I was reading through the rules for the Spring Top Sewalong over at Made by Rae and one in particular stuck out- Selfish sewing only: Your top must be sewed FOR you and BY you. Right up my alley.
I've been super busy lately. Just like everyone else, I'm sure. This is a hard time of year what with school wrapping up and trying to tie up loose ends. I've had lots of extra, on-my-own-time duties and activities. I feel like I've been spending a lot of potential sewing time doing work related things. So when I woke up Saturday with some free time, I decided I wasn't going to do anything else but sew. And sew, I did. I made this entire top in one day, including dyeing the lace. AND I made the white top, too. How's that for being selfish? It was awesome. Please disregard the fact that I sew selfishly most of the time anyway...
The lace before
I was checking out all the fun lace and trims at the fabric store the other day and was lamenting the fact that most everything is white or cream (or some hideous pastel) when I passed the Rit dye. Fuchsia went in to the basket, I'm not sure why exactly. I've been intrigued by Simplicity 2223 since it came out, especially the variation with lace, and had it mind when I left the store.
Lace soup, anyone?
I dyed the lace in our slop sink because I didn't think my husband would ever forgive me if I did it in the washing machine and subsequently dyed all his clothes pink, too. The slop sink is in the laundry room directly next to the washer so it was all very convenient. I doubled the amount of dye and added a cup of salt. I was expecting to see some variation between the cotton and polyester lace, but it either took the dye or it didn't. I only had one completely polyester strand and it didn't change at all. I didn't end up using it on the top. After I rinsed for what seemed like forever, I washed it twice in the washing machine (I threw it all in an old pillow case and tied it closed) and then laid it out in the sun to dry.
At that point, I went back to the fabric store to look for the right color linen. I had a plan in my mind with some aqua or robin's egg blue linen, but of course I didn't find anything like that. Then I spied this dark khaki linen. I like the contrast of the bright, vivid fuchsia and the drab khaki. I think another bright color would have been too much. The color in the double photo above is more subdued than it is in real life.
The pattern was straight forward. I didn't make any changes except I used french seams everywhere, even on the waist seam. I'm not sure if that is appropriate there or not, but everything is nice and finished on the inside. Linen seems to fray a lot. The pattern if fairly simple but all the trim complicated the process. I must have switched thread and bobbins five or six times while sewing. I used a turquoise bias binding for the neck edge. I had the two buttons on hand already.
I made the white top to wear underneath because I was concerned with making everything myself for the sewalong. I used my tried-n-true Burda Magazine 102, 2-2011 long sleeve tee pattern. I left off the sleeves and scooped out the neckline, thinning out the straps a bit. I used lingerie elastic around the neckline. That was a quick and easy way to finish a neckline on a knit top. I'll be keeping some of that elastic on hand from now on. Hooray for practical sewing! I know I'll get tons of use out of this.
I'm really pleased with the finished product. It's definitely reminiscent of a kimono, I think. I know I'll wear this quite a bit as it goes with several things in my closet. I'm interested in trying the cropped version, too. I think it would look good with high-waist skirts and pants. And do you see the variation with the running stitch collar? That's a neat detail.
Thanks, Rae, for the fun sewalong! I highly enjoyed my selfish sewing day. Maybe I should make that a monthly deal? Check the the Spring Top Sewalong flickr pool to see all the other amazing entries.