Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Walkley in stripes

Behold my latest stripey top, made from the Walkley pattern from Wendy Ward's MIY Collection.


I have to be honest, some of the MIY Collection patterns are a little too unstructured for my taste, but this one caught my eye after seeing Scruffy Badger's deliberately mismatched striped version. I'm not edgy enough to go for mismatched stripes myself, but I liked the fact that the top looked both contemporary and smart, so into the basket it went. 


The Walkley is a very simple pattern for a sleeveless vest or dress. The PDF version tiles together using just eight sheets of A4. And if, like me, you don't go down the different fabrics/colour blocking route, there's only one front and one back piece to cut out, yay! The only thing I was wary of was the boat neck. I can't tolerate very high necks and this one looked a bit borderline. I always seem to end up with gaping too, especially if the boat neck is very wide. I compared the pattern piece to other boat necked patterns I own and it did seem wide, so I removed a 1" wedge from the neckline using this tutorial. That was the only adjustment I made.

The pattern comes in three sizes depending on your bust measurement. My measurements corresponded with the middle size, but I cut the smallest size as I wanted a closer fit. The style is supposed to skim, not be skin tight. The finished vest is quite fitted, but that's the result I was after and I'm pleased. If I was using a lighter, more clingy fabric, or making the dress version, then I'd definitely cut a larger size!


Constructing the top couldn't have been easier, not surprising really as the front and back are cut from the same piece. I sewed the whole thing on my regular sewing machine for a change. I used a jersey needle and sewed the shoulder seams and side seams with a tricot stitch, which is one of the stretch stitch options on my machine. I only discovered this stitch recently when I was looking through my instruction manual for something else and it's great! It has lots of stretch but is very strong. The only downside is that it takes ages to sew. The neckline, armholes and hem were turned under and hemmed with a double needle. These areas are all drafted with additional shaping so that they lie flat when folded, which I thought was a nice touch. 


Part of the general pattern instructions is a Working with Knit Fabrics section which gives some useful tips, including stabilising shoulder seams with tape. A tiny gripe, but I would have preferred this tip to have been in the step-by-step instructions instead - it's the sort of thing that can easily be overlooked in a general section. There was also no instruction to stay stitch or stabilise the neckline, which I think is especially important for a wide boat neck. Having suffered from baggy necklines in the past I wasn't taking any chances and zig-zagged standard stay tape to my neckline, about 1cm from the edge. This, coupled with the wedge I removed from the pattern piece definitely made the neckline feel more stable. Apart from these two points, I found the instructions were well explained with clear illustrations.

The fabric I used was a Kitt waffle knit from Fabric Godmother, which tragically they seem to have sold out of since I bought it. It's a lovely ponte de roma knit with an unusual waffle texture on the right side and a soft, fleecy texture on the inside. It has a decent amount of stretch but is still quite a stable knit - there was no rippling on the hems. I think it works particularly well with this pattern.


I'm pleasantly surprised how much I like the Walkley vest! Although it's simple, it feels like a cut above lots of my other striped tops (of which there are many). I'll almost certainly be making other versions, especially as it's so quick to put together. Happy Tuesday! x




25 comments:

  1. Looks great on you Jane!! Thanks for the review ☺ Lovely fabric choice, got to love a stripe!

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    1. Thank YOU for designing such a great, chic pattern. I'm wearing it this very minute! x

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    2. Yay that makes me happy ��

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  2. That's a great fabric! And the final top looks like one you'll wear constantly.. so useful.

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  3. Definitely not just another stripy top Jane, that fabric really sets it apart. The fit looks perfect on you.

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    1. For such a simple pattern the fit is really flattering. The fabric does help of course! x

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  4. I am a sucker for stripes and cut-on sleeves. SO cute! And just...bright and happy!

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    1. Yep, I'm a sucker for both those things too! x

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  5. Looks great on you Jane, it's on my to do list.
    Rosie xx

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  6. It does look lovely! The fabric is amazing! I use a similar pattern by Maria Denmark, but have frankenpatterened the neckline of the Liesl and Co Maritime top, which uses a facing, and creates a beautiful rtw finish.

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    1. Oooh that's a good idea, I might try that on my next version, thanks! x

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  7. Ooh I love this! What a great staple too, that's a shape I've desperately wanted/needed in my closet for some basics! I'm going to have to keep this pattern in mind!!

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    1. It's a great shape, I'll definitely be making a few more basics from this pattern! X

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  8. I really like this one. Popping in to your blog is always so much fun. Thank you. :)

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    1. Aw that's great to hear, thanks! x

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  9. Very nice fit and flattering! Love the texture in the knit.

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    1. The texture is what makes the fabric for me! x

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  10. Hi Jane - I read your blog regularly but this is the first time I've commented. I love this top - the fabric is gorgeous and it looks so fresh.

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    1. Ah thanks so much Catherine and thanks for commenting, I really appreciate it! x

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  11. Love this Jane! That fabric is really lovely (lol, I love anything if it has blue and white stripes on it!) and this pattern is a great way to really showcase it. Its also a great shape for you, your waist looks tiny in it! :D

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    1. Thank you! definitely a miracle of pattern cutting! x

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