First of all, I am overjoyed that Anita – my blog partner – has found the inspiration to come back. I am so eager to read her review about her new sewing machine and see her share more of the lovely projects she is working on.
I loved making it. And, as usual, Amity made the instructions clear and easy to follow.
However, as you can expect, at a certain point I took matters into my own hands and started doing my own thing, again. So, instead of making the ruffles out of lace, I cheated and bought some ready-made ribbon gathers. I just wanted to make it faster!
I chose to use black jersey and red lace. Initially, I wanted to go for a red base and black overlay, but lovely Leila from Three Dresses Project, who is doing the sew-alongs for Lolita Patterns (the one for Gunmetal is here), already made one, and I didn’t want to copy her; so, I played around with the colours. Well, not really, I just switched them around.
If you click on the picture, you’ll be taken to Leila’s blog post about her experience with the top. Isn’t it amazing? No way could I have competed with hers. She also has a version with long sleeves (which means I’ve got to buy Sewaholic’s Renfrew pattern now – oops, more shopping! ) There is no way I can reduce the amount of patterns or fabric I buy. I always see something that I absolutely must have! Oh well, I should know this by now.
Anyway, back to the top: the original pattern has buttons or D-rings with ribbon. I chose not to use any of them. Not because it wouldn’t be really cool to have them on, but I thought it would be a bit too much for me. I skipped the lining as well; I felt that, for a short-sleeved top, the lining would make it too bulky.
As soon as I had a top, I had to try it on, even if it wasn’t finished. I still needed the sleeves, but I just wanted to see how it fit. Trying it on, I felt that the front was a bit low. In fairness, it would be about an inch higher (as seen on Leila’s picture) if I ‘d have used the lace gathers as the pattern suggested. But I was too lazy! Or rather I was afraid to attempt a rolled hem to do it and I didn’t get enough trim to cover the neckline.
I used my twin needles to do the hems. They aren’t perfect, but I did find out that my Toyota Jeans is very good with knits. (Well, I also used the walking foot on my sewing machine – that helps a lot as both layers are pulled through together.) I used some knit stay tape too, which you can see on some pictures on the edge of the neckline.
I did have some near-misses. On the bottom right image, you can see that I sewed together two panels but the bottom layer moved and I almost missed it by the end. And I know from my own experience how difficult it is to unpick the stretch stitch – I’ve only done it twice in my sewing life and wish to no more! I’d rather start again.
Anyhow, I love my top, even if the front neckline is a bit too low for my liking. But hey, I bet some hunks out there like that . I have already decided another one is in order – I might even try the dress-version – but I do intend to make some changes, such as:
- Reduce the pattern between the shoulders and bust (which I normally do on other patterns)
- Use the D-rings
- Invest in some bathing-suit lining and line my next one (the inside of this one is a mess, not that anyone can see it)