Friday, 6 June 2014

Made: Ottobre 02-2014-05 "Painted Roses" (Darted Woven Tee)

Also known as the top of joy and happiness! (Also, this fabric is in my fabric spreadsheet as "Navy with blobby polka dots", so this top is also in my head the Blobby Top.)
Ottobre 02-2014-05 "Painted Roses" Darted woven tee, as modelled by yours truly
My actual PR pattern review with srs bsns pattern review type information is here. This post is mainly just babbling.

And as modelled by Flossie
Can I talk about my fabric first? OK, the thing is, I have a very weird stash. The reason that my stash is weird is that I went through a period where I basically bought whatever caught my eye that came up cheap for auction on eBay. Luckily, I have very consistent colour and print preferences, so there isn't really anything outlandish in my crates of fabric. However I do have an awful lot of things bought with no particular project in mind, many of which I bought very cheaply. This fabric was in an auction that finished at like, 3am (I used an automated bid thing) and therefore I got loads of it for next to nothing. More accurately, I got 3.5m for £1.68/m including postage. It turned up with a label attached that suggested it had been bought in South Africa so who knows how it eventually ended up with me.

It's only some kind of synthetic, but it has the most delightful texture, and it is so drapy you can barely convince it to keep a fold to store it. I knew I wanted something as drapy as possible for this top because I made the muslin from polycotton and it had a tendency to sit away from the body in a way I didn't like. If I make this again (almost 100% certain to make this again!) I will definitely want to stick to the drapy end of my stash. (Although, if you looked at this top and my description and thought "I bet that was a bitch to hem/bind the neckline/do anything that involved having a crease!" you are 100% RIGHT. It was a HORROR for all those things. Slippery, drapey fabric + synthetic so you could only use the very coolest iron otherwise it MELTED and no steam because it went weird and wrinkly = absolute NIGHTMARE and 3000000 pins to get anything done if you needed a crease.)

Still, even though I knew it would not be the most fun to work with, this the drapiest non-sheer fabric I have in my stash, and I have wanted to use it since I bought it. Even though in my head this fabric is reserved for some kind of ridiculous dress so that I can recreate this one stupid outfit I have pinned, I decided that since I had so much of it I could use 1m for this top. And I am SO GLAD that I did, because I LOVE this fabric and I love how the top turned out in it.

So now, the pattern. Just on the fabric theme for a second, the delightful thing about this pattern is that it does genuinely only need 1m of fabric. You could probably squeeze it out of a yard, too (sorry, I don't work in yards to know for sure), especially if you buy bias tape or use contrast bias tape. Since the bias tape doesn't show, it wouldn't matter. (See the photo below for an interior view of the neckline finish -- the outside is a clean finish):

Interior view of neckline finish (using matching bias tape)
As has probably become clear from, oh, every entry ever, I am a total cheapskate, so I appreciate any pattern that allows me to produce something I really like from 1m of fabric that means I can either (a) remnant basket dive in fabric shops; and/or (b) buy very small pieces of more expensive fabrics.

Otherwise the pattern is typical Ottobre: well-drafted, clear, no fuss. I love it. I did play with the neckline because I found it to be very high. Even though the description is all "slips over your head without a zipper!" they obviously weren't using a model with my fat head, because it was not the easiest of "slips over". I actually ended up cutting the Lady Skater Dress neckline into this top, as I find it to be a nice depth of scoop on me. I took 4cm off the length and to be honest it's still quite long, even on me (I am 5'8") so if you're short, you're going to be lopping off quite a bit.

I am, however, going to walk back some of my IT FITS, HALLELUJAH exaltation. It does fit, and I love it and I will probably wear it a million times, and from the front view (above) it's hard to see that it actually doesn't fit in the way we as sewists would like tops to fit. In fact, I had no idea how bad the actual bust fit was until I took a photo from the side for this blog post, which is when I went: oh :(

Bad fit :(
You can CLEARLY see the drag marks and the way the side seam is distorted by my bust in this shot. I definitely needed an FBA after all. However, even though this has put a bit of a damper on my excitement about this top, and clearly my fit is not going to win any awards or plaudits ever, but it's MUCH CLOSER to fitting than anything I've made before, and SIGNIFICANTLY closer to fitting than anything similar sort of woven tee I have ever bought, where to fit at the bust I've ended up with the shoulders halfway down my biceps.

So, still work to be done to get this right, but I will definitely wear this top and enjoy the hell out of it, imperfect as it is. It helps that there's some good sewing in it. I did french seams for every seam except the sleeves, which I overlocked. I got the best sleeve application I have EVER got and the bound neckline looks pretty good. Even my hems came out well despite being a total horror to do. And the fabric cost me like £2, so it was no great investment. So I am happy! :D


  1. Your top is lovely. No need to be so critical. I'm sure fits better than the RTW 99% of people wear. You're almost there--increasing the size of the dart will make it perfect.

    1. Thank you! I'm in love with the fabric, so I love it no matter how imperfect. I definitely need to get the FBA sorted though before I make the next thing based on this. :D

  2. I'm with chesneykat. I think that as sewists (especially those of us who spend too much time on Pattern Review), we tend to be way too hard on ourselves and perfectionistic about fitting. Does it fit better than RTW? Hell yes. Is anyone in the "real world" going to notice or care about that drag line? Hell no.

    1. No, you're absolutely right. I don't think it's an impossible fix to get it right, but I am not going to let it spoil my enjoyment of this particular top in the meantime. :D