Thursday, 21 May 2015

Modified Simplicity 1620 Top (view B)

We're over halfway through Me Made May and it's going well so far. I've been wearing the me-made kiddie friendly garments through the week and have been hitting my target of two a week, with additional appearances from ready to wear (RTW) items which I've adjusted or altered in some way to fit me better. I haven't been great at documenting it on instagram, as I said I would. But I will either play catch up at some point, or I will post a round up at the end of the month (having said that it's half term next week, so it'll probably be in June sometime!). Me Made May is something which I haven't participated in before and it has highlighted to me how few items I have made and liked; the practicality of the items I've made and just how much I rely on an outfit beginning with jeans and ending in a top of some kind that will go with my converse (aka mum uniform)! This leads me to think I might have to produce a few more tops, but also that I may have to try my hand at jeans?!! The skirts that I've sewn or altered are really nice to wear, but I do need more tops to go with them. So I think my sewing focus may have to be on some practical tops in the coming months. Hope you are enjoying Me Made May?

Maybe I will do a bit of stash busting and make another one of these...

Modified Simplicity 1620
This top started life as Simplicity 1620, view B (pictured below) and was a bit of a failure! Firstly, I picked a size too small - the actual fit of the top was fine on me, but it could have done with being a bit bigger for this style. Secondly, I didn't realise I needed a hollow chest adjustment, so the neckline was awful. It gaped open and I had no real way of fixing it. At first I pinched out the excess on either side of the centre front and stitched the fabric down at the neckline to emulate the tucks along the bust of the garment, but it didn't look good! And I didn't like wearing the top at all.

Image from
I was on the verge of binning it, but then I had an idea to cut a new neckline to see if I could cut out the bad bit...I also chopped of the kimono arms to make a tank style. The top works SO much better than it did before and I wear it quite a lot now! Yay!

Tuck details on the front
The fabrics; a navy blue cotton lawn, and a very drapey, rather expensive polyester, both from John Lewis last autumn (I can't find them on the website, so maybe they have sold out online?). I really struggle to find floral prints that I really really like. This one I do, but it's a polyester so I feel a bit meh about it. And that's probably the only negative about this top for me. But look, I did manage to make bias binding out of it (although much spray starch was used!)!

The other mistake I made was not taking a photo of the top before I hacked in to it! But this is what I did... I stood with the original top on in front of a mirror and using a piece of tailors chalk, marked where I wanted the new seams to be on the front of the top.  I removed the top and folded the top in half along the centre front line and lay a folded piece of fabric under it, matching the centre front (this would be the facing). I spent a bit of time lining it up so that when I cut in to it with my rotary cutter I would cut the facing at the same time as the new neckline (allowing a seam allowance of 1cm too). I did the same with the back of the top but took a bit of a guess on where the neckline and armhole would fall. It all worked out. And if it hadn't, well the top was heading for the bin anyway!

I then sewed the facing and top together and finished the seams of the armholes with some home made bias tape. I clipped the seam allowance of the facing and neckline and understitched the facing. However, as the gaping was still a little noticeable, I used a twin needle to topstitch round the neckline too. It still doesn't lie flat, but the top is much more wearable than it was before. 

What a horrible photo. But that was the best of a bed bunch!
I guess that when we make something that doesn't work out, it frees us up to be a bit more experimental and it makes us into better problem solvers/ better sewists, I've worn this top lots since making these adjustments, so I'm very pleased I didn't bin it! This makes me wonder if you have ever used a mistake to go all carefree and experimental? Did it work out?

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