Sunday, April 22, 2012

Final entry for 2012

Squealing in just under the time limit, this is my final entry into the Spring Top Sewalong.  Four (actually five) tops for myself in a month (making up for the other 11 months out of the year where I've historically done very little sewing for myself!)  The fabric is cotton voile from the Prince Charming line by Tula Pink for Free Spirit.  

The pattern for this was rubbed off (without disassembly) from a cute top I purchased a while back.  The shirt is fairly complicated, with princess seams (front and back), shirring and gathers in front and back, and a yoke.  The original had sleeves, but I'm guessing our current heat wave convinced me that sleeveless was the way to go, so I finished the armholes with self-fabric bias tape.  The original also had a side zipper, but with all that elastic shirring, it was slip-on!  Wahoo!  Easier and comfy!
One of the most difficult parts was in the shirring itself.  Aside from sewing machine drama using elastic thread, there was too much volume in the gathers, and it was causing blousing at the neckline.  I'm sure instructions for using elastic thread specify, but I discovered that if you reduce the stitch length, it reduces the volume of the gathers.  Voila!  It only took about 4 tries to figure that out! 
This construction was more complicated that I had guessed originally, and it definitely wasn't put together elegantly.  The front middle piece is actually lined, as is the back yoke, and when I was still thinking sleeves, it was difficult to visualize how to assemble it.  Now that it's done, I can see how it should be done differently, and since I have the pattern, I can try it again!  And since this kind of top is exactly what I wear to work with cardigans, I'm sure to make it again.  
Clearly not expecting my face to be in the photo, but I had to post it!

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