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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Long, emotional review of Vogue 1261

I spent a lot of the weekend working on Vogue's Alice and Olivia knit top with unfinished edges V1261

This pattern raised profound philosophical issues for me about how the pattern companies handle some things.  I will go into those in detail later. I have a lot to say about this pattern and the thinking that went into it before it went into the pattern envelope.

I think I will start here with general thoughts on the style itself and then do the technical stuff tomorrow night. I have some work to get ready for tomorrow that I need to do before I go to bed.

First the pictures of it on the sewer:

General comments on this design:

Flared, slightly asymmetrical top with pointed hems at the side. Main feature was the unfinished hem at the bottom and what appeared in the pattern envelope picture to be a lot of unfinished construction edges. I really wanted to try this as I really believe that knits are best with minimal handling and wanted to know how that worked. It will take a little getting used to but I really do believe having a cut edge at the bottom allows this top with an uneven hem to flow and hang better than if I got at it with hemming techniques.

A couple of deceptive features you might not notice:

1. The sleeves are really narrow. My own arms were once described by a physiotherapist as "deconditioned" which I believe means the muscles of a mouse. If you have more than the muscles of a mouse and say can open your own jar lids you will find these sleeves pretty darn tight.

2. Likewise the chest is pretty tight, this really has a T shirt fit and in another version I would add a FBA (I have already altered the pattern for this the next time by slashing up through a hypothetical bust point from the bottom stopping in the middle of the shoulder and spreading.) 

3. Speaking of the shoulder seam it is only about 1 1/2" long. You might not be able to see it from these shots but the cowl is cut really wide, almost as wide as a ballet neckline and so the actual top of the body drapes a bit not just the cowl.

4. I added 2" because I am tall to this and it ends at about hip level. This is fine with me because my hips are not my issue, everything above them is, but if you have hips this top might not be your best look, although the cowl does balance pretty well. IMO the other views with the super wide about to slide off necklines would make pretty dumb tops unless you were into wearing a lot of things underneath like camisoles with straps showing or were going for the "Footloose" off the shoulder look. I am not, and only wear one top at a time, it's all I can get organized, apart from a nice cup of tea cardigan which I might add as necessary.

Now the technical side of this top is really something.

I will give you a hint, they suggest some seams be butted (pressed under 3/8" first), have paper taped behind the place where they are joined, sewn up with a twin-needle straddling the butt, from the wrong side so the underside of the twin needle is on the right side, and then have two rows of ribbon top stitched on either side of this so-called seam.

Can you imagine your average new sewer getting mixed up in this, an "easy" pattern.

Give me strength.

O.K. The details tomorrow.


Jodie said...

It looks terrific on you. However, pressed under seams, butted and sewn from the wrong side....you have GOT to be kidding. EEK! I've looked at this pattern and wanted to see it made up (I like the cowl thing that's in style right now). However, I like putting knit tops together on my serger and don't want to fuss around with pressing in seam allowances, etc.
Give me strength indeed!

Alison said...

I just wanted to de-lurk & say hello twin! We have the same hair problem. :) But, as you say, there's worse things in life.

Love your top but those instructions are ridiculous.

Bunny said...

This looks great on you and the length is perfect. Those are some funky directions. Does it actually show on the pattern what that butted seem ends up looking like once the ribbons are applied?

shams said...

It looks nice on you! I have this pattern, so I appreciate the review. That construction sounds nuts. I look forward to your next installation on the technical aspects. :)

Kathy said...

I can see from the line drawing that the seams are meant to be decorative, but inside out seams are just not me! Sister Carmen (my sewing teacher/nun) would have had a fit!!
Your finished top looks really nice though. I look forward to the rest of the construction details.

Kathy in Oz

Susan said...

Thank-you for the 'heads up' concerning this pattern and avoiding a potential 'wadder'. Every 'wadder' takes a hit on my confidence level. I never go to questionable directions or design and instead assume the problem is my sewing ability.

badmomgoodmom said...

I passed on the pattern because I noticed the tight bicep fit on the skinny model in view B, the white top. If it was a tight squeeze on the model, I have no hope of getting my bicep in the sleeve.

BTW, I have a BMI of 22.5 and work out only occasionally.

Audrey said...

Ooh, it is a very pretty, flattering top and I'll bet it is really comfortable.

Anonymous said...

I bought this pattern, read the instructions several times and vowed never to purchase fabric and make it. It's daft!