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