Sunday, 7 February 2016

The Simple Things

You wouldn't know it because I've been a slack blogger, but this is my third S1366 top, and it was finished ages ago, before Christmas. The first was made from the pattern with no adjustments, and had to be given to my mum, who has wider shoulders than me.  Number two was a successful test of a narrower boatneck, but is made from such a boring fabric that I can't bring myself to wear it, let alone blog it.  Third time around, fabric AND fit came together happily.

As you can see, it's a simple shape - dropped shoulder, boat neck, loose elbow-length sleeves and a loose, dartless bodice, all of which mean a nice quick sew.  The pattern gives you a top which is longer than what I've made here, but this time around I wanted a cropped top that would sit outside of skirts and pants.   My hope is that this length will camouflage my short waist, which is located very close to the bottom of my rib cage. Whether or not that works, the shape seems to go with everything from jeans and shorts to pencil skirts and cigarette pants. 

In these photos I'm wearing RTW pants that I wear to work a lot - and guess what, they fit me worse than those Burda pants I was complaining about a couple of posts back!  I can't believe I've been confidently wearing these pants while decrying the mustard pants... ARGH!  Anyway, we're all still learning, right?

I sewed the top in a size 12, which is supposed to fit a 34" bust yet which has a finished bust measurement of 41.5".  That is such a lot of ease that I would suggest going down a size from your measurements. My bust size is currently about 37", halfway between the size 14 and the size 16, and the fit on the size 12 feels right on me.

The fabric is a cotton I bought from Tessuti Fabrics a while ago, a Ralph Lauren-esque classic in navy and cream stripes, though the stripes waver in a way that feels more interesting to me at the moment than a straight line stripe.

Because it's sheer, I also sewed up the camisole that comes with this pattern - but in these photos I'm wearing the top with an old RTW cami.  

I've finished the neckline with cream coloured cotton bias binding (a self fabric would have shown through), and I've french seamed the main seams and overlocked hem edges before turning them over and top stitching.   The stripes are matched up on the side seams (and the sleeve seams that you can't see) - with such a wide stripe there was no way I wouldn't!

OK, so the top is good, the pants not so much.  Onto the camisole.

I sewed the camisole up in a size 12, assuming it would be designed to fit under the matching top of the same size.

My fabric this time around was a mid-weight cream coloured satin that I picked up ages ago at one of my local second hand stores.

As with the top, the pattern for the cami was extremely simple - the front and back are identical, and the design relies on a bias cut to fit to whatever shape it needs to fit.  Even the rouleau straps proved easily done.

The pattern envelope says that the size 12 cami, for a person with a bust of 34", should have a finished bust measurement of 36.5" - and if you recall, the size 12 top has a finished bust measurement of 41.5".  In other words, the camisole is intended to provide a smaller fit than the top, and should have been snug (though it's bias cut, so not unpleasantly snug) on my 37" bust.

And yet it's too loose. I imagine fabric type plays a big part here; perhaps my fabric is too drapey, but I didn't expect the camisole to fit me like this.  Although by keeping my arms by my sides I can disguise the problem, there's excess fabric both at the sides of the camisole and in the front and back necklines and it just feels way too big.  I don't think taking it in at the side seams is a solution, as this will also pull the straps out - I need to make this another size smaller!

Since I have other camisoles that fit, it's not a huge problem - I can still wear my stripey top.  The one thing I hadn't thought about when I made the top was that IF it has to be worn with a camisole, unless the camisole is cotton it's going to be too hot for summer.  We've been having a humid summer, and I do a lot of walking on my way to and from work each day, so I don't like to wear extra layers that I can't easily remove and carry as I walk.  I might see whether a cotton voile camisole makes it more suited for summer, but if not, I'm sure this top will get lots of wear come autumn.

Thanks for reading!

See you soon
- Gabrielle x

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