Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Blue Rose Drawstring Top


After my recent flutter with Japanese pattern books, I felt in need of an old fashioned pattern with instructions and lots of print on the pattern pieces.  My vintage patterns have been winking at me from their shelf for a few weeks, so I thought I’d sew one of them - meet Advance 8589.  



This is from 1958 and I made the straightforward sleeveless top on the right with the drawstring waist.  Lots of lovely detailed instructions (in English) and everything printed on the pattern pieces, even the seam allowances, hoorah. 


I made a muslin and decided it needed a few tiny tweaks:  I took the side seams in by half an inch and the bagging across the back needed taking in by three quarters of an inch.  I have this baggy back problem all the time because of my narrow back and it’s only recently that I’ve discovered a quick solution.  Previously I’d pinned a tuck right down the back, then laboriously flattened out the muslin and re-traced the new pattern piece etc etc.  After flicking through one of my favourite reads - Fit for Real People (which my husband thinks is hilarious because of the front cover), I discovered I could narrow the back width by simply placing the pattern centre back over the edge of the fold. The simplest discoveries make me so happy.  I also lengthened the blouse by an inch.


The neck seemed high, which I am not a fan of (see here for evidence) but because I hadn’t bothered incorporating the neck facing into the muslin (because I’m too lazy) I figured it would go slightly lower once the facing was in place. Wrong. I finished the blouse, but then whilst I was showing it off to my family I started feeling like I was being choked. Even when I took it off, I could still feel pressure round my neck (perhaps I have a weird strangling phobia?) So I carefully unpicked the centre front neck section and re-sewed it slightly lower.  Not much, as I think the style demands a high-ish neck, but just enough to stop me freaking out. 

 

The pattern is very simple and there’s a bit of clever trickery involving half turning the facings inside out, then taking out some basting stitches and cunningly turning them the right way round (or something like that).  Difficult to explain but it does make the inside look super neat doesn’t it?  


I used a printed poplin I picked up in a rare fabric sale at John Lewis.  This has a similar feel to a quilting cotton but is a lighter, silkier weight and doesn’t have the starched stiffness of quilting cotton.  I absolutely love the vintage rose print.

I do like the top (it was the top which drew me to the pattern rather than the suit) but I think it will take a while for me to get used to the drawstring style.  It reminds me of those maternity tops which tie with a drawstring under the bump!  I’m too used to most of my clothes being super fitted.  Worn with my ‘ever faithful, go with everything I own’ high waisted trousers though and I’m a bit more convinced.  
Magic trousers making my legs look 20 ft long (which they're not)
I’ve come to the conclusion that occasionally it’s good to sew something slightly out of your comfort zone.  I’ve got a feeling this top will grow on me…

23 comments:

  1. Most of my sewing takes me outside my comfort zone of jeans and trainers. Love the inside facing - so clever. Pretty fabric, too.

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  2. I'm sure it will. It looks fab and perfect with your magic trousers! Very pretty rosie print too.

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  3. Love that print!!! I have such a thing for vintage blue rose prints. The top looks gorgeous and the drawstring really gives it that extra something. The fit looks perfect too.

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  4. It looks great! I wondered what that drawstring would look like in real life - fantastic! Gorgeous with those fabulous trousers.
    And thanks for your lovely comment on my last post x

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  5. I certainly hope this top grows on you Jane, because it looks lovely on! I'm not usually convinced by drawstring detail either, but I don't think in this case that it makesthe top any less wonderful!

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  6. Thats a great combo Jane. It's good to go out of your comfort zone sometimes, otherwise we end up with 10 pieces of clothing that all basically look the same. I'd say this was a gamble that definitley paid off.

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  7. I totally love this - beautiful fabric (big fabric envy going on here actually!) And a really pretty pattern. Well done on extending your skills & confidence - that's what getting out of comfort zone's all about. Really suits you with your trousers as well. Big success :-) x

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  8. Very pretty indeed. Suits you so much :-)

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  9. love the top and the print!!! I've spotted an advance pattern in the pattern box where i work. seeing yours has made me want to give the one In work a go :)
    sarah

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  10. I love the print and the little tie, and the blouse looks great with your snazzy trousers! I know what you mean about high necklines (and fitted tops), I can't even get near a turtleneck. I'm so glad you linked to your Sencha post because I'm about to get started on that one and needed the reminder to lower the neckline a bit!

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  11. That looks great - and I love the fabric!

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  12. It's darling, and I love the fabric, too! Very prettily done. The little bow is just cute as pie, too—really tips us off to the vintage nature. :)

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  13. Love the top, the whole outfit looks super!

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  14. Oh that is really flattering! Especially with those trousers.

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  15. Oh another fabulous make and I love the inside out photograph, it's great to see this detail. I need to get myself some vintage patterns! Bethx

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  16. It's a gorgeous blouse, great job! The inside looks great.

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  17. Lovely top - neat insides, too! And those trousers ARE fab!

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  18. Its really gorgeous I have the same pattern which I will definitely make very soon. I love your pants too what pattern did you use for those?

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    1. Thank you! The trouser pattern is Simplicity 3688, a retro 1940's one. They're very easy to make, I'd definitely recommend it. X

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  19. Adorable and very becoming. Love the trousers, too.

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