Thursday, 16 April 2015

Flowery spring top

Well, how is everyone? It's actually sunny here in Edinburgh and yet still cool enough to wear the wool jackets I made this year. You can tell I'm a bit torn about whether this is a good thing or not!

Anyway, I'm gradually working my way through the fabric stash I bought from John Lewis sale earlier this year and since spring is definitely on the way, it was time to make something with this lovely floral fabric.

I reached for my well-used Simplicity 1364. I just can't tell you how much I love using this pattern and wearing the tops I make from it. Two important points which don't always go together! I'm wearing this version as I'm writing this post.

I cut out version A. I've only ever made view A, something I'm planning to change quite soon by making some cotton versions of the sleeveless view to take on holiday with me.

So I made the 3/4 sleeve version, adding an inch above and an inch below the sleeve dart. I love this sleeve dart! It's the equivalent of having a two-piece sleeve on a jacket. The sleeve just hangs beautifully if you manage to get the dart in the right place. Can't emphasise that last point enough! If the dart placement is wrong, when you bend your arm the sleeve hem will constrict too high up your forearm and be far too tight. I've got the dart placement correct now...

Look really closely, there's a sleeve dart in there
I also trim off about 3/4" from the front neckline as the pattern neck sits too high on me. I grade the curve though as it's a wide neckline. I just eyeball it and also remember to take the same amount off the front neck facing too otherwise it won't sit right.

I also added 2" to the body length. So after all those adjustments, what was once a simple pattern has now become quite a complex one. Here's what the finished top
looks like:

It's quite difficult to see the top in amongst all those flowers! Ah, I forgot to say it's a lighter weight stretch cotton sateen. I wouldn't use it for making trousers unless they were real summery trousers, if you know what I mean.

The day I made this top I had started making a pair of Sew Over It's Ultimate Trousers. I had 2m of black stretch cotton that I'd pre-washed and pressed. I pinned pattern to fabric but disaster!...I hadn't bought enough fabric. The fabric was folded in half and rolled onto a bolt so I hadn't realised it was only 115cm wide and not 150cm wide. Why do I need so much fabric? I need to add 2" to the rise and 5" to each leg length. I had to admit defeat and accept the pieces just didn't fit onto the fabric (unless I ignored the grain but that's not the road to successful sewing). So I guess I'll either have to make something else with the fabric or buy an extra leg length.

So I consoled myself with sewing my favourite pattern in flowery fabric!

What other sewing plans are flying about my brain at the moment?

  • Well, I've bought another vintage pattern from Etsy/Ebay for my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. It's a skirt and if all works out well, I'll tell you a story about it in its post sometime in the future. 
  • I've also ordered the Sewaholic Minoru jacket pattern and I'm waiting for it to thud through my letterbox anytime soon. I'm thinking khaki green linen with a silk lining, as a summer jacket and/or a wine coloured corduroy as a wear-it-now version.
  • I've got a lovely A-line vintage dress pattern from the 1970's for my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. Kimono/sleeveless (not sure how to describe it!). I could see that in a navy chambray/denim with some top-stitching for interest.
  • And of course, I need to make some Ultimate trousers!

 So many patterns and so little time to make everything I want. I guess everyone feels like that too!


  1. Bummer about not having enough fabric for the trousers. But this blouse is lovely. Such nice fabric, I don't have a favourite pattern yet! I and rather jealous!

  2. Yes I was pretty annoyed with myself for not checking the width when I bought the fabric! I also have the same pattern as you, the one you used for for a 'circles' knitted fabric batwing top on your blog. That would be my close second favourite pattern!

  3. Such a pretty top :-) I can see why you love wearing this style and your fabric is lovely. I'm interested in seeing how your sleeveless version turns out and I CANNOT wait to see your minoru! (I love sewaholic patterns :-))

    1. Thanks Jennifer. I am one for loud, kind of in-your-face prints! Minoru pattern was waiting for me at home last night so fingers crossed I can get some fabric for it this weekend. Won't even get a muslin done though cos I'm busy the next 2 weekends. But buying the fabric makes you almost half way there, right?