I promise I'll have some more spring-appropriate stuff on the blog soon! I went home for reading week and made a couple things for spring while I was there, but don't have pictures yet. It definitely feels like the wrong weather to be posting about a black long-sleeved top now, since I've been wearing short sleeves and skirts without tights for the past week here in Montreal! My only complaint is that the gorgeous weather makes it difficult to force yourself to study for exams. Only three more to go...
I chose this pattern kind of spontaneously, because I was planning on using this fabric to make another Bronte top, but then I realized that is was really sheer! I guess I wasn't paying attention when I bought it, because it was expensive for a solid bamboo jersey knit. I bought it from a local fabric store where I bought a remnant of the most amazing bamboo jersey I've ever worked with, and when I saw more bamboo jersey in the store, I assumed it was the same! Turns out it's not - this is much thinner and much flimsier. So disappointing!
Anyways, I needed a top pattern that was a little more forgiving and didn't have any negative ease over the bust, so that it wouldn't end up too sheer. This was perfect - the gathers meant that it wouldn't be too sheer at all!
I really love the dress variation of this pattern, but since I only had a metre of fabric, I didn't really have a choice. I'll probably make the dress this summer!
I'm not a huge fan of PDF patterns, but this one came together pretty easily and quickly. I cut out a size 30 with long sleeves. Since the Jenna cardigan was a little wide at the shoulders, I took in the shoulder seams by 1/4". I also raised the V-neck by 1", which I reduced to closer to 1/2" or 3/4" when I actually sewed it. I omitted the ties in the back, because as much as I love them, I find them really uncomfortable when you're sitting.
This top took a little big longer than some knit patterns, but still not long at all. You need to interface the triangle in the middle with woven interfacing, and then do all the gathering around the bust and attach it. A note for next time: I sewed one with the gathers on the bottom, and the other side with the gathers on the top, and one side looks way nicer than the other. I just can't remember which! I'll sew some samples before making this again to see. I don't think it's too noticeable though, especially from a distance and in black.
The only thing that I found a little more difficult with this pattern was getting the V-neck to look right! I seem to remember attaching the binding was fine, but the topstitching took me a few tries. It still doesn't look that great, but there's only so many times you can rip out topstitching in jersey before going slightly mad.
I'm really happy with the fit of this top - it's super flattering! In the end, I didn't need to take in the shoulders, and I'll probably add the 1/4" back on next time, but other than that, the fit is great. The triangle in the centre sits a little lower on me than it does in the pictures, but I don't have a problem with that, and I'm not exactly sure of the best way to fix that because of how the pattern pieces go together. I'm happy with it how it is, so I probably won't bother!
Looking at these photos, it does bunch up a little in the back, but I think that's mostly because it's getting caught on the waistband of my jeans, which is too big (I think I need to make myself some Ginger jeans).
Overall, though, this top wasn't my best make, even though the fit is great - mostly because of the fabric. It was so flimsy that it shifted a lot when I was cutting it, and one of my sleeves ended up off grain. I also managed to get a hole in one of the sleeves before I even finished it! I sewed it up and put lots of fray-check on it, and so far it seems to be fine. But seriously...
I also found it really difficult to hem, even with Stitch Witchery, a walking foot, and a twin needle, which is my go-to hemming technique for knits. It stretched out a lot, and ended up a little ripply.
What's a little different about this top from other tops that I've made is that I can't really tuck it in, which I usually do for all my tops. Because of that, I can't really wear it with a skirt, which is too bad. Nonetheless, this top got a lot of wear, especially when it was -20 degrees in Montreal, because I could wear it with jeans and merino base layers underneath - perfect for when I needed a break from all the huge sweaters!
I'll definitely make this pattern again, probably as a dress for summer. I'm really impressed with Muse Patterns - the instructions are great, and the patterns seem to be very well drafted. I also love that their newer patterns come one size smaller than the Jenna cardi did, so I don't have to size down (always a plus!).
Thanks for reading! You probably won't see much of me until after exams. I have an exciting (but very busy) couple of weeks ahead - in less than two weeks, I'll be done my first week of university, and I'll be moving out my residence and into my first apartment! See you all in (me-made) May!
Top: me-made (Muse Patterns Nathalie Top)