Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Snowdrop It Like It's Hot Top

Snowdrops are known as a sign of the coming of spring, and after the dreary weather we've seen in Melbourne over the past few weeks, I'm hoping this little top is a good talisman to bring some warmer weather to our shores.

The details:
Fabric: Coral snowdrop print fabric from Lincraft
Pattern: Peplum blouse (#118) from Burda 6/17
Size: 38
Special touches and alterations: Bias binding on armholes and neckline. Added ties to side seams.

I have recently become a subscriber to Burda magazine, and this pattern is the peplum blouse (#118) from the June edition.
Of course, living in Australia, there seem to be two issues with subscribing to Burda. The obvious is that seasonally, Australia is the opposite of what each issue is catering for, and so I found myself flipping through pages of breezy summer dresses while snuggled on my couch at home in 5 layers of clothing with the heater on... The other issue is that shipping seems to take a lot longer, and my issues arrive in the middle of the next month from the one they are issued in. But given the patterns are out-of-season anyway, that doesn't bother me too much - by the time I get the issue, I am one month closer to being able to wear the clothes in it!
The coral coloured snowdrop fabric was something I picked up during the recent Lincraft sale. It's a cotton of some sort, lightweight but crisp. While I prefer the look of the drapier version of this top presented in the magazine, I thought the crisp fabric could be cool, giving the top a structured look. Well, that didn't succeed quite as imagined. Instead of creating a defined peplum, the crisp fabric gave the top that swing-y A-line shape which can look very cool, but which I concluded wasn't for me. Instead, I decided to add some ties to the side of the blouse to allow me to draw it in a little on the sides, and giving it a fuller, bustle-like peplum at the back.  These were made out of some self-fabric bias tape I had made from the fabric left-overs. I unpicked the side seams just a little to pop the ends of the ties through, and re-stitched. I love the top so much more because of this simple fix!
The only other difficulty I had in making this top was in finishing the neckline slit at the front. The instructions for all Burda patterns I have made so far have you finish the neckline and armholes using a binding method that I'm not much a fan of, involving cutting a strip of binding, sewing it together lengthwise with wrong sides together, then attaching that to the edge being bound, before folding it inside the garment and topstiching. I believe it is the same as the method described in the Belcarra instructions for binding the neckline. In any case, maybe it is just me, but this has always been a very bulky finish when I've tried it, so I decided instead to just use bias binding for this top, using it as a facing, and therefore ignored the binding instructions in the magazine..... However, once I had attached the binding to the slit, I realised there was no way that I could fold it to the inside at the bottom of the slit in a neat way! I struggled for a while until I realised that for this top, the slit binding is actually folded in half, so that it shows from the outside. Epiphany! I folded my bias binding in half lengthwise and stitched it down in the way described. Sometimes you just need to follow the directions!
I finished the inside seams on my new overlocker, which I am loving! It is the infamous Janome by Aldi overlocker that caused quite the stir on social media when it came out, due to it's cheap price compared to most overlockers on the market. I hear some stores sold out within hours! Well, I managed to get my hands on one and can report it has been working perfectly so far, and I have even managed to re-thread it around three times now, getting quicker each time. Overlockers are really not as scary as they are made out to be!
And now I have a pretty top that leaves me yearning for spring and warmer weather.

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