Unless of course I get myself organised and take a sewing project to work. I do have a sewing machine in my work city and it hasn't been out of the luggage cupboard at the hotel in months. Something to aim for, maybe.
The finished garmentThe daffodils are out, the lambs are gambolling in the fields and the sun is shining. To welcome spring here is my new yellow top.
It is another hi lo top and extra long in the back (ends just below my bottom) but for some reason I really like this top. Unlike my previous few makes where I felt the tops were too long.
The fabricI managed to buy another Art Gallery Fabrics knit without realising it. This Morse Dot Sun knit came from The Sewing Workshop within the last twelve months - before I had consciously developed my penchant for AGF knits. It wasn't until I looked at the selvedge as I was cutting out that I realised it was from AGF. So I must love their designs as much as the quality of their cotton/spandex knits.
This print is part of the Imprint collection by Katarina Roccella. The Imprint collection is described as a harmonious arrangement of neutral shades and delicately selected colors inspired by Katarina’s printmaking background and linocuts. The essences of Suprematism; square, cross, circle, and defined silhouettes compliment this versatile collection.
The patternI don't know where I saw it, but a make by a now unknown sewing blogger immediately made me want a copy of Butterick See and Sew B6232 which was unfortunately out-of-print. A quick eBay search discovered one for sale - no sooner found than mine! It took a while for the pattern to arrive in New Zealand and a little longer sitting on the kitchen bench giving me the sew me or tidy me away stare before the sew me stare won.
B6232 is described as a fitted top with raised waist, hemline variations and narrow hem. A: Back zipper. B: pullover, wrong side shows (back hemline), back neck slit with hook and eye closing. Stitched hems on sleeves. Purchased bias tape to finish necklines.
This pattern is for woven fabrics (its main point of attraction - well that and the peplum) so I immediately started thinking about making it in a beefy knit after my lack of success using my TNT knit pattern. I am also going through a yellow phase at the moment possibly because of my Go Taxi flats (or maybe it is the hint of Spring in the air) which clearly identified the fabric to use.
I chose to sew View B in a size 14 based on the finished garment measurements and my TNT woven top (Silhouette Patters #400 Traditional Blouse view 2). Only the finished bust measurement (printed on the pattern) was relevant to the chosen size as the waist is much larger due to the flare of the peplum.
The pattern alterationsWhen I compared B6232 to my TNT pattern a basic problem with the pattern markings was highlighted. Whilst a lower bust point can be attributed to my aging, I defy anyone to have a bust point to bust point measurement of 4 inches. On this pattern the bust point is 2 inches in from centre front. The placement of the waist dart is closer to where the bust point should be.
This leads me to the second problem with the pattern. The waist dart ends far too close to the bust point. Any slight error with the sewing would have the end of the dart stopping right on the bust point.
The third problem with this pattern is the proportions of the waist dart, wide and short, which makes it harder to get a smooth point. In my experience it would be better to have a narrower waist dart and remove some of the width from the side seam. In the interests of authenticity I did not narrow the waist dart but did sew it shorter as my bust is prominent enough without highlighting it with a dart point. I have now made changes to the pattern for both the dart width and end point just in case I sew it again.
As these patterns are touted as Very Easy and likely to attract beginner sewers I think more care should be taken in their development. It would be very easy for a beginner sewer to get extremely average results from this pattern through no fault of their own.
The other changes I made to the pattern are:
- lowered the bust point to counteract my aforementioned aging
- narrowed the shoulder to the same width as my TNT pattern
- omitted the shoulder dart in the back
- made a 0.5 inch forward shoulder adjustment
- used my TNT woven blouse armhole and sleeve (I couldn't be bothered making the forward shoulder alteration to the B6232 sleeve)
- made a full bust adjustment. Basically just copied the bust dart from my TNT pattern and made the newbie error of not lengthening the top front piece to compensate for the bust dart.
- put fish eye waist darts in the back for shaping
- removed 1.25 inches from the length of the back to match the (accidentally shorter) front. I didn't remove the length until after I had tried it on and this slightly shorter length looks better than the original so I have made this alteration to the pattern piece
The sewingThe fabric was cut with the greatest amount of stretch going up and down the body. As I was using a woven pattern I decided I could go with my preference for the dots and dashes to be vertical and ignore the direction of greatest stretch.
As with all of my recent makes a very simple project sewn mainly on the overlocker. I did sew the darts with my Singer Featherweight just in case I needed to make any alterations rather than sewing them on the overlocker.
This top was made even simpler by the knit fabric because I could omit the hook and eye closure at the back and just overlock the centre back seam from top to bottom.
I used The Sewing Workshop 1/2 inch fusible hem tape before sewing the hem to prevent it stretching out. The neckline was stay-stitched at 3/8 inch then folded over and stitched. I cut a neck binding but decided not to use it.
I did have 5/8 inch seam allowances on this garment because I would normally sew it in a woven fabric with French seams. Still prefer a 3/8 inch seam allowance for knits and think if I sew this pattern again in a knit I will chop off the extra seam allowance before I sew it. It was really interesting how difficult I found sewing with 5/8 inch seam allowances on the overlocker. There are a couple of seams that are a bit wonky. Definitely inserting sleeves, even in the flat, is so much easier with the smaller seam allowance.
As predicted in the pattern alteration section getting a smooth end to the waist darts is almost impossible as can be seen here. I didn't think they looked too bad until I saw the photographic evidence, and they are sufficiently bad for me to unpick and re-sew.
Outfit of the dayI wore this top to go shopping for lights and flooring. As a treat we had lunch in our favourite cafe at the Mediterranean Food Company and my photographer captured desert time. This time eating passion fruit tart with raspberry mascarpone.
Here is a photo from a previous visit in June of my apple frangipani tart - an absolute work of art.
Anyway back to the outfit, here is my top with yet another pair of Andrea Moore skinny pants and my Trippen navy Klee shoes, posing in front of the blossoming Almond tree.