I bought V1247 with the primary purpose of sewing gifts for my friends.
Luckily I benefitted by way of piloting the pattern & I shall make the skirt too in the autumn (love the idea of it in navy velvet-cord already in stash after failed Clovers with floral pocket linings, can you see it too?)
So, I made three more versions of the top and with different elements of success. They were all made with fabric purchased at Birmingham’s Rag Market the last time and prove that I am not always a selfish sewster….not quite always anyway. So to recount my experiences, remember this pattern is a challenging one due to its patchwork bottom front with the added thwartation of being constructed with French seams. The pilot version’s patchwork was pretty imprecise at its confluence, therefore I decided upon dispensing with French seams for version #2 & using overlocker seams instead with the thinking that I would be able to get in there, much more accurately at the patchwork point.
Only I didn’t, despite my tailor tacks. Please if you sew this & even if you are usually a bit happy-go-lucky with regard notches & markings, you need to transfer the markings for this one. I actually enjoyed the tailor tack process – which is good since there are quite a few…not just for the patchwork points, but for the shoulder pleating back and front.
Anyways, the overlocking did not work so well on this particular fabric ( a viscose) because the overlocked seams stretched a tad, & if you consider that some of the pieces are sewn on the bias, it actually meant that the seams were not as stable as they should have been. Obvious now, isn’t it? The horizontal middle seam became the final straw in bendiness & needed addressing with good old fashioned straight stitch.
Top tip, using a wild floral hides the offending mismatch of patchwork! Here are the buttons, a couple of clear vintage ones to add a little focus.
Therefore version #3 was made with French seams again. The fabric was not as drapey as the viscose, but was a fine cotton that I wished I’d bought extra for to make myself a summer kimono gown…. I absolutely adore this fabric, the cherry blossom & the delicate colour ….
This is the most successful of my patchwork. Can I show off inside & then outside – look,
French seams & they all match (just about) on the outside.
That was through the glory of tailor tacks, that’s all. Or so I thought. If it truly was just down to the tailor tacks then my final version should also be good, true?
Sadly it’s better than versions one and two, but slightly missed the gold on the pointy patchwork rostrum.
So the other remarkable lesson uncovered during this trio of tops was the mobilisation of my narrow hem foot. I’d tried it before with little time and patience. This time I consulted one of my useful sewing reference books, The Dressmaker’s Technique Bible, ( bought for me, not via a wish list by a very enterprising son for my birthday this year. It’s full of really useful info…I shall review it some time).
Looking up ” rolled hem” provided a few options, including how to use a special foot. The tip provided here was to stitch a line of straight stitch just below the hem level and trim really close to this line, about 1/4″. It is then much easier to feed and control the hem’s digestion by the foot’s curly hem roller. There is no way I can explain this as well as Miss p, whose reference I found invaluable for starting and finishing as well, her really helpful post on using a rolled/ narrow hem foot.
This foot gave the ideal finish to the hems of these tops, however it was not without challenge since the hems are curved…
And last but not least I finally got round to making my friend a Simplicity 2599 with some fabric that I bought her, umm, two years ago was it?
She’s less of a frilly person than me & I found this lovely bias with lace trim to face the neck edge & also cover some buttons with. Funnily enough I had a lace collar planned for this & discovered she wasn’t a lace collar gal, just in time.
Added that special bias to the sleeve hems as well …
She seemed pleased with this & version #4. I have now given them all so can blog about them ….& am sewing for me now, but did really enjoying sewing for others – for a change