The pattern is the Swing-Top from the kick-ass Dixie-DIY. Although this early version has been discontinued Dixie has just released her new Concert-tee pattern which I have earmarked as soon as I find the perfect wide-striped knit.
The other super find on Dixie’s site is the Never Fear Knits series she made last year – a seriously comprehensive guide to sewing with knit fabric. Using all the tips this top came together in less than two hours after printing the pattern and would be perfect as a first foray into sewing jersey. I used a zigzag stitch for all the seams and left it un-hemmed.
To say this is comfortable is an understatement – it is ridiculous and now I want to make a million of them.
I love this fabric but it is entirely unsuited to the season. A super light weight silk cotton, I purchased it in June with the intent of making a light and floaty summer top. When you see the fabric up-close you can tell the cotton thread is the warp and is a more maroony red than the silk which runs across the weft and is more a burnt orange so it’s nice and breathable with a saturated colour.
The shop I bought it from was my local fabric store in Onehunga and is an Auckland legend. Antique Fabric and Lace have the self-proclaimed “largest range of Beaded Sequin Motifs in the world”. Like a museum they only display a small proportion of their collection at a time and still check out the walls.
I can’t even explain the mix of things you can find here, just look closely at the pictures and you’ll get the idea.
I split the front and back pieces in half horizontally then slashed the bottom piece in four places from the hem to the stitching line and spread them each an inch apart. The fabric has a nice balance of drape and body so I wanted almost a circle skirt effect. The gaps were filled with tissue and seam allowance added to the midriff top and bottom.
I only had 1.5m of the fabric but it’s quite sheer so I was very lucky to eck out an extra layer for the top of the bodice, the rest is finished with bias strips.
Unfortunately when I tried it on it felt too shapeless and it was too late to add more darts. Instead, I added two black ribbon ties under the bust where a waistline dart would form and when they’re tied they produce just the right shape.
So there it is, and I think I may be in denial about the cold weather. Still, with a cardigan I think it will still get some wear… silk is warm right?
It’s a simple white lace kimono sleeved tee, based off Colette’s free Sorbetto tank pattern. I raised the neck front and back then used this tutorial from Analog Me to draft the kimono sleeve.
The lace is a cotton found on Goldhawke Road which the proprieter swore had also been purchased by buyers from top shop (hmmm, take that with a grain of salt) however at only £4 a meter it was a good deal. The underlining is a slinky synthetic twill that feels really soft and would be a nightmare to sew if it weren’t together with the cotton lace.
I cut the lace out first then squared the edges of the lining on the cutting board securing with pins. With the lace on top I used more pins to hold it in place before hand-basting around the edges and along the dart legs. Once the basting was in place, cutting the slinky fabric was easy and the rest of the top was sewn as one layer.
What I really like about it is that the simplicity of the pattern meant I could spend more time on things like this and french seams and hand-tacked binding. The details combined with the silkiness and weight of the fabric means that this feels like a quality garment even if it only cost £7. It’s something about the heaviness of the fabric that reminds me of trying on expensive clothes, I think.
This blouse is perfect for the change of season. It’s nice and loose for the freak scorching day like today but can easily pair with cardigan and trousers too.
The Pattern: A Colette mash up of the Sorbetto tank top and Macaron sleeves.
Size: 16 with 2 in full bust adjustment.
Fabric: Swiss-dot synthetic. I learnt the hard way that it wasn’t cotton by melting a hole in one sleeve. Luckily there was enough to re-cut. The blue contrast is a crepe-polyester lining fabric. I like that the colours are similar but still contrasting.
Alterations: So I went a bit off the beaten path from the original Sorbetto pattern. After making my peter-pan sorbetto I thought it would be nice to make a button-down version. It turned out to be quite straight forward although it takes a little time thinking it through.
Here you can see all the pieces I cut from the original form. The sleeves came straight from the Macaron pattern as planned.
