It must look like I've got a bit of a Salme Patterns addiction recently as this is my third! I do love them for their simplicity and easily to wear classic style. I do have a number of issues with this finished make but I'm convincing myself it was not a complete waste of time as I've learnt a lot; mainly what not to do again!
This is the 'Gathered Top' which on the pattern image had been made up in a sheer and what appeared to be very lightweight cream fabric. I felt like I had been making too many plain garments recently and should branch out into patterns and colours so chose this printed georgette which I bought from Sew Over It in Clapham a while back. I've certainly learnt about fabric choices from this project though, mostly that just because a fabric has drape and is slippy and silky doesn't necessarily mean it's lightweight! I think this is actually slightly heavy for this top and is actually quite crisp once you start gathering it. I think I'd like to make this again in a voile or cotton lawn so the gathers all around the neckline fall softer and are not quite so bulky. I still love the print on this though and it'll definitely be getting some wear.
|Hmm, I wish that neckline was a bit more of an even curve|
I had similar problems with the sizing as I did with my Colour Block T. I worked on these two projects simultaneously, which at the time seemed like a brilliant idea as whenever something wasn't going well on one I could step away, work on the other a bit and then come back to my problem calm and with fresh eyes and a renewed sense of productivity. However, I now wish I'd made one and then the other as I could have cut the second one smaller when I realised these patterns come up so big! With this top this has resulted in a neckline that's too wide and therefore doesn't sit and curve quite right and a very gapey back! I'm thinking at the front I could incorporate a pleat at the top centre of the neckline as with the Colette Sorbetto. I am however not so sure what to do about the back. I'm so reluctant to take it apart and redo all my hard work but I can't think of a quick fix for this area.
|Yikes - look at the room in the back!|
There was some gathering involved in the process of making this top, as it's name may suggest! This was a new technique for me and although I'm guessing it's one of the most simple, I really struggled with it. I like the mathematics and accuracy of sewing and this technique was a bit too 'pull it in, spread it out and see how it works out' for me. I also think because of the pattern being too large for me I was trying to gather the width of fabric in too much to make it my size plus the fabric was a bit too stiff which all culminated in a frustrated Fiona.
Another problem I gave myself was my decision to use bought bias tape instead of making my own to bind the neckline and create the straps. The bias tape I bought was quite stiff and also a bit wider than the pattern instructions called for. This has resulted in chunky straps which keep their own shape rather than allowing the top to hang from the shoulders as the design is supposed too. Also where the tape encloses the gathers along the neckline it shows every lump and bump through because it is so rigid and does not curve well. I used the bought bias tape to cut corners and save myself the time of making my own which I presumed would be a long winded and fiddly process. I've since made my own bias tape to bind the neckline of my Colour Block T and could not believe how simple it is to do. I will definitely make the effort to make my own better quality tape in future.
|Under the arms the bought bias tape worked well - but a softer finish was needed elsewhere|
To finish on a positive note though I am still really pleased with the quality of my finishing on this garment. I'm really seeing the benefits of taking my time over the parts of the process I enjoy least such as cutting accurately and pressing the hem before stitching (I know it's awful but I have been known just to turn as it goes through the machine because I'm so eager to get that last bit done and finish!). It's so exciting to see my sewing skills improving even though I've only made a handful of garments. I just wish I had more time to dedicate to more making and more improving.
|I chose to do french seams on the side seams - my new favourite technique!|