Saturday, 16 September 2017

Dotty Viscose Gypsy Swing Top


Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Monochrome Dotty Viscose Gypsy Swing Top from Sew This Pattern

I had a good old chunk of this lovely monochrome dotty viscose left over from making my Nancy Dress and it's been eyeing me up from my stash for a while now. I couldn't bear to get rid of it as it is a great viscose challis, nice and matte with a beautiful drape and it feels cool and smooth against the skin. Plus it's been washing and wearing really well and I'm not adverse to having more than one garment made out of the same fabric in my wardrobe! I had just shy of 1.5m left from my original purchase of 3m from Maggie in Lewisham so plenty for some kind of summer top. I considered an Ogden Cami as I absolutely love the few I already own but my wardrobe is kind of inundated with them plus that's a great pattern for using up scraps of less than a metre. I fancied giving something new a try.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Monochrome Dotty Viscose Gypsy Swing Top from Sew This Pattern

I spotted the Gypsy Swing Top from Sew This Pattern when writing up one of my pattern update posts a few months back and immediately clocked it as being right up my street. I love these kind of loose fit tops for wearing with jeans all year round and this is a bit more interesting than a simple cami with the gathered hem and unusual neckline. The light gathering around the neck, shape of the shoulders and tied keyhole back opening are a really flattering combination and the style is detailed without being too fussy. It really suits a lightweight, breezy fabric like viscose.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Monochrome Dotty Viscose Gypsy Swing Top from Sew This Pattern

I cut the size 10 which is a fraction larger than my measurements but I figured better to be safe than sorry. It did come out rather large but luckily it's super easy to alter by taking some width of the side seams. I took an inch on the double out of each side so a whopping 4 inches came out! I had unfortunately done my usual sewing tactic of jumping ahead in the instructions and constructing various elements at the same time as each other so I can pin a whole load a once, then sew a whole load at once, then press; saving time moving between 'stations' and tools. This meant I'd already assembled, hemmed and stitching the gathering stitch into the ruffle so I had to go back and take some width out of that too. I took 6" out of the ruffle to allow for the amount pulled up by the gathering.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Monochrome Dotty Viscose Gypsy Swing Top from Sew This Pattern

The armholes are still quite low which I don't mind. I think it kind of suits the style and have been wearing it with strapless bras which I don't mind flashing a bit of. However, in the sample pictures they don't seem so low and I think I perhaps need to tweak the length of the straps on the next version as I know I am quite short in the shoulder and that may be the issue. The way it is constructed means it's quite tricky to check the length of the straps until you've basically completed the top so I recommend (as the pattern instructions do) to make up a trial run in a cheap fabric first.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Monochrome Dotty Viscose Gypsy Swing Top from Sew This Pattern

It's a great design. The proportions are really nice, although I'm considering shortening both the body and the ruffle just a smidgen next time to suit my petite stature. Probably only by half and inch each.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Monochrome Dotty Viscose Gypsy Swing Top from Sew This Pattern

The project does involve two of my least favourite sewing techniques (making a fair bit of bias binding and gathering...I just don't have the patience for either fiddly little job) but I still had a great time making it and am considering another using up the leftovers from my Floral Lonsdale Maxi Dress mainly for the enjoyment of making it again! It's the kind of project that requires a bit of concentration and accuracy so is nice to get lost in. One word of warning if you make this is that it's easy for things to go wring size-wise if you're not really careful when handling your bias binding. Bias strips stretch out really easily and you use notches on the bias to determine the length of your gathered neckline and the shoulder straps. You need to be really careful not to stretch it out as you press or sew. I'm actually incredibly proud of how neatly my binding turned out in the shifty viscose; I bet I couldn't do it that nicely again!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Monochrome Dotty Viscose Gypsy Swing Top from Sew This Pattern

This is my first time using a pattern from Sew This Pattern and (despite the sizing issue) I was really impressed. The photos accompanying the instructions are really clear and I found it really helpful to see the construction process in fabric rather than illustration as there are a few fiddly points.
There is a lovely level of attention to detail in the construction process and well thought out finishing with touches like sewing across the binding on the diagonal inside the tip of the keyhole opening to create a nice clean point on the outside and stitching down the top of your side seam allowances for a clean armhole.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Monochrome Dotty Viscose Gypsy Swing Top from Sew This Pattern

Temperatures might have taken a dip in London but this is a great little layering piece and I'm particularly loving it with that ruffled hem peeking out of the bottom of my merino Toaster Sweater. I finished it last week and have worn it three times already so I'm counting that as a win!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Monochrome Dotty Viscose Gypsy Swing Top from Sew This Pattern

8 comments:

  1. This is a really cute top. I'm not familiar with the pattern, or the pattern company so I'll need to check them out. I really love the neckline shape.

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    1. Thanks Helen! Do check them out. It's my first go with this company and I was really impressed with the detail and thought in the instructions. I've been wearing this loads!

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  2. It's gorgeous! The fabric drapes beautifully and really suits the pattern.

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    1. Thank you! I love viscose for this kind of garment!

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  3. Really lovely, I like the back too. I can imagine the challenge of the bias! I like the length, so if you raise the waist you might want to lengthen the peplum a little.

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    1. Yes the keyhole neckline and tie in the back is probably my favourite feature of it Mags! Now you've said that about the length I realise you're right, I like where it hits on the hip so maybe I should leave it as it is!

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  4. That looks lovely, I like the frill. I have just made a dotty top too in the same colours, mine has long sleeves though as it has turned cool here now. x

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    1. Thanks very much! I feel like people are going to get bored of seeing me in this dotty fabric as I've been wearing this top a lot and now the weather has turned cooler my long sleeved Nancy dress too!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!