This weeks Crafty Bloggers' Club post is from Kim. You can find more of her makes on Instagram @kimmy_lizzie_sews
Recently there have been days when only a floaty, cool top and shorts will do, and even a t shirt has seemed too close fitting and warm! Enter the delightful viscose lawn - a soft natural fabric (made from wood pulp) with lots of breathability that comes in a wide range of lovely colours and prints.
When I saw this viscose lawn in this gorgeous colour and print, I knew I had to make a loose fitting garment - one without seams which would break up the pattern - and the My Handmade Wardrobe Everyday Amazing Top fitted the bill. It's a simple garment to make up - intended to give beginners a chance to gain their confidence in garment-making, but it also has an optional more demanding feature - the frill - and I wanted to take on the challenge.
I’ve tended to stay away from sewing lightweight, slippery fabrics, thinking that they are hard to work with, but I needn’t have been so timid - I actually really enjoyed sewing with this lawn. It felt beautifully soft and luxurious in my hands and all I needed to do was use lots and lots of sharp pins and take my time.
I was so excited to make my Everyday Amazing Top with this lovely pink viscose lawn, I put my fabric into the washing machine as soon as I got home. I had heard that viscose fabrics shrink quite a bit in the wash, and I absolutely did not want my garment to get too small - so I washed it twice to be sure. And yes, my fabric did shrink - by almost 10cms along the length - even though it is a lovely quality material.
I would have like to use my rotary cutter when I cut the pieces out, but I only have an A2 sized self-healing cutting mat, and it would have been impractical to move it under the fabric (I am putting an A1 cutting mat on my birthday wishlist, because I know I will be making more garments in this soft viscose lawn fabric in the future). I got by with my lovely sharp sewing scissors, taking care to keep the fabric as close to the table as possible.
I knew I liked the design of the pattern, as I had made it in a French terry jersey before. I chose to raise the neckline a touch this time - and to do this I stuck a piece of paper under the neckline of the pattern, and drew a different neck line before I cut it. Then I placed the fabric piece on my mannequin and adjusted the shape to round it off (I was making this all up - so it was a risk, but it worked out fine).
After I cut it I tried it on my neck and decided I was happy with it, so then I made the same adjustments to my front facing piece.
I really love using my overlocker, and so I used it to finish all my edges as instructed (this was a good job as this fabric doesn’t half fray!) and then I got started on the construction. The Everyday Amazing Top is a pretty straightforward pattern, and the instructions were very clear and detailed, with really helpful photos, and having made it before I knew I would get on well with this project. I started out using my memory - as I had taken my instructions booklet to work, to browse in my breaktime, and I left it there over the weekend! I was getting along fine until it came to putting in the frill. I thought I’d be able to figure it out but ….. after unpicking my work for the third time I accepted that I would have to wait and follow the instructions in the booklet.
The frill actually sits in the dart at the front - this is unusual and very pretty - and this is why I was making such a hash of itI I really did need the photographs and instructions to understand what to do - and once I had retrieved the instructions and followed them, I was able to get the job done - phew!!
I found it straightforward to create the elastic loop and button fixing at the back of the neck - and I like this as a fastening method as I find it easier to manipulate than a hook and eye, which is another option.
When I tried my top on I decided to shorten the length of the scoop at the back by a couple of inches and I just drew onto the garment with my frixion pen and a ruler, then I softened the line into a curve. I am 5ft 3” tall, and most patterns are designed for taller people. I could have shortened the whole garment using the double parallel lines on the pattern pieces at the cutting stage, but I do like the longer look at the front.
I absolutely love my top - I can pair it with shorts, jeans and lightweight trousers and it is so soft and light I hardly feel like I’m wearing it!
Thank you for reading my post. I hope you are encouraged to sew with viscose - it really does make soft and swishy clothes that feel great on!
“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.”