Silk Dove


Katie in pale colour shocker! Seriously, all of my 2016 makes have been embarrassingly samey dark shades. My black overlocker spools even ran out, so that was a good kick to embrace the light side. I may also be in seasonal denial, as summer ends and we head into my least favourite time of year, by making a silk sleeveless blouse…


This is the Dove blouse, the new pattern from Megan Nielsen, which she kindly sent me a pre-release of to try out. It’s a very pretty semi-fitted top with a host of yummy design details like French bust darts, chunky topstitched facings for the V-neck and curvy hem, and a slew of sleeve options, from slim elbow-length to fabulous full-on bell.


Being me and unable to leave a good pattern alone, I eschewed all the sleeve options, instead adding little rectangular caps and finishing the rest of the armsyce with bias facing. I’ve come to realise that any woven garment with a set-in sleeve rarely gets reached for in my wardrobe unless the drafting is 100% spot-on, plus I’m always overly warm rather than cold so it isn’t actually all that seaosnally-inappropriate. I’ll do a tutorial for the hack if anyone’s interested.




As usual from Megan’s patterns, the instructions are clear and well-illustrated, and the drafting is just a delight – this was so pleasurable to sew and all came together in a few hours. I cut a Large, which is bigger than my measurements but I like a lot of ease in woven tops. It still fits really nicely around the neck and shoulders, though it dips a bit too long in the back for my preference – I’ll take some length out next time.


I think the fabric makes this top feel rather special. It’s undyed silk noil from The Organic Textile Company; a bargain at £8.95 a metre. This is probably my number-one fabric both to work with and to wear yet I’ve only used it once before. It’s pretty hard to find in any colours or prints but this raw slubby cream is rather beautiful, albeit out of my usual palette comfort zone. (It does take dye well however, so I’m going to buy more to self-colour.) Some up-close inside shots to show the texture and finishing:

Self-bias faced armholes and the faced, topstitched neckline.

The hem facing and centre-front seam.

French-seamed shoulder seam and French bust dart in the background, the ‘legs’ of which are cut out, so raw edges are overlocked after it’s sewn together.


The rather directional design details, not to mention the colour, feel a little ‘out there’ for my usual/current style, but I do love it and expect it will get lots of wear. It looks so good with denim (Safran jeans here) and the relaxed shape and dream fabric make it super comfy. Here’s hoping I don’t spill coffee/wine/spaghetti down it too soon… perhaps the real reason I usually stick to dark colours.

Thanks again to Megan for sending me the Dove pattern to try! You can pick it up for 20% off until Friday using the code HELLODOVE.

47 thoughts on “Silk Dove

  1. AvatarDebbie

    I love this top, especially in the silk. The colour and style is very classy on you. Did you pre-treat the fabric? If so, how?

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Just a gentle machine wash as I do with most ‘delicate’ fabrics (though silk is actually quite tough!). I’ll do a machine hand wash when I launder the top. My other noil top has lasted well this way.

  2. AvatarChrystene

    I love your ‘sleeves’.’ I feel the same way about woven set-in sleeves. I would appreciate the tutorial you mentioned if you have the time to make one.

  3. AvatarBella

    So lovely. I’m not one for light colours either, however lately I’ve been craving a crisp white shirt, very strange for me. Silk noil is wonderful, I’ve found prints at The Fabric Store on occasion. I really like the simplicity of your cream fabric though.

  4. AvatarSam

    This is gorgeous Katie, I was only admiring this pattern this morning as I’m in love with the bell sleeves, but I’d love to see how you did your little sleeve caps too. They’re a great addition to the pattern.

  5. AvatarJane

    This is lovely Katie, such a great shape and the sleeve hack gets a big thumbs up from me! I’d be interested in a tutorial too, thanks. x

  6. AvatarPsychicSewerKathleen

    I love the sleeves as you’ve done them on this Dove! I like her patterns as well and have several sadly the Dove is ONLY available in PDF – I’m hoping that changes the future :) I also love Silk Noil – I made a lovely vintage blouse out of a blue/gray that I just love. It’s true it’s a great fabric to sew with AND to wear. I made my blouse on the bias actually and you might like to try that in the future with this fabric. It’s divine :)

  7. AvatarLisa G

    This is beautiful! I wasn’t blown over by the pattern when I saw it released, but this is so chic. Love all the details and your great fabric choice!

  8. AvatarFiona

    This is so beautifully made Katie. I love your little sleeve caps and choice of fabric. I’ve just made a Dove today and can’t wait to wear it tomorrow!

  9. AvatarPamelyn Woo

    Please show this hack!! Looks like it should be simple but I’ve never bothered to figure it out myself to get a neat finish (also been tempted to buy tops like this but then scold myself for the laziness).

  10. AvatarAMisplacedPen

    What a beautiful version of this pattern! I love the material you used and the changes you made to the sleeves. They make this a wearable statement piece!

  11. AvatarDanielle

    Beautiful! Would love a tutorial for the sleeve hack! Your version is definitely pushing me over the edge to buy this pattern…

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Thanks! I have a funny skintone (yellow/olive tones but pale) so never sure pales work well on me. The big semi-visible facings are one of my favourite parts of the pattern.

  12. AvatarKathryn

    This is gorgeous Katie!! I love your sleeve hack too. That fabric looks gorgeous, I’m quite tempted to get some to dye mustard/golden yellow for a shirt!

  13. AvatarSonja

    This is absolutely lovely! Silk noil- what a smart choice! And as a fellow pale yellow person, I also fear light colors, but this is really pretty on you!

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  15. AvatarMichelle Lopez

    Hi Katie! My name is Michelle, I live all the way over in Southern California. I love your blog, it’s so inspiring! I just bought some silk noil after 2 months of deliberation (this post helped put me over the edge). I haven’t pretreated it yet, and I’ve noticed it has a sort of fish oily scent. Do you have any advice on what kind of chemical I should use as I wash it?

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Hi Michelle – I didn’t notice a small on mine so I can’t really help. I wash mine with a non-bio liquid detergent on a handwash cycle. Maybe scented Soak wool wash would help with the smell?

  16. AvatarTammy

    I just read your post because I was looking for a tutorial on making short sleeves for the Dove. Have you found the time to do it? Thanks.

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