This is a post about a top I made about three months ago, but I just didn’t want to write about it, as it was not so much of a hit for my goal of building a wardrobe. Things have changed a bit…What happened? Well…I decided to use Ottobre Romantic Notes top pattern. Simple and beautiful, also easy to make.
Looking at my stash of fabrics I decided on this great teal grey-ish sweater knit 100% poly, and got all excited about this project. All beginnings are exciting, right? I have taken lots of pics of this project, but not all of them in perfect light conditions. Please excuse my beginner’s skills in this department!
My day job office is a bit cooler than my preferences, and I got really busy in my studio making something a bit warmer, but still nice and chic. Here is the story: the project was not very complicated to sew/overlock. Ottobre has very good instructions to follow when sewing their patterns. I did make some very small adjustments. The fabric was more of a two-way stretch (very much cross grain stretch, almost none straight grain), and I have done the mistake of assuming a lot stretchiness, and I cut a size too small (on top of that, also not adding enough seam allowance of 5/8″). Who wants a flimsy knit fabric hanging on the body, rather than hugging the body? I love huggings, of all kinds please!
On with the story, I cut all my fabric quickly and was trying the interface to make sure it matched the front. No, I did not glued it on the front as you see it here! Please don’t do that! And don’t call me if you did.
The top has beautiful pleats at the shoulder and back neck, which I had no difficulty basting in place and then sewing them. Aren’t they pretty? Baste, baste, baste for proper alignment of the folds.
Next step was to tackle the front bodice facing, that was also interfaced. I did use the knit kind, but this stabilized the fashion fabric too much, especially since that front V was all sewn with straight stitching and under-stitching as well.
This top should have had some different sewing instructions for the front part. The rest of it was easy to sew. Simple sleeves, side seams, hem at the bottom, nothing fancy. The fanciness was that front wrap, forming a nice V. Here gets very tricky again: if your top has too much room, and it’s not fitted across the bust and down to the waist, that V would get very loose and show the bra or your tank top (last one showing, wouldn’t be too bad of a deal).
What I hated about this top, when all the stitching was done, was that the stiff front part would stretch the back at the waist so out of shape, and looking at the side seams, they were nothing close to a vertical line. This is how it looked before I panicked and called the firefighters to help!!!
At this point, I had two options: to dump the project all together, or get creative and fix my mistakes and Ottobre’s poor design (for knit fabrics) and/or the sewing instructions. I opted for the second option. I figured I could sew a 1″ wide elastic in the side seams, a bit above the waist, but only for the back part of the top. I matched it exactly where my double front pieces overlap and met at the side seams. It’s not a perfect fix, I know, but I tried wearing the top a few times, and concluded it really doesn’t bother me at all. Here is the elastic and a better side seam after intervention:
Next boo boo I did was to cut the sleeves too short. And I couldn’t stand it for the life of me!!! Why? I really looked like I grew up in length so quickly, that my parents didn’t have time to buy me something appropriate. Don’t laugh! This happens a lot to six year old kids. I bet it happened to a lot of us!!! And I thought to myself: that’s the end of this saga! I was seriously thinking of giving it to some charity shop, when this great idea came to me: I could add some cuffs from the leftover fabric. Didn’t bother to unstitch the old seam, I cut it off and added this cuff. I do a lot of magic with leftovers lately…And ta daaaa!
I would sew this pattern again, adding more seam allowance, using overlock stitch to sew the facing in place, maybe dropping the interfacing all together, or just use something with more stretch. With the leftover fabric from this project, I made a twisted circle scarf, as it happened to match in colour with other garment I have. Also with this Ottobre pattern, it matches like 2-in-1!
and I hate posing for shots, but here I am doing it anyway: