14 May 2012 - cheap cheap cheep top


Yesterday, I went out to buy some more interfacing to use for tracing patterns. Given the only success I ever seem to have comes through using Japanese pattern books, tracing paper is an essential part of my tool kit and about 18 months ago, I bought a huge roll of some fantastic stuff which I was hoping to find again.  Unfortunately, they no longer sell it, so was stuck buying packets of 5 metre medium weight interfacing. While out and about, I also had a bit of a browse and came across this cute bird dodgy polyester (chiffony) fabric.  At $9.95 a metre, who was I to say no to it and immediately raced home, tracing paper in hand, ready for a quick bit of afternoon sewing to compensate for the disaster from yesterday.
I used pattern F from A Stylish Dress Book, but shortened it into a top (so probably pattern P) with only 2 rows of shirring rather than the 3 and 1 row of shirring on the sleeves.  I've made a lot of Japanese pattern clothes before, but this was the first time I failed to locate the sleeves on the pattern sheet!!  I even asked Ben to try and help me but not even he could find the sleeves, so I found some lines that I thought might work and traced them out and cut the fabric.  This material was slippery to cut, and today, of course, the cutting of my 'could be' sleeves was also a litte bit off... so it's no surprise that when it came to matching seams and sewing it all up nothing really went together.  After yesterday's defeat I wasn't giving in so quickly.... so, after quite a bit of messing around (and swear words) with the sleeves, I made them fit.  They are not as 'flouncy' as they probably should be and while my rolled hem is not nearly as neat as it should be, for a $10 top it is ok and I'm not ashamed enough not to wear it.   In fact this morning, I have had quite a few compliments on it!


  1. I know this post is from 2 yrs ago, but I'm hoping you'll see this anyways! I just made pattern P (same as F minus the length) from the Stylish Dress Book, and the neck is a pretty big scoop. I really like this top for the high, gathered neck, so I tried it again, adding 2 inches to the neck/ sleeve tops. Still a fairly big scoop. :(
    If I try gathering the neck more to raise it up, the sleeves are too high.
    Your post is the only I could find using this pattern, and it looks just the way I want it- any idea what I'm doing wrong??!!
    Thanks so much, s.

  2. Hi,

    I shirred the neckline on both this one and on another version I made with it here: http://kbfield.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/26-may-2012-to-shir-or-not-to-shir.html

    I wonder would that help a little bit? The other thing is making sure you've added the seam allowance to the sleeves - which I'm sure you've done!Let me know how you go. It's a cute top and you've reminded me to fix my other version of this so that I can wear it again.. my shirring was less than stable :)