So this was suppose to be a shortened Burdastyle Magazine Blumarine 2011-06-139 wrap dress. But after I traced out and altered that pattern, I just couldn’t squeeze the wrap top out of the leopard print fabric. And I laid out pieces for all 3 projects at the same time to conserve fabric too. No luck. So another sleeveless cowl top it is then.
As V1282 has all the drape from bust down, I decided this one should have all the drape from bust up. Just for variety you know. So people don’t think I’m wearing the same stinking top day in and day out! (Not that my DOH could tell the difference.)
I made M6078 view B before and was quite pleased with the result. So I’m sort of using this as a TNT pattern / design block for cowl neck tops in moderate stretch knit fabrics.
Style Shots & Mug Shots
Fabric & Notions Used
- Turquoise leopard print polyester-lycra microfiber jersey from B&J Fabrics, NYC.
- MaxiLock serger thread. 3/8” clear elastic. Vilene Bias Tape.
XS (4-6) like my last make of M6078 view B. Recommended size for me would be M (12-14).
Fitting changes = Adjusted M6078 view C pattern
- Wide Shoulder Adjustment: 1/4″
- Rounded Upper Back Adjustment: additional 1/2″ on back shoulder, eased during sewing
- Misc shoulder / upper-back adjustments (based on fitting assessment of my last make):
- Raised front shoulder/neck point by 1/4″
- Lower back shoulder/arm point by 3/4″
- Raised CB Neck by 7/8″
- Narrow Lower Back Adjustment: 1/4″ at under-arm to 1/2″ at waist
- Sway Back Adjustment: Slashed across waistline & overlapped 3/4″ lengthwise at CB. Redrew CB below waist and removed 7/8″ width from back hip as a result. Added back 3/4″ lengthwise at CB hem.
- Narrowed bodice for a more fitted look: 1/2″ at under-arm to 1″ at waist
- Shorten hem 2″
- Raised armhole by 1/4″. In retrospect I think I should have left it alone. The result was slightly tight. I raised it because the armhole of my previous make seemed a bit low. But that could have been because I laid the patterns on the crosswise grain which is stretchier, so gravity might have pulled down the armhole.
Now before you say “Woah! That’s a hell of a lot of changes” I just want to say “not this time”. I’ve already made most of these changes when I made view B. There were only a couple of tweaks this time. But I listed all the deviations from the original pattern so it’s clear I’m not using the unmodified pattern. As you can see in the photo above, once I got a good fitting version of the pattern, making design changes is Play not Work! :-)
- Added a pleat in the front shoulder – like view B
- Added a rectangular tube-like cowl collar by extending the facing outward from shoulder-neck point half the amount of back neck width
- Raised CB neck / straighten back neck so the collar / facing wouldn’t sit too low in the back
- Pleated the back collar vertically so more drape is on the collar outside than collar inside
- Omitted the shoulder area loops
- Used self-fabric binding tapes for armhole finishing
Verdict on the Instruction
OK, I didn’t follow the instruction this time as I was too clever for my own good. I thought I’d streamline the process and make 3 projects simultaneously production line style. I probably ended up spending more time on each than if I had followed instructions and done one at a time. But with my design changes I would have had to figure some steps out on my own anyway. The original pattern instruction is pretty easy to follow though.
Here’s how I constructed this one:
- Stabilized back neck line and armholes with Vilene Bias Tape.
- Sewed & overlocked side seams and collar / facing CB seam.
- Sewed & overlocked shoulder – back neck / collar – shoulder seam, applying clear elastic in the process to stabilize the shoulder seams.
Turned CB collar / facing edge inside and slip-stitched to CB neck seam (like I did for my Golden Cowl Neck Tunic – are you getting the same sense that I LUV COWL??? :-D)
- Pleated the back collar / facing vertically, leaving only the desired collar height on the inside (in my case about 1-1/2″ on the insTextide). Secured the outside pleats to the inside collar / facing portion with a vertical stitch along the collar CB seam.
- Oops. Tried on the top and discovered the armhole was a bit tight. Ripped out the Vilene Bias Tape to allow the fabric to stretch naturally.
- Sewed binding tape to armhole (in the same method as instructed by V1282 I was making at the same time).
- Overlocked hem edge then turn and sew hem in place.
The usual Walking Foot and stretch stitch advice applies. I didn’t bothered with twin needles for hems because I always get a ridge between the two stitching lines and it drives me crazy! One day I’ll treat myself to a cover stitch machine. But I haven’t earned it yet.
This time I also omitted the interfacing for the hem and hoped for the best when overlocking. Unfortunately my fabric was too stretchy / difficult to control. I ended up spray starching the hem to temporarily stabilize fabric for overlocking and heming.
Would I sew it again / Would I recommend it to others
Probably not this particular pattern modification. It didn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned. Then again my visions tend to be a bit hazy! }:-)
I do like the concept, so I’ll probably play with this type of cowl neck again. I just need to figure out where exactly I want my drapes and where I want it snug.
I would most definitely recommend the original pattern, and for the more adventurous amongst you, playing with this type of modified cowl neck.