Thursday, 21 April 2016

Remade Denim Tova Top

I did it! Against my natural inclinations, I dug deep and found the patience to remake and replace the sleeves of my denim Tova top. If you look back at the original photos, you'd be more than forgiven for not being able to spot any difference! But although the change is very subtle, I'm glad that I did. The sleeves initially felt a tiny bit tight when I raised my arms. I love everything else about this garment, and can see it being part of my wardrobe for years, if not decades, so I didn't want there to be any element that would make me avoid wearing it.

So what did I do? Well I begun by following the steps in this tutorial (thanks Claire for directing me to it), slash-and-flaring the pattern piece out, inserting some paper behind and adding 3cm across the width of the sleeve (see below). By spreading out the sleeve piece in this fashion, you unavoidably monkey about with the sleeve head, making it shallower. The tutorial would have you trace and then retain the height and shape of the original sleeve-head, however I chose not to because A) adding only a small amount to the width like I did didn't change the sleeve head very much and B) the original Tova pattern piece sleeve head was crazy-high and I always felt it was a little unnecessary (not that I know what problem a tall sleeve head might cause!). Because I used the altered rather than original sleeve head, I didn't need to follow step 4, making the armhole larger using one of two approaches. I didn't feel the size of the armhole needed adjusting, and in fact I was concerned that by doing so might start making this top start look looser and potentially lose some of the delicate proportions that makes this pattern so appealing. 

I'm not sure how much more use I'll get from this top during my pregnancy because my boobs may expand even more than they already have (heavens!), and as you can see in the top two pictures, it's already getting a little tight! But I'm very happy that, having made the effort now, when things calm down in the bust area, this top is ready to be reached for as a useful breast-feeding friendly option. It feels good to resist instant gratification sometimes and pay yourself forward, doesn't it?! 


Chris said...

Changing the sleeves can make such a HUGE difference in how a shirt feels! I've been following a couple of people who have some great information on why:
Original post--

In use--

While I lack the sewing expertise of either of these ladies, their explanation and usage makes a LOT of sense to me :)

Anyway, I'm 90% sure from their posts that the method you used didn't change the length of the sleeve head, just the shape. Since the length is the important part for inserting, your solution is *the* no-worry solution!!

Congrats on the baby :)

Whitney said...

I love my Tova top EXCEPT for the sleeves! I have broad shoulders and thought that was the issue with the sleeves being tight and I didn't really think there would be a way to fix them easily without changing the shape. I'm going to have to try this! Thanks for the inspiration!

Michelle Paganini said...

I love that you put the time into this blouse!

Hazie said...

I think that what you have done has effectively flattened the sleeve head. This is another method of increasing freedom for your arms to move as shown here. I tried this on a dress last year, but although it helped, it's still uncomfortably unwearable so I might try your way too.
If this doesn't work, perhaps I shall have to resort to one of these gadgets which is so bizzare I Had to share!;_ylu=X3oDMTBydHRqMjgyBGNvbG8DaXIyBHBvcwM1BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg--/RV=2/RE=1461337092/RO=10/

Sarina said...

Alterations are really a pain even for experienced people - glad you aced it.

In this site there are some sleeve tutorials ( not for alterations though) hope you will check it out


Mother of Reinvention said...

If you are not comfy in a garment you won't wear it. Having the ability to make those changes is just such a great thing and your top looks great. Kudos to you for having the patience for doing that alteration. I am not sure that I would have. Xx

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