Sunday, 15 April 2012
Stylish dress book 1: Spring top 2
Grey foliage tunic - view B from Stylish Dress Book 1 for the Spring Top sewalong.
I belatedly realised after uploading Spring Top 1 to the group pool that most other people had been cropping their photos at the neck, and consequently felt like a right lemon, so here I am, safely beheaded.
A book I've had for eons, this one. Bought because I wanted to make the dress/tunic on the cover, view E, attempting to recreate a lovely tunic I saw in the Toast catalogue. I even have some Anna Maria Horner voile ready to sew it with. That's Spring Top no. 3 sorted then.
This time around, I thought I'd make a wearable muslin, using a remnant of floaty cotton I bought in Fabrics Galore for just a few pounds. It was actually a more than generous remnant, more than enough to make this pretty but simple gathered blouse with a puffed sleeve.
All the usual caveats apply when sewing from a Japanese pattern, remember to add the seam allowance before cutting out your painstakingly-traced pattern pieces. Also, don't overlook any additional markings - view B comes with a tiny note to extend the width of the lower sleeve pattern piece by 10cm in order to create the puffiness, which is easily overlooked. I did my research on flickr beforehand, otherwise I would definitely not have seen this. For more tips on using Japansese sewing books, try this article over at The Purlbee and this exhaustive series of posts at label-free.
I'm a UK size 10 (US size 6) and traced out a size 11, adding an extra 3cm to the hem as I'm an amazonian 5'4" (or 164cm in new money), whereas the Japanese patterns in this book only run to 160cm. First time in my life I've ever felt tall ... -ish; I have a brother who's 6'3" and a sister who's 5'10" so I didn't come off well in the height stakes.
I'm very happy with how this turned out, I like the bound neckline and gathered cuffs (I followed the pattern directions and used elastic, but I might try binding them next time after seeing this version and this version).
The top also comes with a handy pirate or musketeer option if you add a thick leather belt. I'm not a great wearer of belts, me. Maybe I just haven't found the right belt yet?