Sunday, 15 September 2013

Summer Sewing Promise No. 1 - DONE! Tessuti's Our Fave Top.

Stripes seem to confuse my camera. Couldn't get this to focus properly for love nor money!
This was a top of firsts: first time sewing with knits, first time using the differential feed on my overlocker/serger, first time using my twin needle on my regular machine.

Phew, that was a lot of firsts.

I was really hesitant going into this. I bought the fabric over a year ago, prepped it for cutting and sewing and then abandoned it. All I could hear in my head was What were you thinking?

This fabric, my lovely readers, is a bitch the most ridiculously slinky, stretchy, unstable knit I think I could have chosen. I'm sure you will all tell me it isn't so, but I don't give a toss. It's a viscose/elastane, which feels lovely to touch and wear and I love the drape, but holy crap! Even laying it out to cut... I was rapidly losing patience. But I eventually pinned it into submission and the rest, as they say, is history.

Before construction I made sure to test, and test, and then test again. A bit of fiddling and the differential feed on my serger worked like a charm. No gathering or awful seam puckering to be seen. I used a three-thread overlock stitch, though I'd normally use a four thread for construction seams. It just seemed to handle my fabric better using that stitch, so lets hope it holds and I don't live to regret it.

My regular machine, my lovely Janome DC2101LE, handled the hemming and neckline just beautifully. I didn't need to fiddle with thread tension or feed dogs or anything. I whacked in the double needle (I used a Klasse Twin Stretch needle, Size 75, 2.5mm) and off I went. I was really careful not to push or pull the fabric through, just let it feed naturally into the machine. That's the thing with this fabric - it's quite heavy and I had to ensure I supported it's full weight at all times during sewing or I know I'd have ended up with wavy, stretched out hems.

But check out the results! Lovely.

Lets ignore that stray thread there on the left...
Changes/additions to the pattern? 
I used cotton/twill tape to stabilise the shoulder seams from neckline to about 8 inches down the seam. It worked a treat - simply fed it through on top of the seam as it went through the overlocker. This fabric really needs some help to not stretch out whilst being worn. I also took 2 inches off the length and my seams were also 5/8 inch, as I couldn't find directions about seam allowances until I had nearly finished the top.

Will I make it again?
Not sure, it's fairly distinctive so maybe not. If I did I'd remove some width from the neckline. It's very wide and P even asked if it was "one of those sexy off-the-shoulder numbers?" Um... no

If there is anyone out there who hasn't yet attempted knits, I'd recommend the pattern. It's a very forgiving garment, with little to no fitting to be done and any mistakes like uneven hem stitching, just disappears into its awesome voluminousness (did I just make that word up?).

My new fave top? I like it, I know I'll wear it as part of my jeans and top uniform. That will do for me...


  1. Lovely work, even if the fabric was challenging!

    1. Thanks Christy! It was lovely to bump into you the other day.

  2. Ooooh, I like it too! I'm glad you persevered and got it done. It looks great!

    1. Thanks Gail. Yep, also happy I persevered and conquered my fears!

  3. Love the stripes! I did one as well. However, did you by chance alter the neckline? As I look at yours and then mine I'm thinking next time I might make a small adjustment. My looks a bit big. Anyway, nice job!

    1. Thanks Jilly! I didn't alter the neckline,but would next time as it's also too big on me. It's funny looking back at these shots as the neckline has stretched waaaaaayyyyyy further. I stabilised the shoulder seams, but hemmed and hawed over stabilising the neckline. It'll be a definite next time. It's turned into an off-the-shoulder number inadvertently. :(


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