Friday, August 14, 2020

Summer tops: not quite what I planned

Actually, I don't really know what I planned. Or didn't plan. The sewing this summer is all over the map, what with not really needing anything (at all!), not going anywhere, and then deciding to use this time to try new styles and shapes. Thus I've had a few clunkers, things I just wouldn't wear. Right now I'm sewing things that the wearability doesn't really matter - just trying to see if a pattern will work and feel comfortable on me. So far the out-of-my-comfort zone has served to reinforce that I like streamlined shapes, details, a minimum of ruffles and I don't really like big sleeves.
Here are a couple of things I sewed recently - looking at the pictures the first one is more wearable than I thought, and the second falls into the category of "what was I thinking" due to fabric choice.

Coral eyelet top front view 2

I had this coral eyelet fabric in my stash, no idea where it came from but I really like the color.
This is the drawing from the July 2020 Burda magazine, pattern # 110.  I wanted a sleeveless top but that was an easy change to make.

Burda tech drawign 07-2020-110 top

Coral eyelet front view

However  - that gathering and pleating at the center front and center back waist was just too much for me. It make the lower part stick out, I tried it on and felt like I was wearing a ballet tutu. There is the before (left) and after (right). I took off the bottom part, smoothed it out, made a couple of pleats at either side and reattached.   In a perfect world this top wouldn't have any seam in the middle but it was already done so I had to work with that.

Coral eyelet top side view

I know a lot of people finish garments and if they don't like them they just move on, perhaps donate or give away but I like to try and re-do if possible. I'm still not crazy about it but it's a lot better.

Coral eyelet top back view 2

Coral eyelet top bias binding

That is the most accurate version of the color, which is really pretty. I just made some bias binding from fabric in my box of plain cottons, the binding is pink but it blends just fine. Quarantine sewing, make do!  Who are we kidding? I would never go out and buy fabric just to make binding, I always rummage around in the stash and scraps.

Next up is the what was I thinking top. Well the top itself is not too bad but I think the fabric just looks goofy. I saw this on the Mood Fabrics website and I think it was the palm trees and the ocean that grabbed me. It looked very tropical and all my travel will be of the virtual, a girl can dream variety for the time being. So I ordered it and then when it arrived I thought, hmmm, not so sure about this one. But I decided to make a tunic top which would use the border print. Thus we have this.

Palm tree shirt front 1

Seriously, I will never wear this. It's just too weird. Also I wasn't quite sure how to deal with the border print, as you can see it goes from dark on the bottom to light in the middle, and then the other edge was darker, which I used for the sleeves. I think I only ordered about 1.5 yards also, so not really enough to make something else. A maxi dress or caftan might have been better but I didn't have enough fabric. And I never wear those things :)

Palm tree shirt front and back

Burda tunic 06-2020-111 tech drawing

There's the drawing from the magazine. Once I made it I realized the center V placket is a bit too low for my liking. I can see now that it is below the bust darts. I didn't really pay attention to that. I do like the shape and collar, so I could see sewing this pattern again with just raising the bottom of that placket a bit.

Palm tree shirt front placket

Palm tree shirt back 1

So that's it for these less than successful tops. I have a few other things that didn't work, so stay tuned for more :). But also a few winners lately including the jumpsuit from the June 2020 Burda.

Coral eyelet top front view 1

Stay well everybody and stay cool if your weather is like mine - it was 106℉ here today and supposed to be over 100℉ for the next 5 days in a row!!!!!!

Happy Summer Sewing, Beth

Today's garden photo, this albutilon which I bought at the local junior college horticulture department sale a couple of years ago. They didn't have the sales this spring which was really a disappointment, I'm sure for the students as well. It's a hummingbird favorite.



  1. Beth, i like si much the tunic. If you don’t like, send me to Spain 😜
    Really, the pattern is pretty and the fabric is very cheerful

  2. thelatenightsewist.comAugust 15, 2020 at 3:12 AM

    I find this tunic really nice, honestly! I love how you have used the fading color and the print. Really sorry you cant see this with my eyes, I think it is actually much more flattering and interesting than the coral top :)

  3. I agree with the others. The tunic is much more interesting than a one-colour sleeveless top. Maybe try styling it differently.

  4. I, too, love the tunic. It looks great on you but understandably, you are the wearer and have to feel comfortable wearing it.

  5. Ah, it happens. I missed that last pattern. I really love the placket, hmmm, may consider it. Nice working off the coral top. It’s very pretty!!

  6. I agree with previous posters. That tunic is absolutely lovely and it looks great on you as well.

  7. Love the tunic, it is fun! Just what we need right now.

  8. I, too, think the tunic is great! If you had just a couple more inches of fabric, it would be great as a swim coverup -- ideal, really! Perfect for Hawaii, or anywhere else! I like the dark collar band with the gradient band on the placket: very pretty.

  9. Beth, I really love the coral sleeveless blouse. You should definitely wear it more. It is flattering on you and the color as well. Thanks for showing us both of these. I, too, like the tunic better than you do. But, you are the one who will wear it. :).

  10. Ciao Beth! Visto che stai facendo pratica con l'italiano ti do' un'altra opportunità ;o) Mi piace molto come ti sta il top fucsia. Hai fatto bene a ridurre il volume. Anche io ho lo stesso problema. Mi piace molto la scollatura a V. Per quanto riguarda la seconda blusa, effettivamente la stoffa è un po' hawaiana ma se volessi recuperarla potresti tagliare la parte inferiore e sostituirla con un'altra stoffa blu. Hai dovuto fare molte modifiche al modello o hai trovato che la vestibilità fosse buona rispetto alle tue misure? Mi hanno regalato una copia di quel numero di Burda e quel cartamodello in particolare sembra molto versatile. Hope it's not too much Italian all at once.

    1. Ciao Silvia, ho trovato che i cartamodelli Burda sono buoni per le mie misure. Uso misura 38 per incominciare, e comò 12 di Vogue cartamodelli. Poi faccio alcuni modificazioni per fianchi. Spero che usi la rivista e non vedo la ora di vedere cosa che farai. anche spero che il mio italiano e comprensibile :)

  11. I"m right there with you. If anything, this isolation time has been a great chance to try those "someday" patterns and experiment with different details, colors, embellishments. I, too, have reaffirmed many of my style choices and thinned out a few things I now know for sure will never work for me. And I've discovered yellow! A color I've long shied away from is now working it's way into my closet.

  12. I really like the palm tree top! What if you wore it with dark pants?

  13. I think the blue can be a winner. You can lose the sleeves and make the cut in shoulders you like (I do, too, on you and on me). The bindings are a bit wide and out of proportion so why not just run with it and make the same width binding (reverse facing?) for the armscyes?