My second last warm-weather make before winter! I have been planning this Little Black Top since, oh, October! And of course I'm so annoyed with myself it took this long to make because I'm in love with it and it literally goes with about 15 different bottoms in my wardrobe! But the main beneficiary is going to be my Monet On Acid skirt, which I've hardly worn due to lack of suitable tops.....
This is a superfrankenpatterncrazysarahideas mashup. Above the bust is New Look 6808, which I first made up here, and below is a bit of the Colette Laurel pattern and a bit of 6808. Lets compare:
The main obvious difference between the two very similar styles is the bust dart position, and front fish-eye darts on the New Look pattern. Also the New Look fits me fantastically around the chest and shoulders and has really great sleeves, whilst the Laurel.... not so much. BUT I really liked the extra ease of the Laurel top and dress around the hips , and the frilly sleeve cuffs. The New Look is just a smidge snug so a mixup of the two has pretty much created my perfect fitted top/dress block!
But being me just mixing up the basic shape wasn't enough. Way way back Before Blog (BB) I was stalking the usual sewing blog cool girls and really loved this top that Anna of Paunnet made. It had an asymmetric peter pan collar, from an italian pattern, and try as I might I couldn't find it. Then I saw the New Look made up (I think on the Tessuti blog) and thought view C was just what I was looking for. It almost was - it looks like an asymmetric collar, but actually it is just a full round collar, gathered on one side with a bow smacked on the top. Close but not what I wanted, so I redrafted the collar, just a little, to get what I wanted.
But that still wasn't enough mucking around! The New Look pattern calls for a side zip, which I discovered with my first make wasn't necessary if you weren't against a little grunting and wriggling to get it off. My first make was a fairly sturdy wool crepe, but this is a very lightweight cotton (and I think silk) blend (remnant from Rathdowne Remnants FYI) and I didn't want to risk damaging the fabric. So I decided to adapt it to have a button down back. There's plenty of head room - it was over the hips that needed the wiggle so I thought if I only had to undo a couple of low buttons I'd be sorted. I decided to be hugely lazy and not bother having the neck open at the back - just sew that up in the collar and have it open the rest of the way down. Turns out though, with the extra ease of the hip measurement of the Colette Laurel it didn't need the back opening and comes off super easy! But I didn't find this out until I'd made the button stands, and done the side seams. So the buttons are sewn through both layers (no button holes - yay!). I was very lazy with the button stands, just extending each centre back the right amount, then interfacing and folding over twice (if you want to see the better way to do it and the most AMAZING demonstration of pattern matching check out Lynne's unreal Alma blouse right here!).
I'm not going to show you pictures of my button stand because it is embarrassingly shitty on the inside. I cut the interfacing too wide, so it hangs out and just looks awful. Need to make sure I never wear this under a blue light! I may also have to change the buttons - I used shank buttons, which might be uncomfortable. Time will tell!
Other things I did differently. I decided to leave out the front fisheye darts for this top. I had them marked all ready to go, but wanted to see what the fit was like without them. Because it's such a lightweight fabric it wasn't too swing-top or trapezey but I think a heavier weight fabric or the dress version definitely would need them for more shaping. I also decided to bind the neckline and collar with bias, like this method, rather than use the facing as per the pattern. I think if I make another collared version I will do a facing - the bias finish looks nice on the inside, but it does cause some rippling of the fabric under the collar, which I found occurred on my Banksia top too.
I was very excited when I finished and immediately tried it on with a variety of different bottoms - here's a few!
Jeans! (I think a drop of rain went down my back right as this was taken, hence the surly face)
Crazy Floral Clovers!
And finally, some quick pics of what my frankenpattern looks like:
The back is on the left. The smaller fisheye dart is that of the New Look pattern - I preferred it's positioning on my bod. You can see how much extra ease the Laurel has. I had already shifted the bust dart on the Laurel, so it was pretty much identical in position to the New Look but the armhole was a completely different shape, both back and front - no wonder I find the Laurel armholes so uncomfortable (but that part of the pattern is in the bin now, so I can't show you, sorry). Interestingly the armhole of the New Look is the same whether you choose a sleeve or not. It's not too bad sleeveless - I might have to make it a smidge lower for future sleeveless versions - we'll see!
So it was a bit of mucking around, but now I'm feeling rather well pleased with having a great basic bodice and sleeve pattern. The only other faffing might be a little sway back adjustment, but I think from memory I didn't need one with my Laurel dress.... I plan to make at least 3 Autumn-Winter projects using this pattern combo - it's so easy and quick once the fit is perfected. Whats your favourite frankenpattern combo you've either made or seen?