Jalie 2806: One Pattern, Many Looks

Guess I went a little crazy in building a wardrobe of short-sleeved tops.  The drive for this was the Pattern Review contest titled “One Pattern, Many Looks”.  Now you know my philosophy – never underestimate the power of a tried and true (TNT) pattern, or “you can’t have too much of a good thing”.  Here goes:

Top #1: Lacy Tee


Beautiful London Textiles lightweight cotton 4-way stretch jersey with lace inserts and sleeves.  Sleeves were hemmed with a narrow rolled hem.  After the top was constructed, gathered gross-grain and lace half-circles were hand-stitched.

Sewing Tips and Instructions:

1. Cut the entire pattern from the main fabric.

2.  Cut the lace and sew onto the main fabric.

3.  Sew the main fabric and lace as one.

4.  Now cut away the main fabric under the lace inserts, cutting close to the seams 

For the embellishment, cut an 18″ x 2″ strip of lace.  Place a mark to divide by thirds.  Hand sew and gather each third (2 are gathered on one side of the lace and one segment of gathering on the other side of the lace) to create a shell design.  I also placed 2″ grossgrain ribbon under the lace and added a pearl to the center of each half-shell.

Top 2: Tucks and Pinches

Two-way stretch lightweight cotton-poly (Jomar’s in Philadelphia) is an Anthro-inspired top.  Because of the stretch factor, this version was cut a size larger.  Embellishment was completed by tucking and pinching a long strip of self-fabric to make a design that’s pretty similar to the RTW I was copying.

Instructions and Tips:

1. Cut  a 4″ x 4-5″ strip of fabric along the length of the fabric.  I had to piece the strip of fabric – just hid the seams in the folds of the design.

2. Using a decorative stitch and either a contrasting or the same color thread (I used chartreuse), sew a line about 3/4″ from the each edge of the strip of fabric.

3.  Beginning at the center back, in a “zig-zag fashion, pinch and tuck to form the desired design.  Stretch the fabric and fold the edges under to hide the raw edges.   Pin in place.

4.  When you are happy with the look, hand tack the design into place.  (I think the Anthro was machine sewn but I couldn’t figure out how to do it).

5. Place two 8″ strips under the design and tack. They will hang freely.

Top 3:  RTW Knock-off

Made from cotton 4-way stretch pointelle (Mood), this is an exact copy of a well-worn Talbots top I wore to work until I should have been embarrassed to wear it.  This pattern was the perfect pattern to make a copy.  Instead of a stretch band, 5/8” scalloped lace was used as the band.

Instructions and Tips:

1.  Instead of cutting fabric for a band, use a 5/8″ piece of scalloped embroidered lace.  For a size 12, I cut a piece 32″ long, which includes enough for overlapping at the start/end.

2.  Gather the front as if you are using a stretchy neck-band.

3.  Using a 1/4″ seam line, sew the straight edge of the lace onto the wrong side of the fabric.  (wrong side of lace must face the wrong side of the fabric).

4.  Trim the seam very close to the seam line without cutting into the lace.

5.  Fold the lace over onto the right side and baste into place.

Sew straight edge of lace onto the wrong side of the fabric

6.  Following the edge of the scallop, machine stitch the lace to the front of the top.  As you can see by the following photo of the wrong side, you will form a scalloped design.

Top 4: Teal Leopard?

Small black and self-fabric petals were sewed together and added for embellishment on this top which is made from 4-way rayon jersey from London Textiles.

Instructions and Tips:

1.  Cut dozens of small petals of the desired color or colors.

2.  Sew together with a gathering stitch.  I overlapped the black and teal petals.

3.  Gather the strips of petals

4.  Sew onto the top using a narrow zig-zag stitch.

Top 5:  From Etsy with Love

Embellished with an applique I found on Etsy (this seller has amazing items for sale), this is my favorite of the tops.

Instructions and Tips:

1.  This was straight-forward.  I made the top and then hand-sewed the applique onto the top.

2.  Only one caveat – so the front gathers would fall symmetrically from the applique, I made an additional row of gathering as shown in the following photo.

Top 6: Japanese Screen Print

Also purchased from London Textiles, this top was made from a 2-way stretch cotton with a Japanese-influence screen print.  It has small stitch lines and sequins that are also screen printed – quite unique.  To add color, a silk “smushed” flower was added to the top.

This was taken from Tip Junkie.  Because of the sequins all of the color going on, this fabric was very difficult to machine hem. (Couldn’t get it to look straight) so the sleeves were hand-stitched with seed beads – a nice finishing touch.

Whew!  That’s it for now.