Wow! I know it’s bad form to be self-congratulatory, but I am doing AWESOME! I made three things so far in January, and I like them all!
This top was created from Simplicity 1849. I picked it up years ago, thinking I’d make a top for work, but never found the right fabric for it, or more importantly, the time for it. I liked the twist-front detail, and wanted to see what went into making it. Turns out, it’s a two-piece overlay. You make the twist by creating a loop with one piece, then twisting the other piece through that hole. Those pieces are stitched down to the bodice, and the back and front necklines are finished with facings.
With that many layers, you should probably stick to thin knits. Unlike what I did. My fabric is a surprisingly thick cotton interlock, thrifted years ago for a buck or two. (Hooray for being cheap!) The odd size of the piece is what compelled me to finally use this pattern — the pattern I actually wanted to make wouldn’t fit the fabric size. Fortunately, it’s winter and I’m super stoked to have an extra warm top to lounge around in. (A white top as we start solids was probably not the best idea but, eh, that’s what bleach is for, right?)
As with the red cutout top I sewed, I kind of went through the motions during construction, fully expecting this would be a wadder. The thickness of the fabric was just not a great choice for the style. Surprise, surprise! Once I tried this on, I fell in love!
It’s chic and interesting but subtle. I think the winter white knit ended up being perfect — it’s a “better basics” kind of piece, which is just what I need. The fabric is really key to this look. In a cheap ITY print, this top could easily look like a leftover from the clearance rack at Ross. (Cold burn, I know…) In ivory, blush, slate, or charcoal, though, it can look sophisticated and tasteful. So much of sewing success is walking that line between “amazing and one-of-a-kind” and “so tacky it has to be homemade,” and I think I get better at navigating that each year.
I didn’t make any significant changes to the pattern, aside from narrowing the sleeves by over an inch. The whole thing came together pretty smoothly — not surprising, considering it was sold under the “It’s So Easy” line of patterns. That said, the neckline was a bit fussy, since you have to line everything up exactly right to get it to work. It’s not hard, per se, but I wouldn’t recommend this as a first or second project. Not much more to say, other than that I’m surprised at how much I like this, and how heartily I would recommend the pattern to anyone who likes the look. Plus, it doesn’t take much yardage, even with the two-piece overlay and self facings. (Side note: if an unfinished knit edge will make you stabby, look away: the overlay loop and the front facing both call for unfinished edges.)
Again, a simple and unambitious pattern/fabric choice is proving to be my saving grace, letting me relax and enjoy every step of a low-stakes project. This is just one of the reasons why I love sewing. Creating something tangible for myself, using and growing a functional skillset, and having an outlet for creative expression are all SO GOOD for me right now. I read somewhere that a significant percentage of first-time moms suffer a severe hit to their confidence as they transition to being mothers — a role that offers so many challenges and so very little feedback. I am completely in that group. I run that group.
But making time to sew has been such a joy. It’s a space where the output of my energy and effort is completely visible — much more so than the energy and effort I put into my baby girl. Like, I understand that loving and nourishing a tiny human is much more of an accomplishment than making a t-shirt, but damn if that t-shirt doesn’t make me feel like a boss. For this stage in my life, sewing is therapy, and I’m grateful.
Welcome to the closet, my Totally Twisted Thrifted Tee!