Saturday, February 21, 2015

Knit & Lace Top

Last year, I wrote about this shirt I made for the guys of Electroloom, using parts of Vogue pattern V8877. When I did that, I used pattern tracing paper like I normally do, and was able to trim it down a bit to make a top for myself.

This pattern is extremely easy, with just four pieces. I did a lot of altering after the initial construction–I didn't alter the pattern that I made for Aaron, erring on the side of having too much seam allowance. This would be fine, except I also didn't take into consideration that it's already a very, very loose pattern.

If you look at the actual pattern itself, you'll see that View A is supposed to hit in the middle of the upper arm, but my version goes all the way down to the elbows. Half of this is because I cut a size too large, but the other half is that I'm just super short. :)

You'll also see that this is supposed to have dolman sleeves, but mine is more dolman-esque, because I am way too short to like that look.

I've been looking at getting a dressform recently, and it would have been very nice to have for this project. This top is basically just two shoulder seams, and two side seams that run from the sleeve hem to the bottom hem. I'm pretty sure I went over each of them at least five times, and constantly trying on one top after each iteration gets very old, very fast.

I finished the lace fabric seam allowances with a quick and dirty zig zag, and left the purple knit alone. Knit fabric is forgiving that way, and honestly it's a lot less bulky to just leave it or trim it down.

The sleeve hem is just folded over and stitched twice, but the collar and the bottom hem got some bias tape treatment.

I used single-fold bias tape, and really liked the way it turned out! Do not be surprised if this turns into a tutorial at a later date, because I took photographs along the way.

I'd like to take a moment to point out some imperfections. It would be lovely if everything we made was perfect all the time, but it isn't, and that's OK. Truthfully, nobody is going to notice if I had to trim that flappy bit and hand-stitch that gap.

In all honesty, sewing is as much about forgiveness as it is about creation.

I was really happy to have finished this top! I've got a large queue of garment sewing right now, which, along with a full-time job, has pushed the blag-a-bag off to the side a little bit, and takes a lot longer. This lace project has been sitting around for a few months now, and I'm very pleased with the results.

Happy sewing!


  1. Thanks so much for posting about this top! I am so happy to see it made up by a real person. I only just bought the pattern, because a) the pattern envelope makes it look rather nice (why do I fall for that?) and b) I thought it would be great to use up two fabrics if I don't have a lot of either - great stash buster.

    What I totally forgot (duh) was that dartless tops (particularly those with dolman sleeves, double duh) don't suit me, I am not a B cup and I really have no idea what possessed me to think that this would be different?

    But your top looks great on you! So I am feeling a lot better about it, - but then on the other hand I already cut out a toile fabric (bed sheet) and should have a first draft that I can try on very soon. It'll be moment of truth.

    But now that I know that this top can be made to look really nice (did I mention that it really suits you?), I'll be able to push myself into making adjustments if it's not great as the standard XL size. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Thanks so much again!

    1. Thanks, Gisella! I'm so glad you like it!

      I think the pattern is great. It's easy to do, and a very good starting point.

      I ended up sewing the shoulder/top and underarm/side seams probably at least five times. I'm very short, so taking in more of the shoulder seams helped with the fit. Taking in the underarm seams made it a lot less dolman-y. I did this by increasing the curve for just the underarm, and then gradually going to the original seam as I got to the waist, so that it still fit at the hips. It works best with knit fabrics though, because the stretch is very forgiving.

      Making a first draft with bedsheets is a fantastic idea! I think I'll keep that in mind for my next big project!

      If you are using woven fabrics, you may want to keep the sleeves more dolman-esque, otherwise you may not be able to get in or out of the top! But definitely play around with the seams.

      I'm confident you can get it looking great! Let me know how it goes!