Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Minerva Blogger Network - The Last-Minute-Save Top




Here’s my latest make for the Minerva Blogger Network.

The fabric is a gorgeously smooth and silky cotton lawn which looks like Liberty.  I fell in love with the purple and teal print as soon as I saw it, but what to make?  I settled on the Grainline Scout Woven Tee as I thought the simple shape would work well with the floral print.  However the more observant amongst you will notice that this is clearly not a Scout Tee.

I started with a muslin for the Scout so as not to waste the lovely fabric and it was pretty much a disaster.  The directions are clear and the pattern goes together perfectly, but I had totally overlooked the fact that this loose fitting style does not work at all on my body shape.  I need a waist!  No idea why I thought it might.  But even a belt wasn’t going to work.

So back to the drawing board.  

I made a Sewaholic Alma a while back and always meant to make another and this seemed like great fabric for it.  The pattern is great – the instructions are really clear and the pattern is well-drafted.  I knew it fitted fairly well although this was in my pre-FBA days so I re-traced the pattern and adjusted it.  I added 2.5” to the body length plus another 1” above the bust darts to get them in the right place.  I cut with slightly larger seam allowances since I wanted a looser fit then my previous version and this worked well – the fit is pretty spot on.



After sewing up the body and attaching the facings, it looked a bit frumpy.  The neckline is quite high, which I had never noticed on my collared version.  But in this floral fabric it wasn’t working for me.  After a fair bit of pondering I decided on a square neckline.  I cut off the facings and marked the right level for the front neckline.  I drew a line perpendicular to the centre front at this level and drew lines down from the neckline to cross it, added seam allowances and cut it out.  To make the new facing for the front, I traced the neckline onto interfacing and used that to cut out the facing.  I sewed it on as per the instructions, but before understitching the facing down, I clipped right into the corners to make sure it would lie flat.  An extra line of very small stitches around the corners (I used the shortest length on my machine) reinforces them.

Oops, 'scuse creases - I had been wearing it all day!


I used the short sleeves and love the way these are finished with bias binding – it looks great.

I recommend this fabric – Laura made some beautiful kids PJs from it recently, which shows how versatile it is.  It’s a lovely fabric and a great price.

If you want to make your own version of my square necked Alma (or a Scout tee!) you can buy a kit from Minerva here with 2m of this lovely fabric, plus matching thread.  This length of fabric is more than enough for either pattern.  If you decide on the Alma you’ll need to order a 12” invisible zip separately since that wasn’t in my original plan.


What do you think?  Did I save it from the naughty fabric corner?

22 comments:

  1. Nice save! I agree with you about the Scout: I made it once and that was enough to determine that I prefer shape. Your top looks lovely!

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    1. thanks! i felt bad about saying that i didn't like the pattern (well i do, i love it on others but just not on me!).

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  2. I love that fabric. A lovely fitting top.

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    1. thanks lucie - the fabric is just gorgeous!

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  3. This looks great on you. The fabric is lovely and I really like the square neck - good save! I do love the Scout, but it's not for everyone.

    PS is it work suggesting to Minerva, that within the kits section on their website, it would be useful to provide links to the individual components? Quite often I love the fabrics that you guys use, but want to make something different, so don't want the kit, but Minerva have so much stuff, it can be difficult to find the fabric on it's own. I guess it might lose them sales on the kits, but it might gain them sales on teh fabric. It would certainly gain MY sale! :)

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    1. thanks helen. i love the scout on just about everyone else! i will drop a line to vicki with your suggestion!

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    2. Nice save - the neckline is great! It's interesting how the Alma neckline looks much lower in the line drawings than it actually turns out. Your squared off version is really cool.

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    3. thanks nicole. weirdly it didn't seem high on the previous version with the collar - maybe a collar makes it seem lower?

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  4. This is a very pretty, and I really like the neckline on you.

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    1. Thanks nessa - glad you thought it worked!

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  5. I love the square neckline, they are so underused. It was a great save and I prefer this shape and neckline to the original Alma.

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    1. Thanks Helena. It was the wardrobe architect that made me think of it as I had ticked square necklines as a "like" but realised I had no clothing or patterns with square necklines!

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  6. I like the neckline, too. Very nice!

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  7. You did save this top. I keep looking at this fabric for potential projects.
    The square neckline worked well. Call it a style interpretation and not a save.

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    1. Thanks Maria. The fabric is great quality for the price. I like your thinking - definitely a style interpretation. Exactly how I planned it!

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  8. This is lovely, great save! Like you I need a defined waist in my tops. The square neckline is a lovely touch.

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  9. Fabulous save! I love the Alma pattern hack too!

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    1. thanks vicki kate! hacking patterns is such a great way to save fitting time!

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Thanks for your comment - it's great to hear from you!