Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Holy Cowl - I made a top!

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Well I am so excited to be able to share my latest make with you all today. I gave you a sneak-peak on Sunday, but the photos didn’t really show the top off very well – so here it now is, in all it’s glory!

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OK, so why am I so excited about sharing this top with you? It’s just a simple cowl neck top right? Well yes, but did I mention that I drafted the pattern for this MYSELF?!!! Yes-siree, I started with no pattern and ended with a top that I just totally love! Well actually, to be completely honest, I started with a RTW top that I really loved, and after a fair bit of head-scratching and a few slightly squew-if muslin attempts I had a eureka moment last Wednesday night and cracked it,

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I whipped this top up (including making up a muslin version, copying that onto a neat paper pattern and then making up the purple version) in a few hours on Wednesday night, so it really is a quick and simple make. It’s super neat inside, with french seams and pale lilac bias binding on the arm holes and back neck. Oh, and the edge of the cowl neck is done with a neat baby hem (one of my techniques to tick-off for my 12 in 2012). The neatest bit though is that the shoulder seams are completely enclosed because of the cowl neck. I don’t have photos of it to show you today (doh!), but I’ll take some and show you another time (there will be a lot more of these tops to come!).

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The fabric is a really buttery-soft voile which I got on sale from M is for Make last year. They didn’t have a full meter of the fabric left, so amazingly you can squeeze this top out of less than a meter! The RTW top that I copied was made from some sort of slinky poly so the cowl is a lot less prominent and drapes better, but I took a chance with the voile and I’m happy with how it turned out. It was also very easy to work with (while a slippery fabric would not be!) so that was an added bonus. As you can see from the photos above, the front piece is cut on the bias while the back isn’t. It does mean that the pattern doesn’t in any way, shape or form match up, but to be honest I don’t think it matters. Having the front on the bias obviously aids with the drape of the cowl, while having the back on the straight of grain gives stability to the shoulders and keeps the tops structure. You may also notice from the photos above, that the front of the top has a curved hem, while the back is straight. The original top has a straight hem front and back, but the curve was born out of necessity, due to lack of fabric! Turns out I rather like the curved hem – and I am tempted to turn the back hem into a curve as well. Or I might not be bothered on this occasion – I plan to wear the top mainly tucked in so it doesn’t really matter.

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I had bought this fabric to make a Sorbetto out of, but I’m afraid that the Sorbetto just doesn’t really suit me (oh oh, I fear severe backlash from the huge Sorbetto fan club for saying that! I didn’t say I didn’t like the pattern – just that it didn’t suit me!!), so I’m really pleased with how I ended up using the fabric. I have a few more fabrics in my stash which I am hoping to turn into cowl tops (including a certain Liberty Silk I might have picked up recently).

And the other reason why I’m super excited to share this make with you is that, once I figure out how to actually do it, I’m hoping to share the pattern on the blog!! Yeay for free patterns!

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