Friday, July 22, 2011

The One-Hour, "That's so cute" Top

A one-shoulder top. I've been wanting one for about 14 mos. now. Last summer I bought Simplicity 2364 and was itching to make it. Problem was, I didn't. Then DD#1 comes home from school in May and says she wants a one-shoulder top with a flounce. I showed her S2364 and she didn't seem that impressed. Until last night. I whipped up this one in one-hour, never even reading the directions. It was immensely helpful to me that Simplicity included the 6-14 size range in one envelope for this pattern!

Here are two front views:

DD#1's response: "That's kind of cute." Translation: She likes it. She wants me to make her something like it. But she says it without much emotion because she knows if I see her excited about it, I'll ask her if she would like to sew one up for herself lol. What I would give to have at least one daughter interested in sewing!

Here is a back view. (I need a reminder to make some Jalie capris from my jeans pattern. I loathe back views with RTW bottoms!) :

The fabric...well I couldn't remember! I made another summer top from this fabric a couple of years ago and had to look up my PR review. The fabric was purchased from Metro Textiles in NYC during PR Weekend 2007.

I can't really comment on the directions for this pattern because the top is pretty straightforward, and I didn't read them at all. However, I did look at the pattern guidesheet pics so I'll tell you, actually show you, what I think is really bizarre about this pattern.

First, this is the normal part. You're looking at the basting stitches for gathering the front and back shoulder seams. You stitch the gathered shoulder seams with a stabilized strip of whatever, then the side seams. Okay. Fine and dandy.

Now here is the bizarre part! What the heck is a facing that long doing on a shirt like this!?!?

Yes, that is the facing! And look at the size of that facing!! I think that piece actually goes right to the full bust or at least quite close to it. Do you know what that means? Very likely you will get a tell-tale facing line. Not only that, that's a double layer of fabric that goes at least a third of the way down the shirt. So...three things I'm concerned about. One is facing "creep", Secondly, tell-tale facing line. And lastly, well, it's just so darn hot out now! Why do I even need a facing at all???

Suddenly, I got *that* kind of feeling. The smug feeling I sometimes get when thinking I know better than the pattern designer and instruction writer. Sometimes I end up being humbled at my lame-brained smugness, other times I feel like I showed them! This time, yes! I showed them.

I'm sure there was a reason for the facing, but it's just not necessary for the one-shoulder version in my ITY knit. It has good stretch and recovery. However, let's say my knit didn't have good stretch and recovery. I'd still make it without a facing and would place clear elastic along a portion of the front and back neckline when topstitching if it needed it. Yes, the neckline is on the bias, and it could stretch out a bit. Even if clear elastic wasn't inserted from the get-go, I could still add it later. Therefore, I maintain this top does not need a facing. IMO, it should be optional and noted as so. I just did the turn-under-and-top-stitch method. (Note: cut the armhole SA down to 3/8" before turning under and topstitching. The curve is too acute.)

Let's move on to sizing. Paula from PR mentioned doing a post about size morphing here are my pics explaining just that.

My neck, shoulders and high bust are a 10. From the high bust down I'm a 14. For my figure, morphing between the two is a breeze resulting in a pattern that needs minimal alterations. The problem is, many patterns are multi-sized up to a 12. The next size range starts at 14 on up. This beauty of this pattern is that it has the 6-14 size range. THANK YOU, Simplicity! You made my day when I bought this pattern. Actually, it probably was THE reason I bought it. Here is how I morphed the pattern blending from the size 14 at the side seams and lower armhole to the 10 from the notch up. Shown is the front piece only, but I did the same on the back as well.

Showing the armhole and shoulder area:
Here's the shoulder and angled front:

This morphing between sizing produces a great fit for me with minimal alteration effort. The only alteration I made to this pattern was to move the entire shoulder seam forward a 1/2". You might be thinking, "Well, what alterations would you being doing if you weren't using a multisize pattern?" Here's a list of some that are typical for me depending on the pattern:

1. Narrow shoulder.

2. Forward shoulder.

3. Removing neckline gape

4. FBA

5. Swayback

6. Broad upper back

7. Tweaking the side seams to fit

Among others...

Realistically, morphing a multi-size pattern may not work for everyone, but it works great for me. It's something to try and, depending on your figure, you might be very happy with the results.

Getting back to my assessment of this pattern. I really like it! The only thing I'm going to change on my second version (yes, I'm actually sewing this weekend because it's hot as you know what!) is to remove some width of the shoulder and drop the neckline on the front and back. My daughters concurred with my feelings on that. The area that is shaded in red lines is what is going to be removed from the pattern for my next version.

What's on tap for my next version? A royal blue, cotton knit top. DD#2 will try it on, critique it, then I'll modify the pattern to make a one-shoulder royal blue, cotton knit summer dress for her. Hopefully it will get made this weekend. The top, sans facing, takes about one hour to make. Piece-of-cake sewing! Off to do my review of this pattern at PR. This will be my 100th review! Well, there are actually many more things for me to review, it's just getting enough time to do them :) .


alethia said...

You did a great altering the pattern to get a custom fit and creating a fabulous fitting summer top.

HeathersSphere said...

It's more than "so cute", it's a totally fierce top on you! I can easily imagine the top modified into a mini or maxi evening gown. You look fab in a one-shoulder style.

Rhoto said...

"sans facing"... You speak French??!!
What brand of strapless bra fits you so well??
Really pretty, eh!! (I speak Canadian, too ;)
Rhonda in Montreal ;D

Kat said...

Thanks for the very kind comments :) . Rhonda...Shhhh. Although I do have one decent strapless bra, this is a regular bra with the other strap tucked into the cup ;) . I just bought a great "100 different ways" WonderBra, but need to add an extender on the back. Same size as usual, but the band is too tight. Until it stretches, I'm adding the extender. I bought that one with this top in mind. Problem is, I can't find the bra right now! Figures...

Robin said...

That top really is cute!! I made it too, but haven't shown it on my blog yet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your PR review and this blog post. I was thinking of making this top, and was wondering about the big facings.
If I don't use the facings, I can use some smaller pieces of fabric.
Before I saw the facings, I couldn't figure out why it took a full yard of 60" fabric!