
    Happy Spring!! I really enjoy your blog and all of your tips and tricks. You are inspiring. 🙂
    Thank you,

  7. Your top came out so cute. I thought your post was funny because last week as I watched the latest episode of revenge, I was trying to see the details of the cream blouse she wore under a jacket, so I could make one for myself. Great job. I love it with jeans.

  8. This is so pretty! It’s so timeless and elegant – I can see it being styled a number of different ways. I’m currently sewing with silk for the first time, and so far it’s going alright! I’m sewing a dress in silk dupioni for my high school graduation, but it seems pretty easy to work with – far easier than some of the synthetics I’ve sewn with before. Although I am spending quite a bit of time hand basting!

  9. I agree with Susan! What a beautiful top, I’m sure you will get lots of wear from it! I would love some tips and tricks for adding pleats and the V-neck, too…it’s such a versatile piece, but the extra detailing makes it special. Gorgeous.

  10. I love your silk top! It’s beautiful!
    Interestingly, I spent ages last week looking through Beckford Silks’ website.
    I have never worked with silk before, but would love to, therefore looking forward to your tips!
    May I ask where you got your shoes from? I have been looking for a pair like that for a while!

    • Hi Kati! Yep of course, they are from Dune! I bought them a while back but I think they usually have ones in this style in there so hopefully you will be in luck!
      Beckford’s is fab isn’t it?!

      • Thank you for your reply! I will check Dune out.
        I definitely love the choice at Beckford, we need more fabric stores in the UK with amazing selection and at an affordable price. Something like Mood springs to mind…

  11. Lovely little shirt! I have already sewn with silks, but was not yet sooo successful, therefore I look forward to yout tutorial! And I loved “revenge”. And I loved especially all those elegant dresses from Evelyn, always wishing I would own something like this.

  12. Gorgeous!! This looks so good with jeans. I’ve sewn with silk georgette before but I interfaced large sections of the project to add some weight and change the fabric’s weight and drape in places. I am planning a silk blouse soon and would be very grateful of any tips! Looking forward to reading your advice! 🙂

    • My next post is actually a silk shirt so I will include some shirt/ blouse specific tips in the Tips for working with silk post and hopefully you will find them handy 🙂

  13. Love this top. I’d been wondering what to make next and I think you’ve given me my answer! It looks so classy and really well made. I haven’t worked with silk before and like others have said would certainly appreciate some tips for working with it as well as tips for drafting this top. Love! (ho hum off to Beckfords I go….)

  14. Oooo another beautiful make – I honestly love everything you sew!!! Such a classic top, I’m sure you will get a lot of use out of it.
    And your cardi looks sooo cosy!
    I have a couple of pieces of Liberty silk in my stash but I’m too scared to cut into them – I’m still searching for the perfect pattern for them!

  15. Oooh, that’s lovely! I LOVE wearing silk, but hadn’t sewn with it for quite a while until this week. Now I’m hooked again and want to make everything out of silk!

  16. Looks great on you. The pattern is a little like the free Sorbetto Top pattern from Colette which I have downloaded but not yet made. I do like the slit in the neck on your one though – maybe I can adapt it. I’ll wait until I’ve read your tips about working with silk first though!

    • Thanks Tialys! Yes it is VERY much like the Colette Sorbetto shape- I have had a few requests for a post about drafting the pleats and slit so hopefully both that and the silk one will be handy to your project 🙂

  17. What a very classic and versatile silk top. It is just beautiful – yes, you should make one in cotton! I love silk, and I enjoy sewing with it, almost as much as I enjoy wearing it.

  18. TV shows are awesome for sewing inspiration…I have on several occasions paused shows to quickly photograph or sketch things I like (much to the annoyance of fellow, non sewing, viewers)…currently ‘Scandal’ is featuring quite heavily…sooooooo good, I highly recommend…haven’t actually seen any of revenge, perhaps it will feature in my next series binge…drama AND sewing inspiration…what more could one ask for!

    • I think they are actually my biggest source of sewing inspiration Benjamin- not sure what that says about me! (TV junkie- hehe!) Ooo I have never seen Scandal- will have to check it out! Be sure to have a peek at Revenge if you can- it’s a goodun!

  19. I’ve never worked with silk, but I do remember the challenges of working with slinky, slippery fabrics. (Prom dresses a few decades ago…gosh, typing that sure makes me feel geriatric.)
    I am, again, impressed with your work. The drape is beautiful, which is a testament not only to good drafting, but good handling of the fabric. I look forward to your posting silk-handling tips. I could probably think of a few things to keep in mind (like using silk pins and the right needle), but I have no doubt that you have many more in mind. Do you stay-stitch the curved areas or was your fabric not very prone to stretching out of shape? I have seen some excellent articles in Threads magazine recommending silk organza strips for stabilizing, although I haven’t been doing any sewing lately to give that technique a try.
    Beautiful work!

    • Thanks Wendy! Yep the correct pins and needles are sooo crucial- infact that is so true generally I suppose but seems particularly true in the case of silk! Sharp pins and needles too- when I first started sewing I think I changed my machine needle about once a year! Ooops!
      I have used organza to interface a jacket before but have never got around to trying it for delicate items like this- must pick some up and give it a go, I imagine it is perfect for the job!

  20. Well another gorgeous creation!!! I love the style of Emily Thorne too. Love wearing silk but as yet I have not worked with silk. On my long list of things to make is a 1930’s slinky nightdress made with a silk fabric.

    • I chose not to interface this project at all but on my upcoming silk shirt I did use some here and there. Lots of hand basting to keep things in place tho! 🙂

  21. This is gorgeous! I love the simplicity of the silhouette paired with the silk. Really, really nice. I have to confess that I’ve never seen Revenge although a friend is a writer on the show! Don’t tell him I said that! My husband controls the tivo since I’m not home very much on weekdays, so I don’t get to watch many guilty pleasures. 🙂

  22. This is such a nice top! I’ve actually never attempted to make anything with silk yet, I’ve always been a bit scared it would turn out to be a disaster. I’m definitely going to have to have a go at making my own silk top though now that I’ve seen this, a real staple piece for your wardrobe xoxo

  23. Hi Amy, just came across your site that is great! Would be wonderful if you could add a video tutorial about how to add the neckline and the tucks for this blouse as I really would like to make it! Eszter

  24. Which silk from Beckford Silk is this? I haven’t worked with silk yet and am still stumbling my way through the different kinds. Thanks!

  25. I need this shirt! I know you seem to make up a lot of your own stuff but have you seen any patterns similar to this shirt? It’s so adorable!!!

  26. That’s beautiful! I always want to make dartless pattern like this but I don’t know how to deal with the darts. I was told by my tutor to absorb the armhole dart and side dart into the waist dart, but it turns out surplus fabric in the front. How did you make this? can you share?

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