Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Alicia, the Alex Knock-Off

This is the final garment I sewed in 2011. I had admired the Sewing Workshop's Alex top for a long time, and had planned to order the pattern - sometime. Then I realized I probably could do a fairly good rendition of my own, using the Alice + Olivia Vogue 1261 pattern that I made earlier in the fall (this one).

I started with a red violet rayon/lycra jersey from Sawyer Brook. I swore I wouldn't sew with rayon any more because of its tendency to pill, but this fabric has a crepe-like, dry hand, which means it shouldn't pill much, if at all. I've washed it several times and it doesn't show any such inclination. Yay!

I just love this color, and it seems to love me. I always get compliments when I wear it. You might notice in these photos a slight dye flaw in the fabric. It shows as a faint stripe effect. I chose to ignore it, as matching faint stripes would have been crazy making. (I'm already crazy enough!)

Wanting a higher neckline, I pulled out Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8582 and borrowed the cowl collar and neckline. I really like Marcy's twisted cowl. You simply make a loose turtleneck and hand sew the inner edge to the seam allowance. But instead of folding it straight, you shift it about three or four inches to the side. That forms the soft folds you see here:

For the inverted vee shape in the center front of the shirt, I determined how wide I wanted it and redrafted the pattern piece into two pieces, adding seam allowances. I don't know what the hemline of the Alex does in the back, as I haven't seen a schematic drawing. The front hemline appears to be more exaggerated than mine. If I make this again - which I might - I'll change that, as I like the look of the Alex hem.  I hand stitched the hems to give the top a more refined look.

I've noticed in these photos the top of the sleeve is quite tight on me. The Alice + Olivia pattern is drafted quite narrowly in the shoulder/upper arm area. Next time I'll add more fabric to the sleeve head to give a less strained fit. I'll also add darts to eliminate the folds that form on the sides of my bustline. This is a task I don't enjoy, so I skipped it on this top and the teal one I made earlier. Now I see I would prefer to insert them, as they would help the top fit more smoothly.
This top is very comfortable and looks great with the navy cardigan I made in the fall. I recently made a black vest (blog post coming soon!) that looks great with it. I'm really enjoying having it in my closet!


  1. This is beautiful! I see why you get compliments when you wear this color...

  2. Very gorgeous...I like everything about this.

  3. Love the collar, love the color, love the fit. That shad of purple is most definitely you!

  4. This really is gorgeous on you, Dixie. I love it!

  5. This top flatters you in every way.