2 Elliot Tops

Well this little blog has been rather neglected recently, hey!?

And now I’m updating during a very weird time in the world, and in the UK specifically. We were officially placed in lockdown last night because of the Coronavirus, which was the right thing to do to hopefully mean that the NHS isn’t overwhelmed and as many people survive the illness as possible.

I have definitely been struggling with heavy anxiety as the situation has worsened but I’m glad that I have sewing and music, both hobbies which bring me joy and calmness (most of the time, when I don’t have to unpick too much!), and which I can do still at home while in isolation.

But that’s enough about that – I’m sure we’re all a bit fed up with thinking and talking about it – so here is some sewing I did back in October! I have a bit of a backlog as you can imagine after 6 months of not posting!

Here I present 2 Elliot Sweaters which I love! The pattern is, of course, by Helen’s Closet. I was a bit torn between this pattern and Tilly and the Buttons’ Nora pattern and I feel like they came out at about the same time, but I went for the Elliot in the end as I like the roll neck better. Though I think I may have to cave and get Nora too as I’ve got some knits in my stash which I think would look good in the more slouchy style.

I have worn both of these tops so much since I finished them in October! I work in a bookshop, where we have to have the doors open and I really really feel the cold so I have been layering them up with thermal tops underneath and thick cardigans in the top. I’m looking forward to spring (if we’re allowed outside by then) when I can hopefully wear them on their own – especially as I like the sleeve length and it gets hidden under cardis!

The pattern is super easy to put together so I’d definitely recommend it for a knits noob.

I especially love how the hem dips down lower at the back – though I should have done a slightly deeper hem all the way around as this fabric rolls out like crazy so you can basically always see the overlocked edge on the outside. Sigh.

The only tweak I made to the pattern was to add a little pocket to each one. I can’t now remember which pattern I stoke the pocket from – maybe the archer shirt – but you can use any breast pocket pattern.

I matched the stripes on the pockets so that they would kind of blend in. When I first got the fabric – which I think was from Material Girl Laura – I thought about using the navy fabric as the pocket on the mustard top and vice versa, but I decided against that in the end as it would have made too much of a focus out of the pockets, and that wasn’t really the look I was going for.

I made both tops in the size small and I like the fit over all. I could maybe have gone up a size to get a more slouchy fit, which I might do if I make the pattern again.

I especially love the mustard colour of this version. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know how much I love mustard yellow!

I managed to mostly pattern match the side seams, which I measured from the armpits as the hems are obviously at different lengths. Because of the raglan sleeves, it’s impossible to match all the strips but I really don’t think anyone would notice that the stripes aren’t perfectly matched everywhere!

I am hoping to get a bunch of isolation sewing done – maybe I’ll finally catch up on my backlog of projects I want to make!? Are you planning to sew all the things too?

 

 

Striped Ebony Top

Before I altered my 2 ebony dresses, I made this top version (and it’s what gave me the idea to cut the dresses into tops) and I really like it. I like the swingy shape!

I made this top 5″ longer than the cropped version of the top (and this is the measurement I based the dresses on) because I felt that the cropped version was just a bit too cropped for my long body – and I’m naturally freezing all the time so I don’t like bare skin, or a top that when I put my arms in the air almost exposes my bra! I also made it in the size 4, but with size 6 sleeves, as I did on the second dress version because the sleeves were a bit tight.

This fabric is much more stretchy than the scuba I used for the dresses, so the sleeves don’t feel as restrictive, thankfully. I think if I made this pattern again I might size up a size on the whole thing and maybe go to a size 8 on the sleeves as I’ve got some drag lines coming from my armpits – so I think it’s a bit too snug around my arms/shoulders. But it’s fine as it is – totally wearable.

The fabric is from Crafty Sew and Sew and I bought it the day after the Dressmaker’s Ball when a bunch of us went to the shop. To be honest I’ve sewn it up much quicker than I thought – sometimes I take years to use fabric I’ve bought! And it was actually their suggestion to make an ebony top – I posted on Instagram asking what I could make from it and I had totally forgotten about this pattern! Excellent suggestion!

I did match the stripes on the side seams, and I kind of like how, because of the round shape of the front and back pieces, it kind of makes the strips go into points.

I hope that this will get at least some wear during the cold months (maybe with a thermal top underneath!) as it would be a shame to not be able to wear it for, like, 6 months!

Have you ever completely forgotten about a pattern and then been reminded of why you bought it and how much you like it?

 

 

Atelier Brunette Collins Top

Back in August, when it was still kind of warm (though some of October has been unseasonably warm!) I made another Collins Top by In The Folds. I really love this top, and the swingy shape of it. My first one was definitely one of the most comfortable things in my wardrobe when we had a heat wave! I might try the version with sleeves for Winter. Sadly because September went pretty cold, I haven’t worn this top yet apart from to take these rather blurry photos. But it will be waiting for my next Summer!

