Thursday, October 01, 2015

A summer top. Yes, I know it's October.

Even thought it's fall, I pushed forward and finished my summer tops, well three out of four. The fourth one was not fitting right so I'm leaving those alterations until next spring because I'm frustrated with it and well, it's fall.

So here is my first top and review: Simplicity 1668. This is my favorite of the three I finished. I could wear it under a jacket, so it's not just a summer top.

Pattern notes:
Having read other reviews that this top was generous, I cut a size M with a L hip (increased front and back side seams starting at the waist and increasing out to 1 inch at bottom edge)

Fabric used:
Rayon, purchased in Germany

Construction notes:
I used the sewing machine for all construction. I used a 3-thread overlock stitch on my serger to finish the side seams, edge of neck facings and also the bottom edge before hemming. The arm holes are finished with a bias binding facing - I cut bias strips from my fabric instead of using packaged bias binding.

The front neck was a bit of a trouble. The first time I sewed it, it came out crooked, which I noticed when I went to attach the neck facing. Somehow one side was longer than the other. I actually wasn't surprised because there is potential for adding error when piecing the front shoulders, or my fabric could have shifted during cutting, or the 90-degree angled front neck edge may have not been sew correctly. I unpicked the seams and found that I'd sewn the front neck piece on a bit crooked so I fixed that and fudged the rest of the smaller differences. Problem solved - or at least it's not so obvious now.

The instructions for applying the bias tape to the armholes are brief and weren't enough for me. Actually I had an added problem because I was sewing this pattern as a Simplicity reprint in the German magazine "Meine Nähmode", so my instructions were translated into German (thankfully they kept the illustrations!). But that aside, I've actually never applied bias binding as a facing. I've used bias binding a lot as an edge finish in knits but in woven garments the neck is often finished with a facing piece and I haven't sewn sleeveless garments before, so this was a new technique for me. Some of my sewing books showed better instructions but ultimately a YouTube video made it all make sense. It turns out that it's very easy to do and makes a nice finish.

These might be new concepts for a beginner:
  • Under stitching a facing
  • Bias binding facings
  • Sewing a 90-degree angle (just requires careful stitching and clipping)
Lessons learned:
  • Check how things line up before you get too far along in the sewing.
  • YouTube is a great source for learning sewing techniques
  • Bias binding as facings are really nice, but make your own bias binding - the packaged stuff is just too stiff.
  • I'm happy with the alterations I made.
Overall impressions:
I really like this top. There was a lot of "fiddly" construction but it was worth it in the end for the nice details: gathered detail on the front shoulders, gather bit at the neck front and the vent in the back. The fit is good and I think I nailed the fabric - a flowy rayon. Funny too that this was a remnant piece that I picked up for less than $7.

Recommend it?
Yes, but use a flowy fabric and you might want to go down a size.

1 comment:

  1. You look fantastic in this top, Lori. Thanks for sharing. Though it's for the summer, you can wear it in autumn as well, I'm sure. It's quite warm at the beginning of autumn.
    Hugs from Megan, my first page -