I’m in the middle of another Refashion at the moment which has not been going according to plan! There are shreds of linen fabric everywhere and poor Doris feels like she is going through a course of acupuncture, she’s had that many pins stuck in her! This is what I started with – what I end up with is another matter! The shirt is 100% linen and was a bargain at £4 so I really don’t want to waste it.
On a more positive sewing note, I bought some double-sided striped jersey (spots on the reverse) from The Eternal Maker in Chichester during a recent fabric splurge. It is a really soft fabric made up of two thin layers stitched together. In fact it is impossible to describe just how lovely this fabric feels when you are wearing it.
I don’t tend to make clothes for lounging around in so to rectify this I wanted to make something oversized and comfortable and remembered that I’d downloaded the free Mandy Boat Tee from Tessuti Fabrics a while ago. I’d taped all the pieces together, cut out the pattern and filed it away. I decided to give it a try.
The pattern is one size and as I was looking for something slouchy I just went ahead and cut it out. The instructions say that the top should be made with a serger/overlocker but I don’t have one so just used my sewing machine with a zig zag/stretch stitch and trimmed the seams.
I made an effort to match the stripes. I usually pin striped fabric together along the edge with the stripes lined up before laying out the pattern pieces and then use LOTS of pins on each seam before attempting to sew – with varying degrees of success.
It came together really quickly but I did make a mistake early on. The instruction to join front and back at the shoulder seam didn’t mention a seam allowance so I used ⅝ but all the following instructions stated ⅜. I should have read everything through first as the instructions advise! I’m not sure if this was what resulted in me not being able to quite get the “beautiful finish” on the neckline which should be achieved by sewing a small seam (like a dart) from the edge of the neckline across to the shoulder seam. The picture on the left is from the pattern instructions, mine is on the right (obviously). In my defence it has been stretched out a bit by Doris’ wide shoulders. It looks fine on but just not as neat as the original.
I gave the stretch twin needle another go on the neckline, sleeves and hem and it worked pretty well, as did most of the stripe matching.
The finished top is certainly oversized on me but it is perfect for lazing around in. Doris fills it rather more than I do! It has dropped shoulders and I really like the effect of the stripes running both ways on the sleeve. I left my top quite long but I would probably make a shorter, more boxy version next time. I’ve rolled one of the sleeves up to just to show the spots but if you wanted to do this as a permanent feature you’d need to sew that section of the sleeve wrong sides together so that the stitching didn’t show when the sleeve was rolled up. I think that would work?
Hmm – given all my efforts of stripe matching how did I end up with a wonky bit on the hem?? I started to pin it up and by the time I got to to the other end I realised I was going in a spiral! The more I tried to level it off the worse it got. A bit like trying to cut your own fringe and ending up with nothing left!
I didn’t really know what to do to rectify this so there is a seriously annoying area on the hem at one side. Thankfully the floppiness (that word doesn’t look right) of the bottom of the tee does help to disguise this and most people (not the readers of this blog mind you!) probably wouldn’t even notice.
It’s The Fabric Godmother’s Open Day in Hove tomorrow. Very exciting (and probably expensive!).