Thursday, 29 April 2010

Spring Top Week 2010


This is my first, and possibly only, entry to the Made by Rae Spring Top Week 2010 competition. I wanted to make lots of tops to enter, but somehow time has got away from me and my clothes-making ability (which is low) has meant that everything I've tried to do before this has gone wrong and I haven't been happy with the fit (there are three tops that, with a heavy heart, have been consigned to the Spring top graveyard). I have to say that my desire to give up and admit that I'm just not good at dressmaking has been strong...but stronger has been my wish to crack the clothes-making nut and become vaguely proficient - as I said to Mr Teacakes the other day, I feel like I want to immerse myself in dressmaking solidly for four or five months so that I can come out on the other side with the same sense of what may or may not work that now feels instinctive to me in other areas of sewing.


I had always thought it was fit that was most important with dressmaking, but I'm increasingly coming to realise that as well as fit, a bit part of the learning curve is choosing the right material. Last week I made a top that fitted perfectly and which had detailing on that I loved, but the print was so tiny and densely patterned that the yoke and pleats that I'd carefully created just faded away into the pattern, making the outline of the top the only noticeable thing...which was just wrong, wrong, wrong.


Another top I made a muslin of using an old duvet cover, which looked perfect...only when I translated it into what was to be the final top, the stiffer, starchier makeup of my chosen material made the overall fit smaller than intended and less forgiving and unsuitable for the style of material. I could go on with the other mistakes, but actually I'm realising that that's a post in itself, so for now I'll just show you the top that I'm really happy with.


I think that this is my first successful top and it fits in exactly the way that it fitted whilst only a vision in my head (the two things rarely marry up...but it's such an amazing feeling when they finally do!). Last week I tried to make a top from New Look pattern 6895 in a material that turned out to be too starchy...however, I really loved the ruffle and so yesterday I took out the pattern and reworked it to my own measurements using my bible: Cal Patch's Design-It-Yourself Clothes. I shortened the ruffle so that in inclement weather I can wear a cardigan without feeling like I have lots of padding going all around the neck, added a curved hem instead of one that goes straight across for a softer finish that feels more in keeping with the girlyness of the ruffle, added in light gathering at the back of the neck, took out the fastening as it slips easily over my head without one, and added in some bust darts and then made the whole thing a little smaller.


I am in love with the material which is some end of bolt Liberty lawn that I bought locally...I'd quite like a dress made from it too - something long and ankle-skimming. The combination of the dark navy and the mustard make me feel so happy - they are currently my favourite colour combination.


So anyway...next week the judging of Made by Rae's competition begins - each group of tops will be on Rae's site for just 24 hours, until they are taken down to make way for the next lot of entries...I wondered if you like my top...would you vote for me? (I'd be very grateful)**.  Or perhaps you 've entered yourself? I'm loving looking through all the tops in the Spring Tops Flickr pool - so much inspiration and so many lovelies - I love that this has pushed so many of us into action when otherwise I might have put off making something for another couple of weeks (and perhaps started just as Autumn was upon us).

**UPDATED: It always helps to read the instructions properly, and I've now learnt that the judges pick their favourite fifty tops and only those tops are voted on...so my top may not end up being a possiblity to vote on...however, I've already picked my own favourites which I'm hoping go through and can't wait to do some voting myself, whether my top somehow makes it through to the final round or not!

29 comments:

  1. I might be dim .. but I can't find a voting button anywhere!?? I think your top is fab (and looking at the entries so far, it's my winner!).
    x

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  2. Oh thank you, Julia. No, there's no voting button yet as they're not opening the voting until next week.

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  3. Lovely! v wearable too. Think your dressmaking ability coming along fine since you're modifying patterns so successfully! (typing 1 handed as have sick boy asleep on other arm - apologies!)

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  4. I saw your top in the Flickr pool and thought ooh that's nice, and then your post popped into my feed thingy and I saw it was made by you! I really like that fabric, and the top is lovely and neat.

    I have been Spring Topping myself and know it can be a drama as well as a joy. Let's see how the voting goes...

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  5. It is interesting how fabric choices completely alter how a finished item looks. I've made three tops for O all using the same pattern, which has pintucks around the yoke. In only one fabric do the pintucks really show up. And it was the fabric I used as a muslin, because I thought it was too stiff and had too big a print!

    The learning curve is huge with clothes. You should feel very chuffed with your leaf ruffle top - it's lovely.

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  6. I love it. I adore the fabric too.

    I have a weekly blog party especially for people to share the things they've made to be worn. Stop by if you'd like!

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  7. it's gorgeous, I'm longing to make some spring tops but I'm still stuck at the pattern choosing stage, I think subconsciously I know I'll so many problems I can't even start.......

