Top of the Tops Day 4: VOTE!

Here’s our fourth and final group of the spring tops that received the highest judges scores of all the tops entered in the Spring Top Sewalong 2011! I’ll be posting the four finalists from this week’s votes for you to choose a winner TOMORROW, so come back to help us choose the Best Top! 
You can click on the link below the pictures to go directly to their picture, this will allow you to see more information/links about the tops. Peruse these beauties and then scroll down to VOTE for your favorite!


OK, IT’S TIME TO VOTE…


I’ll reveal the results on Friday, thanks so much for voting!
Voting Ends: Tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM eastern  Tonight at 9 PM eastern
NEXT VOTE: Starts tomorrow at 9 AM eastern
FINAL VOTE for BEST TOP: Starts Friday morning at 10 AM eastern, ends Saturday night at 10 PM eastern.
Want to stay in the loop? Follow me on Twitter or the Made By Rae FB page to get updates.
And I’d really appreciate some help getting the word out as well, so if you have a minute to tweet it or put up a button, I’m all thanks!

Rae’s Spring Top: Teal with Lace

Wow! Thanks for all of the comments on yesterday’s ivory knit top! It really goes to show that I can never predict how something will go over. Honestly I thought it would be too underwhelming, being so basic. I even thought about not posting it. Hah. Well, I tell you what: I am definitely going to make another one and put a waistband on it so I have two! Didn’t even occur to me to wear it with a belt (sans waistband)! You guys are awesome. 

So here’s my next top:
Sewing with solids initially seems a little boring to me but there are really so many options to add interest with trim that can completely transform it. The solid teal color with the white lace is really stunning I think (same reason I love this top). Using lace (or even ric-rack or piping) really adds a lot of bang with very little extra effort to a solid garment. While I like combining these types of trims with prints sometimes, I often find that adding trims to printed fabric can get unnecessarily busy really fast. By the way, you can find really great solids at all of the fabric shops sponsors in the sponsor section here on (click here to go to my blog if you’re in a reader).

I had to clip the stitching between each lace section in order to make it lay flat. I tested it on a small piece of lace first to make sure this wouldn’t ravel the lace.

This top is the same two-piece pattern as my Liberty top I posted on Monday. I used neckline facings instead of the placket, and shirred the empire waist and added the narrow sash instead of using ties. One thing I will say about the addition of shirring though is that it does make the top more maternity-esque than the other top because the gathers are distributed across the front. It’s OK though, I cut this top narrow enough that it’s not too baggy in front. 

Aaaaaand….POCKETS!

Easy-peasy!
Don’t forget to VOTE every day this week for your favorite tops! You can access the current vote from the left sidebar of my blog! Today’s vote ends tomorrow morning at 8 AM EST. Note: Thursday’s vote will be held from 9 AM – 9 PM EST.

Top of the Tops Day 3: VOTE!

Here’s our third group of the spring tops that received the highest judges scores of all the tops entered in the Spring Top Sewalong 2011! You can click on the link below the pictures to go directly to their picture, this will allow you to see more information/links about the tops. Peruse these beauties and then scroll down to VOTE for your favorite!

LEFT chambray autumn tunic by suzyCENTER Wraparound Maternity Top by LauraRIGHT Flowery button-down by Nicole

LEFT The Miss Eliza Bennet by Shelby GCENTER Lisette Portfolio Tunic by TiffanyRIGHT Jamie Shirt by Kim


LEFT “Shir Lovely” by SarahCENTER Animal Print Pendrell by AdeyRIGHT Romantic Swiss Dot by Stephanie

LEFT Dots of Liberty by LaurelCENTER Gypsy top by Janene at ooobop!RIGHT Hearts top by Amy



OK, IT’S TIME TO VOTE…


I’ll reveal the results on Friday, thanks so much for voting!
Voting Ends: Tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM eastern
NEXT VOTE: Starts tomorrow at 9 AM eastern
FINAL VOTE for BEST TOP: Starts Friday morning at 10 AM eastern, ends Saturday night at 10 PM eastern.
Want to stay in the loop? Follow me on Twitter or the Made By Rae FB page to get updates.

Just a note that Thursday’s vote will not be open for an entire day as I will be notifying the finalists by Thursday at 9 PM that they are finalists. Voting on Thursday will be open from 9 AM – 9 PM eastern.

And I’d really appreciate some help getting the word out as well, so if you have a minute to tweet it or put up a button, I’m all thanks!

Rae’s Spring Top: Ivory Knit V-neck

It’s time to reveal my next Spring Top! Thanks for all the top love yesterday by the way! I’m so glad you all liked it so much! Maybe you’ll like this one too:

In keeping with my “Keep It Simple” theme this year, I wanted to have a top that would go with more of the skirts and shorts (many of which are patterned) in my closet. With this design I decided to go even MORE basic than a two-piece top (like yesterday’s) and cut this top from a single piece of fabric. I folded the fabric in half where the shoulders are, then folded it down the center and cut out the basic shape, which you can see is really just a curve under the arms and then goes straight down.
There’s some gathering at the neckline in a few places and a neckband, but that’s basically it! This knit fabric is fabulously soft and really stretchy and flowy. I think this top is going to be one of my favorites. It needs to be ironed a bit so it doesn’t look so wrinkly. Oops…noticed that after I took the pictures. I don’t actually remember where the fabric came from but I’m pretty sure it’s a bamboo blend (thanks Rae, really helpful. *rolls eyes*). Can’t wait to make more clothes from the rest of it, maybe PJs or clothes for the kids. 
I originally intended for the top to have a waistband and once it was on I thought it looked pretty good without. But then I took a few pictures….

…and I thought it looked nice with the waistband too. With? Without? This is my problem, I’m a terrible decision maker when it comes to clothing.  I’m leaning one way more than the other right now though, just looking at these. What do you think?
Oh wait! I almost forgot to show you my favorite necklace which looks really great with this top….
 *puts down computer and goes to take a few pictures*
OK I’m back. Sorry, no tripod for these, but in a rare moment of solidarity my hair is actually looking good today to make up for it (thanks to Mr Rae’s Mother’s Day prezzie of a family photoshoot this morning!):

I bought the necklace back in December at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair when I was supposed to be Christmas shopping for my family (hee, oops). And now I’ve totally forgotten what the shop was called…think it’s on Etsy. Can anyone help? Anyway she had the cutest fabrics mounted on necklaces, perfect present for a fabric-lover I say!

UPDATED: Found fabric necklace seller’s name: Christine Edwards, still haven’t found shop online…perhaps she just sells in person?

Don’t forget to VOTE today and every day this week for your favorite tops! You can access the current vote from the left sidebar of my blog!

Top of the Tops Day 2: VOTE!

I’m so excited to present our second group of spring tops today! These tops received the highest judges scores of all of the tops entered in the Spring Top Sewalong! You can click on the link below the pictures to go directly to their picture, this will allow you to see more information/links about the tops. Peruse these beauties and then scroll down to VOTE for your favorite!

LEFT Autumn top by CateCENTER Polka dot sailboat blouse by KatarinaRIGHT Split Sleeve & Split Season Favorite by Ginger

LEFT Ruffled Red Top by The Professor’s WifeCENTER Rose print blouse by Kitschy CooRIGHT Striped top with starfish by Mònica

LEFT The explorer top by AdeyCENTER Spring Kimono Top by Liza JaneRIGHT Spring damask tank by Stacy




OK, IT’S TIME TO VOTE…


I’ll reveal the results on Friday, thanks so much for voting!
Voting Ends: Tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM eastern
NEXT VOTE: Starts tomorrow at 9 AM eastern
FINAL VOTE for BEST TOP: Starts Friday morning at 10 AM eastern, ends Saturday night at 10 PM eastern.
Want to stay in the loop? Follow me on Twitter or the Made By Rae FB page to get updates.
And I’d really appreciate some help getting the word out as well, so if you have a minute to tweet it or put up a button, I’m all thanks!

Rae’s Spring Top: Liberty Tunic with ties

Every year for the Spring Top Sewalong I sew along too. I don’t enter my tops obviously but I get to show them off on the blog and add them to the pool. Here’s my first top:

It’s made with a basic white poplin which is very smooth and a bit of Liberty of London peacock feather print which I bought at Haberman Fabrics. I love teal and peacocks, so I will admit to you that I probably would have made an entire top out of the feather print were it not for the crazy price tag. And actually I am a little glad I didn’t because once I got this home I realized that the rows of feathers slope downward across the grain slightly (they’re not straight; you can tell in the pictures that they droop to the left). And it’s not diagonal enough to look purposeful, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. You’d think for $44/yard they could make sure the design ran straight across the fabric?!? I guess not. 

My main goal this year for myself was to keep it simple. Last year I had such ambitious plans for my spring tops I just about killed myself trying to execute them and the results were not exactly great (the clown top springs most readily to mind). So this year I decided to make a pattern that didn’t require sleeves, a trend which seems to be pretty popular right now. In other words, the top is comprised of two main pieces (front and back), along with a few other embellishments (in this case there’s a placket and some ties).  And I’ll mention it plainly since I always get this question: this is my own, hand-drawn, not-available pattern.

I find I really like empire waisted tops, but wanted this one to be slimming in front (read: not maternity-esque). The ties begin at the side of the placket which creates a flat portion in the center of the top which I think looks nice, rather than being gathered or baggy. It also (unfortunately) creates that little crease at the bottom of the placket but I don’t mind that too much.

sometimes windblown is sexy. most of the time it’s just funny.

The only thing that I would like to add to this top yet is pockets. I love pockets!

Don’t forget to VOTE every day this week for your favorite tops! You can access the current vote from the left sidebar of my blog! And have you seen our awesome prizes here and here? Fun!

Even more Spring Top Sewalong Prizes!!!

In addition to the prizes offered by my sponsors (see this post for a complete list), I asked a few friends and online shops to contribute prizes as well. As I started to put this together I realized that it’s actually a little insane how many prizes there are this year. Originally they were ALL intended for the two winners, but I’ve decided that I’ll split this second batch up a little bit and send some to our Final Round finalists as well as the winners, just to even things out a little bit, y’know?  So some of these prizes featured here today will go to our two Best Top Award winners (Judges Choice and Readers Choice) and the others will go to the other finalists from Friday’s final reader vote. Yay!!!


Two winners will receive Meg’s two new patterns for Spring 2011, Aurelia and Mariposa
Winners will receive a Sewing Machine Pendant
and their choice of one Sewing Machine Print (printable file) from the Lemon Squeezy Shop

Two winners will receive sewing aprons (“Utili Obis”) handmade by Betty!

two patterns from the new Simplicity Lisette Sewing Pattern line to two winners!
    
Fits All Who Fits In (fabric and handmade items)
$40 Gift Certificate to two winners, redeem at the Fits All Who Fits In etsy shop!

Choice of two patterns from the Make it Perfect Sewing Pattern Collection to two winners!

Maya Road (craft, scrapbooking, and sewing supplies)
 5 yards each of the three different trims shown below to two winners!

Two copies of the new women’s Park Top PDF Sewing Pattern!

A HUGE thank you to all of these businesses for providing prizes for our Spring Top Sewalong 2011 winners and finalists! And don’t forget to VOTE for your favorite top today (visit the sidebar to access the current vote)!!!

DISCLAIMER: Just so everyone’s clear: I do not receive any compensation or products of any kind for promoting these folks and their stuff. It’s just fun for me to be able to offer these to our finalists and winners!!!

Top of the Tops Day 1: VOTING CLOSED

It’s Spring Top Week! We’ll be voting on a new group each day Monday-Thursday, and the top four finalists will go up for a vote on FRIDAY. So come back each day this week to vote for your favorite tops! The final vote will determine the Best Top Award (Readers Choice).

Our judges will also be voting this week on their choice for Best Top (Judges Choice)! They’ve been scoring each of the tops as they were entered, a fun but definitely busy task. Let me introduce you to my impressive and wonderful judging panel:
Florence of Flossie Teacakes (and a STW 2010 finalist!)
Jamie Christina of Jamie Christina Patterns
Deborah Moebes of Whipstitch
Kelli of Presserfoot (also a STW 2009 finalist!)
Dana of MADE
Juju of Chickpea Sewing Studio 
Edith of Edeenut Creates (a STW 2010 finalist!)
Megan of Brassy Apple (who’s put together a top tutorial for you guys, more on that soon!)
Jenny of Wan Life to Live (a STW 2010 finalist!)
Adrianna and Susan of Crafterhours (Adrianna received the Best Top (Readers’ Choice) Award last year)
Meg of Fashioned by Meg (a STW 2009 finalist)
Astrid of Connecting the Dots (our 2009 winner)
and Lindsay of liliash (last year’s Best Top (Judges’ Choice) Award winner)

TOP OF THE TOPS: GROUP 1
Now without further ado, I’m happy to present our first group of spring tops! You can click on the link below the pictures to go directly to their picture, this will allow you to see more information/links as well. Peruse these beauties and then scroll down to VOTE for your favorite!

LEFT Summer Camp Shirt by Rachel
CENTER Hippie tunic by Luciana
RIGHT Shearwater Kaftan by Laura

LEFT Flowery, Flattering Top by Rachel,
CENTER Rainbow Blouse by Adey,
RIGHT Portfolio Blouse by Margaret

LEFT Nautical Spring Top by Stephanie,
CENTER Nautical Maternity Top by Janica,
RIGHT  Yellow cardigan by Crystal

OK, IT’S TIME TO VOTE…



I’ll reveal the results on Friday, thanks so much for voting!
Voting Ends: Tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM eastern
NEXT VOTE: Starts tomorrow at 9 AM eastern
FINAL VOTE for BEST TOP: Starts Friday morning at 10 AM eastern, ends Saturday night at 10 PM eastern.
Want to stay in the loop? Follow me on Twitter or the Made By Rae FB page to get updates.

And I’d really appreciate some help getting the word out as well, so if you have a minute to tweet it or put up a button, I’m all thanks!