The Sewing Workshop Bristol Top
Posted on Tuesday the 6th February 2018 by Sewing Angela
In a previous post I made the dress from this pattern and I wanted to make the top as well as I think we need to get full value from our patterns and not use them just the once.
This particular Sewing Pattern
is not cheap I admit, however at price per use it comes in at a very acceptable level. I have already made two versions of the dress which I have to say are so flattering that I wear them a lot, I have made this top and have cut out another one already. I know that this is not a pattern I will ever part with and I can see me using it again and again.
How many times have you purchased a pattern for say £10 and used it only once? How many times have you bought an expensive sewing magazine and not used the patterns at all? When you look at it from a different viewpoint it makes you think more about value for money.
I read a lot of blogs and look at a lot of social media accounts and the same garments crop up time and time again. Don’t get me wrong, I see a lot of lovely work, but why not be different and pick a design which nobody else is making? Be a leader!
This pattern in particular is extremely easy to make and a delight to wear. You can honestly make it in a day.
Something which annoys me is having to shorten a dress pattern in order to make the top version – this pattern contains the pattern pieces for both dress and top so you definitely will be able to make them time and time again.
It is a loose weave fabric and can be worn all year round with a T-shirt or camisole under it if you need an extra layer. It stretches across the width so bear that in mind when cutting the pattern out. A few pieces need to be cut on the fold so I positioned the fabric selvedge to slightly off centre for some pieces to save on fabric and I re-folded the remaining fabric selvedge to selvedge for the remaining pieces, the sleeves for example. Don’t cut anything out until you are certain that your pattern pieces will all fit on. Refer to the layout on the pattern instructions if in any doubt.
To make this top a bit different from my dresses I lowered the front neckline and cut out a new neckband, determining the width by measuring the new lowered neckline and adding seam allowances, I cut the new neckband about 8” wide, but you can make it wider if you want more of a drape rather than a rolled neckband like mine. You will need the stretch going across the new neckband so in this case ignore the grain line on the old pattern piece. If your fabric has not got a lot of stretch you will need to cut it on the bias in order to get a good drape.
The instructions are fabulous; they go into a lot of detail and are easy to follow. This pattern is unusual in that you start at the bottom and work your way to the top. The very first thing you do is to sew the centre front hem and add the side bands. It is worth saying here that you will have no opportunity later to shorten the dress or top so do check the length is as wanted before cutting out.
All the seams were sewn with a narrow zigzag and I neatened the seams on my overlocker. I top stitched all the seams with a longer narrow zigzag stitch.
Once the lower part of the top is sewn then it’s time to make up the sleeves, again check your sleeve length because there is no going back once you have made them! The lower sleeves are stitched in which leaves only the yoke to finish.
Stitch the front and back yokes together and check that you have lowered the front neckline by the required amount if you are changing the neck band as I did. Stay-stitch the yoke along the upper edge.
Fold the neckband in half right sides together to form a tube and stitch.
Press the neckband in half and pin it equally along the neckline right sides together, then stitch and overlock. Press the seam down and top stitch. I used a wider zigzag to keep it firmly in place, the great thing about this fabric is that the top stitching here doesn’t show but it does keep the neckline neat.
The top can easily be made in one day, and it is flattering and comfortable to wear. The hem shaping gives it an edge to it and makes it totally different to anything else you can see.
The fabric is beautifully soft and lightweight. It is very well behaved and easy to wash. It would be perfect to put in your suitcase to wear with a pair of linen trousers when it turns chilly in the evening.
I hope that I have given you food for thought. An inexpensive pattern may seem a bargain but if you don’t love it you will never make it again. A more expensive pattern that you absolutely love will not only give you untold pleasure when making it up but the resulting garment will thrill you every time you wear it, and you will keep it forever and make lots of versions of it.
Now, which is better value for money? Don’t just choose a pattern because everybody else is making it, or it was inexpensive but not quite what you wanted. Instead choose a pattern which you know will suit your figure and your lifestyle, choose a pattern which you can use time and time again and love wearing. Dare to be different!
Thank you for reading this post.