I've taken up a challenge issued by Pattern Review to make several unique garments using just one view of a pattern (One Pattern, Many Looks contest). Neckline shapes can be changed, and darts can be rotated, but only basic drafting is allowed (no facings, no collars, etc.). Piecing and color blocking are allowed. At first that sounded quite restrictive, but after some thought I realized it would be a good way of flexing my creative muscle. I'm using my TNT pattern (B5215) as a starting point.
The first two tops are quite straightforward, letting the print fabrics they're made from do the talking. This first one was completed before the contest began, so it won't be included in my entry. Too bad, as I really like it.
I love this lively yet calming print in two shades of blue in a linear pattern on white cotton/lycra. The fabric (from Sawyer Brook this spring) has a really nice hand - slightly beefy, with a good amount of stretch. It's comfortable and fun to wear.
I changed the neckline to a vee with an overlapped band.
This is my way of getting out of mitering the band, and I like the look. The overlap is really easy to do. I start the band stitching a couple of inches up the left side of the front, around the back, and down the right front. When I get close to the end I stop and layer the two ends of the band over each other, pin them in place, and stitch around the corner. Topstitching the seam allowances helps the band lie flat. I finished this top by stitching the sleeve and bottom hems with two rows 1/8" apart, to echo the distance between the neck seam and neck topstitching.
This print looks great with navy and dark denim. I'm planning to make some navy capris or shorts to wear with the top. I have a good amount of fabric left over, and I think I can get a tank out of it. That will be a great layering piece come late summer.
Another angular print fabric currently available from Sawyer Brook is featured in my second top. This is an exquisite quality viscose/elastane made in France. The hand is dry and crepe-like, so pilling should be minimal. The fabric stretches in both directions, and is feels very light against my skin.
I love the craziness of this print - a rather chaotic design - and the rich colors. I thought I would enjoy wearing it, but I think there's a bit too much white for my coloring. I feel somewhat lost in it.
This points to a concept I learned while doing color work in knitting. I took a workshop with Brandon Mably - a wonderful teacher and person - who described white as "sucking the color out of everything". This print is a good demonstration of that concept. The colors are vibrant and rich, but the white seems to take their power away. Even though there is high contrast between the different colors, the amount of white really quiets the mix. In this case, it might be a good thing, considering how much the print has going on!
I wanted clean finishing on this top, so I hand stitched the inside of the band and the hems. I like the more refined look it gives.
I'm thrilled to finally have something to wear this pendant with. I purchased it over a year ago from a button vendor at the local sewing expo. It's dyed quartz with a jagged area that's drusy-like. The violet color is a perfect match with the fabric. It can use a slightly longer chain, but I'll enjoy wearing it with the tee.
On both of these tops, I used fine interfacing to stabilize the shoulder seams and hems. I ran out of Design Plus lightweight fusible bias tape, which I normally use, so I cut 3/8" wide bias strips of Sewer's Dream, and really liked how it worked.
Sewer's Dream is definitely my favorite interfacing for stabilizing jerseys. It gives just enough support to keep edges from stretching out of shape. It has stretch in one direction, and is stable in the other. The edges don't fray, as I've experienced with other fusibles for knits. Since I hand stitched the hems on this top, the interfacing wasn't a must, but I like the light support it gives. When machine stitching hems, I find it helps keep the edge from stretching.
Two more tops using this pattern are in the works - a solid I painted using silk screens, which is finished except for the hem, and a pieced version using fabrics you've seen here before. I hope to complete them tomorrow. I'm sure I'll come up with another version or two before the contest ends at the close of the month. This is a terrific way of keeping motivated to build my summer top wardrobe!