25 November, 2014

A little tweed top

I have a small remnant of my grey boucle/tweed.  It's just enough for the front of a top.  There's not enough for the back or sleeves.  Those sections will be made out of a black poly/rayon/spandex knit, a nice ponte.  I had to fall off my Stashbusting wagon (gasp!), and purchase one meter of the ponte to accomplish this.

I've been pondering how to sew up this top.  My initial idea was a top based on the Go 4001 dress, a side princess pattern, similar to the one I made for my brown suit. I made the full dress, too.

However, the boucle remnant is just barely too narrow for the two front pattern pieces.  It's only wide enough for the front if cut out of a single pattern piece, with a side or bottom dart for bust shaping. Arrrgh, right?

What has held me back from using a single front piece is, first, that it would look a bit boring, with limited shaping. More importantly, such a top would play to one of my favourite pet peeves of fashion, and that is what's known as "coffin clothes", i.e., garments that look interesting from the front only but have a dull, non-matching back.  I see dresses like this on the web pages of high end stores all the time:  sewn up out of beautiful front fabrics or with interesting front details, only to disappoint with truly nothing to look at, dull, dull, dull backs.  Not only does this generate an instinctive emotional ugh in me, but it also gets my back up that one is expected to pay through the nose for a supposedly designer garment that looks good only from one vantage point. My top, due to the remnant width limitation, was in danger of becoming just such a coffin item.

Then I thought, why not colour block it?  The boucle is wide enough for a centre front and side back panels. The black knit could make up the sleeves, side fronts and centre back pieces.  That way, the boucle side back pieces would add some interest to the back of the garment.   Colour blocking is also slimming.  Not really of importance, but heck, when fate offers you a little freebie along the way, why not grab it. And the knit sections will allow me to eliminate the CB zipper.

Here's the colour-blocked layout on the two fabrics:
Boucle:  side back and centre front pieces.  
Black ponte:  centre back, side front, and sleeves.  
The Go 4001 dress is sleeveless, with a very lovely boat neckline and slightly cut-in armscye.  I compared its neck, shoulder, and armscye shape to to the Jalie 2805 tee pattern, and adjusted accordingly so the sleeves fit correctly.

Pins in the boucle mark a slight widening of the armscye to match Jalie 2805 and the Jalie sleeve.

The back shoulder is also widened from 3" to 4", but the increase is centered on the existing shoulder in order to prevent gaposis. 

Inside front:  I lined all three boucle panels with grey bemberg lining, and sewed them together in such a way that the raw seam edges  are neatly enclosed between the boucle and the  lining.

Inside back.

Outside front:  the raw edges are caught by a narrow zigzag on the tweed, along the seamline.  Thanks to the texture of the boucle, the zigzag is completely invisible.
Outside back.

This is the stage I reached by this afternoon, when it started to get dark.  But it's finished now:  an easy day's work from layout to hiding that last knotted thread.  If not for those lining pieces, and my wish to hide all the raw seams instead of just serging the lot together, plus some completely superfluous but cute (I think!) additional details, it would have taken no more than half the day to sew up.  

Oh, the skirt, and jacket, and silk blouse are also finished.  Whoever guesses correctly what I'll show in my next post gets a bright gold star!  I have lots of them to go around, btw!  ;)

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