So its the end of summer and my thoughts are firmly turning to autumn and winter sewing. Suddenly I want different colours and fabrics and a coat! I have already made a couple of things but I am clinging onto summer for a little while longer and I have two summery tops to share today.
First I made a Sinbad and Sailor Dove tee. I actually made a version a couple of months ago but I was optimistic on the sizing and went down when I should have gone up (when I looked again at the pattern I think I may have mistakenly cut out a size even smaller than I intended). So although I loved the finished top it was too narrow across the back and it had to be re-homed. I reprinted the pattern and finally got round to cutting it out a few weeks ago. This time I went a bit bigger than my actual measurements and cut a 14 all round for a fairly loose fit.
The fabric is a mystery poly of some kind – it is very very lightweight which is lovely for this pattern but not so great for sewing. It shifted around when I cut it and when I sewed it and seemed to get out of shape really easily. It was a bit of a challenge to get my machine tension right and very ready to fray. I usually try not to sew with polyester after a few horrible experiences but I thought the results would be worth it and the lack of breathability of the fabric wouldn’t be an issue with such a loose top.
I was intending to use french seams throughout until I sewed both side seams with right sides together instead of wrong sides, so it is mostly french-seamed which helps to control the fraying. I also skipped the neck facing. By the time I got to add the facing the neckline had either stretched a bit or it moved when I cut it and the facing didn’t fit properly. I used bias binding instead which I prefer (though I still need to master getting it to lie flat…) – I find facings always flop about even when I have understitched.
As I had made the top before I wasn’t worrying too much about fit but when I tried it on almost at the end of the sewing process I realised that the bust darts were too low and due to the slippery fabric they had ended up pointing downwards in a rather odd way!
It was too late to move the darts completely without major unpicking but I did manage to unpick the darts and angle them upwards from the same starting point. One of them is still a little crooked but at least they are more or less pointing to the right place now!
So I was rather out of love with the fabric by the end of the process and at the same time summer seemed to have come to an abrupt end so I wasn’t sure I would even wear it. But now the pain of making it has passed, I really like this top and have already worn it a few times – it is great for days when the weather is changeable and the open back is cute without being revealing. I love the button band hack that Tilly did on this pattern and I would love to try that next! Finally I decided at pretty much the last minute to join in SewAmySew’s Repurpose, Reuse, Refashion Challenge – taking an unloved item from a charity shop or a friend and turning it into something wearable! I am in awe of people who can completely transform challenging finds into amazing outfits – seriously – I would never have looked at this dressing gown and seen a bomber jacket! I went out yesterday to check out our local charity shops and found this very loose cotton tunic, which was too baggy and shapeless to work for me as a dress or tunic but was made of a great lightweight cotton with a cute floral print.
I thought of just trying to take it in a bit but the top was unfitted and very loose so I decided to cut it into panels and cut out a Sorbetto from the pieces. The original sleeves were raglan so there was enough fabric to cut sleeve pieces out. I made the sleeves slightly longer than the pattern piece and saved the cuffs from the original top to finish them. I gathered the centre neckline instead of making the pleat to give a more relaxed fit and to keep the style of the original.
This only took a few hours – made longer by sewing the bias binding onto the wrong side at first! I would have tried to reuse the orginal collar but I cut a hole in the top of it when I was unpicking the label. Overall I am really pleased by how this turned out and hopefully it has made me think a bit more laterally about what you can do with clothes that don’t quite work for you! So – have you tried to refashion anything and did you join the Refashion Challenge?