Just before I headed off on my Sewcial Retreat I checked my wardrobe for a lightweight blouse suitable to wear under the Black Corduroy Applique Pinafore Dress.
As I am a lover of exuberant prints, I was unable to find a plain(ish) blouse – all my ‘memade’ tops tend to be very colourful and would clash with the applique.
There was nothing for it but to make a new blouse using some fine cotton ‘low volume’ print that I purchased way back in 2015 when holidaying in Hunstanton, Norfolk. The fabric was originally intended for a ‘Block of the Month’ quilt but that never even got started!
used my TNT McCalls 2797 pattern with a lengthened bodice and shaped
hem. I also rounded the corners of the collar and facings. The
pattern has princess seams in front and back making it easy to adapt
for a full bust. If I make the pattern again, I must remember to
reduce the size of the collar which currently is reminiscent of the
As I have made the pattern several times before, the construction was straightforward and within a few hours I had a completed blouse. This is not the most exciting garment that I have ever made but it is fit for the purpose of wearing under the pinafore dress. Now I can go on and make something a little more interesting!
appeared to be on a roll when I made the Plantain top by Deer and
Doe. Whilst the overlocker and sewing machine were set up with
Charcoal thread and jersey needles, I continued and made this unusual
print fabric into a ‘Paolina’ top.
The fabric was a ‘steal’ from a new supplier, ‘miss-clio’, that I discovered whilst watching a vlog (sorry, can’t remember whose). The polyester(?) jersey was listed as 62 inches wide at the ‘giveaway’ price of £2.99/metre an as I was a little unsure of the quality at that price, ordered just 1 metre. The fabric is indeed as it was described, ‘beautiful’.
Due to the extra width of the fabric I was able to cut a ¾ sleeved Paolina tee top with just enough remaining for the neckband and a few odd-shaped scraps. The ‘Paolina’ is my hack from the Paola turtle neck top by ‘Named’.
I have adjusted the neckline to a shallow scoop with neckband and added a shaped hem to the extended length of the bodice front and back. I have already made several versions – this hack now falls into the TNT category.
fabric was a little troublesome in that it insisted on curling at the
edges but with plenty of fine jersey pins I managed to get it under
control. I used the bold coloured-abstract pattern for the front and
then the more restrained stripes for the back. The sleeves were cut
from whatever I had left. The top was constructed on the overlocker
but with some top stitching on the neckband and twin needle stitching
at the hems completed on the sewing machine.
This top is a delight to wear being very light, drapey and comfortable. I may well re-visit miss-clio to check if she has any more similar fabrics on sale.
I have been cruising the internet and in particular, made yet another visit to The Textile Centre website. This is fatal as I simply cannot resist their fabrics!
This time I fell in love with a Striped Native American Inspired Soft Cloqué Jersey Dress Fabric Material (Blue)£4.49 per metre. This is a light-weight ponte type jersey with a cloqué effect pattern. According to Wikipedia: cloqué is a cloth with a raised woven pattern and a puckered or quilted look. The surface is made up of small irregularly raised figures formed by the woven structure). The composition is Polyester/Viscose/Elastane. I ordered 2 metres (Width: 145cm) and had in mind to make the Plantain tunic by Deer & Doe.
Although the stripes of the fabric run from selvedge to selvedge I thought it best to have the stripes vertical. This meant that I lost the advantage of the stretch of the fabric but as the Plantain is a loose-fit did not think there would be a problem – and I was right.
fabric is an absolute dream to sew! It has a good drape, is soft to
the touch and even has a two-way stretch although as I cut down the
fabric rather than across I could not take advantage of this. The
fabric has a smooth soft feel on the reverse and is machine washable
on a 40°
This finished tunic is in fact a hack of the Plantain top. I used the pattern as a base for some tunic tops that I made last year and knew that I liked the style and fit of the extended length and slightly re-shaped neckline.
I extended the length by 4 inches, raised the neckline by a couple of inches, added deep side slits of 12 inches, added cuffs to the sleeves and adjusted the front hemline slightly for a full bust. I used the percentage of 85% of the neckline to calculate the length of the neckband and this worked out fine. I made a detachable cowl collar (the full width of the fabric x 19 inches) which fits neatly over the scoop neckline to be worn when I need some warmth around my neck and is easily removed when I have a hot flush!
