Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Whoa Zebra!

Just in case you were afraid this was becoming a blog about sewing for children, I decided to share this with you. New Look 6940:
This is view A, the twist top with cap sleeves.

I used a cool lime green zebra print knit that Angie sent me a while back. ( I LOVE this fabric!) I cut a size 16 because it was the largest size offered. I would have graded out to an 18 from the underarm down if the 18 had been included on the pattern sheet, but since it wasn't and I was worried about the top being large enough (the fabric didn't have an excessive amount of stretch and I wasn't sure how to go about making an FBA on this) I compensated by sewing 3/8" seams at the underbust seam, the side seams, and the shoulders. Next time I make this, I'll go with 5/8" under the bust and at the shoulder.
I really like this pattern for two reasons: there is a center back seam (which I will adjust next time for a sway back) and it is quite long. I did not have to adjust the length at all and I still got a nice long top which I can tuck in or wear over my waistband without worrying about my midriff hanging out.
One thing I did not like about this pattern is that it instructs you to finish the neckline with bias tape after the top is finished. Bias tape? Really? I don't have that much experience with knits but bias tape did not seem like a great option to me. I decided to just turn under and stitch, but honestly, it was nearly impossible to finish the vee with all that fabric bunched up into the twist. In fact, it looks downright awful if you really dig around in that twist and look. Plus, I made the rookie mistake of not stabilizing the neck edge somehow, and it stretched all out of shape as I finished it. I ended up with a very deep, very gapey v-neck. Not a good look. I'm not sure if the depth of the vee was due to the pattern (I kind of doubt it since the pattern photo looks pretty nice and modest) or my clumsy finish, or a combination of the two. In any case, I ended up running a length of elastic cord through the neckline and that snugged it up nicely. I still need to wear a cami underneath, but that's okay. I plan to wear my lime green zebra stripe twist top with pride!
I would definitely like to make this again. Next time I'll try finishing the neck edge before sewing the twist. I think I'll be able to get a better finish and a nicer looking, more modest neckline.
I'd also like to make view D- the blue top with the flutter sleeves. Both tops will make great supplementary additions to SSSP.


Anonymous said...

It's a cute top and you're right, bias tape is not the best way to finish knits. I've sewn other twist tops that finish the neckline before assembling the top.

beangirl said...

That is wild, baby! (ew, sorry) I've never been brave enough to try one of these twist styles, but this one looks pretty great so I might have to get up some nerve.

My word verification today is: Monsta.

Girl, that shirt is monsta!

Martha said...

Very cute top! And is the perfect color for you.

Shannon said...

Green is my favorite!

Memaw's memories said...

From the looks of the photo, you did a nice job on the top. I have a friend that absolutely won't let you look at the underside of the garments she makes. She says it's all about the outside.

angie.a said...

CUTE. I think it looks fabulous, so don't worry about the inside!

I agree, bias tape is NOT for knits. Period. I'll go as far as say bias tape on knit garments looks very homemade!

Shannon said...

Hey, it looks just like the top on the envelope! Love that crazy print!

To finish my knit necklines, I use the Loes Hinse method. Take a piece of foldover elastic and split it in half lengthwise (along the centre fold). Measure the complete (front and back) neckline on the pattern piece and cut the elastic length to match. Serge the raw edge of the elastic to the raw edge of the entire inside neckline. Fold the neckline inside to encase the elastic and stitch down. Now you should have a stretchy, yet well stabilized neckline finish. I hope that all made sense.