Well, I have a new make to share with you all. It combines a series of ‘firsts’:
a) The first top I’ve ever sewn
b) The first time I’ve made my own bias binding
c) The first successful fitting alterations I’ve done
d) The first Love Sewing Magazine pattern I’ve used 🙂
Here’s what it looks like on the pattern wallet:
I’m not a massive fan of keyhole features on clothes so you may ask why I decided to make this top. It was for the simple reason that I had the pattern and I like the pleated front. You can make it with a plain front and short or long sleeves but I knew I wanted the pleated front and three-quarter-length sleeves. I envisioned wearing it as casual wear with jeans or (in summer) shorts. I can wear jeans to work so I thought it might be a good top for there too as it’s comfortable. Also ideal if you want to cover up a food baby!! 😉 (Or a real baby bump – And no, I don’t mean me!)
As ever, the bunnies wanted to have their say in the pattern decisions – Millie here eventually approved and hopped away. 😛
I didn’t take any ‘in progress’ photos as those are only necessary in blogs whereby you’re trying to teach the audience something (and I’m the learner, not the teacher!) so we’ll jump straight to the ‘finished’ photos:
I do apologise for the low quality of the photos – it wasn’t an easy top to self-photograph! As you can see, I used a grey cotton with a small white floral print as I didn’t want anything too fussy. Ironically I’m currently making a cushion in this fabric so soon I’ll match the furniture! I wanted something fairly structured but 100% cotton so it’s okay to wear in summer.
I made it in a size 12 because I knew the fabric wouldn’t have any stretch in it. I’d normally buy size 10 for my top half if material is stretchy but if it’s not it struggles to encase my 34 inch chest. And I hate seeing strained fabric – it’s not a good look. I found the shoulders and across the chest fitted well but there was too much fabric around the middle which made the back look particularly unflattering. I just dove in and adjusted the seams, hoping that would fix the problem and it did!
I cut the sleeves out to the three-quarter-length pattern but they were far too long; they almost reached my wrists. I shortened them and I think they are much better now. The left sleeve is slightly tighter then the right and I think if I were to make this pattern again I’d insert little slits on the outside of the sleeves to make bending your arms more comfy.
As I didn’t like the idea of a keyhole neckline, I didn’t put bias binding all the way around. Instead, I’ve gone for a deep ‘U’ shape (was meant to be a ‘V’ but who’s to know?!). I wear vest tops under everything so it’s not a problem that it’s low. For summer I might stick in a ‘modesty panel’ so it appears I have a vest on, like Shelia over at Sewchet suggested.
I was nervous about sewing sleeves and armholes, and collars because, well, I never have. But this pattern was so easy it’s given me a real thirst for it! I’d like to make this blouse again but in a lighter fabric (maybe in double gauze like this one at M is for Make’s website) and with a round neckline or a V-neck.
I’ve learnt a lot from this project – like the nun skirt, it taught me loads about the order in which to construct a top. Sounds simple but my unskilled mind always wants to do things in the wrong order which leads to problems further down the line. I think in future I will flatlock as I go because doing it all at the end was a bit tedious. Maybe I was meant to do it as I went along but the pattern didn’t mention anything about it so I just left it, which means the areas around the armpits are a bit untidy as I had to do them by hand.
Unlike the nun skirt, I wouldn’t be ashamed to wear this garment in public. 🙂