Thankfully they set-in perfectly due, I guess, to being cut off the same Colette block. The joy of these sleeves is the pretty scallop edge which I piped with the contrast to show the detail.
You can see it better in this pic, I think.For the back, I cut two of the yoke and used the fancy rolling trick from making my Rooibos Dress to ensure the edges were finished top and bottom. The back has a pleat for ease.
On the front, the button-hole placket has piped edges and large matching buttons although the damn button-holes were a nightmare so lets not look too closely at those.
All things considered, this was a lot of fun to make and I’m sure it’ll get plenty of wear.
( P.s. Anyone else refusing to let the summer of the Sorbetto die?)
Following all the muslining fun yesterday I felt the desperate need to complete something, anything, from start to finish. So out came this remnant of black & white striped knit and Colette’s Sorbetto pattern. There was only 75cm (30 in) of the fabric but it was more than enough.
I omitted the front pleat and lowered the scoop neck by 2in. At the back, I made a quick tie inspired by Mena’s Sorbetto on the Sew Weekly which is very appropriate given last week’s theme of inspiration from their archives.
I lowered the back scoop neck then added the tie piece to the centre, like Mena added to the bottom in her picture above, then cut down the centre to create the two ties.
I was so excited to put my new twin needle to use, but I ended up only finishing the arm holes due to some serious tension issues from dear Elenor.
The top side worked out okay-ish.
But the bottom tension was a disaster. Instead of the bobbin thread zig-zagging nicely between the two rows, it stayed straight and my machine doesn’t have separate tension for the bobbin.
Still, it meant the whole shebang was finished in well under and hour and I can’t complain about that.
Fabric: Polyester print from Spotlight $8. Scraps from Pendrell Blouse for the collar. Pattern: Colette Sorbetto, $Free, baby! Self-drafted collar. Notions: Nada. Time to complete: 5 hours (including pattern alterations) First worn: July 7 2011 – birthday lunch with little sis. Wear again? For sure.
Total Cost: ~$8
Okay, so it hasn’t rained all the time since arriving in London but it seemed like the perfect cliched photo op.
It took me two days to leave the house in the wake of flipping time on it’s head (a 12 hour time difference means midnight is now lunchtime and vice-versa) but Thursday was my 29th birthday and my little sister enticed me out of the house with promise of Wagagmama for lunch and I’m not one to turn down free noodles.
The pattern is a popular new freebie from Colette Patterns – the Sorbetto Tank. It’s an uber simple design with bust darts, and a centre box pleat but it has plenty of draw-cards besides the ‘price’. Most of all it’s ease (only two pattern pieces) and versatility – I decided to make the most of the nautical fabric and try my hand at a self drafted peter pan collar. This was pretty straight forward and mostly successful for a first attempt.
To create the collar, I traced the neck line from the front and back then drew a second line about 2 and 1/2 in width from there. At the centre front I grabbed a jar I had handy and used it to curve off the edges. After that I just built in seam allowances and that was it. For fabric I used the scraps at hand, namely the matte stain from my Pendrell Blouse as it was just the right off-white shade. I underlined this with a thick white cotton which I also used as lining to keep it stiff without having to locate interfacing from one of my packed boxes. I used patter~scissors~cloth’s technique of cutting the lining about 3mm smaller than the main piece so it would turn under nicely then stitched the two together.
After clipping the curves, I turned it out and pressed then basted the raw neck edges together. Then I sandwiched the collar right-side up on top of the right-side of the blouse and under the self-fabric bias binding (made using this tutorial
(Sorry for the lack of pictures – I did take them but somehow they dissappeared in the move)
The back collar I just made one continuous piece.
The only other adjustment I made was a 2 inch basic bodice full bust adjustment, similar to this one, which was about as simple as an fba comes.
