I really like the way that lots of independent pattern companies use names instead of numbers, don’t you? Although I am one of those people who just remembers numbers (sorry, maths geek, somehow they just stick) it seems to give a garment rather more personality when it has a name.
I particularly like the names applied to patterns by Tilly and the Buttons; so far there are two which share a name with two of my favourite female relatives.
The first of these, from the Love at First Stitch book, was the Margot pyjamas. This is my Aunty Margot (on the left, with my mum – yes, they are sisters!)
The other is the Agnes top. To me, Agnes was my mum’s mum, my Nana, someone I miss enormously though she’s been gone for years. She was a very petite but rather glamorous lady: here she is (again with my Mum, who may be grumpy should she ever find this blog: sorry Mum!)
It’s one of those patterns which I didn’t like on release. I have absolutely no interest in ruching of any kind and I wasn’t that keen on such tight fitting tops (mum of two here, my tummy does not need to be hugged snuggly by any kind of jersey). Gradually though I saw other versions popping up on line and it began to grow on me.
Eventually I succumbed and bought it with the Arielle skirt (not made that yet either!). I decided that without the ruching and with a slightly looser fit than intended, it might just be a really useful wardrobe addition.
I decided to make my first version in a cotton jersey from Fabworks. This is one of those relatively poor recovery fabrics but it’s nice and soft, I love the flamingo print, and I think it was £4 a metre so not too expensive for a trial run. I bought 2m (the pattern suggests 1.5m)
For the short sleeved version, you absolutely do not need 2m. Or indeed 1.5m. Even allowing for cutting flamingoes very carefully, you can it this onto less than a metre of 60″ wide. Live and learn.
As with all Tilly patterns, this was easy to follow. Although my measurements would indicate a straight size 4, I cut a 4 at the bust and graded out gently to nearer a 5 by the time I got to the hips to give that slightly looser fit I was after. I sewed on my machine but then used the overlocker to finish each seam, so I’m really chuffed with how neat the innards look!
I’m pretty pleased with the end result, except for two things.
Firstly, it was a poor material choice for me: I think something with a higher Lycra content and hence better recovery would work better.
Secondly, and very commonly for me, the neckline is too wide and shows some bra strap unless carefully adjusted. Which is so not going to happen so looks like this is one to wear with my hair down!
In order to correct the neckline problem, I took a scrap of paper, traced the neckline curve front and back then stuck it to my traced pattern piece so as to narrow the neckline slightly (does that make sense?) I doubt this would work with a large adjustment but I only wanted to shift it in the width of a bra strap. I did ensure that front and back neckline still matched and trimmed the neckband pattern piece a little.
I then cut a second top out of a fabric I’ve had for about a year which was sourced from http://www.myfabrics.co.uk. This was when I was going on the Coco workshop and trying to buy fabric on line: not at all easy when you’re new to stretchy fabrics and don’t know what to look for! I loved the colour and feel of this one but decided it was too light weight for Coco. It was described as 95% cotton 5% spandex and to me is a much better match to this pattern.
The finish on the sleeves is great; I seem to have some slight waviness on the bottom hem which is still there after washing but it’s not bad enough to put me off (I don’t notice it on so who cares?!)
So all in all I’m very happy with this pattern and I can see several more versions in my near future. I have plans to try making it a short sleeve instead of elbow length plus I fancy at least one full length sleeve version.
I’m still not fancying the ruching though!
I wonder what Nana would make of her namesakes? I’m not sure Agnes would be entirely her style but I like her all the same.