Friday, June 22, 2012

Simplicity 2599 Times Two!

I made the green version of this top first (in a Liberty Lawn remnant left over from a dress I blogged earlier in the year).  I really did think it looked such a simple little pattern that I could run it up in no time at all.  So it had a few frilly bits.  That surely wouldn't make much difference.

Deary me.  Haven't I learnt anything from the last few years of sewing?  Things are almost never as simple as I think they will be.
Those five frilly bits were an absolute menace.  They took ages and ages and ages (I mean, when measured against my initial expectations).  Jeez, they're cut out as circular strips which, when pulled into a straight line, sort of frill up a bit.  But they have you make tiny little narrow hems, which is really quite time consuming on circles.  Anyway, I did manage it, and then sewed them on to the top itself in straight vertical lines.  But with the way the frills flip about this way and that, you can see the raw edges where they've been sewn on, if they sit just the wrong way at the wrong moment, and I don't like that.  No one else would notice, so it doesn't matter terribly, but I know it isn't ideal, so it peeves me a bit.
However, I like the top so much that I immediately wanted to make another one in black lawn.  Looking for comments on the way this pattern is made up, I came across some very helpful advice from Karen at Did You Make That.  What she did to get around both the narrow hems and the raw edges, was to cut out double the amount of frill pieces and sew them wrong sides together, turn them the right way, and then sew them on.  Genius, I tell you.  Making up the second top was so much more pleasant, thanks to Karen.  And I took the opportunity to cut up a very fluid silk top I had had for at least twenty-five years, and which was on its way to the charity shop, and use it in all its muted blueness for the underside of the frills.  Gosh, I love this top.

The pattern is very simple.  Even the frills are no trouble if you do it Karen's way.  There is no zip, and only one button, with a loop.  I used shop-bought bias binding for the arm holes, instead of making up the bias strips (I tried but couldn't get the little monkey things to lie flat).  All the seams are french seams, except for the centre back, as it made the opening a little tricky to finish, so I just folded them back on themselves and sewed them down.  They look neat and tidy still.  And the shape of the top is just fab.  I don't find it boxy, as others have; I find the fit just right on top, with a little flare towards the bottom.  There is a lot of ease in this pattern, so you can be fairly stingy with choosing your size.  I chose a straight size 8, which normally would be too small on the waist for me.  There is plenty of room still.

I think I will keep on making different versions of this top, I really do.  I love it.

I am in the process of making several things.  One is a silk skirt.  The yoke of it is lined but the skirt itself isn't.  I'm going to try out finishing the seams with some rayon binding (as prompted by Doortje).  Thank you Doortje!


  1. This is beautiful! Love the colour combination - another pattern I need to pick up because your make from it is soo cool! Do you have a narrow hem foot? I've made double sided ruffles before but man it uses so much fabric especially when it's cut as a curve XP So now I use the narrow hemmer XD

  2. Thanks, Perfect!

    About the narrow-hemmer foot: aaargh!

    After you thoughtfully posted on the subject on your blog I decided to get mine out and try again. I did manage to do a few centimetres this time, but kept losing it. Just can't seem to keep it going, and I'm finding it really frustrating. I'm not used to things like that getting the better of me. I know I should keep trying, since there was some improvement, which gives me hope. I can see that if I could just get the hang of it, it would be so useful.

    By the way, I took two inches off the length of the 2599s. Forgot to mention it.

  3. Oh wow. The tops look like work of art. Gorgeous.

    1. Melizza, thank you.

      I think these tops are lovely, too. The best thing is that they are so wearable. And they are loose enough that I could eat a big dinner and still not have to hold my stomach in!

  4. Lovely, especially the blue and black ruffles. What a great idea to use the two colours!

    1. Thanks Catherine. I have found that I like blue and black together.

  5. I love lined flounces - must nicer than visible seams. The black and blue top is gorgeous. Another method I use is to do a rolled hem on my overlocker. I used this method on silk last year and it looks fantastic.

    1. Thanks Gail.

      Funny, it seems everyone knew about double-sided flounces except for me!

      As for overlockers: I obviously need one!

  6. That top looks awesome. I love the blue version, mostly because it's easier to see the details. Congratulation, it's beautiful.