Category Archives: Tops

Summer tops

Hello again!  Determined not to lose momentum after the last post (ok, not that that one took much effort), I grabbed the camera yesterday morning to take a few pics of recent tops just to prove that I do still exist and am still sewing, albeit at the pace of an extremely geriatric snail.

I have found it so hard over the past year to get shots of the few items I’ve made.  I finish something, and desperate for clothes I start wearing it asap, invariably getting toddler gunk of various descriptions all over it.  Or, shock horror, I get dressed without ironing, which doesn’t make for very nice blog pictures.

Yesterday the fortuitous combination of major ironing binge + sunny day + little guy asleep occurred so I dusted off the camera and headed out into the garden.  Only to find it was too sunny to get anything much decent (you won’t find me complaining about our current glorious weather though) so back into the dingy house I went.  One day I will learn how to use my camera properly and control light settings etc, but I’m afraid that is a project for the future.

Nothing particularly exciting here, just some much-needed wardrobe basics.  First up, Colette Sorbetto, made and loved by just about everyone in the blogosphere.  As usual, I’m late to the party but so happy to have one of these in my wardrobe finally!  I did actually make one last year which was unwearably tight in the bust department, so I then half cut this one out but never quite managed to finish it before the risible effort at summer was over.  A couple of weeks ago I dusted this off and finished it, and although I don’t think it’s my most favourite or flattering shape I love wearing it and there will definitely be another at some point.


I love the bias binding edge finishing, so neat! I think this may become my go to finish rather than faffing around with facings all the time.

My current sewing struggle is getting to grips with fitting my body properly.  I feel like I have the craziest measurements – I have to do a large FBA in the front and then take a large chunk out of the centre back.  Let’s not even talk about the bottom half!  It’s still all a bit trial and error – I wonder if I will ever become one of those people who say ‘I cut my usual size x and made my standard x alterations and it fit like a dream’.  I live in hope!

Here are a couple of iterations of Simplicity 2599 which I made last summer.  I’m not usually a particularly frilly person but as you can see, I wholeheartedly fell for it with this pattern.  These were made before I realised my need for a centre back adjustment so they are a bit on the blousy side but perfect for nursing and lovely in this glorious heatwave.


I tend to reach for the green more than the purple (which is more deep purple and less blue than it looks here), as the bow + frill combination can be a bit much.  I quite like the fact that the busy print of the green (a purchase from the mecca that is Goldhawk Road) disguises the ruffle a bit.


Lastly, apologies for the barefaced photos – I can hardly believe I’ve put myself on the internet without so much as a speck of mascara but with my time constraint it was either pictures or makeup.  I’m quite enjoying the no makeup look these days, it’s definitely not my best look but I guess this is one of those things that being a mother does to you!

Parma Violet

Well, amazing but true, this past week has seen the dusting off of my trusty machine and actual SEWING taking place.  I can’t tell you how much of an achievement this feels!  Time is at a premium with a 13 week old who refuses to nap during the daytime.

Where better to start than by jumping on the bandwagon of the lovely Colette Violet.  I’ve seen some gorgeous versions of this online, not least the beautiful fitted ones modelled by Joanne as part of the recent OWOP challenge.  I loved the fitted look but decided to go for the pattern as written to start with – I’m currently breastfeeding so slightly roomier clothes are required for easy access!  I’m not 100% sure I made the right decision as it’s a bit too blousy for my liking, but anyway here it is:

The fabric is a cotton lawn I got last summer at Anglian Fashion Fabrics in Norwich.  Can you still get Parma Violets?  I never liked them, but the print makes me think of them in a happy nostalgia way.  I cut a 12 but I think I probably should have done a smaller size plus FBA.  I might try this, and I might also go back to my muslin and put in some waist darts to see what happens – yes, I did actually make a muslin but only really looked to see if it fit around the girls properly rather than thinking about the whole picture.  Bit of a beginner mistake, cutting according to your largest part, but to be honest it was so exciting to be doing some actual sewing that I wasn’t in the mood for faffing around with adjustments.

I did take time to make the inside look good (a hangover from the wedding dress!), so it was French and self-bound seams all the way.  I also used covered buttons which I absolutely love, but I think with all that pattern a bit of piping to define the collar would be good.  Next time!

Anyway, I’m happy enough with it, and will definitely make a couple more but not before I’ve played around with the sizing.

Up next, another Colette fave, Ginger!  I’m hoping this is as quick and easy as everyone says because I really need to stop wearing my faithful maternity denim skirt – not as bad as it sounds as it’s under the bump style, but as I no longer have a bump to hold it in place it’s not ideal.

I’ve also decided to join Karen’s Pyjama Party – originally a pair of PJ bottoms was going to be my return to sewing project but the need for clothes I could wear out of the house was greater.  But now what better time to take part in my first sewalong!