Sewing for me

In between caring for little miss and sorting family life, I have managed to squeeze in a little sewing time for me and boy it feels good! On Monday night I began cutting out a sweet summer top from New Look 6775. I soon realised though, that this simple top that should have taken just a couple of hours to sew was fast becomming a bit of a challenge. The reason? the fabric!

This lovely, super soft voile by Anna Maria Horner (yes, my favourite fabric designer!) is just devine. But when I purchased it, I didn’t think about the large, bold check-like pattern or how it would need to be matched!!

I read a number of sewing blogs in my spare time and when the writer talks about matching plaids or stripes or other fabric designs, I kinda tune out. “Who cares if it’s not aligned?” I think, “Just sew it up and wear it”.  Well after cutting this top and centering the design, I soon realised that this top would look quite dodgy if the checks weren’t aligned, especially because the pattern design features a distinct yoke at the front and back.

So after the first cut, I sat and thought and pondered and messed around and finally figured out how to re-cut to align the checks. And here it is!

It’s funny how you can make a dress in an hour and sometimes a simple top can take f-o-r-e-v-e-r!

I do think that all the work matching the fabric is worthwhile though. Some of the modifications I made to this pattern are:

  • I cut quite a few inches from the bottom of the pattern to make this a top, rather than a tunic or dress.
  • I added an extra inch to the centre front panel so that I could get the fabric to align. This means just a few extra gathers exist under the yoke.
  • I also recut the back yoke turning the fabric 90 degrees to add a bit of interest to the back. If you look closely at the picture of the back of the top you’ll see the subtle change in the vertical lines of the fabric – cool huh?
  • I omitted the centre back seam as I was just making a top I didn’t need that extra shaping. I also didn’t need the extra hassle of matching more fabric!
  • I lined the front and back yokes with cotton lawn so that the facing pattern didn’t show through to the front of the garment.
  • I also omitted the interfacing on the yokes, as it seemed silly to make a lightweight voile top with three layers of fabric across the yokes.
  • The ‘V’ cut in the front has a slightly straight base to align with the fabric design. This wasn’t intentional and came about to fix the slightly off-centre V that I first sewed.

So, what do you think? I really really love this top and am amazed that it turned out so well. I love the little sleeves and am stoked that they worked so neatly. The boat neck is lovely and perfect for me.

The only changes I’ll make next time is I might slightly reduce the neck opening. I’m also going to look into altering the back of the neck opening or back yoke. I don’t know if I have a small back or my posture means my shoulders sit back more, but I often get this gaping effect at the back, which you might be able to see here. It isn’t critical and the garment still looks lovely, but I might look into it for the next garment.

And for shapeless surfboards like me, you can wear it cinched at the waist when desired. All I could find is a purple ribbon for this photo, but I’m sure you get the idea.

I’ll be posting this review on Pattern Review tonight, but these are pretty much all the important details.
Till tomorrow….
  • This is drop dead gorgeous. It is so tasteful and pretty and stylish. I also like the length of the top.

  • I think it was worth the extra effort…. it looks great!

  • I love the top! The fabric is so sweet on you, this is my favourite incarnation of this pattern!

  • I think your top is simply beautiful, fab sewing skills too. Might just have to buy this pattern now.

  • Love this! I only ever sew for my kids, never for me. You have inspired me!

  • This top is adorable! I hit upon this post search for photos of people's garment projects made in Anna Maria Horner's adorable voile. I have some for a button-down top but wasn't really sure (still not) what I should do about the collar and facing due to the slightly sheer nature of it, without having 3 layers. But I'm thinking I may have to use a lawn or bastite anyway, or maybe make the collar contrast with a solid voile. Still deciding. 🙂

  • Hello!
    Just found you through the flickr pool of little folks and was admiring your top! it's really beautiful and suits you so well. I'll take note cause I'd love to try and make one for myself (if I ever find the time… it's easier and faster to se for little ones!)

  • Just gorgeous Christy – and a NL pattern I don't actually own (yet)! Love the AMH voile – she is my favourite fabric designer too. I actually just ordered up big on her voiles, so eventually I'll be looking good in summer! Must tryack down this pattern now, and just hope that I can get as lovely a result as you did.

  • Anonymous

    I think very much like what is in those Japanese pattern books, things that are cute and loose/comfy/blousey, not dart fitted, that is very in right now too, is like retro and fitted pin up is in as well, yet this blousey Japanese style is also, I think it takes after 20s frocks ,the whole youthful style is to wear something not fitted, ie girl's dresses.