The tunic goes well with leggings and denim jeans. I have worn the top several times now and received many compliments. I love the fabric so much that I have ordered the last 5 metres and hope to make a dress and another top. Watch this space.
readers will know that the Paola tee is one of my ‘all-time’ TNT tops
which have been regularly hacked into many variations. For this
iteration I wanted a plain and simple turtle neck tee to go under
that ‘oh so subtle’ appliqué corduroy pinafore dress featured in an
purchased 1 ½ metres of Pink spotted cotton jersey which is a new
line offered at New Threads Quilt Shop, Weyhill Fairground, Andover.
As soon as I got home the fabric was washed and hung over the airer
I was distracted by making up the SORA top by Blank Slate Patterns
and also completed another version of the Paola using Cloque jersey,
neither of these garments was an unqualified success so it was with
some trepidation that I cut out the Pink spots Paola.
I used my latest adapted version of the pattern for the bodice front and back. Bearing in mind my thickening mid-section, I ignored the waistline shaping and cut a straight line from under the arm to the hips. I extended the length of the bodice by 3 inches. Using the original sleeve pattern, I increased by 1 inch at the underarm seam, grading to 0 at the wrist. The length of the sleeved was reduced by 2 inches. The turtle neck collar was reduced in height by 1 inch but increased in width by 1 inch.
took just over 1 hour to construct the tee which included drafting a
pattern for a double cuff which does away with the need to
twin-needle stitch the sleeve hems and provides(I think) a
professional finish. The hem of the tee was turned up by ¾ inch and
pressed with steam before top-stitching with a jersey twin needle.
I am delighted with the fabric, fit and finish of this tee and can foresee that it will get a lot of wear both now and into cooler days of Spring. In fact, I am so pleased I may well re-visit New Threads as I know that they have this fabric in several other colourways.
of you who follow my blog will know that the Paola top is one of my
favourite TNT patterns. I have hacked it to within an inch of its
life! Today I hacked again.
to Named Clothing, the Paola is described thus:-
Classic semi-fitted turtle neck tee
Full-length sleeves and a turtle neck collar
Choose a light jersey with approximately 50% stretch. The sample is made up in a rayon blend jersey.
this iteration I used yet more of the Cloque Jersey mentioned in the
previous post. What I should have done before cutting out was to read
the stretch requirements and check the Cloque fabric (it turns out
that it does NOT have 50% stretch). If I had checked then I would
have adapted the pattern and this garment would have been the
original Paola turtle neck top. However, I did not do that!
pulled my original adapted pattern (previously used for
viscose/polyester blended jersey fabrics) and cut out the Cloque
used clear elastic in the shoulder seams and set in the turtle (polo)
collar. I then attached the sleeves and stitched the side and
underarm sleeve seams.
fitting – what was I thinking? The tee was so tight over my head that
I was in danger of being strangled and the effort of pulling the
collar over my head also pulled out my earrings! The sleeves were a
little short so I decided to use the cuffs that were left over from
the SORA top.
an almost completed garment had to be altered. No way is that my
favourite past time.
removed the collar and re-cut the neckline, dropping the centre front
by approximately 1inch. I made up a neckband that was 80% of the
measured length (plus seam allowance) and attached to the neckline.
It looked OK but not great. Next the sleeves – the cuffs were a lot
smaller than the diameter of the hem of the sleeves. I re-stitched
the underarm seam grading down to the same width as the cuffs. The
cuffs were then folded in half and attached.
fitting – the neckline was still not good and now the sleeves were
very tight. I cut off the neckband and re-cut the neckline AGAIN,
this time dropping the centre front by approximately 1½ inches. The
second neckband was attached and this time looked much better. I pin
marked the point on the sleeves where they became uncomfortably
tight. By laying the sleeves on top of one another I cut off the
bottom and drafted a new cuff pattern. The pattern folded double and
shaped so that it is wide enough to attach to the sleeve cut -off-
point but narrows down to a snug fit at the wrist.
from top-stitching around the neckband the entire garment was
constructed using the overlocker. Finally I pressed up the hem and
stitched with my jersey twin needle on the sewing machine.
am pleased that I now have a wearable tee although I know that it
will never be a favourite. I have a good pair of Bright Terracotta
Jeans and with changes to scarves I shall be able to wear the top in
both Spring and Autumn.
