The finished garment
I love the colour of this finished garment but don't think the hi-lo hem is very flattering. Although I now realise with the photos we have taken you can't really tell.
In the picture on the left you can see the French dart and on the right see the difference it makes to containing the fullness under the bust and providing more shape.
Like my Ice Cream Shop sweater I think it is too long in the back. It is also too tight across my shoulder blades. So rather than rescue this top I will get some more fabric, as it is still available, to make a different top and stick this one in the fabric scraps bin.
I actually wondered about chopping this up to use for the In the Folds Collins top, view B but maybe with sleeves, and mixed with a couple of other fabrics.
The Collins top is meant for wovens but it has finally dawned on me that whilst these AGF knits are really beefy (which is what I like about them) they don't quite stretch enough for my TNT knit pattern so sewing them without negative ease may lead to more satisfactory results.
The fabricYet another Art Gallery Fabrics cotton/spandex knit from Hawthorne Threads. This one is from the Wonderful Things collection by Bonnie Christine and is called Sweet Bubbles Sugar. AGF uses really evocative words describing this one as "the gentle whispers of joy fill our minds as positive affirmations bring inspiration and encouragement. Wonderful things inspires to delight with happy hues and delicate prints to uplift your spirits."
This fabric certainly uplifts my spirits and as a different top it could become a bright beacon in my wardrobe.
The patternThe Briar tee is described as a "stylish alternative to a basic t-shirt or sweater. The Pattern features a high scooped front hem, low curved back hem, and includes two lengths, two neckline finishes, three sleeve lengths and two patch pockets. Version 1 is a short sleeved crop top. Version 2 is a cropped sweater. Version 3 is a standard length tee with patch pocket. Version 4 is a standard length tee with long sleeves."
The pattern alterationsUsing my knit top TNT pattern (Silhouette Patterns #195 Sweater Set) I chose to make the size small. You can see my traced off pattern laid over the original Briar tee in the pictures below, to give you an idea of my pattern alterations.
For the back I started off with a size extra small at the shoulders and then about three inches below the armhole started grading out to the size small. This turned out to be a mistake as the garment is too tight across the shoulder blades so I should have stuck to the size small for the whole back.
I narrowed the shoulders by 1.5 inches and made a 1/2 inch forward shoulder adjustment. I didn't bother with the Briar sleeve just used my TNT knit sleeve which is already adapted for my forward shoulder. To use my TNT sleeve pattern I re-drew the armhole on the Briar top using my TNT armhole template (the bit of orange card in the picture below). You just place the template at the end of the shoulder seam and swing out to the side seam then draw your armhole.
The length is the same as the pattern for the size small. The front looks longer because of the French dart but is in fact the same length matching up to the back at the side seam. For me the back hem is too low and should probably be raised about 2.5 to 3 inches but that would completely remove the hi-lo look of the garment and really makes it just the same as my TNT knit top.
I might try sewing this top again in the size medium using a flowier knit fabric (maybe a merino jersey) and without the French dart.
The sewingOne of the reasons I can make the size small is that I only use 3/8 inch seam allowance with knit patterns as I don't need the extra width for a French seam. MN patterns like most patterns provides a 5/8 inch seam allowance.
As usual it was sewn on the overlocker just hemmed with the old Singer Featherweight.
This time I did a neck binding rather than just folding the neck seam over. The neck binding was overlocked to the top right sides together with one shoulder seam un-sewn. Once the binding is sewn on the shoulder seam is overlocked then the neck binding is stitched down by stitching in the ditch from the right side.
I have read somewhere that sewing the neck binding on in the flat is sloppy but I find it gives me a better fit, as I can feel the right amount of stretch is being applied to get the neckline to hug the chest. Whenever I sew a neck binding on in the round using the provided pattern piece it always ends up needing tweaking to match the amount of stretch in the fabric.