As you may remember from a post or so ago, I had a complete fail trying to draft a version of a summer top I had found on shopping trip. You may also remember that my recent polka dot Sorbetto from the weekend had been a bit of a minor success for me. Spurred on by this success, I decided I was going to hack the pattern until it looked a bit like the one in store.
When in Birmingham in May I had picked up another £1 p/m bargain on the market, a kind of polyester crepe deal with little animals on it. Can’t really tell if they are dogs or buffalo, so I’m just going to go with buffalo for now – much more cool.
I began by tracing the Sorbetto pattern I’d created at the weekend, and made some minor adjustments all over to make it a little smaller. And then the hacking began… I wasn’t making a really drastic change to the basic tank shape, just chopping off the top third of the back piece and reshaping it so that the top edge crossed over, leaving a cut-out section at the centre. Not too complicated, and it only took about 45 minutes for it to look right on paper. Feeling pretty confident about fit, I didn’t muslin this one as I’d only just finished the polka dot version and knew I wouldn’t have changed shape much in 2 days. I did notice that carbon paper and chalk didn’t seem to mark the fabric, so there are lots of different lines all over the fabric as I struggled to mark it accurately! It’s all on the inside and thankfully will wash off – at RADA I sometimes used to use a Biro (not a good idea, if you’re wondering).
I also wanted to have a very neat finish on the inside – the extra sections on the top mean the edges are more visible, so I used bias tape to make them tidy. It looks so cool on the inside – I used bright orange-red to match the print so there’s a really cool pop of colour. I constructed the crossover panels first including neatening the edge, and the joined this to the bottom section of the back piece. But my markings didn’t quote match up. I’m not quite sure what went wrong there but I just jigged it along a bit and made the cut-out section a bit smaller which seems to work just as well. I’ll have another go at hacking to see if I can get to match up correctly next time.
I then bound the joined edge to neaten this off before moving on to construct the tank. Again I just used neat and simple French seams for both side seams and shoulders and finished the bottom edge off using a zigzag stitch and then folding over. Sewing over several layers of bias binding at the join of the shoulders on the back piece was a bit tricky due to the bulk but it looks neat!
The biggest fit issue with this is the fabric pooling at the back – I had chosen not to put darts in this top either as I wanted it to fit quite loosely, but as it doesn’t look any worse than a RTW item I’m not concerned. The cross-over section doesn’t lie as flat a I’d like but it’s so hard to fit on yourself, especially when the bit you need to tweak is behind you! Sometimes I wish I was an octopus! I also noticed once I had finished the Buffalo tank that there is actually a repeat pattern for the print, running vertically. It’s hard to spot so the pattern is completely off centre but I’m hoping it takes other people as long to notice as it took me!
Total cost – £1.60. I had to buy some bias binding from my local market, grand total of 60p. Awesome.