Spring Top Week Champions!

I’m so happy to be able to finally announce our two winners for Spring Top Week!  Just to recap, a panel of 10 judges scored each one of the 358 tops submitted to our official entry pool and I posted the Top 60 here on the blog for a daily poll last week.  Of the five winners of those daily polls, we had another vote over the weekend to determine the winner.  Our judges also nominated their favorites and then scored those to determine the other winner.  Here they are:

Congratulations to Adrianna, whose ruched cross-over top was a favorite from the beginning both with our judges and our readers:

One of the things I really like about this top is that she made it by draping the fabric on her dressform.  Who actually DOES that (besides Rami on Project Runway)?  I’ve had a dressform for more than a year and still have never figured out how to do this:

The other thing I like is that the shirring effect was almost accidental. Adrianna wrote that she just “broke all the shirring rules and went crazy.”  Wow.  Remind me sometime to post some of the stuff that happens when I just wing it.  I promise it never looks this good.  You can read more about her process: Adrianna blogged about it here on crafterhours.

Nicely done Adrianna!

Congratulations to Lindsay, whose doilied top was our judges’ favorite and came rather close on the reader vote as well!

Lindsay designed this top after another one that was “just a little to flimsy for motherhood.”  I love the simple shape and subtle color. The brilliant thing about it though is the doily — I’ve all been seeing the crochet/lace embellishments all over the place, but what a genius touch:

It really makes the top and the whole thing costed her less than $5 to make…wow!

You can read more: Lindsay blogged about it here on liliash.  Congratulations Lindsay!

Now I know that the cheezy crown graphic I’ve made is more than enough of a prize for these two (and you’re welcome ladies), but I’m happy to say that they’ll also get some nice things from the Spring Top Week Sponsors (also there on the right sidebar).  Here’s a brief description of the prize packages if you’d like to see what these ladies have won (you can also click on this post to see a more detailed list of the prizes and the sponsors).  You’ll both be hearing from me shortly so we can get all your stuff sent your way.  Congratulations again ladies!

I’d like to thank our judges and everyone else behind the scenes for all the hard work they’ve put in over the last month.  Thanks to our sponsors for providing the excellent prizes so that I wouldn’t have to make all the winners prizes myself.  And thank you you to EVERYONE who entered tops and participated by commenting and voting.  You’ve helped make this year a success and inspired many others to switch on their sewing machines!


The votes are all in from this weeks reader votes, and now we have just one more vote to determine the 2010 Spring Top Week Champion.  It’s been so fun to see the ones that have been chosen, they’re really great!  Here are your five favorites from this week:

Congratulations ladies!

Send in the clowns aka Ruffles ‘R Us

I’m not sure anyone noticed with all the voting hubbub around here lately but I didn’t post a top yesterday.  Here’s what was holding me up:

Oh woe is me.  When I decided to try to do a top in a different fabric every day, I should have thought twice about what I actually had in the closet to work with.  This stuff is downright nightmarish, puckery, wrinkly, fraysalot.  And I don’t even know what to call it, but I’m certain it’s some kind of polyester. The words of Heidi Klum on Project Runway keep running through my head: “That’s $300 of POLYESTER!?!” (But didn’t you feel SO bad for Anthony? He was the best.) At least I didn’t commit that faux pas of paying much for it, as I believe this silky solid stuff came from my local craft superstore.  So at least I can call this one a muslin. Phew. 

 it actually looks OK when I edit a little…is there a way to do that in real life?

It’s been so fun to see the trends in clothing show up in this year’s Spring Top Week pool; did you notice how many of the tops in had ruffles?  And yes, I like many others have succumbed to the trend.  I *heart* ruffles.  Lots and lots.  There are so many great ruffled tops in the pool that I would love to own.  But I think this one really goes too far.  It’s too much. It’s almost circus-like. Last night when I walked past my sewing room and caught a glimpse of it on my dress-form, it actually made me laugh. Mr Rae’s comment: “Nice collar.” *grinning*  I bet he can’t wait to take me out on Date Night tonight in this getup, walking a safe eight or nine feet behind me. 

My camera must have felt the same way I do because it seems to be refusing to look directly at it, choosing instead to focus on the shrubs behind.  

So something must go.  Is it the collar? The sleeve ruffles? Or am I wrong about this, is it a win (shakes head no)?  I think the answer to the puckering along the neck and sleeves is probably some kind of elaborate facing. I LOVE the color, and LOVE the neckline (which came, by the way, from my pattern for this top and this top).  The question is if it’s worth all the trouble to make it work?

