Monday, March 14, 2016

Inspired by a Commuter

On my way to work, I saw a woman on the bus with a grey and black raglan animal print top and I just loved it.  I decided I would make one for me.  I purchased the grey and black animal print novelty fabric and the black ponte fabric at NY Elegant in NYC.

This self-drafted top was made about a month ago when the weather was much colder here in the Northeastern U.S.  Temperatures are milder now although there is still enough coolness in the air for me to wear it.




I ran into a little bit of trouble with the sleeves since I did not purchase enough fabric.  When I purchased the fabric, for whatever reason, I purchased enough for a set-in sleeve but I wanted to make a raglan sleeve and a raglan sleeve has extra length to accommodate the shoulder.  I completely forgot about this little fact when purchasing the fabric!

Pondering how to resolve this problem, I was thinking of making it a 3/4 sleeve or perhaps adding a band at the bottom of the sleeve.  I realized that the raw edge of the fabric was right in line with where I had planned to have the folded edge of the hem.  Looking at what a nice clean cut edge the ponte had, I decided to just leave the edge of the sleeve with a raw edge hem.  I have seen this treatment often in ready to wear so it will just have to work for me!


Once I realized what a clean raw edge the ponte provided, I decided to use this characteristic to bind the neckline.  I cut off the seam allowance along the neckline.  I then cut strips 1 1/4" wide and simply folded it so that the raw edge of the animal print fabric abutted the folded edge of the strip.  I made sure the strip was wider on the wrong side of the animal print fabric so that I could catch the strip while topstitching.  I positioned it by basting it in place and then I topstitched it.

Once I was done, I felt like the top still needed a little something.  It just seemed boring to me and a little frumpy on me.  I tried different necklaces but I was just not happy with the look.  Looking at the various strips of fabric on my cutting table, I decided to play around with the strips and realized I could place them strategically along the neckline.  Much like the sunburst design you see with pleats on many tops, I decided to do something similar with the strips.  Since the neckline binding on the fashion side of the fabric is 1/2" wide, I decided the strips would be 1/2" wide as well.

I positioned them in place with 1/2" Steam-a-Seam fusible tape.  I used a light setting on my iron and a pressing cloth on top so as to not damage the fabric or create shine on the black strips.  Once they were bonded in place, I topstitched them down.  I figured even though they were bonded in place, I wanted to make sure they stayed that way when laundered a few times.

I like the top much better now that it has these strips in place.  They look like piano keys to me.


For the hem of the body, I simply folded it and topstitched it in place.  Even though the animal print fabric is a knit, I still must use darts in order to get a good fit for my figure.  I used my usual technique for sewing darts on knits.  Happily, the darts get lost in this busy print.

Here is the back view:



Well, I want to move on to pants.  I have lots of fit issues with pants so I hope to tackle this next...or maybe the pants will tackle me.  Ha!  

Happy sewing!

24 comments:

  1. Wow Tomasa! How nice to find inspiration everywhere!! I think your top turned out great, and the strips at the neckline are nice.

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    1. Thanks Vanessa! The strips stand in for the necklace I couldn't find.

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  2. I love this! You look great in this top.

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  3. Love this! It fits so beautifully and the neck detail is awesome. Have to remember that one!

    Like you, I get so much inspiration from just people watching.

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    1. Thanks Bunny! The top would be boring without those little strips.

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  4. I love this! The added dimension of the starburst really elevates this.

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    1. Thank you Bianca! Those strips keep the top from looking frumpy - yay!

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  5. So pretty, you did a great job Tomasa!

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  6. Everything sew is sewn to perfection and this is no exception. I love what you have done with the neckline. What a great idea and it totally makes this top. Looks so nice on you! x

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    1. Thank you Dawn! The neckline does make it a little different.

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  7. I would buy your top. You've done some really great work on it.

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    1. Thanks Kyle! The strips also bring the eye up toward the face and away from the chest area which is a plus for me.

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  9. This is why I like sewing! You were inspired by something you saw whilst out and made it your own. The starburst at the neckline makes it extra special. Great idea!

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    1. Thanks so much. Yes, sewing gives you so many options. You are free to do whatever you want!

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  10. Cute top, Tomasa. I love the detailing around the neck.

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    1. Thank you Cennetta! I am glad to have added that detailing.

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  11. Beautiful top. Love the black tabs. We find inspiration every where right!!

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    1. Thank you Denise! Yes, inspiration is everywhere. I need to be more open to it!

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