How’s things? I’m trying desperately to catch up on blogging some of the things I’ve been making of late when too tired to actually sew without error ( or when I can’t be bothered to set the machine up on the kitchen table!) and post PTA meeting tonight (yes, it seems I’m one of those mums!) I really can’t be bothered with the faff!
So I thought I’d share my latest make for me with you. This is one I’ve been planning for a while. It’s a remake of a pattern I made 4 versions of last year, New Look 6808. Initially not the most inspiring envelope (as so many commercial patterns aren’t), this proved to be an incredibly useful summer top for me last year. I was inspired to make it after seeing Amy’s versions.
The beauty of this top for a pasty person like me is it can be made in a lovely, lightweight fabric so it’s cool, but it’s high necked and has little capped sleeves so you don’t catch the sun. It feels smarter than a straight t-shirt as it’s semi fitted but it’s still very comfortable.
But it took several goes last year to get the fit spot on and none of those versions fit this year.
Could I get it right (or near enough) first time in a new size?
Decided I wasn’t 100% confident on that, I fished some nice but not absolute favourite cotton out of the stash to have a first bash. The material was from Miss Matatabi last year some time and is an organic cotton print in a lovely minty colour with white shells. It’s a little stiffer than I would have liked even after pre-washing but still comfortable and nice to wear.
I traced the pattern off and the first thing I did was to move the bust dart up 2″. This sounds a lot but it is a REALLY low dart on the original pattern and I found it almost made me look to have two lots of boobs last year in the first version!
I took an inch off the bottom of the pattern.
I then review the always over-wide neckline. This is going to come up in detail when I blog my Betty dresses, but suffice it to say that I regularly have the problem of the bust and waist fitting but there being way too much fabric around the neckline. I had a tutorial pointed out to me that explains how to take that excess into the waist line dart; however, for this top, the dart is not a simple triangle but a kite shape (technical term anyone?)
So I took the very non-technical approach of cutting deeply into the bodice from the neckline and overlapping at the neck the desired amount. I then proceeded to bash the rest of the paper pattern flat (!!) – not ideal, but hey, it’ll do!
I finished off all the inside seams with the overlocker again, which gives a great finish, and replaced the neck facings with bias binding as I just find it neater.
You can see the stiffer cotton isn’t hanging as well as it might, but this is essentially a toile so I’m OK with that.
I really like the high neckline front and back; casually, that means I don’t burn in the sunl worn for work, I can lean over other people’s desks without worrying about unintentional eye-fulls being given!
The pattern has you put a lapped zip down one of the side seams. I’ve replaced it with an invisible zip because I find them easier but I think another time I won’t even bother with that. It’s entirely possible for me to easily pull this on without using the zip and I find it makes the side seam feel bulky. I’m intending future versions in lightweight lawn or rayon so I think that would be even worse.
Even after knocking 1″ off the pattern piece, I still turned over 2″ up as a hem so this really is a long old bodice piece – worth bearing in mind if you’re short on fabric.
All in all, I’m really pleased with this. Yes, if I were being a perfectionist, I might look at doing a sway back adjustment (should I ever work out how to do one)
but given this is mostly a casual top for use in warm weather, I just can’t get excited about it. Maybe next year when there are fewer holes in the wardrobe and I can take more time! I should mention that the photos on me are at the end of a day in the office so the creases are at their absolute worst!
All in all I’m really pleased with this and already have the next piece of fabric out of the wardrobe to cut the next version out. Tried and tested indeed!
What’s your go to summer top pattern? Any use for pasty red heads who need to stay cool whilst dodging the sun?