After sewing several simple tops from repurposed extra large tee shirts, I was more than ready to buy a yard of new knit fabric to make my next top. I found a gorgeous coral feather print; a cotton knit with a little spandex.
My plan was to make the Maria Denmark Day to Night Drape Top which is a pdf pattern from my make nine list for this year.
My bust put me at a size XL, while my waist and hips were within the L size. I opted to cut the XL. The pattern has a choice of sIeeve lengths. I cut short sleeves, but added 2 to 3 inches to the length.
When I read the instructions I noticed that a rayon knit was recommended, and I was working with a less drapey cotton knit. Trouble ahead? The soft folds of the neckline is dependent on a fabric that is light and fluid. The elongated top of the bodice folds to the inside to form a lining for the draped cowl.
The back neck uses clear elastic as the facing. The elastic is enclosed by the fabric. I liked this finish, and think it’s a little dressier than a banded tee shirt. I will use this technique again.
After sewing the seams, I wasn’t comfortable with the neckline, as it was a little too low. I didn’t want to end up with a top that wouldn’t get worn. I googled for solutions, and found this “cowl raising” post from 2013 by Samina of Sew Everything blog. I had even commented on the post at the time, but time passes and memory fades. It was too late to change the pattern piece so I needed to improvise and figure out a quick fix. I unpicked the seams and cut 1/2 inch from the edge of the cowl on each side. It worked really well.
The sleeves were a breeze to do, as they were sewn in flat. I sewed the cowl lining into the sleeve seams.
To finish, I needed to hem the bottom and sleeves. I’d already broken all my double needles, and I had been unsatisfied with the amount of raised tunneling that had resulted, so that method was out.
I liked the way 60 Something Teacher had finished her Nora top with topstitching, so I followed suit. I did two lines of topstitching with a narrow zigzag, and I like the result. It was quick, easy, and lies flat.
The top is quite form fitting for an XL. It fits me more like a medium in ready-to-wear. One big difference between sewing patterns from independent companies and patterns from the Big 4 is sizing. If I chose a size based on my measurements from McCalls or Simplicity, the item of clothing would be too big. With whatever pattern I’m using I measure the pattern piece if I can’t find finished garment measurements.
Thank you, sewing friends and bloggers for sharing your knowledge and experience! And thank you, dear readers and friends for following my sewing and making adventures!