FO: The Drafting Top, Volume One

Something Kinda OOOH!

I still can’t quite believe that Jill of  ItTerations Workwear has shared this pattern with us!
But I am so very excited and happy that she did :D

Remember how this began?  I blogged that I had seen a gorgeous swooshy drapey top and wanted to try to copy it.  Jill got in touch and offered to make the pattern available to me and my readers through her Etsy shop. That was just a month ago.  The pattern listing went live on 12 November and I received my package from California just a week later – wow!

So… what’s the pattern like, Roo?

Singing its praises

The pattern itself arrived hand-drawn and cut to shape on sturdy designer’s drafting paper.  My first impression was that I had never seen anything like it!  I recognised the sleeves as sleeves but the main garment piece is…. wow!  I could not have come up with this on my own!

The instructions are sent by pdf and are a combination of photographs, line drawings and detailed notes on how to sew your top.  I recommend you read these all the way through before you begin and don’t try to do it your own way.  Seriously.  It is easy when you follow the instructions, but without them you would be in peril.

Why?  Because this garment gets its style from an ingenious manipulation of fabric which I have only ever seen before in Japanese pattern books like Drape Drape and Pattern Magic.  Simple when you know how, but your average home-sewer (me!) will not have seen it before.

Without giving away any secrets, let’s just say the sleeves don’t go where you expect!
Intrigued?  So you should be – it’s fab!

Do you have any construction tips?

Yes!

The fabric provided in Jill’s kits is super-stretchy and although you are instructed to cut the body on two layers of fabric, I couldn’t get it to behave itself,  so cut each piece on a single layer to ensure the pattern was lying completely flat and was on the grain.

Remember to flip the pattern over for the second piece!

You might want to sharpen your scissors for a good clean cut.

You will want a new needle in your machine to avoid snagging the delicate knit.

In fact – get your brush out, clean your cogs and pistons and give your machine a drink of oil.  It will thank you for it.

I used the vari-overlock stitch (number 6) on my Bernina 1008 for everything.

I found it easier not to use pins, but instead lined up my fabric ready to sew and then ran a warm iron along the edges of the sandwich.  This helped the pieces stay together and prevented rolling as I stitched.

The neck is bound with fold-over elastic.  If you haven’t used it before it might be worth practicing on a pair of knickers first.

That’s all!  The kit fabric requires a bit of careful handling, but it’s worth taking your time over.  There aren’t many seams and the shape is forgiving of the odd wiggle in your stitching.

Verdict?

Well, duh!  Obviously I love it!

Buy some new slippers, Roo!

The style is amazing and I feel so clever now that I know the secret behind its shape! The fabric is wonderfully soft and light, yet warm to the touch.

It is made for movement.  If ever I wanted to dance it was today when I finished making this top and put it on for the first time.

I chose size Small but it would probably fit someone many inches bustier than me.

Will you make it again, Roo?

Damn skippy I will!

No daylight today.  Even my lips are grey!

If you are UK-based and are looking for similar fabric, I bought some extra-fine black jersey online at Truro Fabrics which will be perfect for Volume Two.  You definitely need a fine knit with loads of drape.  I noticed that Truro Fabrics also sell modal jersey in khaki or pink – that would work really well too.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a shawl to cast off….