Monday, 28 September 2015

A Garment a Month: September - Sailor Top

My project this month was the Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts.

I was keen to try something that had sleeves (raglan, but still) and I had done a little bit of gathering with the Geranium top I made the month before, so I thought "Sure, I can handle that".

What I thought of the finished garment: Love it. It looks like I got it at a shop (but a really cool and individual shop ;) ). This is probably my favourite out of all of the garments I have made so far. It is really flattering and a good length for me - no riding up and exposing my belly as I am running around and hauling kids back and forth.

An aside, I finally got a new phone, so hopefully the quality of my photos should improve!

What I thought of the pattern: The pattern was easy to understand and clearly set out, yet I found the construction more complicated than I thought it would be. I found the neckline especially troublesome. I tried sewing it down by machine but I missed a lot of the edges (you sew it from the front) and it looked quite shite. So I went and unpicked it and sewed the inside down by hand. Worth it for the nice neat finish, but it meant that I couldn't wear it to work the day I wanted. Some of the seam finishing instructions are a little unclear too I thought - especially when attaching the sleeves. I misread the pattern where is said "finish seams"- I literally thought it meant finish sewing the seams. I had to go back at a later stage and do some tricky zig zagging of the edges. Also, zig zagging is not my favourite finish, give me a good french seam any day.

Other observations:

  • Sewing with lawn is trickier than sewing with quilting weight cotton. I found it hard to get it to behave, but it was worth if for a lovely floaty top;
  • Making the pattern markings with a frixion pen is a bad idea. What do they always say to do when you are sewing? Iron, iron, iron! (actually press, I know it's different). What happens to frixion pen when you do that? Poof! No more markings. No markings actually made doing the gathering and attaching the yoke quite tricky. 
  • There must be an easier way to turn a hem up by an even amount. I currently mark it with a ruler to press along. Am I missing some really obvious trick? Help me people!
  • Not related to the pattern - but relevant anyway, all this garment sewing is starting to pay off. I am finding it more straight forward to follow patterns and every time I approach a pattern or technique with some trepidation I find that it is nowhere as hard as I had imagined. 

Next Challenge: Mmm, I am still debating it. I am tossing up between the Flatter Me Frock, The Emery Dress and The Anywhere Skirt. The first two because I think that they will be a challenge and I love a frock (I am thinking in Loominous or some of this sweet jumbo gingham) and the skirt because I can't get Anna's version out of my head. Have a vote! 

This is a finish for both ALYoF and my Q3 FAL.


  1. Lovely top! I'm not sure this is the official method, but it works pretty well for me: to get the hem to turn up at the right width, I mark that distance on my machine and do a row of stitching just inside that distance. When I iron it up, the stitching is just inside the garment hem, and I think it even helps stabilize the edge just enough to fold it over really easily. I just leave the stitching in, but you could take it out if you don't like the extra line on the inside. This is especially helpful when the hem is on the bias, and folding it over makes it want to stretch out and shift.

  2. Just gorgeous Hayley! Your garment making ability amazes me and may even inspire me to give it a go one day (as much as it terrifies me!)

  3. Congratulations on your finish. The fabric is awesome.

  4. A garment a month, what a great idea. I’m thinking of getting back into clothing, and this would be a nice way to do it. A lovely top, congratulations on your Finish.

  5. I have been wanting to try this top. I thought it would be good year round because I could throw a sweater over it in the winter. Yours is lovely!!!! Thanks for sharing and playing along in the FAL. Visiting as a member of the official 2015 Finish-Along cheerleading squad.


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