Friday, March 30, 2012

Polka Dots, Print, and Stripes, Oh My!

The moment I saw Katherine Tilton's pattern for a top with a zipper trimmed double collar (Vogue 8793), I knew I wanted to make it. When I saw Shams' versions, I wanted to make it even more. I love the zipper-trimmed double collar, and the fabric collage.
Vogue 8793
With the pattern in mind, I sorted through my stash and found a rayon polka dot jersey and a rayon/metallic striped jersey (both from Marcy T) I thought would work. Wanting a third fabric to round out the collage, I added a printed rayon jersey from Sawyer Brook, and went to work on it. Here is the result:

I really love the look of these fabrics together. Each has a fun personality, making for a whimsical garment. Of course, the collar takes center stage on this design.

I like the contrast of the rugged zipper with the smooth fabrics, so I used lightweight molded separating zippers, as Katherine recommends. This required an internet order from in NYC, but service was very quick so I waited only from one weekend to the next. Sawyer Brook stocks some YKK coil and invisible zippers, so I was able to match the lilac color using a real color chart instead of photos on my computer monitor - a big advantage. The collar edges are fairly long, and a 28" zipper was too short. Not wanting to piece them (Katherine gives instructions for this), I was able to get them in the 36" length.

The pattern instructions have the teeth beginning at the center fronts, rather than at the neck seam. I was ok with this, and sewed mine that way. When I make the pattern again, I might place them close to the seam. It might make sewing the seam more difficult, which is why I stuck with Katherine's instructions. The zippers are inserted into the seam between the collar and facing. I fused them in place using Steam-A-Seam II, which worked great. After sewing the pieces together, the edge is topstitched. Then the inner collar is laid on top of the outer collar, the edges are basted together, and sewn to the neck edge.

I can't say how much I like this collar. It is so unusual and on trend - I just love it! On Katherine's blog she shows some tops where she lowered the neckline a bit, extending the length of the collars. That would be great for warmer weather. (A couple of posts earlier, she shows how she constructed the collar for the red top on the pattern envelope.)

I'm pleased with my placement of fabrics, except for the striped sleeve. The fabric was narrow and I had short yardage, so I had to turn the sleeve lengthwise in order to fit all the pieces. I do like having the stripes vertical on the back.
However, cutting the back on the crossgrain means there is stretch in the length of the back. It was problematic only in the armscyes, which lengthened some. As usual, I added length and width to the front and back, and added bust darts. It took several tries to get the bust darts looking good. I first placed them in the side seam, but ended up moving them to the armscyes. That seems to be the best location for me.

I found the pattern instructions to be well-written and easy to follow. The sleeve length is quite long. The length of the pattern piece is perfect for my long arms, which means most women will need to shorten it. I found the shoulder width quite wide, so much so that the sleeves were dropped. I trimmed away over an inch around the armhole to get a better fit. It might have been a bit too much in the back, but it was definitely needed in the front and at the shoulder seam.

I love the design of this top, and definitely plan to make it again. I like the fabrics together, but, I'm not really comfortable wearing these stripes. I think it's their boldness. The narrower, subtler stripes I used in my Back Words collage top are very quiet. The stripes in this top seem to holler, "Hey, look at me! I'm glittery metallic stripes!" I try not to think about them when I'm wearing the top, but every time I see myself in a mirror I wonder who the clown is, wearing strips and dots together. One of my co-workers asked me why I don't buy enough of one fabric to make an entire top! She was joking, of course. At least, that's what she told me. (Ahem.)

I have enough of the polka dot and print fabrics to make another top, so maybe you'll be seeing them in a collaged top this summer. You won't see these stripes with them, though!


  1. Just brilliant!!! The fabrics all work together and this pattern is just ideal for this play. Style and colours suit you...

  2. Fun top...I love the fabric together.

  3. That is an awesome top. So unique!

  4. Really cute! You just have to wear it with confidence and ignore silly comments. They're just envious. ;)

  5. Thank you for your comments. I appreciate them!

  6. I love your top, looks great on also.

  7. SO cute! And THE most helpful review; thanks doll! :)