Epic fail and last minute saving my Christmas Polly top

Polly <strong>By Hand London</strong>-118-EditSo it all started with good intentions and a bright idea. To get a Polly top from by Hand London with sleeves.  Well nothing out of the ordinary so far.

I have been thinking about this for a while. And in the end because I could not decide on my next make. I have so many things I want to make that I cannot decide which one to make first. So I thought I can surely make myself a little Polly top with sleeves for Christmas/Yule or which  ever the name of the Winter Solstice celebrations around where you live.  And all this should have gone  easy and without pain. Or so I thought.

2013-12-17 09.43.57So I started with ‘Patternmaking For Fashion Design’ By Helen Joseph- Armstrong, which by the way is a great resource if you want to make 2013-12-17 12.50.06your own patterns.

I have tried making a basic bodice and skirt block from this book and the instructions are clear and easy to follow, when you read everything.

So I proceeded to make my sleeve pattern. I followed the instructions but missed to add any ease which latter I found out was a big mistake. I don’t  learn do I? Keep telling myself read all the instructions and then proceed with whatever you  want to make.  So I made my sleeve block and even used the Polly top pattern to decide how bid to make the sleeve cap.

Although at the back of my mind a little voice was saying ‘test the block you  made in muslin or take  sleeve  block from  another pattern and adjust that the Polly top’, I decided to add my seam allowance to the sleeve block and to cut my fabric. I quickly sewed up one of the sleeves and tried it on. It seemed a bit tight, so I figured that if I add about 3cm wide strip in the middle of the sleeve all will be fine. So thinking I have nailed it I put together the rest of the top. I then tried it on and disaster!!!!!!!!  I forgot to think about adjusting the bodice so the fabric after is attached to the sleeve hits he shoulder point and not to use 1.5 seam allowance for that.  Have a look how bad it looks with a sleeve on. Confused smile


That is totally shocking! I mean I could not even take the bloody thing off and luckily because I stay stitched the neck line for both the back and front it did not split beyond the stitching line. Phew!!!!

I thought that I will not have a themed blouse! I sort of what to start a tradition for myself and make a garment every year. I almost did not even get there.  From this point on it was all about trying to wing it and save the top if I could. I carefully used my ‘best sewing friend –THE UNPIC’ and removed the sleeves. Then I stay stitched the arm holes and used self made bias binding and finished all the raw edges – neck, sleeve and hem. I am not the happiest with it but I did manage to save the top at the last minute and it is wearable.  The fit is better once I fixed the gaping at the front.  What do you think? Here are both first and second Polly tops:


On X-mas day I’d better drink loads of spirits or turn on the heating.


Hope you all enjoy your Winter Holidays!!

simona 1


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