Updated: Jun 20, 2022
I designed and stitched up this knit top as yet another try to come up with THE design for the ‘favorite’ fabric shown below at right that I purchased from marcytilton.com
Though this design isn’t yet ‘quite it, I am happy with it and love some of the features I came up with to take full advantage of the reversible fabric shown here at the right, a digital rayon/lycra print.
Fabric in this Top
The fabric I used in this top was in my stash – purchased at least a year ago from JoAnn’s, and have seen it there recently as well.
I don’t know if these pictures will show it, but it is a polyester double knit that is navy on one side with itsy bitsy woven in dots on one side, and the reverse on the other side: aqua with teeny navy dots. Perhaps in this large close-up of the front, you will be able to see the fabric.
The other things to observe in this large photo are:
Wave-cut edges. Since knits don’t ravel, this is a ‘finish’ that works. This is the coolest rotary cutting blade! Find it at this link: https://www.londas-sewing.com/product-page/wave-rotary-blade-45mm
Flattering shirred sides: the shirring pulls the top up at the sides, causing a nicely curved hemline. When the silhouette is higher at the sides, it gives the leg a longer look. Learn all about many shirring techniques that I’ve developed and written in my pattern: Sensational Shirring https://www.londas-sewing.com/product-page/sensational-shirring-sewing-pattern-booklet-pdf-delivery
Design features to note: The lighter color at the neckline and it’s width, make it a flattering design. The lighter aqua color softens the darker next to my face – which is all light (grey hair, light complexion). With this lighter, attention-drawing color in 3 places (odd number), that is also a design-pleasing proportion.
Any time one creates width at the shoulder, the rest of the figure looks smaller.
As for all of my knit tops, I use a pattern I developed to include all of the features I wanted: Londa’s Terrific T Top
You see that pattern being used here below. It has a higher neckline, with alternative design lines for cutting it lower, or in a V at the front. I ‘use’ these alternative design lines by cutting the top at the highest neckline first, then using the templates that I’ve traced for the proper size to cut it down as I desire. Doing it this way doesn’t call for any additional yardage either. Try it – I think you might like it. Some other features of my pattern: fronts both WITH and WITHOUT a dart different sleeve lengths, a properly balanced armhole, 5 sleeve lengths including a flattering cap sleeve, shaped sideline option, Sizes XS – 3XL.
Note the fusible interfacing that I’ve added to my master pattern copy for durability.
Pattern Stash Value
Even though I thinned out my patterns when we moved from IL to TN 4 years ago now, I still have a precious metal pattern cabinet full of patterns (one of the very valuable pieces I took home when I closed my retail shop!). You can see in this picture a pattern with a nice large soft collar.
To use this pattern, all I had to do was copy the neckline of this pattern onto my basic pattern, enabling me to use the accompanying collar pattern.
You can see in the picture below that I cut my top much longer (7″ at the side seams), gently curving to longer yet at the center front and back.
Since I use my pattern all the time, I know how it fits – so I was comfortable in trimming it down using the wave rotary cutter as you can see I’ve done in the picture below. Even though my pattern BACK is cut on the fold, I decided that I wanted a center back seam on which to ‘play’ the inside body color.
When constructing, the idea came to me to stitch wrong sides together and then to topstitch it so that the lighter aqua color was exposed.
Here is a back view to show you the result on the garment.
Next thought: How about if I made that collar removable – like a ‘scarf’? That would add versatility to the top. That will be my next ‘Test Top’.