Friday, 7 May 2010


I was so delighted to wake up this morning to find that my Spring Top Week entry has made it into the final 60 tops. But now it's over to you: if you like my top would you pop over to Made by Rae's and vote for it? You can vote on my top (or any of the other lovelies: at the time of writing I can't see which other tops are up for Friday's voting, but the tops from the other days have been fantastic, so I know these will be too) for the next 24 hours (that's until about 7am on Saturday EST time, or until about 11am on Saturday GMT...and lots of other times in between for everywhere else). I also wanted to thank you so much for all the lovely comments that you left about it on my last post and over on Flickr and Twitter.

Fighting off a cold that has given me a temperature of over 103F this week I have found myself rather feverishly (literally) making another summer top (it's too late to enter this one into Spring Tops Week, Rae's ignited an addiction). This one is from a pattern in the Japanese Everyday Pattern book (my next post will be solely about Japanese pattern books as I have too much to say about them to squeeze it all in here).

I was so delighted by this pattern - it's so simple and the sizing was perfect first time, something I've never found with a Simplicity pattern, which needs so much tweaking to get right.  I was so pleased with the fit at the back that later I suddenly decided later to try the muslin on back to front...and amazingly I realised that with a lowered neckline this would make the perfect template for a structured, more fitted top (this realisation was made late at night...apologies for both lighting and pyjama bottoms).

Back to thinking about the top the right way around, the muslin that I made needed no alterations at all other than taking out a couple of inches from the front, but purely on a design basis, rather than fit, as the design was intended to be a loose and voluminous fit, but at my height billowyness is never a flattering look. The length is perfect for me (I normally chop 3 or 4 inches off the bottom of all patterns, so if you make something from this book and are taller than my 5ft1" then you may want to bear in mind they are cut on the short side compared to UK/American patterns)

It looked a little plain like this, so I added the ribbon that was shown in the original pattern, but centrally, rather than to the side to facilitate cardigan wearing without mysterious bulges.

The fabric is a very densely patterned Liberty lawn...a couple of weeks ago I used this fabric with a different sewing pattern and the pleats and yoke were swallowed by the print and the final top looked awful (which was frustrating as the muslin version was lovely). However, I think the fabric works for this top, where it has little detail other than gathering and bound edges.

I originally bought 1.5 metres of each of these Liberty prints with some gift vouchers that my lovely Mama had given me in March...the happy thing about making things for warmer weather is that with no sleeves, you need less material...making four tops (with some to spare) from three metres of material seems inexpensive even when using Liberty lawn (or it would be if they were all wearable). The unhappy thing about them is that they show off my skin to be pastry coloured...a little sun would be a nice thing.

I'll leave you with the delicious picture of this top from the Japanese pattern book (you can see here, how much more flowing the original is):

Wishing you a lovely weekend and thank you so much if you choose to vote for my top.

Florence x


  1. Congrats Florence! I blogged about your top here a couple of days ago, glad to see you made it into the top 60!

    Good luck today!

  2. I'm off to vote now - my word you are a very clever lady (and extremely inspiring too)!!xx

  3. Love both the tops. Being a rather larger lady, Japanese patterns never work for me but I've recently bought the Cal Patch book on your recommendation and it's great. It's similar to a pattern making course I had in the 80's which was a spinoff from a TV course - it got lost in many house moves so I'm gald to have a replacement. Also bought book by Marie Clayton including pattern software CD which has possiblities for me and daughter too. Off to vote..

  4. these are gorgeous tops - so beautifully made.

  5. Thank you so much Carolyn - I loved your ruffly top too.

    Crafty Helen - that's really kind - thank you.

    Jane - I'm so pleased that you loved Cal's book too. I'm off to peep at your recommendation on Amazon now.


  6. Looking forward to your blog on the Japanese patterns, they look just up my street. Off to vote now!

  7. Congratulations on getting in to the top 60! I love your Spring Top fabric, in fact I love your spring top!

    I'm really looking forward to a post on Japanese patterns. I would love to buy a few books but I worry that nothing will fit (I'm 5'9" and on the un-slim side). There often doesn't seem to be a lot of information on what sizes these books cater for, so if you have any comments to make on that I'd be very interested.

  8. Just to let you know - I have just voted for you. They had some nice tops in that group but yours was still the best. So when you win you will be a worthy winner! Good luck (but as you are well in the lead I don't think you will need it). Loving your new top as well. I was in my winter coat though today, so won't be bringing out any summer tops just yet. Time is short right now, but I could almost feel encouraged to make something for when the sun does come out and play. I won't forget to vote in the final.

  9. hi florence
    i've been reading your blog and made by rae for a while so it's nice to combine the two!!
    i've already voted for your top which is lovely by the way!!


  10. Congrats on being in the top 5! (I know it hasn't been announced yet, but I'm pretty sure it's safe to say you're in :)

    I figured your top would be a big contender when I first saw it in the flickr pool, but now I predict that it will win the whole thing! I'm going to vote for my top because of the principal of the matter, but I truly believe you deserve to win! :) It's really just gorgeous and I want one for myself!

  11. Well done Florence! Voting done, really hope you win, your top is gorgeous!

  12. Congrats on making the cut! The top is gorgeous. I love the choice of fabric.

  13. I love both of the tops. I voted - but it looks as though I didn't need to, as you're scampering off way in the lead...

  14. I just had to leave a comment to say that I think ALL those tops of yours are utterly scrummy. I wish I had the confidence to make clothes for myself. Keep up the great work :)

  15. Well done! I'll pop straight over to vote - love the top. Will go perfectly with the mustard knit too! Your adventures in dressmaking are making me want to get sewing, but there's little point until I'm a more normal shape. I have that same Japanese dress and camisole book - it has some lovely patterns in it. I quite fancy doing the linen dress with the flower corsage on it and had also earmarked the one you've just made. Have a lovely weekend and hope you're feeling better. x

  16. Gorgeous top and love the Liberty print you have used I must get this book.


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

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Florence x

A few of the books/products that I link to on Amazon from my blog contain affiliate links and very occasionally, I'll mention a product that I've been given free of charge. I choose the things that I recommend carefully and my priority is to only share things that I love.