I have been very cautious not to rush into a project with this or the other fabrics that I was given. Such preciousness needs to be contemplated. But when does caution turn into paralysis? With Spring on it's way, it was time to act. The fabric is actually fairly narrow which eliminated some of the ideas I had for it. Then the plan for a summer dress took hold. Cut a long story short the dress was a massive fail, which was wholey unexpected since I used a pattern that I had made previously. The more I tried to rectify the fit, the worse it looked so I decided to abort mission, cut my loses, and deploy one of my new pattern, the New Look 6808, pictured above.
When I got this pattern, I did something almost unheard of: I made a toile! Seriously, that happened! The lesson I was trying to finally apply to my sewing is that the simpler the garment, the more important a nice fit is. In true making do spirit, I used the plain bit from the side of a bedsheet (some of which went to form this dress) to cut out a toile. I had a sneaking suspicion that proved valid that I would be a size 12 at the top and a size 14 around the hips. Applying the knowledge the toile had provided back to the pattern, I was ready for when the right fabric appeared and a project was on the cards. I didn't have to wait long for the Chinese takeaway dress fail to present itself and a top opportunity was born.
I just managed to squeeze enough fabric for the no-sleeved version, and used some white cotton (another former bedsheet) to make a contrast peterpan collar to hopefully simultaneously add extra quirk-factor and break up the print a little. I made self-binding for the armholes but applied it so it is visible, rather than folded to the inside as the pattern suggests (I don't like how much bulk you sometimes get with that method).
As you can see from the back, I didn't pay any attention at all to the placement of the print, but to be fair, with limited salvagable fabric from the dress fail, it probably wouldn't have been possible to change anyway.
Over all, I'm really happy with the 'final resting place' for this fabric. When I made the toile, I toiled up the plain higher neck version, thinking all my fit issues would be around the waist/hip area. The neck/shoulder area fitted well. Yet somehow the neckline/collar area of this version has come out a little big for my liking. Definitely not bad enough to warrant an unpick and re-do, but enough to note and make changes if I make this wide collar version again.
Also, despite my toiling efforts, I'm still not sold on the final fit. It's a funny pattern in that it attempts to bridge two styles: it's more fitted that a shift top, but looser than a fitted bodice. This was one of the properties that drew me to it, but it makes decisions on a final fit a bit tricky. I attempted to add enough space around the hips for it to sit over the top of trousers, but made it close enough in the waist to be flattering. I've got quite a pronounced difference between my waist and hip measurement, so I'm thinking maybe the resultant side seam curve may be too extreme. I'm going to wear this top a few times and see what I think, and make alterations if I deem them necessary. It fastens with a side zip, which will need to be taken out and re-fitted if needs be, which will be a pain in the arse, but worth it I feel should I decided a re-fit is required.
So, where to wear this? The obvious choice is out for dinner! I wonder if the girl pictured above who featured in my initial food fabric post is free? We could hook up and argue about what type of restaurant we should go to! Of course, my outfit would need to be accessorised. How about with this?:
Actually, I think my best mate Vic actually has one of these? Confirmation required please, Vic... Anyhow, I'm casually calling this top the Chinese takeaway top, when it really should be called the Chinese takeout top, as the food it portrays is very much a US version. If it dipicted a British scene, the coordinating bag pictured above would be irrelevant. Instead, I'd have to take my phone and keys around in something which looked more like this!: