Back before Christmas I spotted this wonderful cotton print on CalIco Laine’s Facebook page, and immediately knew that I wanted to use this fabric for my second blogger network make. I love this fabric, the retro print has a sixties vibe and it makes me smile – just the thing to beat the winter blues. Because this is such a busy print, I wanted to pick a simple pattern which allowed the fabric to shine. I had in mind to make a top with a contrast yoke and when I remembered Amy’s lovely top made using New Look 6148, a plan was born.
There are many different pattern variations, but I decided on a simple sleeveless blouse with contrast yoke. This is a nice simple top to make with no fastenings, which is great for those who, like me, avoid zips wherever possible (I was pleased to see from Marie’s recent post that I’m not the only one!). I was a bit concerned that this might make it difficult to take on and off, as my head is rather on the large side (no tittering at the back there!), but I needn’t have worried as the neckline leaves plenty of room. There is a LOT of ease built in to this pattern so I recommend taking a good look at the finished measurements before cutting. I went by the finished bust size, leaving a few inches for maneuver, and I reckon I could have still gone with a size smaller. I graded up a few sizes at the hips which was a good call as any smaller here would have been a problem. I bought two metres of the print fabric and I probably could have got away with at least half a metre less, although I love this fabric so much that I am glad to have some left over.
For the main section of the top there are just three pattern pieces, which means that it comes together pretty quickly, even if like me you decide to French seam everything in sight. I must admit to getting a bit confused by the time I got to the neck binding, as for some reason the binding piece was not large enough to go all the way around the neckline, so at this point I stopped following the pattern and made the rest up as I went along. Thankfully this seems to have worked out! Plan B was to use bias binding from my stash to finish the neck and armholes, but the roll of black that I could have sworn I had was nowhere in sight. Instead I resigned myself to plan C: making my own. Producing handmade bias binding is an easy albeit quite boring exercise but luckily for me there was not too much required on this occasion.
This top is the perfect example of when frosting can also work as cake. It may be a fun and colourful print, but paired with a plain skirt as shown here, or a pair of trousers, this would be absolutely fine to wear to work (in my workplace at least!). Who says you can’t have cake and frosting at the same time??
Although I love this fabric, I think that if (when) I make this top again, I will use material which has more drape such as a cotton lawn, which would make it lighter and more summer appropriate. Also there is a tiny bit of pulling on the side seams around the chest which I realise means that I probably need to do an full bust adjustment. I know, I know, I keep putting it off, but I am determined to conquer the FBA and this will be the year. There we go, I’ve written it down, now i’ve committed! I would love to hear reassuring noises from those who have conquered the FBA, and if anyone has any top tips I would love to hear them. I think it’s the thought of slashing my pattern pieces that scares me the most!