Saturday, June 28, 2014

Southwest Top

Here's my study in French seams in its finished state - a Southwest-inspired crop top from a 1988 pattern, Butterick 6113. I made view A, with a few adaptations to block it out into different pieces, so that I could incorporate this piece of Southwest printed flannel I found at a thrift shop in Grants Pass for 25 cents.  Does it count for the Vintage Pattern Sewing Pledge?  I'm not sure - but it counts for my version of the pledge because it is 20th century.
I wore it to work and to a baseball game on Thursday - I kept a blazer on over it most of the day due to unseasonably cold and rainy weather, so it's a bit rumpled in the photos. The flannel square was very cozy against the chilly weather.

With the cozy flannel front, I think it will be ideally suited to fall. I would like to make a navy Effortless Cardigan for fall and I think the two pieces would go well together. When I wore it with a fitted blazer at work, it got sort of scrunched up around the sleeves due to its boxy shape, but it would layer well with another loose piece like an unstructured cardigan.

It's matchy-matchy with my Clyde skirt, too. The brown linen is the same fabric as the skirt. I just used a little bit as an accent and made the main contrast color from blue linen. I'm slightly afraid it might look "home sewn" in the derogatory Project Runway sense of the term to have the top and skirt match fabrics, yet I enjoy the outfity-ness of it, nonetheless.

Once I got the idea for a boxy top, I planned to order some swiss dot fabric to go with the flannel, but I couldn't decide between navy or chocolate brown. As I was debating between the two colors, I thought maybe I could use both the brown and blue together; then I remembered I actually had brown and blue linen already.

Since it's sort of an experimental piece inspired by a scrap of flannel and a thrifted 80s pattern, it seemed perfect to use my stash to complete it, making the whole top practically free & inadvertently matchy with my skirt.
I like the little stripe that the brown yokes make along the sleeve.  This is where all those French seams converge.  It was a little wild inside figuring out which direction to press them all, but they did end up all laying flat in the end.
Here's an inside-out view... I finished the neck off with some red bias tape and all the interior seams are French, with the exception of the side seams.  I just pinked those so that I could clip the curves for a more pliable shape around the underarm.

Although cotton flannel is a bit heavy for this type of top, the linen is a perfect weight and it ends up hanging well.  I just adore the colors in the print and I am glad I was able to piece together something that harmonizes with it, without getting too busy.  The color blocking was a lot of fun.

The back is more simple - just brown and blue linen.  I think it sets off the print on the front well to have a plain back, with just a hint of the brown linen.

All in all, it's a fun & practical casual top that could be worn with lots of colors.  It's a little on trend, a little vintage/thrift store chic, and a little of my own dorky sense of style. Quite a pleasant make.

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