Sunday, 29 May 2011

My one-hour (2 week) top!

Well, that was some learning curve! I was under no illusions about my sewing skills so I knew that making a supposed 'one-hour' top would take longer than that, and that I'd have a lot to learn but wow, it's like learning a whole new language!   That's not to say I've not enjoyed it, far from it, I've had many a happy hour in my first steps in sewing and am looking forward to learning more.  When I first started reading the pattern I had to get my library copy of the Reader's Digest guide to sewing out and look up all the terms I've listed below.

Edge finish
Layer seam

Once I felt I understood the instructions a bit better I started.  The first cut into the fabric was a bit scary, is it always that way?!  Even though I'd bought cheap (£1.99 a metre) fabric I was still worried as I really liked the fabric and didn't want to make a mistake.  I had a few problems which I think all started with using blunt scissors to begin cutting out the fabric - I don't think my cutting was all that accurate.  Once I'd got the sides sewed up I realised that the front and back shoulders were different widths! Instead of taking it apart though I was very lazy and just folded the fabric in at the seam and did a slip stitch (woo hoo! - learnt this when making the cushion cover).

Overall I'm really pleased with the top. it's slightly less fitting than I would have wanted but then I don't think it could have been any more fitted without putting in a side zip.  I know I'll get wear out of it, particularly for work with navy skirts and navy cropped trousers.  The only problem with it is... it's a bit see-through! I didn't think about lining it until it was too late.  It's not a major problem though, I'll just need to buy a white or cream vest top to wear underneath it.  Hence the reason I'm not wearing it in the photo though, I still need to buy a vest top! Looking at it hanging as well I can see that the hem is pretty uneven, methinks I got a bit impatient and hasty towards the end and just wanted it finished - I really need to try and reign in the impatience somewhat.

It hasn't actually taken me all this time to make the top, I had the mistake the night before I went on holiday (when I stopped mid-sewing for a tea break, then came back to it and started following the pattern for a different version of the top).  Since I've been back from holiday I've had a sore throat and cold that's come and gone so it's taken me a while to get the energy to get it finished.  All raring to go on the next project though.  What to make though!? Has to be something simple again, as this project proved I've got serious amount to learn.  I'm thinking either this top or this laptop case - both thanks to Grosgrain's free pattern month. ooh, decisions, decisions..

I'm also going to look at my finances to see if I can afford to go to a sewing class as I think I'm far too lazy and will cut corners - maybe this is something you can do when you're experienced but I don't have that experience yet and feel I should learn the proper way to do things first.  I've read a bit about the courses at Oh Sew Brixton which sound fantastic.  Anyone have any other recommendations? Jessica recommended evening classes at college, a great idea, but they don't start till after the summer, and I'm waay to impatient to get sewing to wait till the autumn!


  1. Well done! I would have really struggled to follow a pattern on my own when I first started sewing in November - and still would! Classes are a great idea, you pick up so many tips from the tutor. Simple things like ironing everything at every stage.

    I am really slow at pattern cutting and everything I do seems to take longer than I plan for. Still not finished my skirt. Better get a shift on before the summer is over! Z x

  2. The ironing thing was something Jessica had mentioned to me as being important so I did make sure I ironed plenty. I keep reading on sewing blogs of people just knocking up a dress in an evening and so on, but they are far more experienced so it's nice to think that one day, maybe..!
    I'm really looking forward to seeing your skirt!