Saturday, 22 March 2014

More than a t-shirt

Hello again friends!

I made a t-shirt! Sort of - check it out!


I am so pleased with how this turned out - I got the idea from a couple of RTW tops I've seen around the shops, and just went for it.


The pattern is from the Built by Wendy Dresses book. This is only the second time I've used a pattern from this book, which has been languishing on the shelf for a while. It includes three basic patterns - the shift dress, which I used here, a sheath dress with raglan sleeves, and a dirndl dress. These patterns don't have a ton of ease, so I sized up to the large and shortened the shoulder seam about 1/2". This left me with the boxy shape I was looking for.

The fabric was a gift from a de-stashing friend, and it was love at first sight. I think it's some kind of blend, it's definitely not 100% wool. It's got a lot going on, and it took a while to decide how I wanted the pattern to work. I kept the dominant stripe horizontal, and managed to match the pattern pretty well.

For the binding, I chose some lovely plummy silk charmeuse, and used the wrong side. I loved the colour, but the shine was just not right, so the matte side was the way to go. I used the continuous method (or little pants, as we called it at school) to make my bias strips, and ended up with 4 strips 55" long from an 11" length of fabric.

As for the pattern adjustments and construction, the BBW dress book patterns do not include seam allowance (which I like, since that's how I draft, on the rare occasion I get around to it). I traced my pattern pieces onto the fabric, and made sure to mark a 1/2" seam allowance at the side seams. I did not add any hem allowance; since the hem is bound, that would have been a waste of fabric. For the other seams, I just eyeballed my seam allowances. Since the fabric frayed like crazy, I serged all the edges, including those that would be bound. I then used the serging as a guide when sewing the binding.

After binding the sides and hems of the front and back, I continued as normal (shoulders, neck etc.), and when it was time to sew up the side seams, I just laid the front over the back, pinned first to make sure I wouldn't have any surprises, and stitched from the right side. Presto, design feature! Then I set the sleeves in, and toyed with the idea of binding the hems as well, but decided to leave them with a plain hem. In a lighter fabric, I might be tempted to bind the sleeve hem as well.



If I were to do this again, I might move the side seams forward by adding to the back and reducing the front a bit. But that is a mere quibble, I am in love with this top, and seeing the pics again has inspired me to wear it again!

Pattern matching delight - but you can see how springy the fabric is - that seam did not want to lay flat!


In a side note, I have been reading along with the Colette Wardrobe Architect series, and this is definitely one of my preferred silhouettes. I could use a few more boxy tops in my life, and this was an excellent start.

And now to move on to some spring projects!

12 comments:

  1. It looks great on you! I like it with the slim cropped pants. I"m pretty hooked on loose tops too - I found myself thinking of drafting a snug faux-wrap top today, but then couldn't think what pants I would ever wear with it! Tight pants and a tight top just doesn't sound fun! :P

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    1. Thank you! And I wish I had made these pants - then I would already have the pattern! I'm with you on the tight pants tight top situation - it's like the rule about showing a lot of leg or showing a lot up top. Balance is key. Although, I can picture you looking great in a snug wrap top - with a skirt, maybe?

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  2. Wow Chloe! This has got to be my favourite makes of yours, of all time. This is really gorgeous and I would snap it up in an instant if I saw this in a store -- and if I looked as you as you do in it! Congrats. Also, I love your skinny pants!!

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    1. Thank you so much! High praise indeed. I feel like I'm really onto something with my sewing these days, I'm not getting as distracted by pretty patterns that I won't wear or don't suit me. And I have two pairs of those pants now - sometimes the stores do get it right. But I'll definitely have to find/draft a pattern for them, too.

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  4. Hi Chloe, Nice make! I love the side seams. Very clever. It feels so good to make something that you love to wear. Mission accomplished!

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    1. Hi Janet - it sure does! Much better than making something and letting it sit in the closet unloved.

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  5. What a cool top! To my eye, it strikes the right balance between relaxed and shapely. Thanks for sharing how you worked with the bound side-seams.

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    1. Thanks Morgan - it was relatively fun and easy. Who knows, there may be more where this came from!

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  6. I love the fabric and that keyhole closure in the back! It will be a great go-to top.

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  7. This looks great! I love the bias tape side seam detail.

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  8. That's very well done! You have skills!

    Saskia / girlinbrogues.com

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