Far Far Away Top by Rae

Here’s my top for today, a tunic of my own design made with Far Far Away double gauze by Heather Ross.  The main fabric has little tiny snails which are oh-so-cute and as you can see the orange fabric has unicorns on it.  Some of you old-timers may remember that I made another top from the orange fabric last summer (blogged here).  I really love these unicorns, what can I say?

see the little snails? aww…

I can’t really say much more because Clementine’s on a nap strike today so I have about 5 minutes to get this post up  (don’t worry, she’s playing happily beside me on a blanket, not screaming in her crib or anything), but I do want to say that of the fabrics I’ve worked with so far this week (voile, knit, double gauze), this one is not my favorite.  I don’t hate it, it’s just not my favorite.

When I first saw this line I almost died I loved it so much (and by the way Heather just announced Far Far Away II…gah!).  The prints are just so adorable and lovely.  And when I found out it was on double gauze I was even more excited.  This seemed like something that would make breezy floaty lightweight garments.  Well that is not exactly correct.  Being two layers of gauze it’s actually quite a bit more hearty than I expected and the fabric has a surprising amount of stand.  On the other hand, it’s not really stiff, it still moves around quite a bit when you sew on it. Those piped seams were a real bugger and had to be torn out a number of times. So while I still love this fabric I’m not sure I’ll be making many more garments with it, at least not ones that are as complicated as this one was.  So let’s see, how should I describe this fabric?  Beautiful, lovely, tricky.  I’d still love to make a quilt out of it sometime, and you should definitely check out Ashley’s Far Far Away Quilt over at Film in the Fridge (by the way, Ashley is one of our Spring Top Week judges).  It’s one of my favorites that she’s made, although she makes so many amazing ones it’s really hard to pick.

I’m still not completely sure of the proportions. I might lower the band at the bottom yet. And would this look better with orange bands on the sleeves?  Shorter sleeves?  Longer sleeves?  I keep studying this trying to figure out if it’s just the way I want it yet…another work in progress.  OK, enough analyzing.  Be sure to VOTE on today’s best top if you haven’t already!

UPDATED: Thanks for all the suggestions on modifications!  It doesn’t seem like there’s a strong consensus but I love hearing your opinions.  Sometimes I can be a little indecisive.  I’d also like to give a couple of tips on sewing with this gauze:  I found that two things really, really made things easier when working with this fabric: first, pin like crazy to hold things in place, and second, baste along any curved edges (like sleeves, armholes) before sewing.  It seems like a pain at the time, but you’ll be happy you did when it comes out nicely the FIRST time and you don’t have to rip it out!  Has anyone else made projects with double gauze?  Post links if you have…I’d like to see them!

26 thoughts on “Far Far Away Top by Rae

  1. Very pretty! (Although I'm not a fan of orange.)

    I think I like this even better than the last top you made with the unicorns.

    Is sewing with piping generally difficult? I haven't ever sewn any myself, so just wondering.

    Good job, nonetheless!

  2. Super cute top. Although the piping was a bugger, it really makes the shirt and looks great. Lovely, as always.

  3. Beth: sewing with piping is in my opinion the best way to jazz stuff up for little effort. It's SUPER easy (I almost always use store-bought ready to use) and makes everything look sharper. A great example of that is the piping on the toddler backpacks (check labels for links or the photo pool over on the left).

  4. It's so cute! I think slightly shorter sleeves with some orange and piping would be a great add, but it's splendid as it is, too.

  5. I vote no orange bands on the sleeves, the way you have it now looks like a shirt under a shirt, it's cool. I also vote to bring the hem up a bit and take in the sides to create a more tailored look. The straighter sides don't give as much of a waist as i'm sure you have 🙂

  6. Sooooo when are you going to make this into a pattern for us to buy, again? 🙂 Awesome top!

  7. My vote is shorter sleeves, no band unless it's very thin…

    Also, I will try not to whine about how good you look in my favourite colour (that I can't wear because I look like a sickly pylon when I do….) 😀

  8. I love the bright orangeyness of the top and especially like the piping detail – I've been trying to work some into a top that I've been making this evening…but my colours just aren't working! You've done it perfectly.