Today is the last day to vote before the final round.  Scroll down to the next post for today’s tops and weigh in!


Congratulations to Meg!  Her green ruffle top won the most votes yesterday and will go on to the final round vote this weekend.  The final vote will go up on Saturday and be up until Monday night.  We will announce the final two (Reader’s Choice and Judges Choice…judges are currently scoring their final round) winners next Tuesday.   

We have arrived at our last batch of tops from the Top 60 chosen by the judges.  It’s been a great week and I hope you’ve been inspired!  I for one have more than one new pattern written down on the must-sew list and a bunch of new ideas floating around in my head.  THANK YOU to everyone who submitted tops for Spring Top Week. It was a huge success and I can’t believe how many tops we had this year!  I hope that everyone had fun even if your top didn’t make it to the Top 60.  I thoroughly enjoyed looking through the top pool and seeing what everyone came up with; feel free to keep adding them as you make them this spring. And keep up that selfish sewing.

Let’s welcome the last set of tops from our Top 60 chosen by the judges’ scores:

Row 1: left 1. Florence (Flossie Teacakes) – Ruffle Top, center Eyelet detail blouse by Kiss me Kate, right springy yellow ruffle top – by michaelannn,  
Row 2: left Liverpool Tunic  for Julia, center Green Flower Cotton Top by Sindy, right Hokidoki’s JJ Blouse
Row 3: left Ruffled circle tie-neck top by Sandra, center White spring top by lulu, right Spring Ruffle Top by Pilliebee,  
Row 4: left Daisy Top by BumblebeeGrace,  center “Boutique Style” Tiered Tank by Penny Sews, right Vintage Mod Swing Top

Here’s a closer look at this fantastic batch.


Now VOTE for your favorite!  One vote per person only, thanks!  Voting is over on the right sidebar.

Special thanks to Katie for putting together today’s mosaic!


Congratulations Wan!  Her ruffle tee won yesterday’s vote and is going on to the next round (the final round of voting will begin Saturday and go through Monday night).

I’m sure you are all very excited to see the fourth group of tops from the Top 60.  Isn’t this so much fun?  I just love seeing all of these every day.  So without further ado, I present Group 4 for you to peruse and vote!

Row 1: left “Day to Date Night” by Sarah @ 2 Giggle, center Ruffle me up! by Meg/BrassyApple, right Yellow floral by QuiltyGirl
Row 2: left Peter Pan & Polka Dots by Caitlin, center Seersucker Smock by Caitlin, right Spring Top #4 by Molly,
Row 3: left Tunic by Hanni, center Melanie’s ruffle shirt, right Wedding Cake Tank by Kate,
Row 4: left  Forget Me Knot by Jessica, center Blooming Peasant Top by Su, right Bird Watcher by Sascha

Here’s a closer look at each of the tops:

Seersucker Smock by Caitlin
Spring Top #4 by Molly
Tunic by Hanni

Now VOTE for your favorite!  One vote per person only, thanks!  Vote over on the right sidebar.

The final vote will go up on Saturday and leave it up over the weekend until Monday night.  The final two (Reader’s Choice and Judges Choice) winners will be announced next Tuesday, a week from today.

Special thanks to Amanda for putting together today’s mosaic!

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!


It was another close vote yesterday but we have another finalist.  Thanks to everyone for voting and congratulations to Edith!  And a fantastic job done by everyone, what an impressive top crop! 

It’s time to reveal our third group of tops from the Top 60.  Enjoy another fine group of beautiful tops and please help me narrow them down to another finalist.  Here they are! Voting is on the right sidebar, scroll down below the sponsor buttons.

Row 1: left gray ruffle top by wan-nabe, center Tunic ‘F’ from Stylish Dress Book 1, by Sylvie, right Ruffle Tank by Zaaberry,
Row 2: left “In Full Bloom” by Sarah from 2 Giggle Boxes, center MensShirtRedobyJordanAtBlueprintCrafts, right Boxy to Foxy by Meg/Brassy Apple,  
Row 3: left Stripe play by Sarah, center Ruffles…can we call it a cardigan?  by Raining Gumdrops, right Shiver Me Chic by Jessica,  
Row 4: left Spring Leaves Maternity Top by Kelly, center Ruffled collar with red trim by Uniquety, right Turquoise Linen Ruffle Top by Perdoozy

Here’s each top in more detail.  The link above each photo will bring you to the Flickr entry (and more info on the top) or you can click on the photo itself for a closeup.  Voting is on the right sidebar.

