Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Completed: Signature Style (Project Sewn)

It's Signature Style week over at Project Sewn. Technically, this started as my sister's signature style. When I offered to make her something for her Christmas present, she sent me a photo of the Emerson Fry Mod Top. "Can you make this?" she asked. My standard response to that question is usually, "Find me a pattern." But we couldn't. And she really wanted it.

I started with the Colette Patterns Laurel blouse and tried to modify it. That pattern didn't fit me in its original state, so I don't know what possessed me to believe a modified version would fit. Four muslins later, I threw in the towel.

But then I remembered the Norah Dress. It had the a-line shape and a slit in the back for a button closure. So, I tried it as a starting point instead.

What defines my signature style? I'm a homemaker. Who loves jeans. Minimal jewelry. Something fitted and something not. Ballet flats.

These are my favorite jeans. They've got worn out knees from my cleaning out under beds, cleaning shower floors, and crawling around in living room forts. There's a permanent wear line on the front pocket from my chap-stick. (Spearmint. Mom buys it for me in bulk because only certain stores carry it.) 

My ideal clothes are comfortable, unique, nicely made, and inexpensive. It's a tall order, but this top fits all the criteria.

If I can show my shoulder art, that's an added bonus.

Size: 12 (it's a kids' pattern that goes up to size 12) (see my other versions here, here, and here.)
  • Re-drafted shoulder/arm holes. Essentially I drew a line straight down from a narrowed shoulder, then drew a line at a very slight diagonal across to the existing armscye.
  • Cut the tunic so that both front and back would be seamed at the center.
  • Moved the pattern's existing slit to the front of the shirt. 
  • Shaved about 1/2" off the side seams at the hip line.
  • Used a 3/8" seam allowance (the pattern calls for 1/2")
Fit: Perfect!
Fabric: Some kind of cotton linen-look fabric from my stash. It was my grandmother's. I had four yards and originally intended to make a dress. But a) the stripes are rather big and may overpower me in dress form and b) it would be a stiff dress. It was so easy to work with; it pressed and sewed like a dream.

The lining is made from two of Ryan's old dress shirts.
  • The shoulders of this blouse make me happy.
  • It's comfortable.
  • The extra skin showing is fun but not immodest.
  • This tunic is well made. I'm proud of my handiwork - probably more so in this project than any other I've completed.
  • It's kind of a tent shape. In fact, this concerns me. I'm debating if side bust darts would help (they didn't in my muslin versions), or if I should just accept the tent and balance it with tight jeans. 
I'd like to make another version for summer in a solid color. I'm going to attempt to make my sister a version, too. Since it was her idea in the first place, it's the least I can do, right?


  1. I totally don't see tent. I think there's so much interest at the shoulders and neck that even if it is a bit tent-y in person no one would notice. It's a great top and perfect paired with a skinny pant or slim capris.

    1. Thanks, Ajaire! The fabric is sort of stiff, so I'm hoping a softer fabric will help too.

  2. I like it a lot, the fabric looks great and the design is so nice! It works really well with your jeans.

    1. Thanks, Cecili! I questioned the fabric at first, but it turned out fine.

  3. Such interesting lines on the top ~ well done!

  4. Looks like a great summer top. And I love the fabric -- so classic. Very close to my preferred summer style too!

  5. I love the cotton-linen fabric. I am a sucker for linen. It looks great with jeans and I bet it would also looke great with a skirt!

  6. I love what you've done - such a great, and unique, top. And it nails your signature style - I love your clean lines, practicality and classic style with a twist.
    I'm a lurker, but enjoy your blog & if you don't mind, have awarded you a Liebster if that's something you may be interested in at this stage. The blog post is here: http://dreamingdashie.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/awards-and-giveaways-more-reasons-to-be.html


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