The Red Maple Leaf Top … And One for Renata

There you go, Renata, a pic of me wearing a couple of my creations…in grainy mirror gloriousness…Note to self: really must get one of those Gorilla stand thingys to take self pics!


The Red Maple Leaf* top  is a version of Canadian-based Jalie Pattern’s 2682 , described as “Stylish V-neck top, raised neckline at  back, with or without sleeves. View A has a zipper at front neckline for more coverage.” *a bit of blogetic license

I’ve made several versions of this top. Here’s the toile.

I wasn’t overly thrilled at first. It was too big width-wise yet the bodice was too short by an inch (size Y). I fixed the width issue by significantly taking in the side seams. As it turned out, this has become a favourite ’round-the-house sloppy joe (sweatshirt).  The cotton jersery is very comfortable to wear.

Next up, I decided to make a sleeveless version for summer. I traced a smaller size, well, two actually, blending a size W top half into a T lower half. Then I had the brilliant idea of removing the bodice line altogether…by taping the top and bottom together.

For those of you who have sewn this pattern, you know of the ingenius neckline construction technique. I tried to describe it for this post but totally confused myself…so I won’t subject the rest of you to clumsy explanations, suffice to say, it is very, very clever and neat and I applied the technique all the way down the centre of the following tops and still got the lovely soft collar!

Here’s the sleeveless version in B+W Paisley, an ITY(?) knit from Spotlight.

The shoulder width is too wide on this top…so last weekend, when I whipped up a couple long sleeve versions for the coming cooler months, I trimmed the shoulder pattern and am now really pleased with the shoulder fit.

And here are my latest versions:

Red Maple Leaf 
This fabric is a slinky ITY(?) knit from Jack Textile, an all-too-convenient little fabric shop in Marrickville (Sydney’s Inner West) (great for inexpensive basics/toile fabric, plus some pleasant surprises to be found). The print was actually pretty easy to match up.  You can’t see the centre seam running down the front, can you? It’s there, but thanks to the ‘stem’ of the leaves lining up well, I was able to hide the seam.  I originally hemmed it with a double needle but later ripped it all out cos it looked distinctly home made and I knew I wouldn’t wear it. I am most likely to wear it tucked in, with sleeves pushed up, so no need to worry about hemming!  The serger did not play nicely* with the fabric, so I sewed the whole top on my sewing machine. (*my learning curve re: serger settings is still in steep ascent!)

Here’s a back view:

[Dolly has some weird back padding going on…]

This is a super soft cotton jersey rib from Lincraft, found on one of those ‘I’m-not-supposed-to-be-looking-at-fabric’ days. I really need more ‘cake’ pieces (as per Tasia’s recent posting about Cake vs Frosting sewing) and this top is a step in the right direction.

S0…that’s what I was up to last weekend, in addition to having fun with hand topstitching on my Red Arc Skirt.

And it’s the weekend again!!! More fun to be had in the sewing room!

Happy now, Renata?  ;-p


  1. I love the whole look, must try that pose myself. And yes, thank you, I am happy now and so should you be. I am pleased I bullied you, it totally rocks on you, much better than on a stiff, lifeless model. You look totally WOW.

    • Thanks Renata for getting me out of my comfort zone with a good dose of humour!! Have never been a fan of pics of myself…but agree that live models generally make creations look better! As for that pose, I think that was the 40 billionth take, trying to get a less blurry shot, and I was getting a bit silly…though, it creates quite a good optical illusion, eh? 🙂

  2. Very stylish and where did you get those shoes!!

    I have the pattern but haven’t made it up yet, so you have made 2 garments that I need to make. Well done.

  3. I to was wondering when you going to post yourself wearing one of your lovely creations! So I am also guilty, not just Renata! It was worth the wait, you look marvelous! The blouse fits you so nicely, I love the fabric, it is a little Orla Kiely-ish looking to me- and I love anything Orla!!!!! THe skirt and top compliment each other, and I could see wearing that cute top with denim as well! Great job!!!

    • Oooh Tracey – never heard of Orla Kiely before…WOW…that’s MY kind of fabric too! This is precisely why I love the sewing blogosphere…finding out about these kind of gems.

      Thanks for the self pic encouragement. Like my sewing, it gets better with practice!

  4. Very stylish and I love the red top. Also just had to say ‘I had those shoes’. I gave them to a very good friend of mine as I don’t really wear heals much and they are such a great pair of shoes it was a waste to have them catching dust in the box – seeing them again has put a smile on my face – they look great on you too.

  5. Alison, Sharon and Nicethingsinmylife….about the shoes…I love them too! They’re Nine West, circa 2002, purchased on the fly, so to speak, at Pittsburgh International Airport in the US. Back in the day, I tottered around on heels like this all the time, but my stiletto skills (and tolerance) have deteriorated somewhat. These are now ‘dinner party shoes’…..great for sitting in.

  6. AAh you matched up the centre seam that is awesome. Also great styling. Kwik sew have a similar style but without the horizontal centre front seam. It was the first knit pattern I ever made =D

  7. This looks fantastic. Love the skirt topstitching all the more because its hand done – bloody hell! Love the pattern matching centre front on the top too. Must try Jalie – damned expensive things to get to NZ though. Oh well, better get several at once to make it worth it don’t you think?

    • Thank you Goodbyevalentino! I wore this outfit today, as a matter of fact! I really like the fit of this Jalie top, once I figured out my correct size.

  8. OMG…that’s sooo fab! And being Canadian, I’m totally honored! Your shoes are divine as well, BTW. Fabulous job done on the construction and fit. I love Jalie, and will give this top a try…after the 10 weeks it’ll take to get to OZ 😛

    • Thanks Kat! This top is very versatile…well worth the wait! Love your new blog, Couture Academic. I’m a fan of slow sewing too…(or maybe I’m just slow at sewing…)

    • Thanks Tia Dia – Happy to post you some maple leaf fabric (if it’s still available)…however, with the snail–like mail service between the US and Australia, you’ll have to wait til Canada Day 2013 to wear it….Seriously, if you would like some, let me know.

  9. WOW… you knocked that one out of the park! Love the red and white and the matching job down the center front is superb.
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment. I’m glad I found your blog, too. 🙂

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s