Third time around for this pattern. Am I a glutton for punishment?
This project started with the fabric, a remnant I picked up at Sew Over It in London. I love the colours and there was just enough there for a top (1.1m of 140cm), so after exchanging £7 with the clerk it was mine.
When trying to decide what to make with the fabric, I kept thinking of a tank with a ruffle. Then I remembered that several years ago I had a navy & white polka dot tank with a ruffle on the front. Why I got rid of it I don’t know. As it turns out, there was a pattern in my stash that pretty much matched the top I used to wear – one that I’d attempted twice this year with no success.
In this case, third time’s the charm!
I bought the pattern for the cold shouldered thing (view B) and the first attempt was an absolute disaster. I wound up hacking off the sleeves in a fit of madness and wound up with a sleeveless tank that sort of works.
The second attempt is a wearable cold-shoulder top, but I’m not pleased with it. It’s destined for the bin.
But I hung onto the pattern because I like the basic shape of the top.
This was intended to be a really quick, one-evening project. However, I ran into a couple of issues.
When cutting the front bodice (two separate pieces) I opened up the fabric to align the dots and noticed a snip right in the middle of one side of the bodice. There was just enough fabric to squeeze out the the front bodice pieces and I’d already cut all the other pieces.
I will admit to going online to see if I could cut one section of the bodice on the cross grain which is of course not recommended, of course, but I did learn a bit more about warp and weft!
So I cut out the bodice with the snip right in the middle and before doing anything else I immediately set to repair the hole. I cut pieces of Wonder Web and matching fabric and fused these to the back of the fabric, then I took tiny stitches to close up the hole and prevent it from growing. The only thread I could find that matched was embroidery thread. I hope it holds up …
Then I set about constructing the top. As it turns out, I did have other thread that matched perfectly, but it is silk thread. So that’s what I used to construct the garment. Yes, it is more expensive, but the cost of gas to drive to and from JoAnn would be about the same, and as I learned, silk thread just disappears into the fabric so it will likely be my thread of choice in the future. (Later I realized that the silk thread would have been perfect to repair the hole in the top.)
When I cut the flounce I didn’t notice that only one piece was needed so I cut two. It hit me when I started to work on the flounce – the pattern calls for a single later with an unfinished edge. What? I couldn’t see how that would look good so I stitched together my two flounces and think it looks immeasurably better than what the pattern maker suggested. (Okay, maybe the single layer would work if you had fabric that was identical on right and wrong sides, but even then I just envision a really limp noodle of a flounce.)
Another possible pattern error: The bands for the arms are the same length as the opening, so it wasn’t necessary to stretch to fit. I cut an inch off each band and finished the arms. Then I tried on the top and there were gaps … stupid, crummy gaps and I had already stitched everything up.
LESSON: Believe your garment when it gapes at the arm opening. The gaping will not disappear when you attach a band (maybe a sleeve, but not a band).
UGH. An hour of unpicking, being careful to not catch the fabric. Then I put in darts on both sides and reattached everything. (I hadn’t pressed the darts out right before taking pictures on the dress form – they look okay on me.)
I am so pleased with this top and especially the flounce!
And I’m glad I kept the pattern. This will get a lot of wear this summer!