have a ‘Tried and Tested’ (TNT) pattern that I use on a regular basis
to make tee shirts. This was originally a Paola Turtle Neck top by
Named and I have lost count of the number of times I have made up
this style for myself, my sister and friends.
have changed the neckline and added a neck band, changed the hemline
to have a ‘shirt tail’ curve and changed the sleeves so that they now
have a cuff that is either incorporated or added depending on the
length of the original sleeve and my fabric availability.
these two tees, I used just 1 metre of fabric in each print.
Yellow floral spring print is a cotton blend loop back jersey bought
some time ago from Cheryl of Stitchy Bee. This is the first time that
I have used loop back jersey and this particular fabric was fabulous
to work with and to wear. Although it is no longer in stock with
Stitchy Bee I have seen some at my local Franklins, Salisbury branch
and I may well purchase some more to make a simple dress for the
second tee is made from a cotton/elastane jersey bought from an eBay
seller for £8.60/metre. I first bought the Duck Egg Blue colourway
which sewed up well in exactly the same pattern. Thus I decided to
purchase the Blue colourway and it has been laundered and sitting in
my stash for quite a long time.
two tees are a great addition to my wardrobe and I would like to make
a pinafore dress in Denim so that I can continue to wear them as the
weather cools down in the Autumn.
I attended the Sew Southampton meet up in August I
a remnant of quilting cotton from the swaps table. The length was a
just 1 metre so I knew that there was a limit to what I could make
with such a short length.
the Penny dress by Sew Over It has a bodice with grown on cap sleeves
and a narrow yoke I thought it would be an appropriate candidate to
hack into a blouse. I was right.
extended the bodice back and front as much as I could and used a
contrast fabric for the back facing, yoke lining and bias binding for
quick project which has fitted in well to my Autumn wardrobe to wear
with trousers or tucked into skirts.
On a recent visit to my sister who lives in North Wales we had a day out at Abakhan based at Mostyn on the North Wales coast.
We enjoyed a thorough rummage through their fabrics that are cut lengths and priced according to weight. Several lengths of fabric were purchased – no change there!
returning home we browsed through some patterns that I had picked up
from the swaps table during my trip to SEW SOUTHAMPTON organised by
the lovely Sian of Kittenish Behaviour.
One of the patterns was McCalls M6205. There was no envelope but the pattern and instructions were complete and I therefore downloaded a copy of the picture so that we could see what the finished garment should look like. The pattern came in sizes 16 – 22 and would be suitable for both my sister and me. According to the body measurements, Catherine would need the smallest size and I would need the largest (sigh!).
A quick check of jersey fabrics in my stash revealed a 3 metre length of bold print Korean polyester jersey that I bought from The Textile Centre in June this year for £2.49/metre.
First I cut out the tunic top with ¾ sleeves in my size and then again in the smaller size for Catherine. Unfortunately I did not have sufficient for the long/wide cowl collar/scarf but hope to make this another time.
I made up my version which I am pleased with – especially the centring of the print on the neckband. However, next time I will lengthen the front and shorten the back as I have never been a particular fan of the high/low hem style.
version was also constructed very quickly and again I managed to
centre up the print on the neckband. As is usual with the big four
commercial patterns, in addition to the ‘design’ ease there is plenty
of ‘fitting’ ease in the pattern. So….. I tried on Catherine’s top.
It fits! Next time I will make both tunic tops in the same size!
popped Catherine’s tunic into the post and she received it the
following day. I have one very pleased sister although she tells me
that she would prefer a little less width at the hem. For the next
iteration I will slim down her version (she has very narrow hips)
from under the armhole to the hem.
Hot on the heels of the successful Bold floral ‘Scarlett’,
I quickly made another.
had some fine, very drapey viscose jersey that I had purchased from
The Textile Centre sometime ago that I thought would be an ideal
candidate for this pattern. I was right!
The only change to the pattern as previously made was to turn up a narrow hem on the sleeves and top stitch into place. After several attempts to have the same finish to the bodice hem, I gave up and simply left it raw – this jersey does not fray so why try to enforce a hem?
plain top is such a versatile garment and is something that I need to
add into my wardrobe in the future. But first I want to make up some
of the gorgeous prints in my fabric stash!
Readers of my blog will know that I have been searching for my ideal Cowl Neck top/dress pattern for some time. I have already made two versions of the Prima pattern but not been completely satisfied, the search continued.
by chance, I returned to the pattyboo site to browse their patterns.
Pattyboo is a German Pattern company and as I do not speak any
German, I use the translation option to read about the patterns. This
is what they said about ‘Scarlett’:-
pattyboo waterfall shirt ”Scarlett“ is an elegant cowl neck
shirt. The cascading neckline creates a sleek feminine feel and
flatters the décolleté.
all of the pattern pieces in sizes DE 32-54 / UK 6-28 / US 4-26
variations: short sleeves, half sleeve, 3/4 sleeve and long sleeve
measurements in cm/inch, as well as sewing instructions.
Pattern and video tutorial for an elegant waterfall shirt. This basic part can be worn very well on different occasions, by the cowl neck looks it to both pants and skirts very chic and can be combined under a blazer as well as casually to the leather jacket. You van sew it with long or short sleeves or combine itwith hem bands. So get to the sewing machine, learn to sew and get started right away with this great pattern for a waterfall shirt with which you can make you or a loved one a pleasure. The video makes it easy to sew a cowl neckline. Learning to sew is fun and the result is guaranteed to succeed.
the written instructions are in German but there is a sewalong video
that I watched. Whilst watching, I prepared my own personal detailed
instructions for how to construct a ¾ sleeve version.
