This weeks Crafty Bloggers' Club post is from Kim. You can find more of her makes on Instagram @kimmy_lizzy_sews
Hi! I'm Kim, I'm Freya's mum, and I'm a passionate member of Team Crafty!
I've been wanting to make myself an Everyday Amazing Top , a pattern created by My Handmade Wardrobe, for some time, and as the weather is pretty chilly, I was delighted when I saw that Jersey fabric was listed as suitable for this pattern. I chose a lovely, soft, sweatshirting fabric called "Loop-backed French Terry" in a warm grey tone and I decided to add Poppy Cuff Ribbing at the wrists to add something different to the design. I'm glad I did because they make the garment even more snuggly and I think they look great!
I love the simple lines of the Everyday Amazing Top pattern. It has darts and slight gathers at the armholes, but overall it is very beginner-friendly, the instructions are very clear, and the pattern gives new sewists a chance to build their confidence. I love the softness of loop-backed French Terry - and it is really easy to work with because it's quite stable - it doesn't roll much at the edges, and it doesn't shift much at the cutting out stage. I found the lay plans in the pattern easy to read, and to make this top I only needed to use 1.5 metres of fabric.
The first step is to stay-stitch the curved edges of the neckline and armhole, and then to finish the long edges of the front, back and sleeves and around the lower edge of the facing. I bought myself an overlocker last year, and I love that I can give the edges of the fabric a professional looking finish, but this can be done using a zig zag, or overcasting stitch on a sewing machine. The next step was to join the front and back pieces at the shoulders. I decided to add a strip of ribbon at this seam, to stop it from stretching.
The instructions say that you can finish off the neckline of the long-sleeved version of the top with bias binding, but I decided to add the facing provided for the short sleeved version because I wanted extra thickness for my embroidery motif (I hadn't decided whether to use the machine for the embroidery or sew it on by hand at that point) and so I trimmed the facing piece in situ, so it did not extend to the armholes.
After attaching the facing, I topstitched around the neckline with a small zigzag (testing my zig zag widths and lengths on a scrap piece of jersey first!) Next to choose a button. I had a few options. I love delving into my button box to see what might suit a project. I have my Nana's button box, and some of her buttons are still in there! I knew I wanted a big one to stand out at the back fastening when I wear it with my hair up, and I chose a chunky black one to echo the black stripe in the cuffing.
The sleeves went in quite easily. I needed to create 2 rows of stitching for the gathers at the shoulder, but there wasn't an awful lot of fabric to ease into place, so it was relatively straightforward. I used a long straight stitch to 'tack' the sleeve into place, as this is so much easier to unpick if things go wrong! I was happy with how the sleeves looked so I stitched them in properly with the stretch or "lightening" stitch on my sewing machine. I really enjoyed sewing the long seam along the arms from the cuffs up to the underarm and straight down the sides of the garment - it was very quick and satisfying, and then I could try it on!
And so - onto the cuffing! It was the first time I had used Poppy ribbing, and I was please that it was so uncomplicated. I used my overlocker to join the two short ends, then I matched this seam to the seam on my sleeve, then I used the quadrant method and pins to identify the 4 points where I needed to join the pieces. Again, I used a long straight stitch to 'tack' the pieces together, and once I was happy with the join, I used the stretch or "lightening" stitch to sew them firmly together.
When I tried on the garment, I felt the scoop along the back was too deep for me - I'm only 5ft 3in - so I decided to reduce the length. I kept the curve, though, as it it one of the features I really like about this pattern. Hemming the garment was very easy, and I used the same zig zag stitch along the hem as I had used to topstitch the neckline.
Finally it was time to do some embroidery at the neckline, using black thread to echo the black stripe in the ribbing I used on the cuff. I spent a pleasant hour looking at ideas on Pinterest and finally decided on this little circular flower motif:
And to finish it all off, I added a "Hand Made" label on the hem of my lovely top.
I am thrilled with my Everyday AmazingTop, and I expect to wear it a lot - teaming it with black jeans and occasionally with smart black trousers. I will be able layer it, and I can see me wearing it with a scarf, or with a higher neck t shirt underneath, or a cardigan on top. I plan to make another one - probably with short sleeves and a ruffle - using a floaty viscose fabric, to wear in the warmer weather. And I'm going to use the same pattern to make the shift dress for a cool Summer garment!
Seeing my top hanging up in our bedroom my husband exclaimed "That's lovely! You could sell those!" I replied, "I'm not selling it! I love it and it took hours to make!". You have to laugh at people who don't realize that we sew for the love of building a handmade wardrobe!!
Thank you for reading my blog post - if you decide to make an Everyday Amazing Top or Dress do share a photo with me and the other crafty people on the Facebook page 'The Crafty Sew and So's - Sewing and Craft Community'. Happy sewing everyone!
“Crafty Bloggers' Club Contributors are given products and materials to test from Crafty Sew&So. We hope you enjoy their honest and impartial reviews of the products. All opinions are their own.”