Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Chinese Takeaway Top!

Back in August last year I got a bit obsessed with food-related fabric. I loves me a novelty print at the best of times, but a print that you could wear that reflected an activity you indulge in at least three times a day? How good is that?! It brings it to a new level. Well, I was very lucky that this post didn't fall on deaf ears. My best mate Vic picked up on some of the awesomeness and bought me off the tinters some of the Chinese takeaway fabric that I featured for my birthday in October (among other awesome printed fabric that will be disclosed in due course). Lucky, lucky me!

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!:


21 comments:

KID, MD said...

That is ADORABLE!!

Uta said...

That is so cute! I fear I'm somewhat over novelty prints for myself (something to do with 4-0 on the horizon? What's next? Nude colored support hose?), but I need to use more fun (-ny) fabrics for the kids!

Fourth Daughter said...

If you were REALLY going with the Asian theme then you'd just be using a plastic bag as a handbag... they're known as Asian handbags over here!!
I don't think I could wear clothes with food prints, I'd just get too hungry!

Jess said...

I love this top! So cute! I think I'm going to have to pick this pattern up....

Stacy said...

Love it! You KNOW how I feel about novelty prints and cute blouses. :)
Can't wait to see you modeling this.

Cecili said...

I LOVE what you did with this top! The contrasting collar works too well and the fit seems perfect! I made this top without thinking too much and even though it ended cute it definitely has a fitting problem at the necklace -if I bend forward a little the whole shop's open :(

Seemane said...

It's so cute!
If you go down the foil-box route for a "handbag" then don't forget it would beautifully accessorise any "Indian" takeway inspired garments you might choose to sew in the future. You could called it a "Tikkaway" top LOL!

Minnado said...

It's a very fab top - I too echo the comments about the white collar making it look sweet.I am impressed you made a toile too!

Susannah said...

Ooh, fun. I'm now fantasizing about appropriate accessories. Maybe you could make yourself a fortune cookie handbag? It would be pretty easy -- you'd just start with a big circle of tan felt. Chopsticks in the hair, of course, but what else? Chicken-foot earrings maybe?

Sandy a la Mode said...

awwww so cute! i love it! great job w/ the top!

Tilly said...

Great top! I think you need a prawn cracker fascinator to go with it though.

Tasia said...

Love it!! I love a good novelty print and the white collar helps streamline the look. Can't wait to see it in a Me-Made outfit!

ohthecuteness said...

So amazingly cute, and the peter pan collar is the best! And I totally have that lunchbag, my sis got it for me back in middle school. Still awesome.

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

Oh.my.gosh. I think this is officially the most random fabric I have ever seen. Great shirt!

jessica said...

I LOVE this!!! Super fun fabric, love the pattern you paired it with.

Brooke said...

OMG CUTE!

Karen said...

I love novelty fabric too! Uh oh, you're making me think about actually making something to wear from my Nancy Drew fabric....!

Roobeedoo said...

The white collar is perfect with that mad print... modelled shot please!

emily said...

love the print! I made a dress once with fabric that was covered in crabs. You can probably guess from that last sentence why it never really got worn... x

Vic said...

Yep - I do have that bag... probably in a box somewhere, cluttering up the folks home with my other meagre possessions!

LisaRae said...

It's funny that I'm just finding this post now, I love the top, but never realised how nice it looks once it is all sewn up
Also, after looking at the picture and then googling fresh collective again, I final realized why the model in the picture looked so familiar! I've seen her around Toronto a few times and bought one of her sweaters a few years ago at a craft show. Unless it isn't Laura-Jean Bernhardson, then she has a serious doppleganger. She has some serious talent as well!

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