So let's start with Spring Top Week. I discovered this via Film in the Fridge and thought "I can have a go at this". I'd made a couple of simple bias tops a few years ago and was not very happy with them (one was made from rather dowdy fabric and the other one is lovely but doesn't fit me anymore - wail!) so I thought this would be a good opportunity to make more. I had a bias dress pattern hanging around in my pattern stash which I had never done anything with, so I thought I would try that as the base. And Spring Top #1 was born .
You are allowed to submit up to 5 tops for Spring Top week, and I was all set to do just the one, but in the middle of all my Rowan avoidance tactics I discovered a fabulous dress by Two Boos . And you know, one thing leads to another, and suddenly I was downloading the pattern and thinking "well, maybe I can make another top for Spring Top Week". I'm not addicted. I can give it up at any time. Hmmm.
Oh well and then because I'm me, and the pattern looked pretty straightforward, I cut out the bodice, didn't bother with the facings, changed the neck, was oblivious to the fact that there was a 'waist band' and decided to cut my own skirt. Poor Burda, all that time preparing instructions and I didn't even print them off.
Edit 27-04-10: Oops! I forgot to add that all the tops below were made with side zips, not a centre back zip as in the original Burda pattern.
Anyway, my excuse was, if I'm going to make a swanky top for the Spring Top jamboree, I need to do a trial run first, so I got out another heap of Ikea's Bomull and made a v-neck version, like so...
I hate wasting fabric, so I knew from the start that I was going to dye this (because one pale cream top on my palid skin ("pale and interesting", my mother says!) is quite enough) and wear it. I cut back the shoulder to make the neckline wider, and based the skirt on Spring Top #1 - in other words, I measured the armhole to hem and used that as a basis for the length of the top, and also measured the width at the hem to get an idea of the er... what would you call it? skirt flare? Anyway, put those measurements together with the width of the bodice, and you get a basic trapezoid or parallelogram or something to base your skirt on. I sewed in an invisible zip and then I dyed it using Dylon's hand dye in Jeans Blue (I had wanted to use navy but couldn't find any). I also managed to dye my finger (Note To Self: check state of rubber gloves before you put them on) which was rather disconcerting for a couple of days.
The bias was some Kaffe Fasett quilting fabric that I had in my stash.
OK, so that was Danielle Mark 1, and I found that the pattern suited me and hid the bits that need hiding. But you know how it goes, you're sitting there sewing away and you think, "this is going well but I wonder how it would look if I changed the neckline. And then there's that waist band I forgot, and oooh! I've just thought of some perfect fabric, and it will look like a Boden top". It's a slippery slope, let me tell you. And that was why, halfway through making the blue top, I started another.
Somewhat boringly for you perhaps, this is also made from Ikea fabric. But this time it's Fabler and you have to dig around in the children's section to find it (it comes in 3m pre-cut lengths). I did actually use the waist band from the pattern this time, but it looked so narrow when I had cut it out that I used a 5-ish mm seam allowance to sew it on to try to eek out some more of the pattern. I used Checked Florals by Westminster Fabrics for the waist and bias binding (which was an impulse buy from Etsy (can't remember who though) a few months back). I also re-cut the skirt, based on Danielle #1 but taking off about 10cm to make up for adding the band. And that was how Danielle #2 happened. The bias has made the hem a little stiff but I'm hoping that will resolve itself with wear.
And all the while, I was thinking " that v-neck worked pretty well, I wonder if I could turn it into a crossed front...?" and "ooh, this contrasting fabric malarky works really well, and I have that lovely lovely pink stuff I got from FreshSqueezedFabrics a while ago..."
But you know, to trial the crossed front I had to make a muslin... Fortunately for you, this post and the world in general, I only got as far as the bodice. The plan was to turn it into a dress and dye it the same Dylon Jeans Blue as Danielle #1, but I didn't have enough Bomull to cut the skirt (which means another trip to Ikea in the offing... woo hoo!). So in the current scheme of things, this dress, when it's done, will be Danielle #5 (gulp!).
The front evolution went like this...
I marked the centre front so I knew where to cross it over, and made it up (this time with a lining, because I managed to convince myself that one layer of fabric would be too sheer, but I've changed my mind about this now). But when I tried it on, the fronts flapped forward a bit so I moved the pointy ends down which seemed to do the trick.
Which meant I altered the pattern like this...
The plan is to use black and white gingham for the top and skirt, and some in-your-face red stuff for the waist band, but when I got up this morning all bouncy and excited to start cutting the pieces, I realised I hadn't washed the gingham (I bought it yesterday from the LFS and then got completed distracted). But when I get my act together, it will be Danielle #4.
Why #4? Because I had been thinking about my pink fabrics, and how I could always use another Boden -type top, so yesterday morning I cut yet another Danielle. Please let me reiterate: I am not addicted. I can give this up at any time.
This time I actually used the original square-ish bodice front, but instead of using the original waist band - which I felt wasn't deep enough - I cut two strips of fabric 10cm wide, and used those instead. I had decided that the skirt base I'd used for Danielle #2 wasn't long enough (which was a bit bizarre as it was supposed to end up the same length as Danielle #1), so I used the Danielle #1 base instead, which has slightly different geometry but ends up the same (ok, well, it's supposed to!) when the top is finished.
I used Luca in Nude by Alexander Henry Farbics for the bodice, Timeless Treasures' ASIA-C 4158 Aqua Floral (not the most inspiring of names, guys! and seems to have been discontinued) for the waist band and binding, and Mum in Peppy Pink from the Hunky Dory range by Chez Moi for Moda for the skirt. I really love these fabrics, and I think this is my favorite Danielle so far; it makes me think of Japanese spring cherry trees too. I am hoping that the sun will shine this afternoon and that Mr G will take a photo of me in it so it can officially become Spring Top #2.
I'm planning that the gingham top will also be entered as a Spring Top, and then I was going to call it quits. But then Randi posted about new patterns in her shop and I feel a Sheerwater Kaftan coming on... Fortunately for everyone's sanity, the deadline for submitting Spring Tops is this coming Friday, so I think it's unlikely the kaftan will make it. Anyways, I'm supposed to be applying for jobs and studying my new course...
ps. Foof! I'm sorry this is such a long post! I do think about posting little bits every now and again, but I get so engrossed in the sewing, and then I think, well, there's not enough to show and tell about yet, and then we end up with War and Peace. I really will try harder next time!