Sunday, August 18, 2013

Take 2

I hope the title for my last post wasn't too critical.  I really do like the Pavlova top.  Here's the proof.  I made it again.  However, first I fixed the couple of things that bugged me about the pattern.

First the sleeve.  I made it an inch longer.  

This is simple.  Slice through the sleeve, parallel to the hem edge. Add the desired length by sliding the cut-off part out evenly. Add tissue.  


More complex was the fix for the too-long upper edge of the wrap front and tie.  

First I tried on my earlier version, and pinned out what seemed right.  I measured this.  Five inches along the top edge.  That seemed like a lot, but it also seemed about right.  

Here is how I took that length out of the pattern piece.  In the photo at left, you can see the tie end.  The angled line to the right is the seam line where it attaches to the front.  The dark green lines are seamlines and the orange lines mark a wedge which measures five inches along the top edge.  I folded out the wedge by aligning the orange lines.  

I left the original length of the seam which will attach to the top.  

Five inches looked like a terrible awful lot to fold out. So I chickened out and backed it off by a bit more than one inch, as you can see at right.  Then I added some tissue to create a curve from the original end of the piece.  

Then I threw caution to the wind and cut out my second version of this top.  

I used another gigantic rayon/lycra print.  Here's a view of it, with my feet for scale.  I had little choice how to cut it out.  I have one big green area on my back and none on the front.  It's disappointingly uniform looking.  Using these massive prints effectively is an art.  An art which The Sewing Lawyer may or may not have mastered.  

The ties on this version are longer than on my other version.  When I shortened up the top edge, I got nervous (unnecessarily) that somehow the ties would be too short to wrap around and connect.  Silly!  They would have been the same length.  However, I went up to the next size, and these are just fine too.  

What about the wedge alteration?  Well, it is not something I notice when I put the top on. But that's a good thing.  I definitely noticed the too long top edge, that I had to fiddle with.  This is much better.  And I could have taken out the full five inches without any problem whatsoever.   

One more thing:  the instructions for sewing the collar are a bit weird.  They produce an OK result.  But the diagrams are somehow off.  Here's how I put this version together.

Here is the inside of the front showing the markings (and where I have used a light fusible to stabilize the darts and corner).

And here are the pieces from the right side.  The collar is the rectangle at top.  Your goal is to sew it into the opening below, with the lower corners where the seam allowances on the collar piece cross attaching exactly at the point into which you have clipped (as marked on the pattern).

 I sewed the ends first, just to that pesky inner corner point.  I pressed the seams open.
 Then I sewed the seam at the base of the collar. Because I interfaced the collar piece (with a slightly stretchy knit fusible this time) the body shoulder seam easily stretched longer than the collar piece. Do not be fooled.  they are the same length.  If necessary (i.e. if you get little puckers in the body) unpick and re-do.  I had to do this twice to get rid of little pleats/tucks.

The pattern instructs you to fold the lower edge and edge-stitch it to the body neck seam from the outside.  I did this the first time but think the result is cleaner and less bulky this way.  And it's easier to maintain a smooth line on the body if you are sewing a regular seam.  IMHO.

Here's the completed corner from the outside.  Nice, huh?  The top half of the collar is actually the collar facing.  After it was folded down I stitched the two layers together by stitching in the ditch from corner to corner.

I may take a break from this pattern now but I will definitely be making a red wool jersey version.  For that fabric, I will add some width as well as length to the sleeves.


  1. Beautiful. Love the fabric and the result.

  2. Love both of your Pavlova's. Great fix on the waist tie. They suit you beautifully.

  3. So great. I love the fabric and the style, and they both suit you SO very well. Great job!

  4. Uniform?? UNIFORM?? I think it is fabulous!

  5. That collar looks fabulous, nice sewing.
    It will look great on you for winter, I can totally see it in red jersey.

  6. Wow, "uniform" wouldn't be my first choice of adjective for this! It's fabulous!