Week 4 Sewalong Winners!

Here are the results of our final week’s Spring Top Sewalong reader vote and judges panel scoring! Our fabulous panel of four judges scored the Week 4 “Top Tops” to determine a high score for Judge’s Choice. This post marks the end of the “official” Spring Top Sewalong competition, with nearly 400 tops entered this year. Can you believe it? Wow!

Our Week 4 Judge’s Choice Award Winner is the Pretty Bow Top by Kelly:

Pretty Bow Top

Congratulations Kelly!!! You will receive a $30 gift certificate to Charmstitch!

And now for the winner of the Reader Vote…

Our Week 4 Reader’s Choice Winner is the Embroidered Tova, by Nina:

Embroidered Tova

Congratulations Nina!!! You will receive a $30 gift certificate to Fashionable Fabrics!

A big congratulations to both of this week’s winners  and of course all of our amazing Week 4 Top Tops!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Spring Top Sewalong for 2012 as much as I have! I don’t have a say in any of the scoring or selection of tops but it’s always so much fun to sit back and see how it all plays out (though you have no idea how hard it is for me to keep my opinion to myself)! As always, you guys have impeccable taste…I’m so pleased with all of our winners! (Winners: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3)

Thanks to all of you who entered tops in our Spring Top Sewalong pool or just quietly sewed along! I hope seeing your fellow sewists’ tops helped motivate and inspire. And a humongous thank you to our moderators, judges, sponsors, and everyone else who helped out behind the scenes this year. The Spring Top Sewalong would be nothing without you!

p.s. If you didn’t have a chance to post your tops to the pool during the Spring Top Sewalong, don’t hesitate to add them now! Judging is now over but we’d still love to see all of your great work.

Silk peplum blouseSilk peplum blouseSilk peplum blousePeplum blousePeplum blousePeplum blouseThe perfect t-shirt for a book loverThe perfect t-shirt for a book loverIMG_5868IMG_5870Cowl neck blouseV-neck, short sleeved Renfrew.striped t-shirt - designstriped t-shirt - detailstriped t-shirt - worntopIvory Alabama Chanin TopSorbetto top with Wispy CardiAutumn Top 002Bias-Cut Floral BlouseSquare Nursing Toptop44Leigh Anne's Cabo HalterEasy Ruffled Maternity (or not) Top

Top of the Tops – Week 4!

I’m so excited to present our final group of “Top Tops” for Spring Top Sewalong 2012! These tops were chosen by our Week 4 judges. Aren’t they fantastic? Please enjoy and take a minute to VOTE for your favorite using the poll below! We’ll leave the poll open for 48 hours and announce our winners for this week on Friday or Saturday! They will each receive a $30 gift certificate from one of our Spring Top Sewalong sponsors.

Did you miss the previous weeks’ winners? You can see them here:
Week 3 Winners
Week 3 Top of the Tops
Week 2 Top of the Tops
Week 2 Winners
Week 1 Top of the Tops
Week 1 Winners

Click on the links below each photo block to see a larger photo of each top!

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A) Monika’s Vogue 8727, B) Bright Stripes by Sabra, C) Playing with Pleats

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D) Happy dots, E) Gray and White Striped Alabama Chanin Tunic, F) Ruched Mama Top

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G) Crystal’s New Look 6940, H) Bow Back by Jacqueline, I) The “triple C” top by Tiffany

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J) Tova by Jeni, K) Top with drawstring waist, L) blue-eyed girl top

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M) Wiksten Tank, N) Pretty Bow Top, O) Comfy Cotton Kimono

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P) Embroidered Tova, Q) Boyfriend Top, R) Dorie’s Simplicity 3835

OK, now it’s time to VOTE! This poll will remain open for 48 hours (closing Friday at 1 PM Eastern). Please feel free to share this with others. One vote per person over 12. Toddlers and small children are too easily swayed, hee. Thanks!

If you can’t see the poll in your window, you may also click here to vote.

If your top was featured today (or on a previous post), please feel free to take a button for your blog:

I’ve re-opened the Spring Top Sewalong Pool for anyone who would like to add more tops this spring, so feel free to keep them coming. I feel strongly that Selfish Sewing should happen ALL YEAR LONG!

Now I’m off to pack for NYC…flying there today for Heather Ross’ Fabric Design Workshop (and did you see her new Prints book is available for pre-order??), am so excited. Have a great week everyone!!

Striped Knit Top (for me!)

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Alright, here’s another spring top by moi…made with the same striped knit as Elliot’s tee (posted last week, see that link for fabric source), and yes, he asks me to wear it every time he wears his so we can match. And do I? OH YES I DO. Do not think me so short-sighted as to believe that this will last forever. The things you do that you said you’d never do…*sigh*

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I think it looks good with this red skirt and my bright pink skinnies. Woot!

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The pattern came from a trace of a stretch tee that fits well. I plan to teach a class on how to do this in Ann Arbor this summer for all you SE Michigan folks, so that should be fun. The sleeves aren’t quite where I want them to be, fit-wise (do you see the creases under the arm? those need to be corrected), but otherwise am very happy with the fit. One hint: when using a pattern traced from a t-shirt, be sure to use the same type of knit as the original tee to make sure you get a good fit. The tee I traced was rib knit, and so is this, so the fit was almost exactly the same.

Our Spring Top Sewalong is drawing to a close; today the judges make their final selections and we’ll have this week’s “Top Tops” up on the blog on Wednesday, so be sure to come back and vote. KCWC is going on over at Elsie Marley, and Ruffles 2012 is going strong at See Kate Sew, so there’s plenty to do to keep you busy. And keep selfish-sewing, y’all — if you missed the deadline for this year, it’s OK. The pool will re-open on Wednesday so you can continue to add your top creations for fun!

What’s on your sewing radar this week?

Week 3 Sewalong Winners!

Here are the results of this week’s Spring Top Sewalong reader vote and judges panel scoring! Yaaaaay!!! Our judging panel of three scored the Week 3 “Top Tops” to determine a high score for Judge’s Choice and this week…we had a TIE!

So, our first Week 3 Judge’s Choice Award Winner is the Polka Yoke top by Sam Lamb:

polka yoke tank top

Congratulations Sam Lamb! You will receive a $30 gift certificate to Fabricworm!

And our second Week 3 Judge’s Choice Award goes to the Jasmine Teal top by Karissa:
Jasmine teal 1

Congratulations Karissa! You will receive a $30 gift certificate to Pink Castle Fabrics!


And now for the winner of the Reader Vote…

Our Week 3 Reader’s Choice Winner is the Gauzy Summer Top by Nicole:

Gauzy summer top

Congratulations Nicole!!! You will receive a $30 gift certificate to Magpie Patterns!

Congratulations to all three of this week’s winners (I’ll email you all on Monday to get you set up with your prizes) and of course all of our Week 3 Top Tops!

Our Sewalong is almost over! The Spring Top Sewalong Pool will close tomorrow evening at 8 PM Eastern. Make sure you read the requirements before entering a top so that your top gets included.

We’ll have a whole new batch of “Top Tops” featured here on the blog next Wednesday. Our Week 4 judges are currently working to put together their final selections for the Week 4 “Top Tops” finalists.

Silk peplum blouseSilk peplum blouseSilk peplum blousePeplum blousePeplum blousePeplum blouseThe perfect t-shirt for a book loverThe perfect t-shirt for a book loverIMG_5868IMG_5870Cowl neck blouseV-neck, short sleeved Renfrew.striped t-shirt - designstriped t-shirt - detailstriped t-shirt - worntopIvory Alabama Chanin TopSorbetto top with Wispy CardiAutumn Top 002Bias-Cut Floral BlouseSquare Nursing Toptop44Leigh Anne's Cabo HalterEasy Ruffled Maternity (or not) Top

Spring Top Sewalong is almost over waaaah!


Just a quick reminder that the Spring Top Sewalong Pool will close tomorrow evening at 8 PM Eastern. Make sure you read the requirements before entering a top. And look at all the fun tops in the pool right now:

Silk peplum blouseSilk peplum blouseSilk peplum blousePeplum blousePeplum blousePeplum blouseThe perfect t-shirt for a book loverThe perfect t-shirt for a book loverIMG_5868IMG_5870Cowl neck blouseV-neck, short sleeved Renfrew.striped t-shirt - designstriped t-shirt - detailstriped t-shirt - worntopIvory Alabama Chanin TopSorbetto top with Wispy CardiAutumn Top 002Bias-Cut Floral BlouseSquare Nursing Toptop44Leigh Anne's Cabo HalterEasy Ruffled Maternity (or not) TopTop with drawstring waistSpeckle top for STSSpring top 4Spring top 3Spring Top #2 - Everyday Knit TunicSpring Top #1 - 1st RenfrewPretty Bow Topsleeveless twisted strap topangel-sleeve top by SabraBlue-knit Maternity shirtKelly Green Flowered Yoke by Joellescout woven tee in voileCoral DolmanBrown Circle TopSpring Green Cowly TunicSpring Green Cowly Tunic - Back Viewtablecloth tankcozy cowlPlaying with PleatsFlowers for Jasmine Top by EllenJasmine top by Janet, using Colette pattern and floral lawn from a fabric show I recently went to (don't know the designer)spring topPrince charming topDSCF1447Double Bubble TopSimplicity Lisette 2245Kimono Teerae_springtop_500Spring top sewalong 2012Batik Spring TopTunic from Stylish Dress Book 1: view EfloralTurquoise cloud print t-shirt by AmandaHappy dotsSpring TopRuched V-Neck TopTop 2spring topblack with stripesbaseball styleWiksten TankPicnic Pleats Top ~ frontScout Teescout woven tee in chambrayCool CAT 2012Pretty PeacockPolka Dot PartySpring Top #4

Yours could be in there too! Is anyone down to the wire on this one? Are you going to make it?

I’ll be back later today with the winners from this week!

Short-sleeved Flashback Tee!

Spring is here and I’ve been starting to think about the boy’s warm-weather wardrobe. Starting with a short-sleeved Flashback Tee!

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The one was made with the size 5T of the Flashback Tee Sewing Pattern and an organic 1×1 rib knit from Near Sea Naturals (remember when I bought those swatches?). Love the stripes and how super-soft this is. Elliot LOVES it. He’s just turned five a couple weeks ago so the fit is just a little big. Room to grow for my average-sized kid. Although he’s looking rather skinny in these pictures. No more baby fat, waaaah!

Making a short-sleeved tee from a long-sleeved pattern is so easy! And it’s no big secret: you could do this with ANY long-sleeved pattern piece. Here’s a quick how-to:

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Step 1: Cut the sleeve pattern piece

You need to shorten the sleeve pattern piece (which is for a long-sleeved tee) to a short sleeve pattern piece. For toddlers, this means cutting the pattern off somewhere between 1 (for the smaller sizes) and 2 inches (for the larger sizes) below the armpit. It doesn’t really have to be exact; you can always start longer and cut more off if you don’t like how it looks. But to me a skinny tee looks silly with a longer sleeve. Important: make sure that your new line is perpendicular to the grain/fold line.

Note: With this tee I trimmed an additional 1/2″ off before adding the cuff, so If you do the math that’s the same as cutting it 1.5″ below the armpit to start with for the 5T size.

OK, so now you need to cut out your two sleeve pieces on the fold with your new short-sleeve pattern piece, and cut the rest of the pieces of the shirt as usual.

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Step 2: Assemble the tee

Sew the tee together according to the instructions, except leave the ends of the sleeves for now. I’d suggest trying the tee on your child at this point to see how long the sleeve looks. Trim the sleeve more if necessary, and don’t forget that the cuff will add another 1/2″ yet. If you want to, though, you could just hem the sleeves now and be done!

Step 3: Cut the cuff pieces

Cut two 2″ wide strips of rib knit for the sleeve cuff. The folded length of the cuff pieces should be 1″ shorter than the width of the folded sleeve (see photo). This will make it nice and fitted on the arm.

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Step 4: Sew the ends of the cuff together

I used a 1/4″ seam allowance here.

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Step 5: Attach the cuffs to the sleeve

Follow the instructions to attach the cuff as given in the sewing instructions, but use a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Voila! Finished short sleeved tee!

Step 6: Put on child so he can go pester his sister.

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KCWC Flashback Tee alert!

Did you guys see that next week is KCWC over at Elsie Marley? This week Meg’s got guesties making their own awesome versions of the Flashback Tee! Here’s what’s been featured so far:

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Sew Liberated’s Car Flashback for Finn (top)

Well-Crafted’s Triangle Short-sleeved Flashback (center)

Noodlehead’s Flashback Duo (bottom)

and there’s more to come this week. KCWC starts next week, right after the Spring Top Sewalong ends, so perfect timing! Head over to Elsie Marley to see what’s happening!

PS. Don’t forget to VOTE

Top of the Tops – Week 3!

I’m so excited to present our next group of “Top Tops” for Spring Top Sewalong 2012! These tops were chosen by our Week 3 judges. Aren’t they fantastic? Please enjoy and take a minute to VOTE for your favorite using the poll below! We’ll leave the poll open for 48 hours and announce our winners for this week on Friday or Saturday! They will each receive a $30 gift certificate from one of our Spring Top Sewalong sponsors.

Did you miss the previous weeks’ winners? You can see them here:
Week 2 Top of the Tops
Week 2 Winners
Week 1 Top of the Tops
Week 1 Winners

Click on the links below each photo block to see a larger photo of each top!

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A) Sara’s Flowing Floral Blouse, B) Blue Waves Blouse, C) Orange Retro Blouse

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D) Gauzy summer top, E) “Voile & Silk” by Carolyn

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F) Polka yoke tank top, G) Peaches and Cream Top, H) Peacock Tunic by Shanni Loves…

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I) Sleeved Sorbetto by La Inglesita, J) Jasmine Teal, K) Yellow Wrap Blouse

Now it’s time to VOTE! This poll will remain open for 48 hours (closing Friday at 3 PM eastern) and please feel free to share this with others! One vote per person over 12. Toddlers and small children are too easily swayed, hee. Thanks!

If you can’t see the poll in your window, you may also click here to vote.

If your top was featured today (or on a previous post), please feel free to take a button for your blog:

The Spring Top Sewalong is still going on right now! There’s still LEETLE bit of time to enter your top (deadline to submit tops is this Sunday, 4/22 at 8 PM) and win a prize! We’ll have a fresh batch of “Top Tops” featured for one more week yet, and this week’s judges are all new, so even if you submitted a top prior to this week, it could still be selected!

Alabama Chanin Babydoll Top

OK everyone, here’s my second top for the Spring Top Sewalong!

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I finished it yesterday around dinnertime, hand-stitching like a maniac while the kids played outside in lovely balmy weather. Mr Rae was resting on the lounge chair while the kids crawled all over him, trying unsuccessfully to nap in the sunshine and sipping “medicinal” white wine (he’s recovering from a nasty sinus bug). It was such a nice afternoon.

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I used this natural organic knit jersey from Near Sea Naturals and the fitted tunic pattern from Natalie Chanin’s new book, Alabama Studio Sewing and Design, which I’ve already gushed about. I don’t usually throw myself at the marketing reps to get books, but I had to exercise extreme restraint not to hit “reply” immediately when I got the preview email for this one. I love everything about this book and Natalie’s company, Alabama Chanin, and if you haven’t seen this little film about her company yet you really should.

If you haven’t noticed yet, the unique thing about this top (and everything from Alabama Chanin) is that it is completely, entirely made by hand. Hand stitching, hand gathering, hand basting. No sewing machine here dudes.

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I followed the instructions in the book for the babydoll top on page 57, and added a pleated ruffle with a featherstitch as instructed on page 109. The ruffle was added after realizing that although I love love love the cut of the fitted top, it was showing a bit more of the decolletage than I would have liked, especially when bending over to retreive a toddler. Mr Rae wasn’t complaining, if you know what I mean, which is always a sure indication I shouldn’t wear it out of the house without some sort of modification.

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As you can see, the top fits me a wee bit differently than the image that inspired me to make it in the first place (as I am about 100% less waifish than the fetching model in that photo), but nonetheless, it fits perfectly and I loves it muchly. If I make another one I will probably add another inch to the bodice, and use about 50% less skirt fabric (the book recommends 3x the bodice circumference for the skirt, which makes for a rather perky/poufy skirt. I think 2x might be fine).

Closeups of the stitching:

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I have at least one more top to show you (so far…the sewalong’s not over yet!) and I promise after the Green Snow White Top and this one I am done with empire waisted babydoll tops. Over and out!