Sew far, sew good…

For my next project, I knew exactly what I wanted to make and exactly what fabric to make it out of.
So, I made something completely different instead.

Once I picked up my predetermined fabric for its predetermined purpose, I decided that if I saw ‘something pretty’ I would buy a metre and keep it aside till I figured out what to do with it. At this point, I also decided that I am now a little old lady that buys pretty things and squirrels them away for ambiguous, undefined purposes.

‘Something Pretty’ was not only seen, but instantly demanded my attention and edged out ‘predetermined’ on my ‘must sew’ list. That, and the fact that ‘predetermined’ was to be a lengthier project and after the arduous day and a half I spent on my skirt, I wanted instant gratification.

In the back of my mind I had the beginnings of an idea for a nice summery printed cotton top that unlike all my other summery tops, would have sleeves. I saw this fabric and the idea instantly clawed its way to the front of my mind…

From Sew What

Its a pink-coral-orangey kind of fabric and the hippy-ish print reminded me of my mommy – two very good reasons to buy it.
Something else mommy related is the idea for this top. You see, I chose to copy or at least somewhat mimic a lovely satin top I already own – a quick and easy trick my mommy used often when she sewed our clothes as kids, and has very recently advised me to do as well. Said satin top looks like it is made from a single piece of fabric, folded and cut to shape – even the sleeves are done from that one single piece. I followed suit.
Since it was to be a loose top, I did some quick rough measurements, folded and cut out the basic shape and hemmed the sleeves first.

From Sew What

The sleeve shape is just barely there, as in the original, but the final effect is quite pleasing. The neck is cut much smaller than it will eventually be, as I usually cut small slits on the four corners of the hole and fold inwards to hem V necks.

Next, I hemmed the bottom into  a wide channel, to allow for elastic to pass through later. I tend to work on the ‘finishing’ as I go along, so as to allow myself to sew in simple straight lines as much as possible. Hand sewing has its limitations, as does my patience.

From Sew What

Not the most dramatic change, I know. Thereafter however, it was just a simple matter of sewing up the seams and hemming the neck line. In order the prevent fraying, I blanket stitched the inside seams and made a solid joint, being careful not to sew past the hem channel, so as to leave a clear path for the elastic. Once the elastic was run through, I was pretty much done!

From Sew What

I chose to cut an inch deeper in the front to distinguish the neckline from the back and added some previously bought, tiny, almost indistinguishable beads that happily happened to be the exact colour of the fabric.

From Sew What

Upon further reflection though, I felt the top too plain despite having started out with that exact aim in mind. I then chose to add a self coloured sash to it for flounce. Instead of sewing it all together though, I used my newly discovered hemming tape for the first time, which I kind of consider cheating. However it was 3am and I think by then only the purchase of an entirely new item of clothing might be considered cheating.

From Sew What

At this point – and by that I mean this very point in time as I sit here typing this- I realise I could have simply made a longer sash, used it as a drawstring and avoided the hassle of reopening a side of the hem to insert, sew and secure the two separate pieces of sash. I will console myself by fooling my brain into believing that this would not have in fact created the desired effect I was looking for.

Once again, I model for lack of a dress form. Really.

From Sew What

And voila.
I love the big bow on the side and once I wash it and the starch leaves the fabric I think it will fall a little better. It turned out almost exactly how I imagined, mistakes and all, so this time around I learned nothing really.

I hope to wear it with flared bottom jeans or walking shorts soon to debut it on styleperdiem.com.

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4 responses to “Sew far, sew good…

  1. u iz quite brilliant doter mine! give them fingers a well-deserved rest and go tank up on some refreshing chai-biskoot……I mean shortbread.

    I just hope your readers don’t take me for a “hippie!”

  2. Love the bow. Summer tops with sleeves are always welcome! You should try that silhouette with a high neck next time.

  3. Boat neck next, boat neck!

  4. @Ma – No rest! dress coming next!
    @inopiate – I ❤ bows! I should have gone with a round neck for this one na…
    @Mits – Read my mind, after my next one or two projects, I'll do a boat or slit neck 😀

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