The fabric is some cotton from Atelier Brunette, from Sew Over It. They don’t still have it in stock, sadly. I had admired Atelier Brunette fabrics for quite a while, though they were always a little out of my budget. The I decided to have a little splurge a few months back and ordered either 1m or 1.5m, thinking I could squeeze a sleeveless top out of it for the Summer. I have to confess I was a little disappointed with the fabric, because it is a little see-through and not as soft as I had expected. Maybe it will soften with repeated washes and wears?

I used a yellow button from my stash and as with my first version, I made a rookie error. I was clipping a seam and cut through the stitches, making a little hole – perhaps this pattern is cursed, even though I love it?! I managed to sew the little hole up with some zig-zag stitches – the hole wasn’t as bad as the overlocker hole I made in my first version!

Love the high-low hem! Speaking of the hem, I just turned this one up, without using the bias tape method I did on my first one. It seemed to work fine, as this cotton has a little give, so there weren’t any massive puckers, as I had feared!

I can’t wait until next Summer so I can wear this top! Or maybe I should move somewhere warm!? Any suggestions? 😉

 

 

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Pink Stripey Collins Top

This is definitely one of my favourite makes I’ve made in a while, and certainly one that fits me the best straight out of the packet. As I’m sure you know, I am lazy when it comes to fitting things, and I treated this as a sort of wearable toile – I basically always do that but then I never make any fit changes to the second version!  But this fits me really well, and I like how it falls.

I made the size b and used some leftover fabric I’ve had for several years after making my first Banksia top out of it. It was from Goldhawk Road, probably one of the first times I went, if not the first time I went. It’s just a cotton, but it’s really soft. I thought I wasn’t going to have enough fabric, but given that this pattern was made for the stripes to go different ways,  I managed to do some expert tetrissing (I know this isn’t a word, but it should be: v the act of squeezing a sewing pattern out of a tiny amount of fabric) and just squeezed it out. I did the version with the facing, which is in some cheap white polycotton I had in my stash. The only change I made to the pattern/instructions was to stitch the facing down to the side seams – I did this as top stitching right in the ditch of the seam line.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that when I was overlocking a seam on this top, I was pulling it through to get a long enough tail to cut and stopped paying attention for a second, which led to me accidentally cutting part of one of the back shoulder pieces. Luckily I cut it along the same direction as the stripes and so I put an odd piece of white fabric behind it and zig-zagged it a few times to secure it. And now you can’t really see it – I think unless I pointed it out, you wouldn’t know it was there! It must be visible in the below photo, but I can’t see it, hurrah!

I wanted a close up of the stripes all going different ways, so here you go!

I think I might be pretty bad at gathering all the supplies I might need for a certain project – I always think about the fabric and, say, a zip for a dress or buttons for a shirt, but I rarely actually check the list of notions needed for a pattern, so when I got to the hemming stage of this make, that was the first time I realised I needed bias binding. I could have maybe done without, but luckily I had this baby pink stuff in my stash – it was literally the only bias binding I had and luckily it sort of matches! I think I might do bias hems more often as I like how it looks and it’s pretty easy!

I feel that with more of these makes I share, the less I have to say about them. I’ve got a few more of these kinds of quick projects, but I do have some ideas about some more involved projects, so then hopefully I would have a bit more to talk about!  Jeans are definitely in this category and I want to make a coat (it’s one of my #2017MakeNine after all) and a bag, so they should keep me a bit busier.

I have already bought some more fabric to make another version of this, but given I’ve only managed to wear this one about twice because the weather has gone totally to pot in the last couple of weeks, I’m not sure how much wear I would get out of it. *sobs* I’m wondering about layering them over long-sleeved basic tops when it’s cold, though. What do you think? Would that look terrible? I feel like a white top with this one would look okay?

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Mustard Yellow Astoria

A little while ago (I’m a little backed up with finished makes due to my unplanned blogging break) I made this mustard yellow Astoria top.

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This is the first Colette Seamwork pattern I’ve made and they are not lying when they say they are quick to make up. I made a size small and didn’t make any changes – and there are only a couple of pattern pieces.

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I thought the fit of it was fine until I looked at these pictures – I guess with knits it’s easier to feel comfortable even if the fit of something isn’t perfect. Does anyone know what I can do to fix the drag lines around my armpits? This is the area I always find is tight on me, so do I just need to go up a size on the armscyes and sleeves? Maybe it’s easier to just go up a whole size? Also the neckband stands up a little – I’m not sure if that’s because the fabric stretches only one way. And I seem to remember having to work hard to squeeze on all the pattern pieces.

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The fabric was the leftovers from the jacket from the wedding outfit I made back in May. It’s a really nice ponte roma and I’ll definitely look to sew with it again in the future. This one is also relatively thick so it’s almost warm. I like wearing it with the high-waisted navy trousers I altered as I don’t like to have a midriff gap – especially in the Winter!

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Have you made any Seamwork patterns? I also have the Alder blouse. I haven’t subscribed as I’m not sure I would want enough of the patterns to justify it, but I do think Seamwork is a genius idea. I particularly like the podcast – I find myself getting really into podcasts (and the radio) recently. They’re better to listen to while sewing than trying to watch shows as I’ve done in the past. I always end up sitting behind my machine watching the tv!

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