Category Archives: tops

Colette Seamwork Astoria Sweater


Let’s get it out of the way that I’m not pleased with this, although it is in no way the pattern’s fault. I messed up by thinking I could get away without a short torso alternation on a cropped sweater and my fabric being a rayon blend may be contributing to the length issue. On the plus side, I didn’t make a sloping shoulder alteration and the shoulders look pretty okay.

This is a pretty simple pattern, there isn’t much to say. The instructions were even more in depth than Colette’s usual offerings and I think this top is simple enough that I could have made it instruction free. It’s a very beginner friendly pattern. However, they do not have you stabilize the shoulders, but I did with some clear elastic just to safe.I do think the layout of the pattern pieces could have been better and saved me some paper, but it wasn’t a horrific paper hog.


Back to alternations, after seeing the way the neckband stuck out on some of these I’ve seen made up, I thinned out the neckband by half an inch as another reviewer mentioned doing.I was little worried it might look skimpy, but it seems in proportion to me. I apologize for the photo quality, you’ll need to trust me on this. If I make this again, and I will, I’d take an inch and half out if the length of the body of the sweater and draft bands for the sleeves so I don’t have to twin needle topstitch on this kind of material. I may also tighten it up a little bit in the future, the fit is loose despite me following the size chart.

I feel like this has the potential to be really cute and versatile, if I can get the proportions right, so I going to see about getting more sweater knits.


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Boat Neck Lady Skater T-shirt


I’m inordinately pleased with this simple modification, I really needed a grey top to replace the one that I am wearing in this post, I’ve had that thing since high school and it’s ratty and permanently stretched out, as much as I love it. And so I came up with this top. It was super easy. And most importantly, the neckline doesn’t gape. I must admit I was very nervous about it, because when I tired the top on without the sleeves it was awful, but putting the whole thing together seems to have resolved that.


I followed some of the steps from this tutorial and also some of my own intuition, like raising the front neckline a bit beyond what was suggested. For the T-shirtification I used Kwik Sew 3036 as a side seam shaping guideline, but in a smaller size than I sew, as that top is super loose fitting when I make it up straight in the size based on my bust. I also added an inch of length.


I feel like it could use more room in the hip, although I have ready to wear T-shirts that I like that fit similarly. However it’s not too concerning because I made it to wear tucked in to skirts, and the tightness does mean that wrinkling at the waist is minimized. The white flecks you’re seeing around the hem are from spray starch.  I still haven’t decided how I want to hem this, but I thought I should take pictures while I had decent light. I know, I’m awful about showing you guys almost finished items.


I am in love with the fabric, it’s a cotton lyrca blend from Girl Charlee, but it feels really plush, nothing at all like the fox fabric, which while cute, really only has an okay hand. The fabric is honestly better than 95% of my RTW tees. I want it in every color. I think I need to start buying basic knits in multiple colorways so I have some reliability in what I’m working with. This top has some issues around the shoulders that I’m thinking are caused by the increased stretch factor, 60% is quite a jump from 40% and 30%.


I stitched clear elastic to the wrong side of the neckline at the same time I used it to stabilize the shoulders and I simply turned and stitched to finish it. I’m not sure if a facing would be better but I like the way the outside looks now, and it was easy to do. The insides are a little less neat looking than I would like due to the zigzagging needed to attach the clear elastic. We continue the saga of the skewing neckline, I think it has to do with how my shoulders are set. I feel like this has been a long term issue, just one I didn’t take note of until I started sewing. I’m on the fence as if I want to start using full pattern pieces so I can compensate for one shoulder sloping more than the other. I don’t think I’m going to bother when it comes to knits, but I’ll keep it in mind for wovens.


I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use sleeve cuffs on this top, but a I decided to try them out. I don’t hate them, but I do feel they take away some of the elegance of the line of the top. Also the sleeves are a little big, I think again because of the fabric being so very stretchy. I think I’ll taper the sleeves from the wrist to nothing at the armsyce if I make this again the same fabric.

My next plan is to simply use this neckline with the rest of the lady skater pattern, sans cuffs. I’m thinking that blue and green polka dot I have would make a cute boat necked dress. The only other thing I want to do is lengthen the sleeve pattern piece so that a simple hem has the sleeves hitting in a good place.

I know this isn’t a major pattern hacking accomplishment, but, it’s still a personal one, so hurray! I can’t wait to draft all kinds of interesting necklines on this base.

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So about that Sorbetto I went to all the trouble of making bias tape for. It’s awful. Amazingly so.


