Thursday, December 03, 2015

McCalls 7194 - An Asymmetrical Top

Shams made this top in August. I think I purchased the pattern shortly thereafter because her top was so inspiring. While hers is a study in how to make a wonderful summer top in a lightweight fabric, mine is made using a double faced wool knit.



Version One ~
This is an easy top with several variations. I used View C. I sewed this straight out of the envelope in a size XXL. The only pattern alterations were made to the sleeves to make the bicep area larger.  



Somehow I overlooked the fact that the pattern envelope calls it a close fitting top. I hate close fitting tops. I like the illusion of a close fit but not an actual close fit - if you know what I mean!


I don't know how my daughter and I missed it but all of my pics
wearing the top with this necklace have it sitting over one breast! Oy!

The fabric used in the top is a double faced wool knit with the burnt orange on one side and the heathered gray on the other. So I used the gray for the sew on edges. I purchased this from Fabric Mart many moons ago. 

I will wear this but it won't be a favorite. So much so that I didn't even bother to finish the sleeve hems...just turned them up.  And after seeing the pictures, I'm going to leave them just like this!

A few more photos ~




Version Two ~
Because I really like the idea of the top and Shams version, I decided to alter the front and back pattern pieces for a total asymmetrical look. Now the real pattern work came in.


This was one of the last tops we shot and I was starting to get 
a little punchy.  Don't know how models do this!

Pattern Alterations ~

  • First I added two inches at the shorten/lengthen line on the front and back pieces. 
  • Then I added another four inches to the bottom of the front and back pieces.
  • On the center front line I sliced it up and spread it 1/2 inch wide at the top out to two inches at the bottom.




  • At the center back line I sliced it up and spread it 1/2 inch wide at the top and an inch at the bottom.
  • This gave me 60" in width around the hip line.
  • Then I redrew the altered pattern pieces onto new pattern paper.




Construction Info. ~
For this version, I chose a sweatery turquoise knit that I bought in 2006. Yeah those little tags I place on the front of the fabric tells me everything! Anyway it's been in the collection long enough, it's time for it to be useful.

With this top I followed the instructions except for the fact that I inserted the sleeves flat. I just don't understand inserting sleeves into knit garments in the round. Why? Especially when I've found that I get a better finish when I insert sleeves flat.

Other than that the construction was straight forward. It went together easily and I was careful when handling the fabric not to stretch it too much. I didn't want to distort it.

A few more pictures of the top ~



The top is thin so I'm wearing it with a camisole underneath it.
This is the way I will always wear it.


I had an idea to make a color blocked version of this pattern but I'm moving on. Even with my alterations its still a close fitting top and personally I'm still trying to come to grips with a closer fit. Though both my Mom and Daughter loved this one and my daughter keeps reminding me that you can really see the weight loss in my closer fitting clothing...sure, right.

The turquoise one will probably be worn more than the orange/grey version. Although when shooting the orange/grey one outside I realized that it will probably be very warm this winter. Anyway two of them are enough...

A Parting Shot ~
As you know my daughter comes with four little assistants and trying to persuade little people that they shouldn't be in every shot can be interesting. So my parting shot is of Miss Sammy coming to join me in a picture.




...as always more later!







44 comments:

  1. Love both tops. They don't appear to be overly close fitting but I understand the discomfort. And comfort is all! (LOL on the lassoed boob.)

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    1. Yep I agree both nice on you. Including orange one.

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  2. look how different you are looking. Your face is much different. Love the blue on you. thanks for sharing

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    1. Helen - I've lost inches everywhere and I'm still losing weight. I need to figure out some exercises (I keep saying that and doing nothing!) because everything is jiggly - TMI I know! *LOL*

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  3. I think they both look great on you. Neither look tight. Just right.

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  4. Both tops are just perfect! The colors are gorgeous (love you in the blue!) and the fit is very, very flattering! These are winners!

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  5. But what is there not to like about the orange one ? The colour suits you very well and it is perfectly flattering !

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  6. I agree with the other posts. These tops look great on you and the colors are fabulous! Makes me think I will look for this pattern!!

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    1. Patricia - you definitely should buy the pattern. It was worth the alterations!

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  7. #1-I love both tops but the orange one is my fave
    #2-you look GREAT! These tops fit well on you

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  8. I'd looked at this pattern but resisted purchasing it due to the slimmer fit. After you've now shown that it can be easily altered I think I'll buy it. Both tunics look great on you! Karen

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    1. Karen - I would definitely tell you to buy it. After wearing the turquoise one, I'm going to make it again in another similar fabric type from the collection. I think the looser sweater knit was a better choice for the top.

