Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Knits That Fit #5: Reviewed: My Image 1152 (Draped Neck Top)

MyImage 1152 Draped neck top

M1152 Technical drawing in My Image A/W 2011/12

The first MyImage magazine pattern (and my second knit top) that I've finished is M1152, a long-sleeved tee with draped neck from the Autumn/Winter 2011-12 magazine. The photos of this top in the magazine are actually not very easy to see for the most part as the first two iterations are in black and a busy print. The best image is probably the mustard coloured top on page 22. I actually don't know that I would have even thought of making this top based on the magazine photos, but when I was glancing through the various My Image pattern reviews on PR (there aren't many, so it was hardly an arduous task), I saw this particular pattern had several positive reviews. It seemed like something that was flattering AND that was widely touted as something that was quick and easy to make, which is precisely my sort of pattern.

My first impression of the MyImage magazines has mainly been confirmed by making up this pattern. Tracing the patterns was easy and very like the experience of tracing from Ottobre. I really appreciate the use of white paper to print the patterns on and the use of coloured lines in both magazines. On the negative side, the instructions are by FAR the worst thing about the magazine. They read like they've been written in one language and then translated, inexpertly, into another -- which is probably exactly what happened, since the creators are Dutch. I'm sympathetic to the situation those creators are in, and I gather it's improved in the more recent magazines so I'm not letting it put me off. Still, it's the first, and probably last, time I've seen the word "extrude" in a pattern instruction! The instructions are also INCREDIBLY brief for a pattern magazine intended in part for beginners. I can't really talk about sizing yet until I get a sense of how consistent it is over several patterns, but I'm encouraged so far. There seemed to be a good match between my measurements and the garment, anyway.

One-armed muslin
I talked about making a muslin of this pattern last week in the hideous turquoise floral fabric because I was really doubtful about the draped neckline. I really loved it when I tried it on though, although the limited stretch in this jersey meant it was way too tight across the bust. I also wanted to practice setting a sleeve, which turned out to be terrible because (a) I put the sleeve on the wrong way round (oops) and (b) while faffing around looking in the mirror trying to work out what was wrong with the sleeve, the doorbell rang and I had to confront the postman while wearing a top in floral turquoise and one sleeve. /o\

My main learnings from the muslin process were therefore that (a) I needed a stretchier fabric or an FBA; and (b) I needed to set the sleeve on the flat, both of which I successfully incorporated into my finished top. Also (c) DO NOT ANSWER THE DOOR IN A ONE-SLEEVE TURQUOISE FLORAL TOP.

Here is my pattern review from PR (although you can also read it there), plus some extra notes on costs and nit-pickery at the end:

Unattractive shot of me wearing the top :|
Pattern Description: Top with long sleeves and cowl neckline. Taken from the Winter 2011-2012 issue of My Image magazine.

Pattern Sizing: 34-44. I made a size 44.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, just like it.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions are extremely brief and were obviously written in Dutch first and then translated. This translation, it has to be said, is not entirely successful. However, it's a pattern with only three pieces so you don't exactly need the War and Peace of instructions in order to put this together successfully. For the total novice, it might be a bit baffling. For anyone who has made even just one t-shirt before (as I have), it's fine. I did make some minor adjustments to the order in which I did things: in particular, I chose to sew the sleeves in on the flat before sewing the side seams.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Before I made it, I was most doubtful about the neckline. The draped neckline is not a look I ever normally wear as I am very full-busted and it can make me look even bigger. However, having made it, the neckline is my favourite thing about the top. I also love the sharp indent at the natural waist, which is a really flattering shaping for me.

Hand stitched back facing of neckline
I emphatically dislike the back facing at the neckline, which took ages to wrangle into place using their method. Eventually I had to hand sew it in place to stop it from flapping about. When I make this top again, I will maybe bind the back neck rather than face it.

I am also not sure about the drop shoulders. It's supposed to look like that according to the technical diagram, but as I have wide shoulders anyway I'm not sure it's the most attractive look.

Fabric Used: A lightweight cotton jersey remnant in a turquoise/green. I had a piece about 1.5m square and used all but a small scrap.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added 8cm to the length of the top and 3cm to the length of the sleeves as I am tall. I left off the elastic intended to ruche the side seams at the hem.

I also added an extra 1cm to the side seams to give myself a smidge more room at the hip and bust. I originally made a test garment of this top in a little piece of jersey fabric with 20% stretch that I had lying around, just to see if I liked the draped neckline. In that fabric it was tight across the bust and would have benefited from an FBA. This version, in a soft, much stretchier cotton jersey was fine without an FBA. It fits about as well as many a RTW knit top I have, but I think I could make it fit a little better in the next iteration with a few adjustments.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I already have plans to sew it again. I would definitely recommend this top as a very quick and easy top with a really flattering shape and neckline.

Conclusion: Really love this top and suspect I will be making several of them!

Extra notes:

Fabric costs: I bought my 1.5m square piece of fabric for £3.50 including p&p from eBay. It's not a very heavy jersey but not worse than the typical LTS or Land's End long-sleeve layering t-shirt (of which I have several). Other than that, my costs were pretty much confined to normal thread and other overheads. However, I also made a muslin, using about 1m of the floral jersey fabric. That cost £3.50 per metre including p&p. Plus, I managed to prematurely break my twin needle making this top and had to replace it, which cost £2. So assuming 10% for overheads, I spent about £10 on this particular top, excluding labour costs and pattern costs. As a point of comparison: LTS have a very similar top for sale for £26.

Nit-pickery (or, where I critique my sewing):

+ I am ever more confident about my overlocker use and was thrilled by quickly I was able to construct the garment using it.

+ My overall construction of this top was good, and the one or two places it went wrong (back neck facing) are not things that I am worried about and moreover, are easily fixed in the next attempt at this pattern.

- Annoyingly, I thought about this when I was making the muslin but didn't transfer my thoughts into action for the real thing: I needed a little extra room in the upper arm. I need to look up what that adjustment is and make it before I make this top again.

- This is REALLY nitpicky, because the fit on this top is as good as anything I've had in RTW knit and no different from many I wear every day: I probably could have gone with a small FBA instead of the side seam addition. I did TRY to do an FBA but came unstuck rotating the dart into the cowl neck. I think I have sussed out what I have to do though now, and will give it a try on the next iteration.


  1. Well done! It looks great on you. I actually like the turquoise fabric, but turquoise is my favourite colour anyway.

    I'm so glad to read that you're enjoying your overlocker. For the neckline, you could just serge the edge, turn under and topstitch with a twin needle. It works as well as binding, and is less trouble.

    Obviously the fit is personal, but it doesn't look like you needed an FBA to me, it loos really great!

    1. The turquoise floral muslin is hideous mainly for the fabric content. I am not really a fan of floral prints, but I also really like the colour. However, it just felt like cling film when you wore it, it was so plastic-y and gross. It didn't breathe at all.

      Thanks! I am really pleased with how this turned out :D

  2. Great job - it looks good on. Overlockers are great aren't they! I love mine.

    1. Thank you! I am thrilled that my overlocker is paying off the way it is :D I bought an el cheapo second-hand no-name one, and then it turned out to be a debadged Singer, so it's really worked out well overall!