After 2 (unblogged about) wadders in a row, I am starting this new year of sewing out on the right foot. I cannot claim any credit for the idea of this top. Originally I purchased the pattern for the short sleeve version, and never gave a second glance to the shawl collar design. It's sort of an uninspiring drawing, right? But recently Sharon made this top up in a horizontal stripe and I loved it. And just had to have one.
Unlike Sharon who whipped hers up in only a few hours, I spent most of my New Year's Day cutting out and stitching this up. Y'all know I'm super pokey when it comes to sewing, right? I'm blaming these wide stripes as well. They were matches along the side seams, arm seams and collar seams. Isn't this collar dramatic?! I love it! (Can't you see Tany wearing something like this? I kept thinking of her while I was sewing it.)
Although the envelope describes this top as being "close-fitting", I found the measurements printed on the pattern pieces to be somewhat big. Because my knit was really stretchy width-wise but not length-wise, I cut the XS at the sides and the S for the shoulders, armholes and neckline. This pattern will be really big on someone who is actually an XS size. I am not.
The fabric is a wool and modal knitted jersey, purchased on Ebay from the seller highendfabrics. I first read about this seller on Mimi's blog, and have had nothing but great customer service and beautiful fabrics from him. This fabric came from my third and most recent order. It's pretty thin, which I thought would work well with the gathering along the collar.
This picture is of a side seam where I paid a lot of attention matching up the horizontal stripes. I used my double needle to do all the hems. This row of stitching ran mostly through a navy blue stripe, so I used navy blue thread for it. The sleeves and collar were hemmed with off-white.
I tried something new for this top. I've been reading on a number of blogs where the sleeves are sewn in flat, followed by stitching the side of the garment and the sleeve seam all in one. I decided to give this a try, only took it one step further and did a french seam at the sleeve head. It worked and looks awesome! (Be sure you are working with a thin fabric if you want to use this method.) The sides and shoulders were also stitched with french seams.
The collar is gathered at the sides with a piece of elastic. I ended up turning the french seams at the collar into casings for the elastic instead of stitching the elastic to the fabric.
Where the collar meets the neckline I stitched a row of reinforcing next to the original seam and cut off the excess seam allowance. I then zigzagged it down to the inside of the top instead of the edgestitching/topstitching the instruction suggest. This knit looks like it might ravel a bit, and I didn't want to take any chances that it would ravel out at the neckline.
The only other changes I made were to cut 2 inches off the hemline and flare the sleeves out at the bottom slightly.
I love reading sewing blogs and regularly get inspired to try something new. So thanks for the inspiration, girls! I would never have given this a try or reached for it on a hanger at Macy's, but I love it!