After finishing the skirt I posted about last week, I thought it would be nice to have a long sleeve top to coordinate with it. In my stash I have several pieces of black knit fabrics. The one I used I think was a type of jersey knit. It wasn't as soft as a typical ITY jersey knit and snagged fairly easy (and annoyingly often!) on my dry skin. Since It's been so long since I bought the fabric, I have no idea what it really is or where I got it (probably a Hancocks or JoAnn Fabrics). Definitely not my favorite material - but hey, good for a practice blouse, right?
I have two patterns in my stash that are almost identical, Butterick 5495 and Burda 7625. After reading through the reviews on both, I went with the Butterick. It also was voted as one of the best patterns of 2010 at PatternReview.com which sealed the deal for me. The Butterick pattern described it as: loose-fitting top with front drape gathered into loop, dropped shoulder, seam details, stitched hems and long kimono type sleeves.
And here is the finished top:
The bust part of the top fit fine but the waist and hips was snugger in the back than I wanted them to be. When I basted the side seams for a fitting, it looked bunchy and unattractive in the back as you can see in the photo below. Next time I will grade to a larger size in the waist and hip area.
To loosen up the fit in the back I took out the basting stitches and instead of sewing a normal 5/8" allowance I sewed a 1/4" seam allowance. That extra 3/8" on each side helped a lot with the fit and appearance of the back. I forgot to snap an after shot once I made that adjustment though.
Overall, it came out fine. I like it and with my modifications the pattern was fairly easy to follow. Plus, the color are style make it a top that will go with with lots of skirts and pants. I'm sure the less than stellar fabric will wear out long before I get tired of the style, so I definitely see making another top in the future with higher quality fabric.
*As per other sewers recommendations at PatternReview.com, I skipped reinforcing or stay stitching the various pieces. I did find it odd that a knit pattern would have those recommendations and I'm glad other's mentioned skipping those steps so I had more confidence to skip them too.
*I also skipped finishing the inside edges of the self facing parts of the neckline. It's a knit so I know it won't unravel and I thought serging the edges might add bulk to that area. If I have a problem in the future, then I can always go back and finish those edges.
*In step 6, I realized that the notches of the pattern do not match up as they should. So I sewed it without matching them up and it turned out just fine.
*For step 11, after inserting and stitching the loop closed, I went back and sewed the loop insertion holes closed as tightly as possible because I did not like the gaping holes that I had.
*Also like other sewers, I didn't like the very deep plunging neckline so I sewed it closed with a dart at the bottom of the neckline. I basted it closed about 4 inches but it made the rest of the shirt pull oddly across my bust. So I decreased it to 2 inches and it looked much better. Still have to wear a camisole for my own modestly comfort level but I like some color with all that black anyway.
*I shortened the hem by 2 inches.
*Sleeve hems and bottom hem were finished with a coverstitch machine.
Janome CoverPro 1000 CP Coverstitch
Used narrow left (3mm) setting
Left needle tension 3.75, right needle tension 3.75, looper tension 3.0
Differential feed 1.0, stitch length 3.0
Needles: Schmetz system Elx705, 80/12