Friday, 24 July 2020

Scallop-hem Ashton Top Hack

During Me-Made-May this year I saw a lot other participants wearing lovely tops made using the Ashton Top pattern by Helen's Closet. I've always got one eye out for a great-looking woven tank pattern because they are almost as comfy to wear as a T-shirt and only require a small amount of fabric. I remembered that I already own this pattern, having been sent it for free shortly after its release (with no expectation of making or reviewing it, I may add). And with some nice pieces of woven cotton fabric in my stash itching to be used, this project was asking to be made!

(image source: Helen's Closet)


This pattern is a shift style, with a simple rounded neckline and hem facing. Included are two bust size options, two length options and two neck-and-armhole finishing options (bound or faced). I chose to start with the longer length and according to the size chart, my measurements made me a size 10 at the bust and size 12 at the waist and hips. 

I dutifully blended between the sizes and folded out 2cm from the length on the torso, as I always do. Because I was planning to use some fairly precious fabric, I made a quick toile (muslin). That first toile came out too big, so I started again with a size 8/10 combo which a second toile told me was much better. 

The basic pattern is lovely as it is, but I felt that it would also be a great basis for some pattern hacks. So I decided to have some fun and try making a scallop hem, which is something that I've been thinking about trying in a project for a while. To make a scallop hem, you need to create a facing, but seeing as this pattern already includes hem facings, that was one less step to take. 

I also wanted to play around with the neckline a little, so I drafted a V shape at the back (and altered my facing piece accordingly). I love the V shape detail of the Peppermint magazine peplum top, and what better way to expose a ropey, faded early-2000's star tattoo?!


For yonks I've been the owner of two small-ish lengths of lovely Atelier Brunette printed poplin. I put them both in my #2020makenine sewing plans (which you can see in this post) because they've been in my stash for years and really should be enjoyed out in the world. This cute little Paris print on a grey background came from M is for Make at least five years ago. I bought the end of the bolt, which I think was about 90cm. Although it's a bit cuter than anything I'd buy for myself these days, however I still really love the print and TBH I couldn't think of anything else to do with it.  


I'm very pleased with how this top came out and I've worn it a couple of times since completion. Making the scallops added an extra level of challenge to the project, and I had a lot of fun working out how to make them as neat as possible (the key is A LOT of perilous clipping into the curves). I'm not sure if the V-shape is a total success: it looks nice but I'm not sure if it quite fits with the scallop hem detail. The only actual annoyance I feel with this project is that, as you can see in these pics, one of my bra straps is almost constantly visible. Next time I use this pattern, I'll probably build up that area a bit, as I'm never going to wear a strapless bra. Ultimately, it's a win. The overall fit is great and I'm so pleased I was able to find a use for this crisp poplin after so many years of hoarding it. 

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