|This is the conversation I had with myself prior to making this top:|
Me: It's the weekend, time to sew up some of that stash. It's getting warm enough to wear all that linen I bought on my last trip
Me: Oh goodie, what will you make? There is lots of interesting stuff on your pinterest board you could try.
Me: Well, I don't have a lot of time and I don't really want to muck around with developing a new pattern from a pinterest picture. Let's just do something nice and simple and quick.
Me: Ok, so make that shirt you have been meaning to for a while. You really like the last one you made and if you wait much longer it will be too warm to wear anything with long sleeves.
Me: Mmmm, I want to do a proper sleeve tab next time and I don't feel like mucking around with that either right now.
Me: Fair enough. Something without a sleeve tab then.
Me: I think I'll go for something I can be sure will work. That nice geometric linen was quite expensive, and I can't get more of it if I mess it up. Something loose and comfy...
Me: Looks like another fave top then. That must be number 6 or 7. Don't you think people might notice that you wear the same thing over and over?
Me: Nah... different fabric. Nobody will suspect a thing.
Are you getting the idea that I am lazy and totally addicted to quick and easy TNT patterns? I certainly am addicted to the instant gratification of the fave top. It suits my current Lagenlook craze, is super quick to make, doesn't use much fabric and can be morphed easily to look just that little different each time. So far I have made one with the original 3/4 sleeve of the pattern, 2 long sleeve, 2 short sleeve, all in knits, one in a silk charmeuse and now one in a crinkle linen.
What is really important though with such a simple pattern is to have the fabric do all the talking. It need not be expensive, but it needs to look it, or you will look like you are wearing sack and ashes. If you can find a great print all the better, but I think it has to be large to work. If you use a plain it would be better to have some texture or other point of interest such as a great colour, a fabulous silk or a cross-dyed linen. I have made two white fave tops out of cotton knit, one with an interesting texture that I love and wear all the time, and one plain white jersey that hangs unloved in my wardrobe. Whatever fabric you choose, it needs to be fairly drapey or you will look like a human tent.
As for varying the look, I only made one fave top straight from the pattern. This is nothing to do with the fit and everything to do with seasonal variation of long and short sleeves, the demands of large prints and some improvements I came across along the way. One was an idea from this drawing I found on pinterest. I love the hemline and have frankenpatterned it with the fave top. Unfortunately I can't trace this pattern back to the website it came from, so I don't know who to thank. I wish I did, as I really like the idea and have used it a couple of times now including this version.
Like with the charmeuse version I made previously, I folded my fabric in half lenghtwise, took the back pattern piece and laid it out in such a way that the top of the shoulder/sleeve was almost horizontal. This meant that the pattern piece angled away from the fold of the fabric, touching it at the top, but not at the bottom. I did the same with the front piece in such a way that the tops of the sleeves butted onto each other so there would be no shoulder/upper arm seam. You can keep this seam of course and lay out the pieces as shown in the instructions for the pattern, but I thought it would look better not to interrupt the geometric design of the fabric.
Where the side seams hit the selvage I lengthened the garment as per the drawing shown earlier. I hate to waste fabric, so I made the tunic as long as my fabric would allow. The piece I had was 1.5m and as you can see the tunic turned out quite long, especially the trailing side bits. This is because the fabric was 1.5m wide. A narrower fabric will result in a shorter looking tunic, even if the actual length of the fabric is the same.
I finished the sleeves with cuffs by making a 12cm deep sleeve hem and then folding it to the outside to form the cuff. The neck edge was done with a self bias strip and top stitched. The way I make bias strips is to take a metal ruler, lay it on a scrap of fabric on the bias and then run a rotary cutter along both edges of the ruler. It's lightening fast and works really well.
The hem is turned twice and top stitched. It is quite wonky when you look at it closely because I should have squared it up instead of leaving it like it was cut off the bolt which was very sloppy of me. Luckily you can't see it at all while it is being worn. These asymmetric hems have really spoilt me, heaven help me when fashion returns to wanting a nice even hem because I won't have any practice in achieving that.
I'm very happy with this tunic and will probably make the fave top a few more times before I get sick of it and move on. I can thoroughly recommend it, especially for beginners as it is such a fast and rewarding project.