Top fail times three (or fourth time lucky)

This was the inspiration.

And this is what was eventually made.

Why did it take four attempts??

Well the skirt was the easy bit. I just had to find the fabric. Thanks, Mood Fabrics (and a work commitment that took me to the US!).

The top was the tricky bit.

First try was the top (03/2013 #116) as featured by Burda.

Nice and boxy isn’t it? Felicity needs a FBA for fit, so I added a side dart to my draft and made up a trial version in a drapey polyester.

So, it was “okay”, but the neck was too high, says Felicity. A dart in a lace fabric? says me. Why not try an FBA that doesn’t add a dart? Like that great tutorial by Paprika Patterns.

The next draft had an FBA without the dart, and with the neck lowered a bit. Sensibly, I made this is a silk mousseline which mimicked the stiffness of my real fabric a little better.

This got the thumbs down too. Partly because of the colour ( I though it was a masterly match with the yellow in the floral skirt but apparently it was too much like a set of sheets from her childhood that were not loved.. Kids!).

French seams and all!

And the most beautifully finished bias on the neckline!

Oh well, it was fun making it (and I can wear it , so.. score 1 for Mum!)

But as well as being an un-favourite shade of yellow, the sleeves were annoyingly tight (Fadanista said that too) and the dropped shoulders were not loved.

Time to look for another pattern.

What about a crop top, I suggested. BurdaStyle 02/2015 #127 should do the job? The teenager heartily agreed!

I added a small 1 cm FBA, since the amount of ease was generous. I rotated the FBA back into the diagonal dart so that the style line was preserved.

The test version in blue flowered cotton was approved.

I made it with a back seam (and a keyhole opening with a button at the top) rather than open, as drafted.

I was onto something here! My last remaining change was to lower the front hem a little and then I cut the “lace” out.

This is an embroidered organza. I purchased it from Gay Naffine’s final designer fabric clearance, but, coincidentally, Tessuti has posted something that looks identical this weekend (thanks Jann, for letting me know! I’ve been avoiding the Tessuti website for obvious reasons—seen my stash lately?!)

Organza meant French seams. On sleeves with pointed almost square inserts. I caved and sewed normal seams and then trimmed one of the allowances, folded the other under and stitched. Sort of like lapped seams.

The final effect wasn’t too bad ( this is looking down on one of the cap sleeves before the side seam was sewn).

I trimmed and turned under the darts too.

The neck and keyhole opening at the back was finished with bias plain organza. Which is apparently terribly itchy. Ahh, one must suffer for fashion I say!

Lets have another look at the finished item.

The shape is good

The stiffness can make it a bit cape-like.

The lower back hem is nice.

And the shoes are a great addition to a lovely outfit.

And, on a more serious note, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris, and people everywhere living in the shadow of terrorism.

Thanks for reading.

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28 Responses to Top fail times three (or fourth time lucky)

  1. Fadanista says:

    Such a shame about that Burda pattern – it looks so good on the model. I love your various iterations and the final one is terrific!

  2. sewbussted says:

    How lucky is this girl?!!! All of your attempts ended up as a lot of new clothes. When I first saw the line drawing of the top you finally settled on, my thought was, “oh, I really like that top.” Great choice.

  3. Philo says:

    Cool! First I thought there shoud be a lace trim at the hem. But when I saw this top from the side, the way you made it, makes sense.

  4. prttynpnk says:

    That Lacey business is so delicate and your seams so dainty.

  5. I think embroidered silk organza is gorgeous! Love what you did with it. Lucky daughter you have there!

    • SewingElle says:

      And lucky mum to have a daughter who works with me so well.
      It was lovely fabric to work with. It was labelled as silk with cotton embroidery when I purchased it, but Tessuti’s version is polyester with cotton embroidery. I haven’t done a burn test, but I still like to think mine might be silk!

  6. Nonsuch says:

    Absolutely stunning. The outfit is pretty nice too! V clever work with silk organza – those seams are perfection. Happy with the shoes too.
    vive la France

    • SewingElle says:

      Thank you. This is the one garment that, even if it never got worn, I had so much pleasure making. There’s something very satisfying about sewing with organza – body and delicacy all in one.

  7. Tia Dia says:

    What a pretty outfit. The organza is so pretty. I made up the Burda lace top for a petite friend in a very heavy rayon lace that draped beautifully. She usually needs an SBA, so the pattern worked well for her.

    • SewingElle says:

      This seems to be a pattern that needs a drapey fabric. Felicity has voluntarily worn the first version made in the drapey polyester (voluntarily = chose to put it on for something other than me taking a photo for the blog!) even though she doesn’t like the dropped shoulders or the bateau neck line that’s a bit too high.
      It’s not a terrible pattern.

  8. Summerflies says:

    Firstly, the skirt is beautiful (and matches your roses as well!). I love all the tops and have also been tempted by this ‘simple’ pattern, but I too would need an FBA. The yellow one looks great on but if you can’t move your arms it’s not very good but great sewing on that top. I have taken note of your seams on the organza as I too have a stash silk organza with some embroidery and hand painted coloured dots that I’d like to use and I think this is a lovely, less bulky finish. It’s a lovely outfit.

    • SewingElle says:

      Thank you, The sewing really was a pleasure, and there are at least two and maybe three tops that will get worn out of all of this.
      The roses work so well with this skirt. Thanks for noticing! I’m still working on convincing my pink adverse daughter that a soft pink top would work really well

  9. Susan says:

    Georgeos! You did a great job.
    Susan

  10. Beautiful Springtime outfit and your sewing skills are impeccable.

  11. Jennifer Shaw says:

    Wow, the final version is stunning! The fabric for the last version is so beautiful on your daughter!! Lucky Felicity, to have such stunning clothes.

  12. sewruth says:

    I think all of your versions are fine – you could dye the silk if yellow is too bright. Exquisite seaming.And v. lucky daughter. Is she not sewing for herself yet?

  13. Yummymummy says:

    Felicity looks so summery in this! I bought this fabric too, is it scratchy in itself? Like the shape of this.
    I’ve just washed that smudgy grey / oyster silk cotton that you also bought from Gay Naffine, does it wear well? I thought you’d made it up but can’t see it on your blog.
    I also make about 3 muslins for my daughter each time I sew her something … She’s just starting to fit into Dotti, Ally Fashion etc fortunately

    • SewingElle says:

      No the fabric itself doesn’t seem to be scratchy. That smudgy grey / oyster silk cotton is still in my stash. I’ve pre-washed it (it survived unscathed) but it’s still languishing in the stash. Looking forward to seeing what you make!

  14. Nakisha says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous.

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