Thursday, March 31, 2011

Simplicity 2283, Yoked Cowl Top

S2283 Thumbnail

I love me a good knit cowl top, so I had to give Simplicity 2283 a try for one of my Supplex piece. I was intrigued by the front shoulder yoke.

Extended Cut-On Front Facing

The key to a pleasant cowl wearing experience is an adequate cowl facing. If you have enough self-facing coverage, you can put the top on in the morning and not think about it for the rest of the day. If the facing is skimpy, you will spend every spare moment making sure the facing hasn't flipped to the outside or is otherwise visible.

The facing on this was pretty good as drafted, but it is my opinion that you can always go longer. So I added an inch in cutting. As you can see on the inside, it is securely caught into the yoke seam and there is enough length hanging down at center front that the facing is not going to flip out. I had no troubles with it while wearing for bike riding (though admittedly I was wearing a fleece the whole time other than for the photos).

As mentioned, for biking tops I want some shoulder coverage for sun protection but in general don't want a full sleeve because of, well, armpit sweating, to be graphic. Extending the shoulder here wasn't going to be easy because of the yoke. I wasn't even considering the funky sleeve until I saw SewWil's pattern review. Her sleeves are great and look breezy and comfortable, so I cut the fun little pleated sleeve.

Modified Sleeve On SewWil and on the model it looks like there is plenty of room for a breeze under the arm, but on my I found that the sleeve amounted to a giant wad of fabric in my armpit as the armscye is quite high on me.

Never one to give up, I decided to turn the sleeves into cap sleeves. I marked the pleated, finished sleeve units with arcs, stitched along my marking, and cut 1/2" away from the stitching for a seam allowance. I then sewed in the sleeves and turned under and stitched the lower part of the armscye. This gives me the shoulder coverage I want with the underarm ventilation I need. If you look closely (or not even that closely) at the photos you'll see that the sleeves are not quite symmetric. Oh well! If I do this again, though, I will fix the sleeve in the drafting/cutting process, not after it is sewn.

Back Darts

When making the back darts in my B5283 twist top, the hardest part was figuring out where, exactly, center back was. So for this project I thread-traced center back before unpinning the pattern tissue. So very uncharacteristic of me.

Having CB marked made it a lot easier to place the darts, and also made it easier to transfer those darts to the pattern tissue for next time. The shape of my darts matches the idiosyncratic shape of my body. Most of the dart volume is not at the waist but below it at my swayback, and the width of my latissimus muscles means they have to go up nearly to the shoulder to avoid a puff at the top.

Back

Pretend I had had the sense to make sure the back was not caught up above the belt before taking this photo. But on the right side, where the belt has not taken up a fold, you can see that it sits fairly flat on my back rather than ballooning out over my swayback.

The only thing I don't like about this pattern is that it can't be turned into a dress! The cowl width in the front sort of cascades all the way down to the hemline and would not translate well to a full length piece.


Outdoor Shot















As you can see I've already tested it out! It gets the thumbs up.

I love the sweetheart look of the neckline, that the narrower cowl that is not too low cut, that the facing that stays firmly in place, and the interesting yoke. I did not interface the yoke as directed in the pattern because of the thickness of my fabric--I feared it would be way too stiff and sit awkwardly--though now that it's done I think I should have. I would recommend interfacing if you're using anything less than a double knit.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

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Mini Wardrobe Spring 2011

And that is the last piece in my Mini Wardrobe for the PR contest. The challenge was to start with an existing piece in the closet, sew four pieces during the contest period, and end up with at least 6 outfits. I managed to pull off 8!

I started with my self-drafted black and white print dirndl biking skirt from last March.

Then I added two tops, this one and the B5283 twist top.

Next, I needed another skirt, the S2413 pleated silk organza number. Oh, and by the way, I wear biking shorts under the skirts. I'm not going around flashing.

Finally, a topper in the form of this Burda 01-2011-131 wrap sweater.

I love all these pieces individually and I love how they work together. I still have more sewing to do for the trip--more tops and more skirts, which will be fun, and more rain gear which makes me want to die. I muslined the pullover rain jacket last weekend and have not been able to motivate to cut it out this week. I need to pull up my big girl panties and just get started. Then I can reward myself with fun, bright, cheerful sewing (not that it is fun, bright, or cheerful in our persistent, endless winter; it is killing me, people).

