My wee sister’s a bit of a globe trotter. As I may have mentioned before, I am not in the least bit jealous of this. Not at all. Not even one tiny little bit. The upside of this (not that there’s a downside, not even a green ugly head-rearing one) is that she brings back gorgeous fabricky offerings from far-off lands (mostly India.) I haven’t quite got her trained to select fabulous bolts of fabric, pack them up and send them straight to me in Switzerland (
you she wouldn’t even have to carry them around with you her! ;) ) However, when she spent some months on the subcontinent a couple of years ago, she didn’t resist the call of the local markets, or the call of the clothes sellers who make up clothes in whatever size requested. She’s an inch or so taller than me, and proportionally very similar, so most of her clothes fit me quite well (although you certainly wouldn’t find me going through her wardrobe when she’s away. Not at all.*innocent face*)
This tunicy-top had been lurking in my wardrobe for a while, being transferred from pile to pile, and finally to the things-I’ve-bought-to-make-into-other-things pile.
It’s a gorgeous top, and someone with quite a different style to mine could easily pull it off, but it’s just not the sort of thing I wear, and it seemed a shame for the beautiful fabric to be languishing in the wardrobe, forsaken and alone…
A couple of days before I went back to England for my cousin’s wedding, I placed an extremely last-minute order with the Village Haberdashery (to be delivered to my parents. I do this pretty much every time I go back. I have to make the most of within-UK shipping) for a couple of bits of fabric, and some of the Grainline Studios patterns that I’ve had my eye on for a while. One of these was the Tiny Pocket Tank, which has been in my eye-line recently, partly because it keeps popping up on my WordPress reader, but mostly because of the 30-degree-plus temperatures that we have here (not all the time, last summer was lousy.) I needed to sew something sleeveless, something that would go with my usual uniform of top and jeans or (in this weather) shorts.
When I arrived back and had traced the pattern (size four – I’m between sizes 4 and 6, and I knowwww they say you should always go for the larger size, but I’d seen the amount of ease on other sewing blogs, and thought I could get away with it,) I folded the top in half lengthways, and laid the front pattern piece on it, to make sure it fit. It did! So I set to work unpicking the side seams and sleeves, and cutting out the pieces. Not until I’d cut out the front and laid the back piece on did I realise that, of course, the back is much wider at the bottom than the front. Since the original top had side slits that start at the waist and go all the way down, the top didn’t need enough fabric width to cover hips. But I was undeterred! I marked on the paper pattern where the fabric stopped, and made a little pattern for the triangle that was missing, including seam allowances, which I then cut out of one of the sleeves.
I sewed these panels to the back piece before I started the rest of the construction, and I French-seamed the lot. This meant two French seams meeting diagonally at the sides, but because the fabric is so light (I’d guess it’s a sort of lawn, or voile, and it feels like cotton) there’s not too much bulk.
Another tiny problem that I had was that, what with the busy fabric and all, and my marking with a washable marker very faintly not to risk permanently marking the fabric, I lost one of the end-of-pocket markers, winged it, and ended up with a pretty skew-if pocket.
Which, once I put it on and saw just how beschwipst it looked, decided to unpick it, and re-sew.
That’s better! I cut the pocket from the end of one of the sleeves, so that I could make use of the line of sequins (and save myself a teensy, tiny bit of sewing.)
In hindsight, I should have gone for the size 6, rather than 4, because if I’m wearing a bra with a bit more padding than this one, the top pulls a bit just under the neckline. But I think I can get away with it this time.
Here’s a closer view of one of those side panels. I didn’t try to pattern match, as it would have been a pretty futile pursuit on this fabric, but I really like those cream flowers on the green background.
I’m also reeeeeasonably happy with the neckline binding (and armhole bindings.) Needless to say, there wasn’t enough material in the original top to make binding from the same fabric, but I had some dark grey in my stash that goes quite nicely (although I realise you can’t see the colour here!) I followed the Grainline tutorial for getting a flat bias bound neckline, and it’s pretty good, but not perfect. I think it’s probably something to do with the bias binding fabric being much heavier than the top fabric. But it’s not bad enough to worry me.