I used 2 metres of L/Weight Poly Crepe Stretch Jersey Floral Print at £4.70/metre from cheapesmaterialsuk – an ebay seller that I have used in the past.
construction of this top was super-easy. In less than 1 hour I had
completed the top. As my overlocker was still threaded with Jade
thread, instead I used my sewing machine and the ‘lightning’ stitch
for the construction. The only changes that I made were to reduce the
length of the bodice by 2 inches and add a cuff of approximately 1
inch to the sleeves. This latter is now my preferred method for
finishing sleeves as it means I can adjust the length if they are too
short and it is also provides a good clean way to finish the sleeve
without having to use the twin needle.
was so pleased with this new pattern that I almost immediately cut
out and stitched another version using a plain Jade viscose jersey.
More about that in another post.
addition to the Tropical cowl-neck top I needed a second top to wear
with the Teal jersey trousers made to Simplicity 2289.
purchased just 1 metre of a charming printed cotton elastane jersey
(called Floral vines & birds flower) from ohsewcraftyltd
at a cost of £8.60 for the metre.
Although I refer to this tee top as ‘Paolina’, it being a hack of the Paola by Named, infact once I have hacked the neckline, sleeves and hemline it is absolutely nothing like the original turtle neck top.
I have ‘finessed’ and refined the pattern so many times that it takes just 1 hour to cut and stitch this top. I have drafted a gentle scoop neckline that is finished with a neckband. The sleeves have a cuff that is formed by folding back 2 inches and then running the overlocker around to make a seam before top stitching. The hemline is shaped, overlocked and then top stitched with a twin needle.
I am so pleased with the print and quality of fabric that I have ordered another metre in a different coloured background!
Despite being disappointed in the previous fabric purchased fromcheapestfabricsuk on eBay, I was ‘in love’ with this Tropical print at a cost of just £4.95/metre.
I bought 1 metre and was pleasantly surprised as this was a much better fabric to be used to make a second version of the Prima cowl neck top. Sadly the fabric is now out of stock as I would have purchased more if it had still been available.
the construction was straightforward and the top completed in record
time. The only negative, and it is a small one, is that the fabric is
not so ‘fluid’ and drapey as the toile thus the cowl does not
immediately fall into the folds but has to be gently arranged by
is worth noting that the pattern is drafted to be used with either
jersey or woven fabrics. When using the latter, the front and back
bodice are cut on the bias which makes the garment rather
fabric-hungry but if I can find a suitable length, I will definitely
try the top in a woven fabric.
a long time I have been wanting to make a cowl neck top to wear with
trousers (and maybe a skirt?) in the Spring/Summer months. I found
this pattern Prima January 2012 in my stash of old, long-forgotten
patterns when I was having a clear out.
Just the thing so as the pattern is printed on both sides of a single sheet, I set about copying onto plain paper. I made a couple of simple alterations; increasing the size by adding a little to each side seam, making a sway back adjustment and adding to the front hemline to account for a full bust.
The fabric used was a length of 2-way stretch Poly Viscose Jersey Paisley/Damask Print Dress/Craft Fabric that I originally purchased from cheapestfabricsuk on eBay sometime ago. The cost was only £5.50/metre but I was disappointed when I received the fabric as it was of a poorer quality and the print was not what I had expected. I had kept it back for the sole purpose of making jersey toiles.
The instructions were straightforward and the top was quick to make using my overlocker. Once completed I found that it fitted well and the cowl had a pleasant drape. I had already ordered up some other jersey fabric to make another version of this top so now it was ‘all systems go!’
I used whatever fabric was left over when I made this Joni dress to make a top. Unfortunately it was not quite long enough and has therefore been stuck at the back of the wardrobe – unworn. Until now, I found a length of the fabric that was just sufficient to add a frill. So with no further ado, I gathered up the length, added a twin-needle stitched hem and hey presto, the top is now just the right length!
When visiting Franklins in Salisbury for my monthly Patchwork & Quilting Club class, I was browsing their fabrics when I came across a selection of Double Gauze in pretty colours. I could not resist and purchased 2 metres (£9.99 per metre) of the Soft pink printed with white outline of Ginkgo leaves.
I thought this fabric would be ideal for a Spring/Summer blouse.
I overlocked the raw edges and then packed laundered the fabric together with my TNT bodice pattern to take to the Sewcial Retreat. Cutting out was ‘interesting’ as I had to use 2 tables covered with cloth. Fortunately later I managed to find 2 large cutting mats to protect the cloth and avoid cutting that in addition to the double gauze.
I used a hack of the collar from an old Out Of Print dress pattern McCalls 6438.
The width and length of the bodice were cut ‘by eye’ without a pattern to make a loose-fitting bodice. Likewise, the sleeves were cut in a fairly ‘random’ way, using as much of the remaining length of fabric as possible. I ended up with ¾ length sleeves which I set into the armholes with some gentle gathers at the sleeve head.
The sleeves also turned out very wide at the hem but I prefer a more tailored look. I made some cuffs by cutting two pieces 5 inches wide x the length that would fit neatly around my forearm. The cuffs were stitched into a circle, the hem of the sleeves was then gathered into the cuffs with a non-gathered area either side of the sleeve seam. I am particularly pleased with the way that the sleeves have turned out.