All photos for the mini-wardrobe, showing each look as well as the disaggregated pieces, are here.

26 comments:

[patty the snug bug] said...

Yay! I didn't realize you were doing the mini-wardrobe challenge - I love them all - but particularly love that pink ballet wrap!

Rachelle said...

You're really on a roll! That's a great top, and a great, springy color

Karin said...

Another cute top! You have such an amazing biking wardrobe- totally different from what I see on the trails when we go biking. You will really stand out in a good way.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Cute top- but you could turn it into a dress! I would mark where I wanted the waist, add a seam allowance, and attach a skirt ...maybe with gathering? or an A line? Maybe a midriff piece? I would experiment. I was just thinking of turning a similar pattern into a dress, and that's what my plan was

Rosie said...

I love the colors / patterns you have chosen - very flattering on you. I bet you are almost ready for the trip.

ELMO said...

You know dressed like that, I could find a bike tour more appealing, great job!

Eugenia said...

You have totally nailed the art of looking sporty and glamorous. I love everything in your wardrobe - so pretty and practical!

Adelaide B said...

That is a seriously great shirt. Good luck on the contest!

Marie-Christine said...

Wow, this is a kick-ass biking wardrobe!
You know, I have a great German poncho, with pockets and hood pullie thingies and visor, and elastic gizmos, and best of all really bright color and reflective piping all over, which only cost about 30E. I bet you can find something like that in EVERY bike shop in Amsterdam, in fact every one in Holland. One does need rain gear. And I've gotten back into ponchos, they're very civilized for biking, your entire bike is covered, the thing doesn't really flap around, as long as you have good mudguards you're practically bone dry.. Anyway, don't torture yourself, you've done very well already.

RiAnge Creations. Ltd. said...

I love it! The colour looks great on you. I like your mini-wardrobe as well. I'm glad you finished it. I didn't even get started. Wah!!!
Angela

Angela said...

Cute wardrobe! Thanks for the tips on adding length to a cowl top! Your biking wardrobe is so fabulous!

Summer Flies said...

Wow! That blue top is fantastic on you and the pink wrap... Your biking skirt is amazing and you will be the best dressed cyclist there!
You are inspiring me to try more knit tops.

Pammie said...

I love your bikearama blogfest! Great top - Love it on you!!

AllisonC said...

Looks great, and I love the composite photo you made, look out Amsterdam! To me it looks like this could be made into a dress, but if not you know you should pick up the new DKNY one - 1250.

senaSews said...

What a nice variation of a cowl neck top. The yokes are very nice. I think you will be the most-stylish bicyclist ever!

Becky said...

Everything looks so cute and stylish-- I love that it's also all functional for your bike riding. Nice work!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you're going to be stylin' your way through the Netherlands. Love your outfits! Any chance you'll be stopping through Paris this trip? Karen

McVal said...

Two thumbs up! Way to salvage those shoulders! I got some free knit fabric at my last sewing meeting and I think it would be perfect for something like this. Thanks for the review!

Lisette M said...

What a cheerful springy wardrobe! Now we just need spring weather...

montanachic said...

I love your whole submission for the contest, the silk organza pulls it all together perfectly and I love all the colors. I bet they just make you happy to wear.

Lindsay T said...

Nice work...love the whole ensemble!

Tasia said...

Great biking wardrobe! Eight flattering and practical outfits, well done you!

a little sewing said...

Everything you sewed looks so good together, and so good on you! You really have a great style and I can't wait to see these cute outfits in action. Please, please, please take lots of photos when you are cycling!

gwensews said...

That's a sweet top! I agree with Little Hunting Creek though--you could turn it into a dress with the addition of a waistline seam.

Jackie said...

Everything looks so nice. I really like S2283. Very cute.

Isabelle said...

Love the cowl top! I love wearing cowl tops as well, and this one looks more finished than the patterns I own. I'll definitely have to look it up.

Congrats on the wardrobe. I'm kicking myself for being so late in seeing your post - I would have loved to vote for your entry.

(I also adore your pink shoes!)