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!