Modern Chanel

Originally from Hawaii, Barkcloth was brought back after WWII stationed personnel returned home. It than became a staple fashion fabric (before it was used mainly in home decor) often associated in the 1940’s though 1960’s, in many types of prints. Most common ones were/are floral. Inspired by the fabric history I picked a retro inspired pattern. It also gave me the opportunity to use as much as the fabric and boarder print as possible.To contrast the fitted and tailored fashion of the era, I envision to create a soft crop top. Something “modern”. Well, crop tops started in the 80’s and are having a come back that started last year and continues till today.

Pattern:Burda Style bustier 5/2011 #127

Fit &Alterations: The bustier pattern fitted me perfectly as is. (I bought a tall version). This is the 3rd time I have sewn this pattern. I love it.
Design changes: Lengthen the pattern from bra to bustier.
Supplies, techniques & constructions: The fabric was given to me by a long time reader and blog friend Rhonda for a fabric challenge running tomorrow (feb 2nd) on her blog. OHH and there will be voting. The idea was to create something unique with aprox. 60″ in length and 18′ wide of shirt weight barkcloth. A fabric that was completely new to me. It has a rough surface like that of tree bark but maintaining a very soft and drape characteristic.


Lining: Cotton Pokadot from my stash and scrap of black crepe fabric used on my sweet scallop shorts (yet to be blogged) on the bust cups.
Medium weight interfacing. I choose to block interface the barkcloth before cutting my pieces.
7″ open end invisible zipper. I had a real hard time finding an open end zippers at this size. I wanted an exposed zipper and even considered resizing but digging the stash I managed to get a vintage invisible zipper that worked. Vintage (even if it’s mint)fits the brief and inspiration right?
Black beads bought in Brazil two years back.

Previous versions :Couture bombshell/ Birthday dress. All unique. I love how patterns can work as blank canvas.

Really enjoyed hand embroidering the flowers.


It almost made me want to sew my wedding dress… almost! I have been thinking to make/ work with a bespoke veil designer. That will be the handmade element of my outfit. 

Styled: Named Mai Jacket + Faux leather midi pleat Skirt from Zara

  • What a great and stylish way to use such a small piece of fabric! It’s beautiful.

  • That is really beautiful Rachel.

  • Stunning! This is SO beautiful. Your couture dress was my favourite of all your makes last year and I am predicting that, even though it is only 1st Feb, this could be my favourite for 2015. You realise this could be the starting point for an amazing two-piece wedding gown don’t you?!

  • omg this is beautiful Rachel! You’ve styled it so perfectly. I’d love to attempt a proper bustier sometime!

  • Amazing top Rachel, I absolutely love it! I’d love to work with barkcloth. x

  • very pretty – love the addition of the beads

  • I love it! Looks amazing on you! And I adore the whole styling!

  • It looks great on you! I am in love with this top!

  • Love this! The beading is a great touch!

  • Gorgeous! I love that you beaded the flowers, sometimes it’s the little things that really make it stand out. Perfectly styled too x

  • The beaded flowers are just the right detail to make this top truly amazing! Absolutely beautiful. Making a veil for your wedding sounds like the perfect way to incorporate your love and talents without going totally insane…

  • It’s absolutely lovely. So elegant!

  • It’s so elegant, I love the hand embroidering the flowers!

  • It’s gorgeous ! The hand-stitched beads make such a sophisticated bustier, it’s really inspiring the way you manage to turn every pattern in some kind of designer piece ! Your last comment remind me how I hesitated about seeing my wedding dress and ended up sewing one just for the dancing party of my wedding 😉

  • This is amazing Rachel, you made it unique by adding your personal touch. I bet the hand made item for you wedding will be a work of art!

  • This is so cool! I love the beading!

  • That is just too gorgeous! I love this outfit.

  • That is so beautiful, the beading is fab! Stunning!

  • LOVE the embroidery/beading. This looks gorgeous on you!

  • Really gorgeous! I love the beading, and sewing your own wedding dress is fun and totally worth it (with hindsight :p)!

  • Pingback: Sweet scallop shorts. Pattern Runway – House of Pinheiro()