Thursday, August 19, 2010
T-shirts are serviceable but boring. I mentioned before that when I didn't have time sew my uniform for, like, 10 years was a solid colored tee (H&M, mostly) and a bright printed skirt (half quickie hand-made, half RTW). I still enjoy seeing this look on other people, but I feel so bored I'm going to throw up when I put it on myself. However, I do have a few printed skirts that I love to wear (like the one on the left of my silk jersey score), so I'm always looking for a way wear a tee but still be interesting. I liked this variation on the twist top, Butterick 5283. I made this over the winter out of the leftovers from my Duchess of Windsor dress from a couple of years ago and brought the pattern out again for the turquoise rayon jersey from G Street.
The method devised by Butterick to finish the front is creative, but a little strange. You're supposed to cut two fronts, then sew them right sides together at the neckline and the little area that will be exposed at the twist. Then turn right side out. This seemed both needlessly wasteful of fabric and like it would turn out a shirt with weird texture issues if you didn't also double the back. My construction method:
1. Fold the allowance of the front neckline over clear elastic and twin needle to finish.
2. Clip into the seam allowances at the twist marking, turn under, and stitch the allowance in place to finish.
3. Stitch the diagonal seam from side to finished twist edges. Twist. (The instructions have you twist and then stitch, I found it easier to stitch then twist, but it's just personal preference.)
4. Stitch front to back at shoulders, ensuring that back neckline allowance overhangs at the inner shoulder seam. This has a long drop shoulder so I stabilized with ribbon.
5. Press shoulder seam allowance toward back, including allowance on the overhanging portion of the back neckline.
6. Fold back neckline allowance over clear elastic and twin needle in place taking care to match up with twin needle stitching at front neckline.
For the turquoise version, I got in my head to do a bubble sleeve (gotta make it interesting, right?). I traced off a stay (the sleeve as drafted) and a longer bit of the sleeve for the bubble (marked lines here--although it turns out the bubble should only be 1.5 inches longer than the stay, see below). Then I slashed and spread the bubble part of the sleeve as shown at left.
To make the sleeve, I gathered the lower edge of the bubble and the sewed it right sides together with the lower edge of the stay. I folded the bubble up over the stay to enclose the seam and then treated the sleeve as one unit in sewing to the armscye.
I had been a little worried after assembling my sleeve, as the bubble did not really seem to be in evidence so I basted it in place to see how it looked. Didn't look like much! Although I added a generous amount of width to my bubble pattern, the volume wasn't showing with the sleeve stay being so much shorter and pulling most of that volume to the inside. So I took it off, shortened the bubble to about an inch longer than the stay and put it back in place. Much better!
For the blue version, I put darts in the back (should have added a CB seam and done a swayback adjustment). For the turquoise version, I also added a little width to the side seams below the bust to match the current styles. Shapeless is in, it seems.
In doing some virtual snoop shopping for Spring/Summer inspiration, I ran across not one but two versions of the asymmetric twist top. I'm not sure that the Kors piece is actually a twist, it looks like it could just be a gather, but the Boss Black is almost the same design (except in a woven). Fancy!
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.