Friday, April 11, 2014

Jaime's Polly Top

We recently started carrying the beautiful By Hand London sewing patterns. In addition to their line of women's patterns we carry here in print, they also have a free downloadable pattern - the Polly Top! It only takes a couple of 70 degree days and I'm thinking summer. I want to knit linen shirts and sew tank tops. The Polly top is the perfect tank to kick off my summer sewing.

Pattern: Polly Top by By Hand London
Fabric: Liberty of London Betsy Ann print: 28", Robert Kaufman Union Chambray: 5/8 yd
Size Made: 6/10
Alterations: I took in 2" on the shoulder seams to raise the neckline. I also did an invisible bias by pulling it to the inside of the garment.

The Polly top features a cut out front. The pieces are eased together to create bust shaping so no darts are used. This feature means the tank can be made with endless variations: all one fabric, two different fabrics, a hidden bias binding on the neck and armholes or a contrast bias binding. I choose to use a Liberty of London floral with a Union Chambray voile for my contrast fabric. Yes, I did say Chambray voile. These new fabrics from Robert Kaufman come in 4 different chambray-denim hues and are oh-so light and soft. They pair perfectly with the Liberty of London lawn fabric. I made my bias binding out of the chambray voile as well so as not to waste any precious Liberty on a hidden bias.

In general this was a simple pattern to whip up - especially if you are familiar with a bias binding finish on arms and neck. The most difficult part of sewing this top was step one - easing the cut-out into the main part of the top. It takes a lot of easing and I had to go very slow to get it right. Some tips for this part would be to carefully clip into your fabric pieces 1/2" before sewing the seam and pin your seam at 5/8" where you will be sewing. 

When I finished this top, it was too tall in the shoulders so I had to take my shirt in at the shoulder seam a good 2" on each side to make it fit properly. This was an easy alteration to make and now the top fits great. Summer 2014 wardrobe staple: done!

If you need help with your Polly top, you'll be pleased to know we are offering it as a class and there are still spots in the upcoming session on May 4th. Download the Polly top here and get started sewing - summer is right around the corner!

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