Sunday, 14 June 2015

A Top of Two Cities - Another Sewing Dare!

One of the great things about my job is that I sometimes get to travel, and of course if I have a couple of hours spare between connections I will try to explore where I am. In my suitcase there will always be copious notes on where all the fabric and charity shops are in the vicinity, with how to get to them and opening times just on the off-chance that I can swing past on the way home. Obsessed, quite possibly. Fabric-shopping opportunist? Hell Yeah!

No make-up and stray tacking thread. No!

This top is one of my sewing dares. I bought the fabric in London on Goldhawk Road and the trim from Ribes y Casals in Barcelona. The trim cost about 3 times as much as the fabric and I wasn't going to use it on something for me but it is the perfect colour match.



The pattern came from The Great British Sewing Bee, Book 3 and is the "Sleeveless Tank" pattern. I made the pattern hack with the button back.  Based on the measurements in the book I did my usual 1-inch broad back adjustment and a 3-inch FBA. To try to deal with the Big Honking Dart problem the bust dart was split into two parallel but smaller darts. This added in 8-inches to the overall width but due to the patterned fabric I did not put in other darts. I have a couple of long strips of fabric left so will make a tie belt with the leftover fabric as it is pretty baggy and unflattering at the moment but loose and cool will be great for the Summer.



I matched the pattern in the back, the front is cut on a fold. There wasn't really enough fabric left to make this the length I prefer, hence the lace trim on the bottom which has worked a treat. The hem is slightly High-Low, but again I ran out of fabric to make it more pronounced as I only had the recommended 1.5m.

The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that I am lacking buttons on my button-back. My machine made a perfect buttonhole on scrap fabric, then proceeded to chew up my top. I cleaned & oiled the machine, put in a new needle, went to the shops and got some Petersham ribbon to strengthen the back (I had done this already to the button side and it was interfaced already) and put tissue paper underneath but all to no avail. To make matters worse I tried the scrap again and it worked perfectly. Same fabric, what the hell? Someone up there was having a laugh so rather than fling my machine through the window I decided just to pin it shut and try another day.

Also I probably should have made a muslin as I could do with taking out an inch from the width of the front. The neckline is very wide on me and the top is definitely a bit loose.

So, I am now in a machine-induced strop. I think I may need a new machine so if you know one that does a good automatic buttonhole then please let me know.

Hope you have all been enjoying your weeks!

K xx


12 comments:

  1. That's such a cool fabric and trim combo! The colours are great on you. Well done on your dare!!! :)

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    1. Why, thank you and really thank you for organising the dares. I had a whale of a time and actually made some stuff. It was great and I am looking forward to next year already. Xx

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  2. Bernina machines every time.mi know they cost 10x as much as any other. But seriously you will never look at another machine. I have several, one is older than I am and is still a stinking great machine.

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    1. Thank you. I have had my eyes on a Bernina for ages. They are really dear though but what the hell, you can survive on one kidney can't you? :)

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  3. Oh this is a lovely summer top! I don't think it's shapeless, it's loose and floaty for hot weather! I love that you finger out how and where to get fabric during your trips. And now you've made me pine for Ribes i Casals! xxx

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    1. Thanks Zoe. I love this fabric and am going back to Barcelona at the start of July so will get a chance to try this out. I am definitely planning on revisiting all the fabric shops in the same street as RyC. There was so much there I wanted to see but was on a very short time limit. Xx

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  4. Hello you! I can't believe I haven't visited your blog before. Thank you for commenting so I can follow you.
    That top is gorgeous, the fabric is stunning and the crochet trim the perfect addition. I want one. xxx

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment and "hello". I really enjoy your blog and seeing all your lovely vintage clothes. Xx

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  5. What great fabric, the top looks wonderful. Naughty sewing machine though; have you decided on a new one yet?
    I love the style of button back clothes, but find them very hard to manage solo - I had to let a jumpsuit go which had buttons at the back, it required a personal dressing assistant every time I went for a wee! xxx

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    1. Thanks Curtise. I almost took a hammer to the bloody thing. Will have to wait a bit for a new machine though, unless I can find one second - hand. Good ones are so expensive. I struggle with back buttons too and zippers. They look great but are never very practical. Pity about your jumpsuit. It sounds lovely. Xx

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  6. If you're looking for a new machine, then I'm in team Bernina. I got my first one for my 18th birthday, a quarter of a century ago, and it's still going strong! I bought a second-hand 440QE about five years ago and it sews like dream. Whatever machine you use your sewing will always be gorgeous, I love this top and well done for using the trim on yourself - You deserve it! xx

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    1. Thanks Josie. I was looking at second-hand Berninas on eBay last night. Quite fancy an 830 as they get good reviews. There is a good sewing machine shop in Edinburgh that does all sorts so I will have a look when I am up later in the summer. They are so expensive but I suppose if it gets used a lot then it should be a good one. I will check out the 440QE. Thanks for the tip. Xx

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