Monday, July 30, 2012

FO: A Trend-Happy Bird Tee

Hmmm...  does this top look somehow familiar?

Maybe it's the fabric.  It popped up on The Sew Weekly recently, and of course Gail made a beautiful Renfrew out of it.

Or then again, maybe it's that collar / placket feature.  My, it looks rather like a Banksia, doesn't it?

Then again, perhaps it's that mullet hem.  Oh dear, Roo you've really jumped on the trend-wagon today!  Is that a Summer Concert Tee?

Actually... it's all of those things and none of those things.

This top began with me wanting something to wear NOW.  Something NEW.
Something that wasn't screamingly vintage or home-made-looking.
I wanted to use this bird-print jersey while it still felt fashionable, and I fancied pairing it with an eyelet-fabric collar and red buttons.
I didn't have a pattern for the top I had in my mind... so I made my own.
It's not exactly "self-drafted" but it is definitely not straight out of a packet.
I took the front piece of a 1970's t-shirt pattern (McCalls 4322, seen here), but scooped the neck along the line of a Renfrew tee.  The back used the side piece from 4322, which I kind of "fanned out", inserting a triangle of extra fabric between that and the original centre back piece, changing it from a three-panelled fitted back to a single a-line piece, which I then shaped downwards into a shirt-tail using my Fashion Curve tool.  There are gathers at the back shoulders to draw in the excess fabric.

The placket was adapted from McCalls 4322, as were the sleeves.
The collar (which starts at the shoulder, and doesn't appear on the back of the garment) is based on a collar piece from my Female Spring 2012 Japanese sewing magazine, tweaked to fit the neck curve of my garment.

I had to drive to the nearest supermarket to examine similar necks in the clothing department, to work out how to attach the collar without creating a bulky mess.  Good old George at Asda did not let me down!  (Not quite Prada, eh Karen?!)

The collar is two layers of eyelet cotton, cut so that the holes lined up top and bottom.  I sewed the pieces right sides together across the top (shoulder) and outer edges, turned them right sides out, and then sandwiched the raw edge into a narrow binding strip of jersey around the neck, continuing round the back edge. 
I held the collar free while I stitched the binding, attaching it to the outside shoulder seam right at the end.
The buttons are sewn on through all the layers of the placket, as I didn't need them to function.

Pattern:  Inspired by Banksia and the Summer Concert Tee, cut with help from McCalls 4322 and Female Spring 2012.
Fabric:  Bird-print jersey from Girl Charlee in the States, by mail order.  I had one yard and used it all.  It worked out at about £7 for the piece once you add on shipping to the UK (I bought 3 different prints to make the most of the shipping deal).
Eyelet cotton from Ditto fabrics.  I just used a scrap, cost about £1.  I have another 30cm or so to play with.
Buttons:  Left over from my Darling Ranges dress.

I am delighted to have produced the garment I had in my mind's eye without having to purchase a pattern.  My only regret is that I did not make a paper copy of the pieces as I cut them:  this top is a one-off!

It is such a change for me to make something modern.
I really like it! 

And for those of you who don't sew - Asda was a revelation!

If ethics are no object...they had a really cute polka-dot chiffon top with a cream crochet collar for £12.  And if The Girl had been here I think even she would have agreed the black-and-neon-tie-dye chiffon top with exposed back zip and racer back was absolutely on the trend-wagon (£12) - it's a much better colour in real life!
Me?  I don't buy clothes, remember?  (Damn!)


Marie said...

Roo, this is my dream top and you look a treat in it! You're so clever for drafting this and figuring out all the details by yourself...oh and you've given me more ideas for uses of my jersey stash!

Kirsty said...

Looks fantastic! I've been wanting to do a lace collar like that forever!!

didyoumakethat said...

This is unbelievably SUPERB!!!!! Love, love, love it. It really suits you and sums up the spirit of Roo. When are you going to go back and draft a paper pattern? You must. You can't just make one of these.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Go you! This really is rather dapper and it looks fabulous on you/you look fabulous in it :D

Sarahel said...

Just lovely. And really impressive that it's totally your own creation.

beate said...

welcome to the designer league :-)

Jane said...

It's really wonderful and you look fab in it. I'm so impressed that you actually managed to make the top in your head and that it looks so professional. x

christinelaennec said...

Hats off to you! That looks fantastic, and fun. I love how beautifully you cut the collar out of the lace so it all matches and lines up.

I used to make paper patterns to copy garments by tracing over the seams on tracing paper (and using lots of sellotape to stick the pieces of tracing paper into one large piece), then making adjustments until it matched; adding in seam allowances afterwards. Darts and suchlike are tricker of course, but you could perhaps try it for this top.

Scruffybadger said...

Genius! I truly thought "banksia" plus. The combination of fabrics works fab and I must agree that It's right that its unique, and that's why its so you....

Katy said...

I admire your patiences combining all those patterns! The finished top is wonderful and looks great with your shorts!

rosyragpatch said...

You did a great job on the top. I really like it - the collar especially.

Sadie said...

Gorgeous - I love the bird print!

Lynne said...

It's fantastic!! I love the collar and the button placket. You make it sound so easy!! :)

dottiedoodle said...

Beautiful. Love the collar, fabric, hem - everything!

sylkotwist said...

How satisfyingly lovely! Red buttons, bird print and a sweet collar, a recipe for success (plus the skill to put it all together of course)!

jessica said...

There are so many nice elements here that work really well together. I love it! Sign of a confident and talented sewist for sure ;-).

Cirque Du Bebe said...

You weren't kidding about the similarity. That's pretty much what I was planning to do but maybe with capped sleeves instead. Your top is lovely and now I'm off to check out the rest of your blog!

Evie Jones said...

I love this top! And you look really happy in it. Gorgeous.