Sunday, 3 August 2014

FO: By Hand London Polly Top

In a short break from the Summer of Stripes, I bring you another top, this time including a spot of refashioning and stash busting.  Can't go wrong with that!

The Polly top is a free pattern from the lovely ladies at By Hand London. I had my eye on it for sometime before I got round to downloading it. There are a number of gorgeous version of this top around the internets, my favourite being this from Crab & Bee.

The patterned fabric was given to me by a good friend in the shape of a top from Jigsaw that she had had for some time. As soon as I saw it, I thought it would make a great feature panel in a Polly top.  I took the orignal top apart completely and the spent the best part of a day working out the pattern repeat and matching the pattern pretty accurately, I think:
Spot the seam??
just to show there is a seam there!
The fabric is a silk and linen blend according to the label, so I thought I would pair it with some navy blue linen hat I have had for a couple of years, bought from Geoff Rosenberg at Trumpington Village Hall. I only used a small quantity of the linen so I think I am pushing it to say that it was a stash bust! The two blues are the same tone - I tried a different navy linen and it just looked wrong some how.

The panel is shaped in such a way that the top doesn't need darts.You just have to be very careful sewing the curved seam evenly and without puckers - which I managed first time round due to an excess of pins on the corners! I also clipped the corner very carefully before overlocking the seam edges. The clipping made a huge difference and the two fabrics pressed really well.





I basted the shoulders and side seams together to check on the fit as some people have said it runs a little large.  I opted at that stage to sew the shoulder seam at 2.5cm rather than the usual 1.5.  I sewed the side seams as basted, then after trying it on, basted in a more shaped side seam that curved inwards at the waist.
taking in the side seams
For the neck and armhole binding I used shop bought navy bias tape.  I didn't have quite enough of the patterned fabric to make my own without a ton of joins. Because the bias wasn't a true match for the linen, I did a concealed binding, which resulted in the shoulder straps being considerabley narrower than most versions I have seem.

I think doing this affected the fit as when I tried it on again, the armhole were gaping and the neckline seemed awfully low. I then tried taking up the shoulders again, which didn't work so I undid that. Then I decided that the seam under the arm needed to come in a bit, which involved undoing the very neat binding and redoing that.

I have worn it once a couple of weeks ago but the straps kept slipping off my shoulders, so I have sewn in bra strap holders made from ribbon and clear plastic poppers.

I was considering making it a hi-lo hem and may well change it. Having worn it today, it creases right at the top of the thigh when I sit down, which doesn't look great when standing up! Here are a couple of photos taken after having worn it all day:
tired face cropped out!

I look quite brown in these...
Usually I take my photos with a tripod and remote (hence the rather solomn face in most of my photos), but I wanted these done quickly and press-ganged Middlest daughter to do it for me. She told me to be silly...





1 comment:

  1. Hi Tamsin. I love your combination of print with the line and that hidden seam is amazing! Nice k=job there lady.
    I too had similar fit issues with my BHL Polly top. I took in the side seams loads, did a high-low hem, took the shoulders up by a similar amount and my front gapes quite a bit too - not really sure how to fix this because if I take the shoulders up again it will mean I will have to re-do the armhole bias-binding (not really a job I would like to do). It has ended up in the 'not-worn-very-often-pile'.
    It would be great to find out a common solution to our little Polly-problem ; )

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