I should have known this would happen. I’d tried and failed to make a Peony a few years ago, the bust darts were extremely off from where I needed them to be and I could never make a satisfactory alteration. This top has a similar issue, I can tell I need a FBA, despite Colette drafting for C cups and the end point of the dart is literally an inch above where it should be.  I’m thinking I could probably fix that by lowering the whole dart, but honestly, I don’t want to. I’m kind of bummed and I’m not sure this shape of top is the best look on me, I don’t feel I carry off 60s insprired stuff well, I’m more of a 40s and 50s girl.


The swayback adjustment needed on this is ludicrous, I’m not even sure I want to attempt it. I normally need a sway back adjustment anyway, but this is much worse than things normally look. To be clear, the pattern went together fine, the fit issues seem to just be a conflict between my body and what Colette drafts for.

The one good thing to come of this is I got a chance to practice my french seams. They’re as easy and lovely looking as I remember. I’m think I’ll try a different top, prehaps Gertie’s Portrait blouse. I think going back to tissue fitting is in order. I still have plans for another Hollyburn and I think that might get me back in the sewing groove. I don’t know, I’ll trawl my pattern stash and see what speaks to me. I know this isn’t it.

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My First Kwik Sew 3036 (And Simplicity 2758)

I need to improve my shirt tucking, sorry about the sloppiness.

I wasn’t expecting to get the shirt back this soon,  but now you can see what I mean, this version is way cuter, imo. It’s a 100% cotton jersey from Joann’s red tag. I didn’t realize that a 100% cotton knit would have basically no recovery, so when I stretched the neck out by attempting to turn and stitch as in the directions, I panicked a little. Thankfully there are all kinds of wonderful people posting tutorials like the the one I linked before , so I was able to save it.

I think neckbands are going to be a most interesting part of my knit sewing experience. I had no idea what I was doing with this one, but it actually sits better than the neckband on version two.


The skirt is view c of Simplicity 2758 and was one the first things I sewed when I got back in apparel sewing. There isn’t much special about it, it’s a circle skirt in stretch poplin, I believe the fabric was from a Fabric Mart sale, but I think it’s cute and it goes with several of my shirts. It has the bonus of being easy to sew. I do not like that it lacks pockets, I’m going to try setting a pocket into a seam with an invisible zipper again. I’ve done it once, but it was quite the ordeal. I own a RTW dress with a pocket in the zipper seam, so I’m thinking there much be a simpler way to do things.

Normally I wouldn’t bring the skirt up, considering it’s only half in the photo, but this counts as the first “Me Made” outfit I’d completed, since I’m blogging these shirts out of chronological order. Speaking of, I took some photos of shirt two untucked. Sorry for the digital beheading, but my hair was a mess and you don’t need to be subjected to it.

DSCF1319 DSCF1327

The only thing I find confusing is Kwik Sew calling these shirts “very close fitting”. I fit right into the xl in their size chart, except for my hips, and this is not what I would call a close fit. It’s fine since I plan on tucking them all anyway, but it’s a misleading description. I think the fit is okay, but I’m going to post for advice somewhere before I reinforce my tissue pattern. If this works out, I’ll finally at least one TNT pattern, one I can cut and sew in a day at that. That would be nice.

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Kwik Sew 3036, Take 2


I’m not too displeased with this as my second knit top, although I think this pattern is much cuter in a print like the first version. (Which I will post, it’s currently at my parents’ house, sorry.)

Behold the magically appearing belt!

I sewed up view B and added a neckband, just as I did with the first one, as I mentioned in The Great Knits Conspiracy. I think I should have cut the neckband even smaller than I did, it gapes a bit. It’s not unwearable, but it is annoying.

Other than that the pattern went together easily, despite the fact that I was using a serger, not a sewing machine for as much of the construction as I could. This fabric was a bit fiddlier than the 100 percent cotton I made the first shirt out of, but it also has much better recovery. Both were Joanns buys, thanks to the giftcard my brother got me for Christmas.

One thing I did discover is that my machine will not work with a double needle, so I think I’m finally going to get around to fixing up the Kenmore I scavenged and see if that one is any more agreeable. A coverstich machine certainly isn’t in the cards, but I love the look of the double stitched hems and would like to be able to do a facsimile.

I’m all out of knit fabric for now, here’s to hoping my online sources have good sales next month. This may not be the most interesting pattern, but I’d like to make few more before I move on to a knit top with set in sleeves.


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