A few weeks ago I headed up to Pintuck & Purl to buy some fabric for a Farrow dress I wanted to sew and in the process ended up impulse buying a yard and a half of the gorgeous Rifle Paper Co rayon that everyone has been using. The print is beautiful, but you really have to feel this stuff to understand the hype. It is so drapey and light but still completely opaque. While buying the yardage I originally planned on using it to make another Collins top, but after bringing it home I didn't think that would be a great match of materials - the pattern of the fabric would completely hide the architectural details of the shirt, and I didn't want to deal with several bias cut pieces of rayon. So I turned to the handy pattern search tool on The Fold Line. I wanted a sleeveless shirt, preferably with no bust darts because I hate them, with a nice drape to show off the rayon.
And that is where I found Orageuse Patterns and the Lisboa top. Their designs are beautiful, but if you look on Instagram pretty much everyone who has made them speaks French, which I don't, so I couldn't find any real reviews or feedback on how they came together. However, they have English instructions and the PDFs are sized to print on American letter paper as well as A4, so I thought I would give it a go.
Thankfully I made a muslin first, because the armholes are so deep they are bra-exposing. I raised them about an inch and a half. The seam allowance is 1 cm which is only 3/8 of an inch so I also added 1/4 inch to the side seams and shoulder seams so that I could finish with french seams.
I left off top stitching the sleeve/armhole because after an inch or two the rayon was looking very puckered and there didn't seem to be any functional reason to add it.
With the exception of the back strap, the instructions were incredibly clear and it came together quickly. Even that bit can be figured out with some common sense, but I'll add some instructions below for anyone else who is in the process of making it.
It's a simple, elegant pattern that is perfect for summer. I've made two and I may make a third at some point. I doubt I'll ever make the dress. It looks beautiful but I don't need any evening dresses in my wardrobe.
This is my second version in a glorious rayon from Blackbird Fabrics that is sadly sold out.
How to insert the back strap
I could not figure out their instructions on inserting the strap into the back, so for the first shirt I just ignored them and attached it to the facing, which pulls the facing slightly out when exposed to stress. Don't do that.
You can see how the strap is pulling the facing out slightly here.
I did love the pattern enough to make it again, so I attempted blindly following the directions (which sometimes works out) and whatever I thought they were saying did not work out at all. So I'm going to attempt to give clearer directions on this.
When sewing the facing to the shirt, I suggest stitching up to the point where you want the the strap to go, back stitch, then baste for an inch. Return to your regular stitch, backstitch and continue. Once the facing is attached and pressed, pull out the basting and insert the strap into that little hole. Sew it up! Hopefully the very yellow picture below will clarify a little.
And here is what the interior will look like after a proper insertion.
I hope that is somewhat helpful!