Creation: The Bow Top

As I mentioned previously I’m in a rut of low fabric confidence. I feel that I am getting the hang of wovens, but the knits continue to throw me off my game. I don’t know what different types of knit are, throw words like ITY, interlock and ponte at me and my expression will be that of a question mark. I also haven’t mastered finishing knits and combined with not using the right fabric, well, disaster strikes.

Frumpy Front
Frumpy Front

  I bought the Simplicity 1539 as I love the bow top and think it’s a great twist on a basic knit top. In the remnant bin at the fabric store I found a piece of purple (favourite colour!) interlock, the right amount, and I set out to work on what I thought was a match made in heaven. I made sure to take my time cutting and lining up the pieces. However, in retrospect, some mistakes were made on my part  

Wouldn't be so big in front and back with an FBA.
Wouldn’t be so big in front and back with an FBA.

Mistake 1 – No FBA. Even though I sewed this in February, in the midst of my FBA awakening I lazily thought “well, it’s a knit, it stretches to fit me, right?” WRONG! Well, not completely wrong since it does fit over my chest, but it made the whole top bigger, the sleeves feel particularly big and pyjama-like. With an FBA I would have chosen a smaller size, that would have fitted better everywhere else and been adjusted for the bust. Lesson learnt: Knits may be forgiving in fitting issues, but they can’t work miracles, especially not when too big. I must go down in size and adjust the bust properly.  

Wobbly hem
Wobbly hem

Mistake 2 – Stretching the fabric The overlap for the bow is, obviously, supposed to be hemmed. I did this on my regular machine. It could be that the settings were off or that I stretched the fabric while hemming and the hem turned all wobbly on me. It couldn’t be salvaged at all, but I still went ahead and put it in. It. Does. Not. Look. Good. I didn’t have enough fabric to cut a new piece, but at the very least I could have unpicked that hem or even cut it off to make a new one. But with the rest of the fit issues, it didn’t seem worthwhile. Lessons learnt: I should learn my settings. And not pull the fabric.  

Not flattering. At all. Like the colour though.
Not flattering. At all. Like the colour though.

I finished this top in February and have since worn it… once. For the photo shoot. It sits badly and the whole thing feels very pyjama. Even though interlock is a recommended fabric for this top, I can’t help but feel that it might be a little on the heavy side for this top. Or for any type of clothing require sleekness and shape (considering the fact that I know nothing, nothing, about knits I may very well be wrong. It’s just that this fabric doesn’t feel like something I would wear in a more formal (i.e. my casual office) setting). Bottom line: I need to learn more about knits, how they behave and fabric type to pattern matching. I’m not too keen on my matching interlock to this pattern.   I like the pattern. I have seen lovely versions of it. I am not ready to give up after one failed attempt. (I am not quite sure if I will give interlock a second try though). I like the colour of the fabric. I just need to get to know knits.   Do you acknowledge your sewing fails or are they destined to a dark place never to be spoken of again? I find that sewing blogs always are positive in makes, the bad ones are not blogged, but isn’t it true that we can learn from our mistakes? (BTW, I know that the photography and styling totally sucks, but frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn as I’m not that into this top)


6 thoughts on “Creation: The Bow Top

  1. Wobbly hem aside, it does look like the bow is a nice design feature! I guess you could always look at it as a muslin, and have a better idea of what needs to be adjusted for the next attempt.

    I’m one that will blog about the sewing fails, for the most part. But I’m also a fan of in-progress posts and other things that don’t always make it onto the internet. It’s as much about the process as the finished product.

    1. I do like reading about the process in blogs as well, to me it can be in the final post. But I like reading about “fails” (or learning experiences) to learn from others’ mistakes or certain pattern kinks.

  2. I feel as if sizing down and doing an FBA would really make a difference. I have a t-shirt made of inter-lock which is definitely sturdier than some of my other tops but it does work quite well for a fitted top because it doesn’t cling too much. I had a similar issue to your wavy seam when I made a Lola dress earlier this year – I can’t adjust foot pressure on my machine and so sewing across the grain resulted in horrible stretching out. I bought a walking foot (a cheap one not the branded version which was quite expensive!) and I think it is much better for sewing knits (until the magical day when I get an overlocker!)

    1. I had never worked with interlock before so I didn’t quite know how it would behave, now I know! For a second version I will definitely size down and FBA it. I have an overlocker, but haven’t quite learnt all features yet (such as hemming). This hem was sewn on my regular machine with a regular foot.

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