|back view, unfortunately bunching up the fabric with my hand!|
Again, as with my original V1247 top, I am rather pleased :-).
This time around I sewed the top in a straight size 12, and didn't grade up a size at the waist and hips. In fact, when I tried the top on it seemed too loose for the way the fabric hangs, so I took the top in at the sides starting from a miniscule amount at armpit level to about 1.5cm at the waist, then grading out again to nothing at the hem. And to give the top even more shaping at the waist I also added a fold-over pleat that lines up with the shoulder pleats. I can still get the top on and off easily, but I have really narrow shoulders and upper chest - otherwise this may not have been possible. I probably should have also moved the shoulder darts in a little closer to the centre to account for those narrow shoulders.
Because the fabric didn't lend itself to French seams I just used normal seams. I would use French seams on a sheer or silky fabric in this top though.
I cut fronts and backs so that my fabric's border print would be on the sleeve edges, and this meant that these pieces of fabric were cut on an angle to the grain - which I hope makes my shoulders look bigger!
|border print dictated cut of the fabric|
Also to create a stronger impression of a waist I changed the orientation of the other pieces: I cut the lower front pattern piece (piece 4) on the fold and on the grain (it's intended to be cut as 2 pieces on the bias) and cut the lower side front pattern piece (piece 5) on the bias ( intended to be cut on the grain).
Finally I omitted the bias-cut fabric strip for the neckline and the sleeve cuffs as I wanted enough fabric left over for a skirt for my daughter. On the neckline I used satin bias binding instead, and I think this looks alright although I probably prefer my original version's neckline treatment. With the sleeves ending in a border print I didn't think a cuff was necessary.
|pinning satin bias binding in place around neckline|
I bought this fabric last year from Sukarara village in Lombok, Indonesia. This village is a weaving centre which makes a lot of traditional ikat and songket fabrics. My recollection is that we were told that traditional ikat fabric isn't very wide because it's the width that's comfortable to weave by hand - certainly the women we saw weaving were making quite narrow cloths, and the larger standing looms we saw were I believe for use by men.
My fabric is an ikat because the pattern is woven and doesn't have gold or silver threads inserted between the weft threads the way a songket fabric would, and I'm guessing it would have been woven by a man because it's wider than the women's looms we saw. The woven patterns are specific to and passed down through families - and although this may be surprising given the muted colours of batik, colourful ikat fabric did seem to be authentic in Lombok!
|Photo from Wikipedia, but this is similar to the displays we saw at Sukurara|
|Children in a wedding procession - the blue sarongs would definitely be ikat, as would the red/yellow one on the right|
|The official band in what looked to be an affluent wedding procession|
Quite possibly if there were a few of these ikat V1247 tops in a room we might be mistaken for a gathering of celebrating APEC officials! I hope not! Thankfully few of my colleagues, friends or family have ikat shirts - and of course I don't get out much - so the risk should be pretty low.
|Official photo from APEC 9 in Indonesia|
Hmmm... actually those people are all men, aren't they! Risk = infinitessimal!
Finally I should warn you that the likelihood of your seeing many more incarnations of this top is high - I'm curious as to how it would fare in a wool jersey or in a t-shirt material, also in a silk or other drapey fabric and in a formal looking fabric. Too much, too much, I know - but I never had a TNT before, and this could be it!