I'm always looking for an interesting t-shirt variation, so I had mentally bookmarked Burda 08-2013-131. Then when Dibulous made it, I got really interested.
I have a lot of fabric purchasing to confess. A lot. But let's start with these pieces from Fabric Mart back in December. They had merino wool jersey on sale, how was I supposed to leave it on the table?
The merino is quite thin and not suitable for a fitted tee. So I needed to come up with top patterns that are a bit loose and will work with this thinner fabric. As a plus, it is quite drapey!
I love orange, but I was a bit disappointed in the unsophisticated color "Orange Pop" or whatever it was called turned out to be. It was just not rich enough for my taste and I fretted that I'd made a mistake in buying it. I figured I had nothing to lose so I tested a small swatch in a fairly dilute dye bath. OMG, a million times better! So I popped the whole piece into the washer with a little bit of fuschia dye and came up with a rich, deeper orange that is much more suitable for office attire. I felt very proud.
Now it was time to tackle the pattern. I traced out the pieces and then compared the raglan top I drafted from my TNT tee to the pattern. It is drafted *large.* Note here that I traced it to the cut line of my TNT, not to the stitch line of my TNT--that's how big it was drafted! The finished back fits nicely, and still retains the eased look of the original without being humongous.
And also, the armscye is seriously dropped. There is nothing more unflattering to a small bust than a dropped armscye, especially on a "petite" (aka short person) like me. Well, maybe a giant dart to nothing. Or empty bag syndrome. But still, a dropped armscye is up there. I slimmed the profile of the top a bit and raised the armscye to its normal position.
The sleeves were also very wide, and I slimmed them based on my TNT pattern, as well as raising the armscye.
I also raised the armscye of the front piece, matching it to my TNT.
The tie seemed like it would be too wide for my frame, so folded width out of the tie at the end, tapering to nothing by around 4 inches from the front neckline. This had the added bonus of allowing me to actually fit the pattern onto my fabric.
The front pattern piece is spectacularly enormous. Even though I had a generous 1 1/2 yard cut of this surprisingly wide fabric, I could barely fit the pattern onto it. I had to copy the back and sleeve patterns so I could lay everything out at once to get it all to fit. Getting this pattern to the point of sewing was incredibly time consuming and tedious!!!
Because of fabric limitations, I couldn't cut the sleeves as long as I wanted, so I finished them with cuffs. The top has a bit of a 70s feel so I gathered the sleeves into the cuffs for a bishop look.
Once it was time to sew, this went together much more easily than you would expect. The tie extends into the front by way of a long dart. At the join between front and tie you have to clip into the very end of the dart to get a nice turn.
The tie is sewn right sides together and then turned right side out. Because the tie is cut on the bias, it was a bit of work to get it folded properly and sitting flat; I had to press and steam it to get to that point. In a lightweight drapey fabric like I used here, I think the front could probably be cut on grain.
Here you can see how and where the tie extends out from the top. It looks like the tie will be incredibly long, but it's actually not.
The front neckline as drafted was very high for my taste. I do not like a super high crew neck like that, so I lowered it about 2 1/2 inches, and it is still relatively high, especially compared to my usual neckline. Given the shape of the front pattern piece, I don't think it would be worth trying to lower it before cutting; just wait until you have it sewn and adjust to your taste. I finished the neckline with clear elastic and a twin needle.
This top came out perfect for what I was hoping for. It definitely has plenty of ease, but tucked into a top it blouses nicely. It has a nice style, but doesn't seem too gimmicky or tied (get it?) to a particular fashion trend, so I think it will be able to stay in the closet for several years, depending on how well the fabric holds up (it's a bit fuzzy, but I can't tell if that's new abrasian or fabric characteristic).
I was surprised at how fussy the tie is. It can really only be tied in that one place. Theoretically I could wear it tied high (very unflattering to me) or tossed over the shoulder, but I think these clearly look like a stretch for the style and I will stick with having it tied where it extends out of the front.
A while back I tried to see if I could knock off the Temperley London Delilah top, but my attempts were comical. Now that I see how it works with this tie--there has to be a dart extending into the bodice, I might give it a try again. The results probably won't be great, but perhaps they will edge slightly above comical?
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.