This was one of the last projects I made before putting my machines in storage and because of the resistance of the polyester fabric I didn’t need to iron it after unceremoniously stuffing it in my suitcase. It also stood up to the bucketing rain as I played the classy tourist and took photo’s of myself with red telephone boxes and the likes.
In other exciting news – my new sewing machine arrived today and I have a few leads on where to look for fabrics in London so I see many more Sorbettos in my future.
… and here’s part two. Warning, my editing software putted out on me so this one is pretty wordy!
In case it’s needed here’s the picture of the adjustments to the front piece:
The first adjustment should match the gap filled at Line 3 on the side piece. The next is to add the amount added at the full bust point. Finally I added an inch to the centre front to make sure the princess line falls in the right place.
Procrastination leads me to many crazy pursuits. In my desire to put off packing, I’ve been doing a fair bit of sewing and decided to try making a video of the full bust adjustment on Sewaholic’s Pendrell Blouse.
The result is somewhat awkward (god it’s awful watching yourself on film) and involves a fair bit of fast motion to make it fit, but you get the idea. (Part two to follow).
Just in case, here’s the pictorial breakdown of choosing your size based on your high bust measurement:
Woo hoo! First day back amoungst the living and it went okay. My glands have mostly gone done and I can breathe in and out so feeling pretty good, all things considered.
Certainly better than yesterday when I sheepishly took this photo:
I got dressed for the whole 30 seconds it took me to run and grab the mail from the mailbox. And “dressed” is probably exaggerating things – I threw my trench over the top of my nightie and ran out in bare feet.
To make up for barely scraping by on a Self-Stitched-September technicality, today I pressed my Simplicity 2614 blouse and got some better pics than the one at the hotel last week.
This blouse was surprisingly easy to sew. It had some great reviews on PR and went together really quickly. It’s a bit of a hodge-podge of views but it’s great that all the different design elements are interchangeable. All the tops use the same bodice pieces which include gathering at the shoulder and bust, and the lower piece cut on the bias. The back has extends past the usual shoulder seam so appears like a yoke from the front. I used the sleeves from view D (I was lazy and couldn’t be bothered fitting a cuff) and the tie from View E.
The pattern has different cup size bust pieces, which I found totally useful in the McCall’s 6035 shirt and the Simplicity Amazing Fit dress, but in this one they appear to have adjusted the width of the pattern but not so much the length. Unfortunately this meant that I had the same issue as with RTW tops and the under bust seam was several inches too high.
It should be an easy fix though – next time I’ll just bring it down in front by two inches and I’ll also lengthen the midriff piece as I prefer a little more length there.
Can’t tell? How ’bout a close up of those buttonholes?
What about this one?
This is what happens when you don’t pay attention to instructions, or try to watch masterchef while sewing.
This shirt is my second attempt at McCall’s 6035. The poet blouse was view b, and this was supposed to be view c, with a shirt collar and tabbed sleeves. Unfortunately in my lazy distraction I followed the instructions for the attachment in view A, which just has the collar band and didn’t realise until it was stitched, trimmed and serged so there was no chance of un-picking it.
Once I got over that mistake, I thought I was doing pretty well. I adjusted the fit in the bust, lengthened the hem and narrowed the shoulders a little. Then, halfway through the buttonholes, I realised I had sewn them horizontally instead of vertically.
Now I don’t give up easily and I finished the shirt but holy cow, I need to learn to focus on one thing at a time!
If you compare this to the poet blouse, you can see how I took it in under the bust.
And narrowed the shoulders.
And lastly a slightly blurry shot of the pretty tabbed sleeves.
Pattern: $0 (from stash)
Fabric: $8.0 (1.6m @ $5/m – Spotlight)
TOTAL: NZ$12.00 / US$8.70
Thanks to everyone who followed me across from This Light Gets In, I promise to pay you back with lots more lazy (and fingers crossed not-so-lazy) stitching to come.
Now being that this did not go as planned, I have another version of view C planned, for this soft cotton waffle fabric.