I have had the pdf of this pattern for some time and was reminded of it when I saw another version(the cardigan) on someone’s instagram. I had recently purchased this lovely Pale Mocha-coloured cloque ponte roma from The Textile Centre at the bargain price of £1.79 per metre. Due to the very wide width of the fabric and by cutting the back with a centre back seam, this top took just 1.3 metres of fabric.
checked my measurements against the size chart and cut a 1XL which
should fit just right. Unfortunately, although the pattern pieces
look large when laid out flat, they turned out to be just that little
bit too small around my middle.
I stitched the godets using the lightning stitch on my Brother 4000D sewing machine, but most of the construction was completed using my Juki overlocker. I used clear elastic to stabilise the shoulder seams before inserting the collar. This feature is what attracted me to the Sora design and I will be ‘hacking’ the collar onto an alternative top/tunic pattern in the future. In hindsight, I wish that I had top-stitched the edge of the collar and its facing but a good steam press means that it is sitting nicely.
The side seams were sewn and the sleeves inserted ‘in the round’. The Sora has a dropped shoulder and I should have known that I would not like this feature on me. My shoulder width is quite narrow in comparison to my bust and waist. In my eyes, the dropped shoulder just looks awkward especially when combined with these particular sleeves which turned out to be very slim (and LONG!). Was this pattern designed for Orangutan arms? I omitted the cuffs and have kept them back to put on the Paola top that is next in the queue. I turned up the sleeves and the hem of the top, giving them a good steam press to set the crease. Both were then top stitched with a jersey twin needle.
I hope that I can sell the top on eBay so that it won’t then be a complete fail. I look forward to ‘hacking’ the collar design, and maybe the side hem godets, onto an alternative top pattern with a standard set in sleeve that is the correct length for me.
As promised, here are my Top Twenty Makes from last year. With the exception of the Ultimate Travel Bag that I made to take as Cabin luggage on my flight to the Caribbean, I am pretty sure that I will be repeating all these garments using fabric from my stash. So watch this space!
had a bare 36 inches of full width Cloque Jersey remaining after
making the two tops previously posted. Despite a cursory search
through my patterns I could not find my printed copy of the Paola top
by Named Patterns. So I re-printed and prepared for a new iteration
of this most definitely TNT pattern.
was insufficient fabric for the long-sleeved version, I contented
myself with elbow length sleeves combined with a reduced height of
collar which still turns down as a ‘turtle’ neckline.
Construction was completed on the sewing machine in approximately one hour. You can’t beat a Paola for a quick and easy top. I can foresee several more being made for the coming colder months of the year!
In the previous post I mentioned that I bought the Blush-coloured Cloque jersey with a view to making a tie-front shrug cardigan. This cloque fabric is quite substantial and even though it does not have much stretch I felt it would be suitable for this pattern.
I have several of this type of shrug made from lightweight jersey and purchased from eBay. They are OK but I would prefer something longer in the body and from a better quality fabric.
I had previously made the Elmira wrap tie cardigan from Seamworks in a Cotton Jersey which sadly did not suit and was donated to a charity shop. However, I noticed that Seamworks were offering a hack for a tie front shrug so thought I would give it a try.
I cut out the XL size with the ¾ length sleeves which took 1¼ yards of fabric (60 inches wide) and using my sewing machine constructed the top very quickly.
The sleeves are a little tight around the bicep, there is not much
coverage by the front bodice pieces and the ties are very large and
‘clunky’. I therefore count the garment as a ‘FAIL’ and have donated
to the local charity shop.
I think the best course of action for me would be to draft my own tie front shrug using my TNT bodice pattern and use a less substantial jersey fabric. Watch this space for the next incarnation.
after the mammoth sessions of gift making, I have at last been able
to sit down and make a garment.
I purchased 3 metres Cloque Jersey from The Textile Centre at the grand sum of £1.79/metre intending to use it for this top and also a tie-front shrug/cardigan for myself.
First I had to decide on the exact style of top for my friend. I checked with her daughter – type of neckline, length of sleeve and approximate size. With this information to hand I decided on Kwik Sew K3915 which I have made previously in a variety of jersey fabrics.
I would make view A and having cut out noted that I had used a little over 1 metre of fabric.
As my overlocker was threaded up with Charcoal Grey and as I did not have sufficient reels of Pale Pink thread, I had to use the sewing machine to construct the top. The neckline has been stabilised with Vieseline bias stay tape –a new acquisition about which I am very pleased.
I used a lightning stitch for most of the construction plus a narrow zig-zag stitch for the hems on the sleeves and the body.
am very pleased with the result and hope that a) the garment fits and
b) that the recipient likes my choice of style top. I am keeping my