Satan’s flamingos! Those are words I never thought I’d say sequentially, but I think I’m going to make it my new favorite sewing swear. These flamingos really are the devil’s work. I mean, just look at those beady, red eyes:
I think I can succinctly summarize this project in three bullet points:
- I hate this pattern with an ice-cold fury.
- I despise this fabric with flaming, fiery passion.
- I love this top like it’s my new BFF.
What the what? Yeah, it didn’t turn out like I thought it would either.
So, the pattern. This is 7094. I took PR comments that this top runs large to heart and cut an extra-small. Seconded, thirded, fourthed–it’s totally true. This top is isn’t necessarily hard, it’s just the fiddliest little fiddle that ever fiddled. The front placket and pleat instructions left me like WTF, and I had to take out my stitching several times to try to get it right. Which never happened, because:
The fabric is the work of the (flamingo-favoring) devil. Look at it wrong, and it starts fraying. Whisper near it, and it starts fraying. Pink the edges and IT WILL KEEP FRAYING. So as I’m trying to figure out these head-scratcher illustrations, my fabric is literally falling apart in my hands, and what happens?
I freak out, I wad every last component of the project roughly in a bag, and I stuff it in the recesses of the closet. My husband was not thrilled with my oh-so-mature reaction, but it I have to admit, it felt kinda good.
I moved on to another project (this asymmetrically seamed knit dress), I moved apartments, and I let those flamingos simmer in their own vile maliciousness.
By the time I pulled the (extremely wrinkled) pieces back out of the bag, I was like, “Screw it. This is probably going to end up in the garbage instead of my closet anyway. What the hell? Let’s give it a go!”
With that attitude, I attacked the front placket. I bunched. I mangled. I stitched. I did not give a shit. And it came out sort of okay. Not great by any means, and certainly not anything like the instructions. But well enough to keep going to the next step.
And the next. And the next, and the one after that, too. In a few more sessions, I had nearly finished it. It wasn’t totally smooth sailing. One side of the neck band is attached to the collar in a pretty slapdash manner, and the sleeve caps have enough fabric to gather instead of just ease per the instructions.
Jeez, these gathered sleeves on this huge smock-style top are going to make me look like one of the Golden Girls, right?. But they don’t. It all came out fine. It’s a serious mess, but who cares? With the black fabric, it doesn’t show. It looks cute enough, and it’s super comfy. I kind of love it and want to wear it every day.
I dig the open back — it’s a unique design feature. (Carmen’s version really shows this off to fantastic effect.) With a cami underneath, I can wear this to work, but then on the weekend, I feel like I’m wearing something fun. It feels more exposed than it really is, but just as a heads-up, you really do feel kind of exposed. With a light fabric with a little drape (this is a 100% polyester that has a rayon feel), the pleats in the shoulders fall nicely and the whole thing just hangs well and feels right.
Also, I just really love the flamingos. So, um, thanks, Satan?
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