I clearly missed crafting while we were away walking in Ireland over the bank holiday. I spent today’s early hours thinking about the logistics of a top I’ve been intending to sew. So I just got up and sewed it. I used one of my favourite tops as the prototype:

This top is very close fitting with a nice, hidden side zip. I didn’t fancy my chances at managing to sew in the zip neatly enough, so I decided my new top would fasten with an obi-style tie belt — and probably needed more ease in it in order to fit over my head. I also wanted the bodice and ‘skirt’ bit of the tops to be in different fabrics. So I drew round the front and back of the bodice of the old top, doubling up for facings and adding in an extra half inch of ease either side. I sewed the facings and outside pieces together, turned them right way round and pressed them, then drew round the ‘skirt’ bit of the old top, adding seam allowances (but no extra ease this time). Then I sewed the bodice and skirt together:

and then sewed on a tie-belt, top-stitching several lines at the front:

here’s the waist:

I finally sewed on some straps, and added some decorative buttons at the front:

(I heart these buttons)

. . . here are buttons and belt. . .

. . .and here’s the finished article:

Jeez! I made that!
(Messy Tuesday/Sunday kitchen . . . ahem)

The top is made from two different Japanese fabrics, bought (again) at the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate. The quality of the cotton is just superb — a broad weave with a slightly worn feel. I love the chrysanthemum (kiku) print against the indigo dye of the plain fabric. These are just delicious textiles. It’s probably a good job that its so hard to source them, or I’d probably be beggaring myself.

In this instance, I feel oddly lucky to have been cheated in the chest department, since I reckon this is the only way such a close-fitting top might fit over one’s head without a zip or other side opening. I am feeling rather smug all round, frankly. This is definitely the most successful thing I’ve sewn without a pattern. I really, really like it. If the weather stays like this I may even get a chance to wear it. The time is now, and in Scotland. . .