    So interesting to hear about the double gauze – I'd never realised until I started sewing clothes very recently just how important fabric choice is and am only learning this through my many mistakes…but I've now decided that quilting cotton and polycotton are not things that I want to make clothing from, and will no doubt add many more to the list of expensive fabric mistakes.

    I think no to the orange arm bands… but that on a different top using the same pattern long sleeves that puff in a nice plumey way just above a cuff at the wrist could make a nice summer evening top. But I like this one just the way it is.

    Florence x

  9. I loved working with that fabric. I made O&S tunic & shorts from it. I liked the way it kind of held together as I sewed. I can see how the piping would have been tricky though, since it was a different fabric type I am imagining it would have been slippery?

  10. I totally have a "piping" fetish right now, so I love this one! Rae, you are the only person I know to e-mail those who comment…talk about Miss Ambitious!

  11. Oh, I am so with you on the double gauze thing. All of my FFA is still uncut save one piece, because my first project with it was such a disaster. It moves so much as I'm sewing, and I'm not a huge fan of tedious pinning.

    Some day I'll find the perfect project for all of this adorable double gauze, just not today.

    For now, I'm lusting after the linen/cotton blends that FFA 2 are going to be printed on!

  12. I can't believe you can make shirts like this just by thinking them up! I'm jealous. So not there yet in my sewing realm. I do have the snails and have it picked out for a top for my daughter, hope it goes well. 🙂

  13. You had me at orange. I blogged about my orange fetish the other day. I never bought the double gauze though. Wish it had more drape for garment sewing.


  14. Unicorns… I need to get myself some of that fabric. My favorite cartoon movie is The Last Unicorn… it deserves a tribute shirt! Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. I would put orange on the sleeves but only a narrow band…and maybe shorter. I was a bit disappointed with the guaze. I had really high expectations, and I cannot see myself using it again in a clothing application, especially here in AZ.

  16. Hi. Your post on double muslin has come just at the right time for me. I have some of the Far Far Away Unicorn fabric in the purple colourway which I was thinking of last night to turn into a top, and I was wondering how it would behave during sewing. I wonder if it might be best to tack round all the pattern pieces as soon as I take off the paper pattern. I can just imagine the two layers sliding about and becoming really irritating to work with.

    I can imagine that being a double layered fabric, it will provide a teeny bit of warmth, which means I can wear floaty summer tops when it's a bit cooler out (and at the moment I live in Ireland, so 'summer' is only a relative term).

    I think your top looks fine as it is. Maybe shorten the sleeves a bit, but I wouldn't put anymore of the unicorn fabric on it. It's a very bold fabric and I think it would be easy to over-do it and distract from the overall delicacy of the top.

    Phew! Sorry! Never meant to write an essay! Happy Thursday!

  17. I love it as it is. I don't usually go for orange, but this makes me reconsider that.

    Since there have been suggestions for changes (I'm sure they mean the next one since this one is perfect as it is), I will agree with a band on the sleeves. Rather than a straight one, though, it might be fun to make an arc on the top of the band centered on the arm and add piping. It would sort of carry on the curved theme from the front in reverse.

    I also agree that narrower sides would really emphasize a nice waistline.

  18. so totally cute, rae! I love the double gauze – so perfect as a shirt, and I love your pairing of the snails with the orange unicorns. cute, cute, cute!

  19. i am new to your blog…and love it! i particularly love this shirt and would love to know if you have the pattern for it available or know of one that is and is similar???

    best! kat

  20. How funny! I have those exact two fabrics, and have been trying to imagine how to pair them. The top is lovely, and gives me inspiration! About how much of each fabric did you use? I only have about a yardish of each.

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