Sunday, 28 December 2014

Undercover, No Hood

I suppose my earlier blog post about the Undercover Hood pattern sounded a bit negative - but I liked it enough to whip up a second Undercover top straight after the first!

Please excuse these pathetic photos; I had a very hard time photographing this top, but since I made it several months ago I decided I really should blog it anyway rather than waiting for my photographic skills to improve. 

This time around I used the precious pink ponte from Tessuti Fabrics that I'd intended for a StyleArc Philippa top (see this post), and sewed up the top without the hood, without the pockets (again) and with cropped sleeves. My plan was to pair this top with my pale pink midi skirt - the colours match perfectly and I assumed the skirt and top would look as good on me as they did in my imagination :). Unfortunately the shapes look pretty unflattering together, so instead I'm showing you the top how I'll actually wear it to work, with a fitted floral RTW skirt.

Leaving the hood and pockets off, the Undercover pattern becomes very similar to the Grainline Linden pattern. I suspect one difference would be in the lengths of the two tops, as Jen of Grainline Studio seems to draft for shorter than average women and Katie of Papercut Patterns seems to draft to fit taller women. The Linden does also look to have shaping at the waist and bigger neckline, and there may be subtle differences in the raglan seam placement and sleeve width. but these would be simple adjustments to make to whichever pattern you started with. I don't see anything wrong with two pattern companies issuing similar patterns, but if you already have one of these two patterns I really don't think you'd get much out of buying the other!

I prefer this version of the top to my first one - this time around I used the right seam allowance (1cm, not 1.5cm as I sewed first time around), so the top feels much looser. I also like the deep hems and 3/4 sleeves very much; I think these make the top look quite smart for something that feels so comfortable.

I don't have too much more to say about the pattern that I haven't said before...

One thing that did strike me this time around, with a more structured fabric, is that the raglan seam is sitting quite high. My sizing in tops is usually pretty standard, but I feel like this top is too short in the section from bust (the bottom of the raglan seam) to shoulder. If this part of the top were longer, with the end of the seam moved down closer to the bust, the sleeves could be wider and more "slouchy" (well that's what the pattern description says about the top), and perhaps bust darts could have been rotated into the raglan seam to reduce some of the folds around the underarm and bust area. Maybe I've got this completely wrong - I'm no fit expert - but it's something I might experiment with if I get sick of my current sewing projects...  

These next couple of (darkened) photos show you where the raglan seam sits on my body, and how its placement above the bust results in excess fabric above the bust and some awkward folds:

In this next photo you can see the general shape of the top as compared to a truly slouchy top (I haven't blogged the white top yet, but it was made using the same pattern as used for my garish hibiscus top):

And in these next two close ups you can see the texture of the fabric and the true colour of the top - it's a pale pink, pretty much the same colour as my pale pink midi skirt:

The top is by no means a great fit, but this is one of those rare cases where the top looks better in real life than it does in photos, and I know I'll be wearing it heaps when the weather cools down after summer. 

See you soon

- Gabrielle x


  1. This is a great top love the deep hem and 3/4 style. The sit of the raglan is interesting. I don't think I have that problem with this pattern but I definitely had it or at least something similiar with my RdC Marthe top which is also a raglan. Oh and I love the look of that white top!!!!

  2. Love this version! The deeps hem really works with this look. No advice on the raglan problem, but I do think raglans are hard to get right. Hope you get it figured out.

  3. Thanks Kirsty. Ha, it's probably just me then :(. I haven't had this fit issue with other raglan patterns, so maybe I'm just not a papercut shape!?

    Thanks :), I want to blog that white top soon but all my photos of it are coming out overexposed - I'll keep trying!

  4. Thank you Jillian! I'm kind of glad to hear raglans can be hard! I haven't had this issue with the big 4 raglans I've tried but I guess every pattern company fits a slightly different shape, doesn't it. Now I'm really curious too - I wonder how the different pattern brands of raglan sleeves line up....

  5. I love this pink ponte version. It looks great in the photos so it must look great IRL. No help with the fitting either but what you say about the depth of the sleeve seems logical. I'm quite short there so maybe it is one I should try. I think to get the real slouchy look, you'll need a fabric that is much softer and drapier than a ponte. Maybe like a French terry?

  6. Raglans can be problems I rarely use them but had issues with my Minoru but that was more for the sleeves twisting. The hoodie pattern looks quite different between the two fabrics and hood/no hood and both look like they will get plenty of wear.

  7. Thanks for pointing out the similarity to the Linden, I'd been wondering about that pattern but was a bit put off by the wide neck, so maybe this pattern would be better for me.

    Also, I'm curious, I recently drafted a raglan for my son (so much easier than drafting things for me as most anything looks great on him, plus skinny 8 year olds are easy to fit) and I came across a tutorial that suggests curving the raglan seam:, which I've not come across before. Do the commercial patterns you use do this? I wondered if it might be related to your ft issues, but I'm a fitting novice so could be wrong.

  8. Gabrielle, you have really mastered the art of pairing simple, but stylish, shapes with your busier prints...something I need to learn to do better!

  9. I really like the silhouette worn with a slimline skirt.

  10. Hi Gabrielle,

    Please forgive my leaving this in a comment, I couldn’t find
    an e-mail address for you. I’m making an index of Australian sewing bloggers,
    which you can find here: I hope you don’t mind being on it- just let
    me know if you want to be removed. Thank you!


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