The beauty of the Tried & Tested

Hello! Sorry it’s been rather quiet around here of late, I’m afraid every spare second has been taken up with emergency stitching rather than blogging.  We are now on T minus 12 before Disney happens, there’s a wedding to attend next weekend (nearly finished that dress!) and this weekend we are enjoying the sun at our friends’ house a couple of hundred miles from home.  My holiday wardrobe is still incomplete so there’s been some pressure!

However, this is where the tried and tested pattern comes into its own!  As I mentioned before, I made a few versions of this top last year but needed to totally resize it again to reflect my changed shape.  I did dither about whether it was worth it or not but as the holiday got nearer, this was the type of top I was wanting to wear.

Having taken a chunk out of the neckline and moved the bust dart up quite considerably last time I made New Look 6808, I have now removed the zip from the side as well. I came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t needed for me: the neckline is plenty wide enough without any further openings. And it speeds the job up considerably!

My wearable toile was in a mid weight cotton, purely because it was in the stash. But I now have two further versions in much lighter, drapier fabrics which are going to be so much more use.

The first is a glorious turquoise rayon with a pattern in white and fuschia. I picked this up at Olympia at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show, from the Sew Over It stall, with this pattern in mind.


The big learning point on this one was making continuous bias tape for once. And I’m in love! 

May Martin was definitely right: the little Prym gadgets make this so easy, plus I made enough bias and then some for the neck from a small square of fabric left between the two large pieces of this pattern. For reference, I used this tutorial from Melly Sews.

I would previously have used shop bought but this was such lightweight fabric I thought it would ruin it. So worth it! The satisfaction factor alone is awesome but it just looks so much nicer as well. I’m a convert!


It’s worth noting that the original pattern uses a facing not bias but in most cases I prefer bias as a finish; much less faffing all round and fewer layers of fabric which can only be a good thing!

The second version (possibly the happiest top I’ve made or seen!) is made from the floatiest cotton lawn in the world! 


Please forgive the photos on this: they’re at the end of a day spent in 28 degree heat outside with 5 children!! We’re spending the weekend with friends with their 3 children and our 2 and it’s wonderful chaos! This is called testing to destruction and I can confirm that the fabric is holding up.  I can also confirm that Mr Red doesn’t love taking blog photos: sorry!


I succumbed to the fabric at The Village Haberdashery last weekend when I was there on a course. I could see me swanning about Florida in it on sight and had to buy some (what fabric diet!)


But this is where the TNT pattern comes into its own.  The first time I made this top it took me more than a full day.  On Thursday evening, after a bloody awful day, I started cutting out at 9pm. I was in bed before midnight (not a lot before midnight but it took me that long to calm down anyway) with a completed top. Home made bias and all. Sewing win!


This is probably not the most flattering style in the world. It may well not be the shape you look for in a sun top. But for a pasty red head this top is perfection.  Made in a lovely lightweight fabric, it allows any breeze to reach your skin whilst keeping the nasty sun from burning you to a crisp. Cleavage and shoulders are covered. And it’s just that bit more pulled together than a vest top. 

Win all round really. 

I reckon I’ve another one of these in me pre holiday, a wedding outfit to complete, plus a couple more tops and maybe even the flamingo dress I’ve been planning since Christmas. It all depends on the children and what time they deign to sleep really.

Wish me luck!
Becca x

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11 thoughts on “The beauty of the Tried & Tested

  1. Two really lovely tops and yes they do look good on you. Great when you can start something late evening and get it finished before bed. I made a lawn top this month and had to learn bias OMG it’s great fun isn’t it. You will have some lovely clothes for your holidays K xXx

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  2. I don’t remember you buying that first fabric when we were at Olympia – I must have lost concentration briefly!! These are perfect hot weather tops – I’m like you and prefer things that protect me from the sun. They both look really lovely on you. Making your own bias binding is so satisfying isn’t it.

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    1. It’s great Jane! I did buy several fabrics from Sew Over It, it may well have been obscured by the others! 😳 I have now sewn two of the fabrics from that stall plus the two I got from Fabrics Galore so I have 1 kit and 1 fabric length from Sew Over It left: I’m getting there! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Perfect summer tops. I’m like you I need shoulders and cleavage covered when it’s hot, even factor 50 is not enough. I think this is a perfect mix of shaped and yet floaty enough for super hot weather.

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