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Battle of the Banksia

Thursday, November 29, 2012

This top came very close to being binned and I'm still feeling a little bit ambivalent about it.  It has received a lot of blog love and I let its simple design fool me into thinking it wouldn't require much fitting.


According to my measurements I'm between a medium and a small.  I cut out a medium with the length of an extra large.  The other change I made was to alter the collar shape following this information (Megan has a long list of possibilities for the pattern that she demonstrated on the recent Banksia sew-a-long)


I really like the new shape of the collar and that it's not a fussy top, but for me the fit is all over the place.  I don't think the top fits me well through the bust - maybe the darts aren't long enough?  If I fold out the placket so the collar meets at centre front then the top fits much better through the bust. 


Everything really went to pieces when I sewed in the sleeves.  After looking in the mirror I pulled the top straight off and threw it on the floor.  There were huge fabric bulges poking up at the back of the sleeve and the back was a wrinkly mess.  


My first thought was that I must have sewn the sleeves in backwards.  I went back and checked the pattern - the front and back of the sleeve are identical so I couldn't have sewn it in backwards.   On a related note there are very few pattern matching notches and none at all on the sleeves.  I usually have a problem with shirts being too broad across the shoulders but this one was too narrow and the arm holes were uncomfortably high.  I also think my rayon fabric stretched while I was sewing and pressing the collar adding to all the awful wrinkles on the back.  A sway back adjustment might have helped too.


In the end I took Wade's advice and cut off the sleeves - this had the added benefit of lowering the arm holes to a more comfortable height and the back doesn't look as bad as it did.  If I was going to sew another sleeveless version I'd probably reshape the front armhole.

I don't think this is a bad pattern, lots of other people have made it and loved it but it's just not right for me.  I recently made the Sewaholic Alma top and the finished product ended up enormous.  These two not quite right projects have been major blows to my mojo, I need a couple of quick winners to get things cranking again.

11 comments:

katherine h said...

That top is such a gorgeous colour that I would overlook the fitting problems and wear it anyway. But you are right, you would need to alter this pattern before using it again. I would wear the top all summer and then move on.

Sue A. said...

I agree with Katherine, the colour is gorgeous on you, even if the top isn't what you hoped. Don't let it hit your mojo though! Look back at all your other gorgeous projects and you'll see how clever you are! I love your sewing and always look forward to blog updates!

Carol said...

I had a similar problem with a dress I made last week. I'm in the process of taking the sleeves out this evening and making it a sleeveless dress. Glad you could get a wearable top out of yours because I agree with the others; the colour looks great on you.

Bernice said...

I agree, such a gorgeous colour and the collar is so cute. It seems to fit much better without the sleeves. I reckon wear it as is and then deal with fitting problems next time around.

Cal said...

The collar and colour are fantastic though.

Rosi said...

Despite the issues I think it looks pretty good! I do hate it though when a project doesn't turn out the way you expected. Sewing time is so precious it is frustrating to waste.

fabric epiphanies said...

I think removing the sleeves was the way to go. I made the Alma too big as well but when I down sized to NZ/Aus sizing things worked better.

poppykettle said...

I infinitely prefer the version on you without sleeves - so I'm glad you chopped them off!! I'm with everyone else though - that colour blue looks so gorgeous against your skin :)
Funny how simple things like this need a lot of work - definitely needs something changed around the bust for future iterations, but you can easily get away with it now - perfect for wearing when we have stinkers like yesterday! I wouldn't know what to suggest to do without having a closer look at it though :(

sewbusylizzy said...

I love this colour - so vibrant! I haven't made the Banksia yet, although I have the pattern. I've made two Almas and I love them.
I chose my size based on the finished measurements and they fit perfectly.

Carolyn said...

The top looks 100% better without the sleeves so that was a really good decision! as well as more modern and fresh. The colour is amazing :)

velosewer said...

Gorgeous colour and it looks so much fresher without the sleeves too.