Sunday, 15 September 2013

SEWN: MY NEW FAVE TOP?

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...

8 comments:

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

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

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

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

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  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!

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    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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