Thursday, 23 May 2013

Bright and bold summer top

My first attempt at a top!  What do you think...?

Summer blouse - just in time for a sunny Saturday!
I finally thought it was time to enter the world of patterns - so far, I've been following tutorials, but I knew that if I was to want to make a top, it would be a whole new challenge - one that definitely needs to be approached with a bit more than just a tape measure and a few photographs!  I found this simple Sorbetto blouse pattern on Collette Patterns, and downloaded it ready for some cutting and sticking.  Putting it all together felt a bit like being back at primary school - I sat on the living room floor, armed with pieces of paper, scissors and tape, ready for action!  To be fair, it was so simple to put it all together, a primary school child could have done it - I'm a convert, downloadable patterns are great!

I found the fabric in a shop in Weymouth called 'So N Sews', that I stumbled on back in March when Pete and I were down for a wedding.  I liked the bright colours so much that I just bought it.  I did wonder about making a skirt, but had to conclude that the stripes would probably make it incredibly difficult to match up - not ideal for a beginner!  When this pattern showed up, though, it seemed ideal.

There were two main challenges to making this blouse.  First, the darts.  Ah yes...darts!  I knew if I was going to try making clothes I would have to come to those some day!  Happily, they were clearly laid out on the pattern.  However, even the slightest bit of shifting on either side really impacts the darts.  It's not just that the top won't fit right on one side (or both!), but also it will just look a bit lopsided and ridiculous!  As this was my first go at darts, I was relieved that I had made the investment in a stitch ripper at my last visit to Hobbycraft, as one side was completely wrong and needed a second try.  The end result seemed to be a success though!

Dart on the inside
Dart on the outside
The second challenge was the sizing of the pattern.  This was definitely an interesting one for me!  I did all the requisite measuring required, and decided on a size - cutting out the pattern, material etc based on that.  When I got to the point of starting to sew the shoulders together, I put the top on as best I could...and it was massive!  That was a nice ego boost - "surprise, I'm smaller than I thought I was!" - but also a bit inconvenient, as it meant a bit of un-stitching, trimming of my material, and then another go.  This one is probably a note for the future, to take note of what the appropriate sizing is, as if I'm making something with more pieces, having to trim all the pieces could end up really complicating things!

It fits - phew!

The other new thing I tried with this top was adding bias binding.  I've never used bias binding before, but it was pretty easy to work with, and added a really nice finish to the top.

Now all I need to do is to wait for the sun to show its face again...!

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