Now VOTE for your favorite!  One vote per person only, thanks!  Vote over on the right sidebar. (UPDATED: VOTING IS NOW CLOSED)

The final vote will go up on Saturday and leave it up over the weekend until Monday night.  The final two (Reader’s Choice and Judges Choice) winners will be announced next Tuesday, a week from today.

Special thanks to Anna of noodlehead for putting together today’s mosaic!

Rae’s Peachy Pink Bamboo Knit Top

Here’s my top for today:

(JCrew necklace = push gift from Mr Rae)

I’m slowly but surely learning how to work with knits, and trial and error seems to be my best strategy.  I fell in love with this super-soft peach bamboo blend at Field’s in West Michigan a couple months ago and decided it would become one of my spring tops.

A little about my design process: I wanted something with a ruffle detail to make the solid-color top a little more interesting, so I basted a 3″ ruffle along the neckline before sewing the facing in.

The easiest way to do this is just to cut a really long strip of fabric and stuff it under the presser foot as you go, no gathering or anything like that.  It makes the gathering uneven, which is the look I was going for.  Then I sewed the facing on, turned it right-side out, and tacked down the ruffle along the raw side.  You can see a before/after here:

See?  Doesn’t that look better?  I decided not to do it around the armholes though since I wanted the ruffle to function as a sleeve there.

Pattern: I used this top (which I wore all the time until I spilled spaghetti sauce on it…BAH!) as a jumping off point for the pattern. It’s loosely based therefore on Anna Maria Horner’s Smashing Smock pattern from her book Seams to Me.  Because this knit has so much stretch to it (bamboo/lycra blend, I talk about those more in this baby tights tutorial) I decided to interface the top pieces.  This ended up being a poor decision as it made the seams stiffer and therefore less forgiving.  Oh well, live and learn.

Just to show you another thing, at one point I tried it on backwards just to see what it looked like, and actually really liked how it looked:

please disregard baby food stains on left thigh

The front sweetheart neckline didn’t exactly look great on the back though, so I would have had to tear out the whole thing including the ruffle to redo it.  Not worth it.  Plus when Elliot (he’s 3 yrs old) saw me wearing it this way, he said, “You sew your shirt on backwards?” That killed it right there.  But doesn’t it look kindof cool like this?  I think I’ll do this design in a solid voile later.

Here’s me rockin it with my skinny jeans and Minnetonkas.

Have you voted yet on today’s tops?  Go here to see them in all of their glory.  Voting ends tomorrow at 6 am EST.


PHEW!  That was a close one!  Adrianna’s top and Sabra’s top were neck and neck, but when I closed the poll this morning, Adrianna was ahead by about 10 votes.  Congratulations to Adrianna!  Congratulations are in order to all of you from yesterday’s group — that was a most impressive set of tops!

OK, dear readers, I need your help again today to pick another finalist.  So here’s Group 2 of the Top 60 you’ll see this week.  Another fine group of beautiful tops!  Take a look:

Row 1: left JJ top in French terry by heather,  center Floral top designed by Tina, right liberty knockoff top by amanda
Row 2: left neck and sleeve gathers by edith, center Surprise Top by Adrianna, right Doilied Top by Lindsay
Row 3: left ruffly top by anna, center Peasant Top by Melanie , right wrap top by katie
Row 4: left ruffle lace tunic by ramona, center Silky twist neck by Kristie, right Yellow cherries top by Karen

    Here’s each top in more detail.  The link above each photo will bring you to the Flickr entry (and more info on the top) or you can click on the photo itself for a closeup.  Voting is on the right sidebar.



    Now VOTE for your favorite!  One vote per person only, thanks!  Vote over on the right sidebar. (UPDATED: VOTING IS NOW CLOSED)

    Just an FYI: I will put up the final vote on Saturday and leave it up over the weekend until Monday night.  The final two (Reader’s Choice and Judges Choice) winners will be announced next Tuesday, a week from today.

    By the way, if your top is going to be featured, Myrnie (who you can thank for managing the Spring Top Week score spreadsheets) has been commenting on your Flickr photos to let you know the night before.  Some of you have noticed this but we just wanted to let everyone know.  Thanks Myrnie!  I just wish we could put ALL of them up. Well I do…and I don’t…you understand.

    CONGRATULATIONS to today’s entrants!

    A special thank you to Katie for putting together today’s mosaic and to Kristin for putting yesterday’s together for me!