My Newly Re-sewn and Newly Sewn Top

Vogue 2074 is a close fitting, wrap or mock wrap top (in three lengths) that includes above elbow or long sleeves with stitched hems. The pattern also includes straight or A-line skirts in three lengths (mid-knee, below mid-knee, above ankle) with a contoured waistline and a back zipper.

I sewed two versions of the top.

IMG_20160321_160648018 IMG_20160321_160914851
Vogue 2074
Vogue 2074
  Cream Top Teal Top
Fabric Used Polyester Double Knit Rayon (70%) / Poly (28%) / Spandex (2%) blend
Version Sewed Version E (wrap top) Version I
(mock wrap top)

IMG_20160321_160648018Cream top: I originally sewed version E in a cream polyester double knit about 15 years ago. The wrap top includes ties that are sewn at each side seam. The ties are tied together at the left side. The longest tie is sewn at the left side seam and is threaded through a hole on the right seam and then wrapped around the back on the outside of the top to meet up with the right tie at the left side.

When I originally sewed this top, I included shoulder pads with it. I didn’t sew the pads onto the top, instead I added snaps on the pads and along the shoulder seam lines so I could easily remove the pads when I laundered the top.

The top I originally cut and sewed was too large, so I needed to take it in before I could wear it again. I never liked the way the wrap ties worked or looked, and I didn’t like the way I had to feed the tie through the small hole on the right side seam. I also didn’t like how the tie looked when it was wrapped around my back. The top was way too fiddly to suit me. I only remember wearing it two or three times. The top had been hanging in the back of my closet for years.

Alterations
I ripped out the side seams, removed the ties and sewed the side seams back up to form a mock wrap top. When I sewed the seams, I took the seams in by about an inch on each side. I also permanently retired the shoulder pads – I have broad shoulders and never needed them in the first place.

After I made these alterations, I was much happier with the top

Sewn 15 years ago After My Alterations
wrap blouse IMG_20160321_160648018

I was so happy with my new old top that I decided to make another one in teal.

IMG_20160321_160914851Teal top: This time I sewed the mock wrap version (version I). This version is a few inches shorter than the wrap version. Since I preferred the wrap version length, I cut out Version E, but modified the side seams to match the seams in the mock wrap version pattern pieces (the side seams flare out a bit more). I also didn’t include a collar and cut out the smaller size.

Wrap tops are stylish and classic – they don’t go out of style – and I think they flatter small busted women like me. I especially like well designed mock wraps because they look like wrap tops without all the fussiness.

A New Black Suit

Butterick 5235cI recently sewed this lovely ensemble which consists of a jacket and a matching top and skirt.  This was my most ambitious sewing project todate.  I have always flirted with the idea of sewing a lined suit, had even bought a pattern and fabric long ago to sew one, but kept getting intimidated at the thought of it.

Patterns used:
Butterick  5235 (Jacket & Top)
McCalls 3341 (skirt)

Fabric: 
100% Polyester Crepe Suiting & Bemberg lining fabric

The Jacket

I really liked the way the jacket looked the first time I saw the pattern. It is a professional yet feminine jacket and I liked the retro look of it.

Since this was the first time I had lined a jacket I followed all the pattern instructions meticulously. The sewing instructions were very clear and, even though there was quite a lot of hand sewing, the jacket was easy to sew. Some of the hand sewing I’m referring to is due to my own caution, choosing to hand baste many of the seams before sewing the permanent seam. But the instructions also had me hand sewing the sleeve linings into the garment. I genuinely enjoyed all of the hand sewing that was required.

Butterick 5235 Butterick 5235b Butterick 5235g

The Skirt

McCalls 5235 is a simple a-line skirt. I lined and added a vent in the back center seam. When I tried it on, the skirt was too much of a bell shape so I tapered the side seams, starting about 9 inches up from the hem, down to the hem by about an inch on each side.

Black Interview skirt1

Black Interview skirt2

The Top

I didn’t originally plan to sew the matching top, but after I finished cutting out the jacket and skirt, I had about a yard of fabric left over which was just enough fabric to sew a matching top.  When I wear the skirt and top together, it gives the illusion of wearing a dress, and I can wear them with some of the other jackets I already own.

Butterick 5235 topButterick 5235f

I like the flexibility of having two separate pieces that I can mix and match to clothes I already own.