Back at the end of April I asked for ideas from the Stashbusting Sewalong Facebook group on what to do with my small knit stash. Sue suggested I take a look at SyleArc an Australian company I hadn’t come accross. I did and fell for a couple of their tops including the asymmetric drape Billie top. Then I discovered that they don’t do PDF’s (I even emailed them to double check) and I couldn’t really justify paying postage to have a pattern mailed around the world.
So I looked around for something similar and found the Drape Drape 2 no.4 one-piece scoop neck asymmetric top pattern (such a catchy name) scattered around the blogosphere. I decided I liked it better and as it was nearly my birthday treated myself to the book (I didn’t compare prices to having a pattern shipped, but it felt better value, as there are 14 patterns, even if I am clearly never going to wear most of them).
Well, it came and I went to trace out the pattern. It only comes in two sizes, S/M and L/XL so I was obviously going to need the larger one. At the last minute I measured myself before getting stuck in. And found that I was larger than the XL size in the book (the size chart is on p7 and can be seen using the Look Inside feature on the link above – which is a good reason for using amazon to browse books online, even if like me you choose to buy them elsewhere where possible due to their tax dodging – oh how I wish there was an independent bookseller nearby so I could shop online using Hive – but I digress). I didn’t take my measurements down at the time, but today my upper bust is 99cm (I don’t think I would have thought to measure that at the time) and my full bust is 105cm – both way outside the XL 90cm bust measurement. Gah.
After a little sulking, I decided to try it anyway, after all, jersey is stretchy right? And what else was I going to do with this piece of fabric.
I was planning to use some burgandy jersey (not sure of composition, think it has some cotton in) I had bought in Bath with the intention of making my daughter leggins to wear instead of tights to school but I’d since given up on the idea, so I figured it was free fabric.
Boy is that pattern piece large. I needed to tape several huge pieces of paper together to trace it. And then I discovered that my fabric wasn’t quite big enough, this pattern eats fabric as it’s cut on the bias. I decided to put a side seam in (I figured no one would notice if it had two seams in, like a normal t shirt) so I could slide one side of the top and be more economical with the fabri. Still not enough fabric. So I slightly changed the angle of one side (it’s cut on the bias) to fit it in.
Making it up was pretty easy despite being a novice sewer with knits. I was good and used a ballpoint needle and a stretch stitch. I had an extra seam to do, making a grand total of 4 seams (2 shoulder, 2 side, plus the neck, cuffs and waist to finish. I was not so good about that, I left the side seams unfinished on the inside and I gave up on the instructions for finishing the neckline, I just folded it under once and topstitched it in place. Same for the hem. No one has ever noticed (or if they have they were too polite to say).
Amazingly the top fit. The sleeves however….
I should point out that the sleeves are meant to be different from each other. They are not supposed to look like that though.
My determination to carry this through led me to chop a corner of each arm (after all, they weren’t suppose to match so why try) and amazingly it worked.
I wore the top for the first time in Me Made May – getting my husband to snap a picture before he went to work.
I wasn’t convinced at this point about the top. There’s no delicate way of putting this but I just feel that my cheast gets in the way of the drape of the top. It doesn’t lie as it’s intended. It’s certainly has less ease in that area than it does elsewhere! This made me feel very self conscious about wearing it.
However, it is a shade I love so I have worn it a lot and have forgotten/gotten used to the fit issues and had my confidence bolstered not just by the lack of negative comments, but by getting compliments when wearing it and then surprising the person paying the compliment by confessing it was made by me.
So, in honour of finally getting around to blog about this top, I decided a proper photo shoot was in order. Unfortunately, my main photographer was sulking about something else at the time, so I had to resort to using a 7 year old boy. I notice some people post amazing pics apparently taken by their kids. It is all I can do to get him to include the garment I’m interested in in the frame of the picture….