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  8. That really came out nice! I think I love everything about it :)

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  9. Your top is really fabulous Florence. Everything about it is perfect. I am pretty cross actually that I can't have one! (and I guess that's a good reason for making it yourself - its totally unique.) I've had a look at loads of the others in the competition and I'm afraid yours is the only winner - quite a few have good patterns, or they have been innovative but then they are a bit let down by the fabric choice. Plus you model yours beautifully too. So make sure you remind us when the voting starts and I will be sure to press the button.

    You so obviously ARE skilled at this making clothes malarkey! You have learned heaps and have amazingly wearable results. It's one thing following a pattern but creating your own or altering them is another kettle of fish. It is all a learning curve as you say and is all put to good use. Anyway I absolutely love everything about that top and can I just tell you that no one will ever say to you "did you make it"? (unless they know you make things, in which case they will ask all the time and will be somewhat gratifyingly, often wrong). A weird thing to hate I know. But what we all want is to create things so good that they don't have an amateur look to them - different from home-crafted. Well your stuff looks great! As soon as people do find out your talents, your friends will plead with you to make them things. I didn't comment on your previous post but I also love the skirt v much. I think fabrics can range over very floaty to quite crisp and all look rather nice.
    Siobhan

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  10. Well that top looks gorgeous, so I'm glad that you didn't give up.

    I've found some shirting fabric, which, while boring in the pattern stakes, I'm hoping will work well for some summer shirts. It's about time that I got around to making some clothes for me.

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  11. Lovely! I can see myself wearing it - truly the best compliment I or any woman can offer! Maybe with some slim fitting white pants and some vintage gold jewelry.. oh and a pair of fierce gladiator sandals.. I digress! You will have my vote!

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  12. Lovely top Florence! Love the fabric and the fit is perfect! I love the changes you made.

    I actually made a top from the same pattern - I was so disappointed when I tried it on as it fit like a giant potato sack. I did my best to alter the fit, so it is at least wearable now, but it could be better. Thanks for referencing the book you used - I'll be sure to check it out.

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  13. Just stunning! That top came out perfect! I think I need to pull out my UFO spring top from last spring and finish it!

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  14. Hello Florence and THANK YOU!! I have been a little absent from blogging of late and have only just managed to catch up on yours. The mannequinn blog is brilliant and has made me realise what I am doing wrong with my own (which is the same make as yours by the way. Why didn't I think about the fact that we often spread the measurements differently around our bodies than the overall size suggests. Say a huge thank you to your mother from me please!

    As for your beautiful top - it gets my vore AND my little Lucy who ccame in while I was looking at it earlier and almost drooled over it!! A hit with my twelve year old as well as her somewhat (!) older mother. Well done you xx

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  15. I saw your lovely top in the pool & just had to pop over to read about it--I love it! The color, the pattern...the fit on you; everything is just so flattering & perfect. Great job! Easily one of my faves :).

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  16. Thank you so much for all the lovely comments and hello to those who have come over from Rae's Flickr group.

    Pipany - that is a compliment indeed, thank you.

    x

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  17. Yes Florence. A truly lovely top. You have my vote.

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  18. Lovely top and the fabric is beautiful. Well done.

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  19. Florence,

    Wow, I love your top, especiaally in the blue colorway, see my latest post and you will know why!

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  20. Your top is lovely, very professional looking.

    Jacqueline

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  21. This is such a pretty top, the print is perfect. I've made the same mistake losing pretty details in a small print fabric. It seems so obvious once you've made it, and all your pin tucks are hiding away. And don't get me started on drape...

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  22. I still think it looks nice!

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  23. I love the top!!
    I only wish you'd made it from a pattern I could copy :).
    I'm going to try my hand at Rae's version of Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing Tunic out of Little Folks. It should arrive on Friday ... maybe in time to sew it up for Mother's Day :).

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  24. You are very talented x
    We are running a craft competition for our 2nd Birthday , Why don't you check out www.fiskarettes.co.uk

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  25. I love your top. Great fabric choice.

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  27. Hi I've just discovered your blog, its great, I love your leaf patterned top, I have voted for you. I am making a silk skirt (fabric pictured on www.blipfoto.com/ifnotforthis )this weekend. Slightly nervous, haven't done much sewing lately. The way you adapt patterns is amazing, I might buy the Cal Patch book too. I'm new to blog - twitter - blip life but excuse my confusion but are you the flossieteacake on twitter? that I am following on twitter? (I an cehopkins2 on there)

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  28. What a beautiful top. You've got my vote.

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  29. I came from Made By Rae. I love this top! I love the cut, the shape, the ruffles, and how it looks so great on you too! Nice job!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x