|Edited 1/11/2014 to correct misstatement re FBA vs. dart raising and lowering.|
Pattern Description: MISSES' TOP: Loose-fitting, pullover top has narrow hem. A: neck band, sleeve bands and insets.
Pattern Sizing: "Today's Fit" by Sandra Betzina. Combinations: (A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J) All sizes in one envelope. I cut an E, cutting the shirt hem at the G line (basically adding an inch to the shirt length).
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? No, because of all my modifications.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Fairly easy, but I disagree with some of the methods used (with all due respect to Sandra Betzina, with whom I have studied and whom I admire).
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
- I'm busty. FBAs intimidate me. Sandra's explanation was clear and easy and–for once–the bust fit exquisitely. (If you aren't familiar with FBAs, and you make this pattern, pay more attention to the illustration than the text of the FBA instructions. Put your logical-thinking cap on, and you'll be fine.)
- 1/11/2014 edit: Linda C. in Phoenix corrected me. This is not an FBA, it's a dart adjustment. See my blog for additional resources from Shams at "Communing with Fabric" re FBAs.
- I liked the layered-look design. Had I chosen a different fabric for the inset, the design might have worked for me.
- Curved seam application of neck inset and neck band. No, no, no. DO NOT staystitch and clip. This is why we work with knits–they're flexible. And especially if you're working with a stable knit. The stay stitching is an unnecessary step, IMO. The clipping just weakens the seam. And if you're using a mesh fabric, all those clips just give you a hot mess, both in the infrastructure and visually. But, most importantly, it weakens the seam.
- Several small pieces had 5/8" seams. I think it would have been easier to work with ¼" seams. Just my opinion. I think a neck binding, seamed at ¼", or even a folded binding–stitched, wrapped, and top-stitched–would have worked much better.
Fabric Used: Missoni-esque ITY knit from Vogue Fabrics for the body, the yummiest uber-soft rayon jersey" from GorgeousFabrics.com for the sleeves, and a black "soft nylon mesh", also from Gorgeous Fabrics, for the inset, but not used.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Picture of neck with inset and band The picture shows the neck with inset. The mesh was used for the inset. The pattern says seam, then serge or finish and trim off 3/8", pressing the seam allowance toward the inset. But if you're using a sheer, you can see that seam allowance. To my eye, this was not pretty. What if the body were solid and the inset was done out of any of these mesh knits Marcy offers or this or this from Ann Steeves' Gorgeous Fabrics? Picture of mesh inset shoulder seam With a mesh like that instead of what I used, you wouldn't see the seam allowance. The issues I had with this neck and sleeve would have gone away. (But look what a beautiful job I did with the insertion!)
On the neck band, I didn't want a super black ring around my neck, so didn't think that wonderful black rayon that I used on the sleeves would work on the band. I tried making the band out of the mesh. #fail. I tried recutting the band to be deeper and cutting the existing inset shorter, so I would have about ½" of mesh showing and about 1½" of rayon knit for the band. #fail. Too much visible seam allowance. (VSA?) Too much messymessymess.
Picture of neck edge with inset cut off Finally, after thinking and cogitating and scratching my head, I cut off the sleeve inset and band, and cut off the neck inset and band. I hemmed the sleeve with ½" turned hem, and left the neckline raw. There are so many topstitch lines and pseudoserger lines, you'll never know it's raw!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I do like the layered look, and will probably try it again, rethinking the neck finish, and absolutely choosing fabrics that are more appropriate. Will make View B for 10yo DGD, who should fit the size A perfectly.
Conclusion: I've been hearing about ITY for nine months and have been curious to try some. Now I have, and highly recommend it. Lovely to sew with.
More pictures on my blog.