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  9. I saw your comment on Nakisha's post that mentioned this top and I was confused when you said it was really close-fitting. I had made it and thought it was comfortably loose (and I know that you know how to pick your sizes correctly lool). But I can see how it's all about personal comfort. I think you look amazing in both. The orange one being my favorite of the two :-)

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    1. Tasha - that's cause you got one of those nice young firm bodies! *LOL* After years of wearing classic clothing, comfortable casual clothing is a new thing to wrap my mind around! Thanks for the compliment!

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  10. Oh I really like these Carolyn,especially the first one. What fun you seem to be having adapting to a more casual way of dressing .

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  11. I think the orange one is very flattering. I bet you'll get compliments when you wear it!!!

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  12. I agree with everyone else. Both tops look great on you. Does the orange one feel uncomfortably tight? It certainly doesn't look tight. It looks just right. And the blue one is my fav. Beautiful color on you. And I agree with your daughter that a closer fit shows off your weight loss more.

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    1. Tomasa - I know it's not too tight, it just feels it! Again more getting used to wearing a closer fit. I happen to like the blue one better too and after wearing it think I will make another one!

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  13. I am another that vastly favors the orange one!! I loved it when I saw it and wanted to move the pattern to the top of my list!!!!

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    1. Nakisha - I can't wait to see what you do with this pattern!

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  14. I love these! They're super flattering and don't look too tight at all.
    Also: whenever I wear a long necklace a good 90% of the time I have it lassoed over one boob so I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one!

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    1. I don't know what happened with the boob/necklace thing because usually my daughter notices and we fix it. This time EVERY single picture came out like that! So no, it's not just you!

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  15. Both tops look very stylish on you ! The blue is my fav ! Thanks for the great tips you always include on pattern alterations .

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    1. MaryEllen - no problem about including pattern alterations. It's what I look for in a good pattern review.

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  16. Great looking tops and they are both very flattering on you. I see close fitting no where in that first pic, LOL.

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    1. Levone - thanks! *LOL* And see all I see is that the side profile is just not flattering! But thanks I appreciate the love!

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  17. I particularly like the burnt orange top. When you linked to Shams, I realised I hadn't seen a posf from her in a while -though I did see that top post - somehow I was no longer subscribed. Rectified, thank you. ,

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    1. Anne - so glad that you've reconnected with Shams! I love her style and her blog!

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  18. It's a shame that you don't really like the orange top - it looks great on you, as does the turquoise one. I hope that you learn to love them.

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  19. I am really hoping you will get this. I also have a new body, with 140 pounds lost because of changing my lifestyle, and another 20 because of surgery to remove all of my excessive skin. Sweetheart, you look fantastic in the turquoise top. And the only reason the orange top doesn't work, it isn't proportional to your body. It is so hard to see us as the new person, and not the old person. I didn't realize my change until my new drivers license came in. I finally had an old picture of me from a wedding that I just could not get out of taking. I posed in the same way, and had a second picture done, with the same props, and backgrounds. I finally saw the change. It has taken 6 blouses for me to finally cut one out at the correct size. I am now a 16/18 when I used to be a 28W/32W. These are patterns from the big four, some Indie patterns I am a 14. Yay for Petite Plus! So you go girl, and I promise as one of your loyal readers, I will let you know if it doesn't look good. Right now as we get used to our change, we have to trust those that love us. Happy Holidays!

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  20. Love it! This is a great look on you, Caroline. I like seeing you in these softer, more casual styles.

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    1. Bunny - this is such a learning curve...some days I think I've got it figured out and some days I think I have a ways to go!

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  21. great tops, perfect for winter and I LOVE that turquoise color on you. very pretty.

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    1. Beth - I thought I would like the orange/gray one better but the turquoise one really is prettier in my eyes!

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  22. You may not be comfortable in these b/c you feel the fit is too close, but you need to know that you look simply smashing in both of them. It's funny how our self perception often doesn't match the way others see us!

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    1. Thanks Urbanite! I knew when I typed those words that others would see me differently...I'm still learning to do that!

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  23. We share the same name (Carolyn Marie) but we differ on what looks good on you. I think you look gorgeous in the orange top. I don't think you need any alterations. Why are we as sewers our worst critics?

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  24. How come you didn’t like the burnt orange version? I thought it really looked nice; I would do it for my own DIY for your home. But then, I know how there are some garments that seemed fiddly when worn and it doesn’t feel good.

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  25. Hey babe you look AMAZING in both of the tops and the orange one is my favorite!

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  26. Super cute and it works really well with leggings!

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