Thanks for letting me vent yesterday. I went back to the sewing room for some therapeutic stitchin’. And I decided to make a top. Last weekend I made a New Look skirt that I reviewed here at PatternReview. Our best man, JJ, is celebrating his 10th anniversary, and tonight we are going out to dinner with him and his wife. So I decided to make a top to go with it. I had enough of the polka dot fabric to make a shell. And I had this pattern in my stash from ages ago:
It’s an out of print Vogue Basic pattern for a princess line shell with neckline variations. It’s a great pattern. I made it a couple of years back for a “We’re Sick of Winter Party” – a bash we throw each February where we crank the heat to 80, make rum drinks and tropical appetizers and put Jimmy Buffett and Merrymen on the stereo. Everyone wears shorts and Aloha shirts under their winter coats, and we have a great time.
Back to the present. I pulled out this pattern and in about 3 hours had a new top. There are a couple of things that I changed about it, but the most important thing to do when making a top like this, regardless of your fabric, is press the bejeezus out of it as you go along. The success or failure of a garment like this depends directly on how well you press your seams. I wrote an article in Threads magazine and I wrote about it on PatternReview way back when. My students call me the pressing nazi, mostly affectionately I think, because I’m always riding them about pressing properly. Let me put it to you this way. Do you know that, in most factories, the pressers earn more than the seamstresses? True. They spend more time with the garment, shaping it. And I’ll tell you, the simpler the garment, the more critical pressing is to its final look and quality.
Another change I made is to use a more ready to wear approach and insert an invisible zipper in the left side seam. Unlike the directions, I positioned the stop at the underarm and had the zip go all the way to the hem of the garment. Other than that, not much. You can read the full review here on PatternReview. Here’s a picture of the finished garment:
I’m going to wear it tonight, and since it’s getting chilly in the evenings, I’ll probably bring this jamovar shawl that I bought from Heritage Trading on ebay: