Top No. 1

Howdy there, folks. What we have here is an actual blog post with <drumroll> sewing!

Earlier this year I purchased the entire collection of 100 Acts of Sewing patterns. It had occurred to me that my frustration with my sewing skills could be, in part, a matter of my reaching too far beyond my skill level in the patterns I was attempting to make. After doing some research I ran across this artist/sewist/pattern maker and, impressed both with her patterns and with the artist herself, I nabbed them all.

I want to interject, here, that when I was looking for pattern reviews related to 100 Acts of Sewing, I did run across a pattern review thread (which I will not link to), that was surprisingly negative and… well… catty about the simplicity of these patterns. It’s the first time I’ve run across anything like that in the sewing social web, and I hope it isn’t a trend.

The truth is, the beauty and genius of these patterns is their simplicity. Because of that, when you review the patterns you’ll find that every make seems to magically suit the sewist who made it in the most unique ways. I love looking at the different takes on the tops, dresses and pants different bloggers have posted on the web. Even I, with my limited skill set, customized the first pattern I made by adding a v-neck with self facings.

For this top, I chose Shirt No. 1. I really needed a win and, frankly, I really needed a top that fit me. I dug into the precious side of my fabric stash and chose this yarn dyed, double-faced Japanese jacquard I’d purchased from Miss Matitabi early in the year. They no longer seem to carry this specific design, but they do have this in stock and I am sorely tempted to buy a few yards. It is as soft as double gauze but a bit more substantial. This fabric is just… I hardly know how to describe it. I really, really love it. In fact – click! I just bought some more.

Love the alternative face of this fabric almost as much as the dark face I chose to use.

The pattern was easy to trace. As I mentioned before, I added a v-neck. I did this by taking a t-shirt I wear all the time and using it as a guide to ensure I had the right slope and depth from the shoulder. It worked out well. I think I also add about an inch and a half to the hips — but that may have been another pattern. The great thing about this one is that it’s just so easy to adjust here and there where you need to — no need to worry about bust darts or anything like that.

Because I did not want to attempt to do a bias binding on the v-neck, I chose to create my own neck facings. I cut them to be 2″ deep before the fold, but I wish I’d gone much wider — these have a tendency to try to flip out, though they stay put most of the time. I used some black stuff I’d bought when I first started sewing to bind the hems on the bottom and the arms.

I plan to make this pattern again and again. I feel great wearing this top, and the fabric goes with everything from jeans to a black skirt. It’s just awesome.

Next up for me are the pants, but I keep hesitating because of the price of linen, which is my preferred cloth. Because our winter weather is generally very mild, linen is a great fabric to wear year round here in Austin. It’s been pretty hard for me to pull the trigger on it when I haven’t seen it in person, though, and I’m not aware of any fabric stores in town that sell what I’m looking for. I need to order some swatches.

Hope your holiday season is filled with fun sewing and extra time off. New blog post soon, I suspect. I have 4 or 5 other items to blog about and more on the way.

I also plan to write a post about some health issues that have been slowing me down the past few months, but I’d prefer to do that without it being propagated to any blog readers. I’m working on the design of this blog, trying to add a new post “type” that doesn’t do that. If anybody has any suggestions, please let me know — I would love to find some tips not only about how to “hide” something from Bloglovin, but also about formatting posts for it. Sayōnara for now.

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