Scored this 70’s sewing pattern at the local thrift shop for $0.69 a couple weeks ago and couldn’t wait to sew it up! I love all of Isabel Marant’s gorgeous versions of peasant tops and this looked like a perfect pattern to test out, learn some construction techniques from and then alter to a couple different variations for my wardrobe. I used fabric I had on hand from a bag of discards someone gave me just to test the fit, but as it turns out, it’s totally wearable. I’m not exactly sure what the fabric is, I even poked through my Fabric Identification Notebook from college in an attempt to figure it out, but it’s definitely synthetic, has a faux suede type of soft finish on the outside and I like the color. I opted for the version without the neck tie or belt and the only pattern modification I made was chopping the sleeve to align straight up from the side seam.
I made a couple of mistakes. First I forgot to trim the seam allowance when sewing french seams and had to trim off a notch that ended up poking through to the right side. Then I decided to overlock the sides and arms from front hem to back hem before sewing up the side seam and after the fact I realized binding would have looked much nicer, especially where the loose fit of the sleeve allows it to show from the outside at certain angles. Since my muslin ended up being a worthy addition to my closet, I’m planning on tearing out the side, armscye and front facing seams to bind those last edges and add embroidery or embellishment of some sort. You can see what I mean here.
And last but not least, the back. On a future version I think I’ll remove some gathering ease from the back and concentrate the gathers at the center but I’ve already worn this as is and like it enough to leave that part alone. Overall I’m happy with the length, fit and shape of the hem. It’s easy to throw on, casual and comfortable but makes me feel more pulled together than a basic tee.
I’m really interested in blending my artwork with fashion, bringing slow textiles and slow style together so I’d say this top is far from complete but a great blank canvas for further exploration and expression. I also plan to make another version where the pattern pieces are cut, printed and embellished before final construction but I’m hoping to find something to upcycle for the base fabric so I’m not ready to begin yet.
When I relaunched the blog, I was equally excited about all my sewing / learning endeavors but I’ve quickly become obsessed with making clothes and already have 4 more patterns to test. I’m really looking forward to printing, dying and embellishing to create my own textiles, making a garment and then using the scraps for stuffies and cloth dolls. I think when it comes full circle like that the inspiration will strike. In the meantime, my slow style series might see a little more action than the others, but we’ll see.