As promised here are a few pictures of my new top taken during our holidays. Looking at them makes me want to go back, it was so nice to enjoy the sea for a week and not have to worry about anything. It was the best way to start my maternity leave and forget about work.
This top is actually quite simple, but it was my first piece made of jersey fabric, so it feels like an achievement. I’d been afraid of knit fabrics and had been avoiding them, except for the occasional dolly piece that I would sew by hand. That’s why I had made it one of my goals for this year’s sewing courses to start sewing with knits. At the beginning of June I realized I had very few time left to achieve this, since the lessons would end soon, so I stopped the project I was working on, went to a cheap fabric store in Paris to get a nice looking but inexpensive jersey and then went looking for an appropriate pattern in my Burda magazine collection. Since I didn’t have much time and because of my jersey fear I wanted something quick and simple. And if possible something that could accomodate my big belly. I settled on the 123-A top from Burda 2013/01.
If you’re considering making this top, please know that it’s quite large and long! I expected it, but not that much. I traced the pattern according to my maternity bust measurement, which is one size bigger than my regular size. But I think my regular size would have accomodated my 8 month pregnant belly without any problem! The top body is straigt so it’s quite roomy. Also the sleeve opening is quite large and low, so if you’re not wearing anything underneath your bra band will show when you lift your arms. Lately it’s been too hot in Paris for me to mind, but it’s not something I usually like.
This top was quite easy to sew, it makes me wonder why I waited so long to sew with knits! That said it’s a pretty forgiving project, since it’s very simple and not fitted. I started sewing it using the serger we have in the sewing class, and since I couldn’t complete it before the lessons ended I finished on my regular sewing machine, using its elastic stitches. And you know what? Everything went ok! The stitches might not be as nice looking as if I had used the serger all along, but it worked and my seams are stretchy and not too bad looking so it’s fine with me. I even used a twin needle to hem the bottom. It’s a little bit wavy, I don’t know if it’s because of the needle or the stitch settings. But with the busy fabric you don’t see it that much when I’m wearing the t-shirt.
I was very careful when cutting my fabric to have it laying properly, so that the stripes wouldn’t be wonky, but I didn’t think about matching them at the sides… ^^; I guess I’ll do better next time. The intructions called for Vlieseline stabilmanche to stabilize the back neckline, shoulders and sleeve opening. Since I didn’t have any my teacher suggested I cut small bands in a bias tape and used those as stabilizers. It made the back neckline a tad too thick and rigid with all the layers, but it’s okay. I didn’t use any stabilizer on the sleeve openings though for fear they wouldn’t hang properly. Below is a picture of how the shoulder seams look like with the bias strip stabilizer.
So here it is, my first knit project! I feel more confident in using jersey now and would love to try other patterns. I’d like to make some fitted garments, which are more my style. But it’ll have to wait until I have the time. With all the things we had to do in the house to prepare for the baby’s arrival I’m only now finding the time to sew, and there are some more urgent things in my to-do list, like things for the baby for example. ^^ He might arrive any day now, I’d like to make a few things before that…