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