I originally wrote this as one post but it was so long that I'm cutting it into two! This post talks about the drama of the make and the second one will have pics of me wearing the finished top.
As with any new pattern, I'm checking the internet to see what other sewists have to say about construction, how it looks on them, etc. However there were only 2 reviews. I must be the Queen of picking unsewn top patterns! Or I have no experience at all at what looks good as a top. *sigh*
Let's start with why I like this pattern. I don't know about anyone else but I'm a true pear shaped plus size woman. As such, I'm always looking for a fashionable way to cover my ass-ets! Something that's not loose, ill-fitting, or tent-like really appeals to me. Since I've made peace with the size of my thighs, I've found that I really like high low tops. So whether they're still on trend or not, I'm gonna sew and wear them.
I chose to use the suiting fabric with this pattern because I really did have an epiphany when I saw the Rachel Roy collection at Macy's. It's then that the thought circling in the back of my mind coalesced. I could use my fabric collection in different ways than it was intended for when purchased. Of course when I started to work with the fabric, it talked to me and told me a different way to go.
Pattern Alterations ~
I lengthened the front and back bodice pieces two inches because the flounce would land on my bodacious booty and stick out the comb (crown) on the top of a rooster's head. Not a good look or the one I was going for!
Added a 4" wedge to the back flounce because I wanted extra flounce. In the two pattern reviews I read the flounce was just so-so and I wanted much more. Interesting from a woman who hates ruffles right? But trust me the added extra fabric makes the back look more like the illustration on the pattern envelope.
Widened the dart legs on the shoulder back pattern piece to make the dart a full inch wide. This allowed me to remove the excess to make the shoulder seams fit my own. Because I narrowed the back shoulder seam, I did the same to the front shoulder seam by slicing, overlapping and taping it down.
Added a 1/2 to each side seam in the bicep area because I wanted to insure that I had enough space. Especially since I was using the faux leather and adding a lining to the sleeve because I find faux leather sleeves clammy.
Cutting and Construction of the Top ~
Matching the glen plaid was easy since it's not a predominant plaid. Also, the fact that the fabric was 61" wide made it easy to lay the pieces side by side to get a better match. That was the easy part.
In my infinite wisdom (not!) I decided that lining the top would be better than adding binding to the neckline. In truth it is, in application it was good until I realized my top was too small in the butt area. Why do you ask was it to small there? Because when you lower a pattern two inches it would be good to remeasure and make sure it fits around your bodacious booty. Ummmm, I neglected to do that! So let the sewing drama begin...
After I thought about it I had two choices:
- One to remove the two inches I added because when I pinned it out, everything fit like it should.
- Or two find a way to add more inches to it. Of course I chose the more difficult option of adding more inches.
Up to this point I was wavering about what to do with the sleeves - match or contrast - drama or no drama. I even considered adding ponte as the contrast and sleeves but decided that the faux leather would add an edge to the suiting fabric. So I went with the faux leather.
I added contrast to the side seams (which I increased by 7" and took it from a too tight to a looser fit) by cutting a triangle from faux leather scraps. BTW, I keep a bag of the scraps because who knows when I will need them!
Unpicked the side seams on both the lining and the fashion fabric and inserted the faux leather triangle. Because the seam is a little bulky, I decided to press the seams down first...and then this happened!
Yeah I had the iron up way too high! Unpicked it one more time and successfully got the triangles added to get the extra width. At the same time I re-evaluated the peplum. The front piece is a lot straighter than I saw it in my head. Now let's make it clear, the pattern envelope has a very straight front but of course I missed that!
So when I added the needed 7" to the front peplum piece, I also added a 6" wedge to give a little more drape to the front of the piece. Then the peplum was sewn back onto the top. Oh and one more consequence of adding all of that extra fabric - that long-*ss peplum needed to be hemmed.
After getting the top hemmed - all eighty million inches of it - I made one lined faux leather sleeve pinned it to the top and called it a night.
Post 2 will have finished pictures and more sewing drama! *LOL*
...as always more later!