This pattern is from Tilly’s book ‘Stretch’ and was the one that really made me excited about my preordered book arriving. I’m a bit in love with raglan tops recently: I like how colour blocking the arms make them look sporty and they have a nostalgic, 70’s vibe that appeals to me.
There were a few things that made me nervous about sewing this for the first time:
- I have a large bust, and the sort of fit this top has could easily make a tent below my bust – something that is really annoying to wear as cold air gets in under the loose fabric!
- Sewing the neck in place: easing in the neckline along four seams (instead of the two that I am used to doing) made me worry I would stretch or pucker the neckline.
I’d bought some beautiful jersey to make the top from, however because of my concerns I picked up some super cheap poly jersey from Fabricland in Bristol for £2.99 a meter to use as a toile. Its surprisingly nice to wear and sew with – I’d have thought a polyester jersey would be rank (too hot, itchy etc) but its really not too bad. Anyway, down to the sewing:
I cut out the size 5, and made no changes to the pattern at all. It sewed up very quickly, just with a few smallish niggles. First of all, when I attached the sleeves, I realised how much wear the raglan seams would need to take. One row of zig zag stitches to hold them on seemed to be a little light, well that’s what I convinced myself, so I decided to top stitch them using a twin needle. This also captured the seam allowance in place either side of the seam, rather than in one direction – which could cause bulk. I really love this finish and will definitely do it on the next Frankies I have planned. I love sewing with twin needles so its any excuse really!
The neckline was a wee bit tricky: the neckband seemed very small and I wondered how on earth it would fit, to the point where I almost recut it longer. Glad I didn’t and I trusted the pattern as its fine. My neckline does appear to be higher than the one on the model in the book. I don’t know why – perhaps its the fabric? There is a bit of light puckering around the front of the neckband which I think I could get rid of with a bit more pressing.
The instructions were straightforward and easy to follow, and there are only four pattern pieces so its quick to trace and cut out too. The curves in the pattern are designed for women’s bodies, plus it sews up true to the size it says it will (if only all patterns were like this!).
Sewing toiles is really boring and something I never want to do – but – I think doing this one has made me a bit more likely to bother in future – it took a load of pressure off knowing it was cheap fabric, and that it was just a test run. The garment itself is wearable, and it has made me sure I do want to use precious fabric on another version. Next time I am going to lengthen the bodice by about an inch as the hips sit closer to my waist and are a bit flappy, and I’ll try the 3/4 sleeves.
All in all, another great and wearable pattern from Tilly!