01 April, 2010

Let me call you Sweethearts - updated with pics

Isn't it the most charming song?  I love music, and couldn't resist.

Can you sewing power gals guess what I'm on about?  I'm sure Kay (TSL) can - (can't you, Kay?) - as she's partly responsible for it!

I'm in the process of perfecting my personal fit of the Jalie Sweetheart top 2794.

Just finished my 2nd iteration, and I'll update this post with photos tomorrow morning (now updated, see below), after the sun smiles on the day. And a glorious day (superglorious Easter weekend!) it's going to be over here.  So, on to the photos!

Above, iteration #1 in blue argyle.  It was fine, except for the lengths of the bindings.  The pattern said, 23 cm for the front, and 37.5 for the neckline+yokes.  37.5?!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That has GOT to be an error, I thought. Throwing a tape measure around my neck and to my armpits, I measure an unstretched minimum of 65 cm, and that's without accounting for the much larger than minimum curves of neckline and yokes.  I was (and still am) convinced that 37 cm would strangle me!  But, you wouldn't believe it, the pattern does NOT say 37.5 times two: just 37.5, not a single millimeter more.  I doubled it anyway, to 75 cm. (ETA: yes, it was supposed to be doubled; their location for the fold marking was in an unusual place is all - very confusing, but all's well that ends well. I'm just glad I'm a compulsive measurer, otherwise, I might not be alive to write this ;) - just imagine, strangled by my own sewing machine!)

Once completed, the top felt.... loose.... floppy....and I spent two additional evenings shortening both bindings: front to 19 cm, and neckline too, by cutting off 5 cm.  Considering I had to unpick a whole bunch of 4-thread serging and this was a measly $5 of fabric, do you think I could've just tossed the thing and started over?  Oh yeah, surely I could've and probably should've, but not stubborn old me: I persevered, all the while quietly bitching about the time 'twas awastin'. Unpicking a serged seam has got to rank right up there as one of the most thankless tasks in sewing.  Believe it!

But shorten them I did and wear it I shall, mostly because this happens to be a fabric that hubby picked out, and he truly loves it.  It's a very guy sort of print, blue argyle is, and definitely out of my usual space, but isn't it nice to wear something that gives your  fan club a little pleasure? 

On to iteration #2, out of same thin rayon knit (different colourway of COURSE).  I cut the front binding to 19 cm, and the yokes/neckline binding to 65 cm.  Whaddya know, it worked out pretty beautifully.  I wouldn't want it any smaller - it could do with being up to 5 cm longer, too, if I felt like exposing a tad more of my bony upper real estate. Clavicles, anyone?

I changed the order of construction a little: it's wonderful how just a little experience can make a simple top come together more easily.  After putting on the front binding, I sewed on the yoke/neck binding to both front sides, (leaving the neck part loose - you have to be careful not to put in an extraneous twist there!) and stitched the front edges of these sections of binding down onto the front, so they don't curl backwards. It's much easier to do that on flat fabric without sleeves and back panel getting in the way than after the entire top is completed.  I then put the yokes to the back along the shoulder seams, and THEN sewed the yokes and back neckline onto the entire yoke/neck binding.

I made the bindings a little wider, and I prefer this look; it's also easier to sew, as it has a little extra SA, and these knits are light, loose, and liquid.  This time, I was also a little more cavalier about serging off the seam allowances on armscyes, sleeves and sides, and the overall fit is better. Better than any of the previous ones, I think. As it is, this is a size smaller than the 2805's I've been playing with last week.

Since I was tracing three Jalie tops almost simultaneously, I compared the shapes of 2794, the 2805 tee, and the faux wrap top 2449.  You may be surprised to hear that they're NOT all identical. For example, sleeve shapes differ.  More to the point, the hem of 2794 size U is at least 2 sizes narrower than the 2805's size U.  Is Jalie making allowances for the fattening of North America, ie, its clientele?  Tsk! I'd prefer to know that size U follows the same dimensions no matter which pattern I pull out of the envelope. Wouldn't you?

All this is in advance of making a wool jersey sweetheart top.  Already pre-washed, pre-dried, ready for my evil scissors.  RRRRAAAAHHHH!!!!!


  1. Yay for the sweetheart top!! It makes me want to make another.

  2. I love this pattern. Your tops look great and the fit is great.

  3. I guessed by just reading the title (but I did have a clue). I'm wearing my orange one right now, and somehow your neckline is higher than mine... I like the argyle one - good pick J.

  4. I just got this in the mail and have a rayon Lycra knit I may use. Your tops look beautiful & thanks for the shortcut! (I'm with you in the bony upper real estate club - ribs rock!)