Friday, April 23, 2010

oui oui

I feel myself hitting my stitching stride again. Feeling good about something I've made instead of bad, which is a nice little change.

I was in a boutique here recently when I came across this super cute top. I took a stealth Blackberry photo at a bad angle but didn't want to be accused of fashion espionage or something.

The more I thought about that top, the more I came down with Sew-er's Sickness. You know the drill. "Oh, this is so cute. I can make this!" I don't even think the original top was that expensive. But my brain started to list the reasons I could make it.

- It was made out of white French terry, and I had a stash of white French terry I'd bought at Hancock's for $2.95 a yard on my fabric shelves, just waiting.
- It was a simple shape, a button-down top with little flutter sleeves and a waistband. I knew I'd seen a similar pattern somewhere.
- The cuteness of the top relied on some craftiness - the designer had added little ruffles edged with navy serging, and pick stitching along the waistband pieces. All things that are easy enough to create at home.

So....this is what I came up with, complete with my poor posture. It really looks nothing like the original inspiration, but I like it nonetheless. Oh, and I took these pics before I remembered to hem the bottom. Oops.

I downloaded the free JJ top pattern from and made the following changes to it.

First, I omitted the collar and cut the neckline a little lower so I'd have a scoop neck. Then I used some gingham in a bias band to create a little neck binding. I used that same gingham for the sleeve bands and then got a little crazy and made covered buttons - huge covered buttons.

Why stop with all that? I ended up decorating the princess seams with a stitch from my machine's library. It's like a giant X with a dot in the center.

I cut a size 44 according to my measurements because I falsely thought French terry didn't stretch very much. Well, it does. So I ended up taking in the side seams by at least an inch each and the princess seams by about 1/4" under the bustline. I could probably stand to cinch it up a little more, but I don't want the front to gape open.

I really like the finished product. In my house, there aren't many un-attended photo shoots and this one was no different. My oldest son wanted me to read his fortune cookie fortune while I was on the timer.

1. French terry is pretty hot. It got muggy today and was 78F out and I was hot in this top! So it's probably going to be a spring/fall top, but that's fine with me.
2. The pattern that would have been an exact match to the top I saw in the boutique is Simplicity 2601. After I cut out the JJ I realized my mistake. That's ok, I have plans to make the Simplicity pattern, too! Can't have too many cute tops in my closet, right? I may even try it in a stable knit. I seem to wear a lot more knit tops than woven.
3. I really really love gingham. I think it would be totally cute to make a navy gingham top with white ruffles.
4. I hate making covered buttons. I need three hands. Or two people. Either way, they were my least favorite task from this project.

All told, this top cost me somewhere around $10. I think if I used a total of two yards at 2.95 a yard, there's almost $6 in fabric and two packages of covered buttons at $2 each. Not bad, eh? Way better than the $89 the original top cost.


  1. Love it! The decorative stitching is nice touch. I'm making that simplicity pattern out of green gingham soon - I agree, it cries out for gingham!

  2. Hi! I saw your top on PR and loved it! How adorable- I want one! I can't wait to see your navy version- it sounds awesome!

  3. I loooove it! The orange is great! You're amazing!