Instant gratification

After my latest Renfrew, I figured I would move on to another garment type, as I’ve been excited about making a new dress for spring. Is that what I did? Of course not. I was sorting through dress patterns and realized that the fabric I wanted to use needed pre-washing and there was no way that project was going to get started that evening. However, I really, really wanted to cut out something, and with cutting being my second least favorite part of a sewing project, better for me to strike while the iron was hot. I remembered that I had previously cut out the pattern pieces for New Look 6150, selected a nicely aged fabric from the stash, and then never did anything with it.


Naturally, it was the perfect instant gratification project. I laid out fabric, four pattern pieces, and had everything ready to go for whipping up another knit top. I didn’t have to do any thinking, and clearly I didn’t, as I cut the back piece on the fold and it has a nicely shaped back seam. Oops. At least that was an easy fix, even if the shaping isn’t there. Maybe next time I’ll pay attention to the fact the pattern piece had a grain line arrow. I did read the construction instructions, though, and I liked how it directed for the stitch in the ditch around the collar to catch the facing making for a clean interior.


I basted every seam first, and stabilized the shoulder and its gathers with quarter-inch black twill tape. The top has a wraparound collar that ends in a front pleat, so to neaten the shoulder seam with the serger, I clipped into the front piece a half-inch. This allowed me to keep the rest of the front clear of the serger blade.


After that, I considered serging the seam allowance around the neck, but decided that it was fine encased by the fold over facing. After that, it was a small matter of sewing the sleeves in flat, gathering the left side front, sewing it all together and hemming, and voila, a new top with little effort.


I used a size 10 for the shoulder and size 14 below the armscye, even if I should be a 16 by the waist/hips measurement, but I think sizing down gave me the proper amount of ease through the lower part of the garment. I don’t like a huge amount of ease below the bust, but at the same time, I am not aiming for negative ease there either. In the past, I’ve had difficulty with surplice tops gaping or being too low, but this pattern shows less skin, and I really like the effect.  In the fall, I may have to try this again with a less busy print or a solid.





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