Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Navy Viscose Crepe Solina Top

The project I'm sharing with you today is a bit of a sewing fail. I don't often write a project off as a fail but persist until it turns into something that I can love and wear but I don't think there is anything I can do to save this one! I'll be writing it off as a toile that taught me a lesson and moving on.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Breaking the Pattern Solina Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe

The pattern (the Solina Top from the Breaking The Pattern book from Named Clothing) is gorgeous. And the fabric (a viscose crepe in a beautiful deep navy from Atelier Brunette) is equally gorgeous. They are unfortunately not so gorgeous together. The fault is entirely mine as I didn't read through and think through the construction of this top before taking the plunge. If I had done I would have realised that the style would benefit from a fabric with a bit more body and structure than this very delicate crepe. Looking at the images in the book I presumed that the top was loose fitting and cinched in at the waist by the ties. The ties are actually stitched into fixed pleats. This is great as it all sits correctly when you are wearing it but it is much more of a fitted style than first anticipated. I would have put more thought into the fitting if I had realised.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Breaking the Pattern Solina Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe

The Atelier Brunette viscose fabrics are absolutely exquisite in their luxurious delicacy and almost luminous sheen. They are perfect for billowing romantic designs which I mistook this for with the beautiful bows around the waist and cuffs. A viscose isn't entirely the wrong choice but this design requires something with more weight and substance like a viscose twill perhaps. The back of the top is fitted with a centre back invisible zip and two closed darts. In a fabric this lightweight the area around the zip really needs interfacing; mine ended up all stretched out and as the fit of the top is quite snug there are some unsightly wrinkles and twisting going on back there. A lesson has been learned in being too hasty!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Breaking the Pattern Solina Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe

I think the bows are very nice in a fabric with drape, although this particular fabric is a little limp and I'm wondering if they might have benefited from some interfacing. They would be wonderfully dramatic in something crisp and structured! Another thing to bear in mind when working with and Atelier Brunette crepe is that it has the most beautiful lustre but it really shows up every wrinkle and fold. You also need to be careful when pressing as it shows up every mark and seam allowance imprint if you are too vigorous.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Breaking the Pattern Solina Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe

With the 'Breaking The Pattern' theme the ladies at Named are encouraging us to get creative with a bit of pattern hacking and the patterns are designed to give you the freedom to play around with your own design choices. I can't say much pattern breaking went on for this top as I pretty much followed the instructions to the letter but one choice I did make was to include the slim stand collar. I deliberated over this choice for ages and think in the end I made the wrong one as a bit more skin on show at the neck might balance the design out better on my figure. What is unusual with the collar is that it is finished with a facing rather than folded under and topstitched or slipstitched down. You end up stitching in the ditch around the collar anyway so I think I'd do without the facing if I made this again.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Breaking the Pattern Solina Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe

As you might remember me saying in the post about my jumpsuit from Wendy Ward's book, I'm not a huge fan of sewing with patterns from books but both with this project and my previous I was pleasantly surprised with how quick and easy the tracing process was. Again I'd chosen a project which was a little further along in the book so I had to do a lot of cross referencing between instructions for other patterns to make this one up. It all got a bit confusing but turned out OK when I got into the swing of things. When working from a book I generally find the projects take a bit longer, especially the prep work and getting used to how to how the book works to find the info you need. This isn't necessarily a bad thing and I'm definitely trying to slow my sewing down and enjoy each stage of the process at the moment. Maybe more sewing from books is the way to go!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Breaking the Pattern Solina Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe

I cut the size 3 (UK10/EU 38) which is spot on my measurements and the size I always cut with Named patterns. It looked like this one included a generous amount of ease so I'm quite surprised by the closeness of the fit. It isn't too small though and the fit of the sleeves and across the shoulders is spot on for me. I generally get a good fit with their patterns and the only thing I ever adjust is the length as I'm quite petite. With this top I left the sleeve length as it was (a little long) as the ties keep them sitting in the right spot and I like the slight blouson effect created by the excess length. The length of the top itself I deliberated over as it looked quite short in the book. The amount of fabric I had allowed me to lengthen the pieces by 5" from the hemline (I had 1.5m of 140cm wide fabric) but I trimmed 4.5cm of this back off once I'd tried it on. I'm still not 100% sure on the length the hemline feels a bit blunt to me and no matter what height I made it it seemed to cut my torso off in a weird spot. Proportionally I think the length of this is in general is a bit off on my body shape as the pleats don't open out over the bust quite right either. I think I need to take a little of the length out above the waist. If I'm honest with myself I had my doubts about how much I would like this style on me when I started making it but I was sucked in by how much I loved it in the book and on everyone else!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Breaking the Pattern Solina Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe

I do think this style would look much more balanced on me as a dress and if I find the right fabric I may well give it a whirl and play around with the front pleats a little. This top has served me very well as a practice run of this design...even if the fabric was a little bit too special for a practice! While I await the right fabric falling in to my lap there are plenty of other designs in the beautiful book to keep me busy; the Halla Coat is on my list to sew for next winter and I adore the Rae Pants with the front splits. I think they would be great for beach attire. I can't get enough of that chic Named Scandi style!

8 comments:

  1. I made the dress version in a spotty viscose from Minerva. Also made a size 3. I didn't make any pattern alterations and it fit really well, I'm 5ft 7. I also found it to be more fitted than I originally thought it would be. Planning to make the top version, but sleeveless

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    1. That is a really helpful comment thanks Claire! Perhaps some of the fit issue is to do with my height as suspected then. I think a sleeveless version of the top sounds great!

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  2. Hey, I learn so much from my own mistakes, it’s nice to learn from other’s, too! :-) I have that crepe in a different color and haven’t sewn with it yet, so your tips on how to handle it were particularly useful to me. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. I'm glad you found the post helpful, it is always a bit nerve-wracking sharing things which go wrong isn't it?!
      The crepe is absolutely gorgeous but definitely worth taking your time with it and thinking about which techniques you use

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  3. If you have the book, you don't have to trace the pattern, you can download it from the Named website if you prefer to! The instructions are in the book, page 6 in mine (which isn't in English so it might differ, but in an introduction to the book and the patterns.)

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    1. O thanks for the helpful tip! To be honest tracing it off took no longer than assembling the PDF would have done and it was quite nice to have a change of process!

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  4. Thanks for sharing all you learned from this make. This Me Made May I've been having some success saving some fails. This post has spurred me to think how I can fix/love some more of my "back of the door" makes. Thanks for the extra nudge!

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    1. O what a great way to use Me Made May! It is definitely worth spending a bit of time returning to some projects to tweak them into something you will get much more wear out of. I love the term 'back of the door' makes, I know instantly what you mean!

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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!