The Top: Part Two, Make Three

Yes, yes, yes, this is the same top as I talked about last week. Because of that, this post will be short and sweet.

I used the same size size pattern as last time (size 10) but with a fabric that has so much more drape, the result was a bit different. I was aware that with a slinky fabric such as this, I might end up with a neckline that was more generous than intended, and to be sure I didn’t run into the same challenge as I did with this purple top, I lined the front neckline with some pink ribbon I had on hand. This has worked well to stabilize things, but every so often a flash of pink shows. Not a big deal, but something for me to keep in mind for next time. Check out those side stripe matching! Also, the arms, the stripes don’t match there, but I was limited by the amount of fabric I had (from my stash) and really wanted this top in this fabric. I can live with it.


Something I didn’t factor in was the back drape. Once complete, I tried the top on and knew that the propensity of the top to slide off my shoulders, thus exposing my bra straps and requiring me to fiddle constantly, would drive me nuts. As mentioned above, I was working with very little yardage so had to get a bit creative. I dove into my sewing room garbage can and produced the rolled selvage edge et voila. I actually first sewed this little piece along the shoulder seam and really disliked the proportions created, but, moved down by about 5 inches, I quite like it.

This is easily one of my most frequently worn me-made tops. It’s comfy, the fabric is a delight against the skin and it shows enough skin to be fun, but is loose enough to wear while enjoying a good meal and a few too many glasses of wine.

What’s your favourite top pattern? Do you have a few? Are they for knits or wovens?


The Top: Part One

This is McCall’s 7127 – a pattern that I almost didn’t purchase. I had been doing some online pattern shopping one evening, as one is apt to do, and I came across this super cute, dropped shoulder, crossed back top designed for a somewhat stable knit. You see, about two years ago I stumbled across Girl Charlee Fabrics (most likely through links from other bloggers) and was completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knit fabric! In the town I live in, thankfully there is a fabric store, but there’s only one, and this one doesn’t stock much besides polyester sweatshirt fleece. Which is fine, sometimes, but my preference for sweatshirt fleece really does run towards bamboo. I digress; so I got really caught up in purchasing all-the-knits in lengths of about 4-5 yards per fabric/pattern. The massive thing I didn’t consider, was that knits come in all sorts of weights, and textures, and opacity. Of course I didn’t order any swatches either. One of the challenges of living in Canada, is that ordering a swatch means you may or may not be able to order the fabric once the swatch shows up and you decide you like it.

So, being the sane person I am, I just went for it and ordered – a lot. This bird fabric, while I very much like the pattern, ended up being much too lightweight and sheer, to be used for its intended purpose of a dress. Instead, it’s more of a t-shirt weight, so I have made up 5 different tops now in this fabric. I still have this one, and I think the other 4 have found homes with my friends. I am a big believer of “just put a bird on it”, but “just put a bird on 5 of them” seemed a bit much, even for me.

When just standing and not trying to pose for a photo I am assured that the back hangs much nicer than what it’s doing above here. That being said, it is my backside, so I can’t confirm this statement. I made this up in a straight size 10 with no alterations. This, in and of itself, is a miracle. I thought for sure that this would take some folding and manipulating to get it to sit the way I wanted. I really like the top and have, as I’m sure you guessed, made multiples.

The really interesting thing I found with this top (aside from the fact that it took only a few hours from cutting to being completely finished) is that when I did a quick look on Pattern Review there were (at the time) only 3 reviews and they weren’t terribly positive. Please know that I am not saying the reviewers did or said anything they shouldn’t have, I’m simply mentioning that this pattern was a perfect fit for me and my body, and it’s interesting how different we are all shaped. Also interesting to note is that this top doesn’t look very good on my friends.

Please excuse the wrinkle on the bust;  I had my photographer for only a set amount of time and I wanted to get as many things photographed as I could. Clearly I didn’t realize the hangup that had occurred.

This second top I made with a very light weight cotton jersey (another Girl Charlee purchase) and used a woven rayon for the back; I was interested to see if I could mix and match fabrics. It works, but I’m not sure that I love the way that it drapes. Again, you can’t really tell as I have my hands up (I have no idea what I was trying to accomplish by this pose…) but when my arms are down, it doesn’t drape quite like I had hoped it would. That being said, it does still get worn with a pair of white linen pants and I quite like the “Hamptons” look that it conjures.

Has anyone else tried and liked, or disliked, this pattern? Do tell…!

The Sallie: Romper

Does anyone else else dislike the term “romper”? Is there another (better) term we could use? I just feel like all of the terms out there for this garment do it a disservice.

I bought the Sallie Jumpsuit pattern from Closet Case Files the day it was released. And I actually didn’t purchase it for myself. I have this fantastic friend who fits the same clothes as I do, but she and I are opposite in one fairly major way (body dimension wise); I have a very short rise and she has a very long rise. This of course means, that although this lady would look like a bombshell in a jumpsuit, she has never been able to find one that doesn’t produce a certain “named after an animals digit”  in the neither region. This friend of mine unfortunately doesn’t live near me, so having her pop ’round for a fitting just wasn’t possible. I got her to take some body measurements and set to work on a shorts version. This means I was able to test fit without eating up meters and meters of fabric and, let’s face it, it’s pretty darn cute.

The model below isn’t me; as I stated, my girlfriend and I don’t share the same dimensions in what are integral areas to make this pattern fit, and as I mentioned above, said friend does not live close, so managed to ply another friend with enough wine to model a few things! This lovely model below is my dear friend Heidi. Thank you Heidi, for indulging me in my nutty creative pursuits (and for allowing me to bend you like a Gumby doll to pose you into place)!

I ended up adding 2 inches of length to the rise and another 2 inches of length to the bottom of the top pieces. I also had no idea how long to make the shorts, so left about 10 inches of fabric that I quickly hacked down to 5 inches once i tried it on. I believe that a number of other ladies made this pattern in romper form and added some width to the legs. I’m a cyclist and therefore don’t have small quads, but I found this pattern to be the perfect mix of flattering and fitted, but not tight, as drafted. That being said, this leg has less of a 70’s vibe and more of a “look at me I have great legs and can rock the hell out of a pair of wedges”.  I wanted the top to have a bit of a “fold over” effect so it could be worn with or without a belt. Here it’s styled without a belt, but I believe the intended owner tends to wear it belted most often.

The back has a really nice v that shows off a great back, but it’s not so low that you have to worry about bras peeking out – nothing ruins a low or open back as much as a thick wedge of a bra showing.

This romper is made out of a deliciously weighty bamboo jersey that I got from a local clothing store and was amazing to work with. It’s got great drape, is completely opaque, and has just enough body to it that there is no showing of lumps or bumps that are not wanted, just the ones you do want showing stand out. It is also very comfortable to wear and generates a number of compliments, from both men and women. Want to know how I know? I might have sewed one up for myself too, in a black bamboo jersey, and then wore it on a flight to hand deliver this one to it’s intended owner.

How do you feel about distance sewing for others? Have you ever hand delivered a garment to someone while wearing the exact same item just in a different colour? Or in the same colour?!