Today I am going to talk about a top that I made back in September. It’s Vogue 1503, which, unfortunately, it seems that Vogue dropped right after I did this post. (this is an updated post). Not to worry, if you decide you want to make this top (or its companion), there are plenty of patterns out there. Here’s just one example from eBay. There have been a few reviews of it over on Pattern Review.
Rachel Comey designed two very different tops for this pattern. I originally got the pattern for View B and probably will still make it someday. However, some fabric came my way that I thought View A might be fun to make up in.
Vogue describes this top as a pullover with a bias neck facing, sleeve-bands, and back overlaps at shoulders. It also has a bottom ruffle panel in the front and a back straight panel. The pattern comes in two sizes; 8-16 and 16-24, making it pretty size-inclusive.
As far as suggested fabrics, Vogue calls for wovens such as; Crepe de Chine, Charmeuse, Linen blends, and Chambrey. I totally ignored this and mixed two knits with one woven and I have no idea what their fiber contents are. I’m very happy with the results.
I would rate Top A as an advanced beginner project.
Every top I’ve seen made up in Vogue 1503 has been out of a single piece of fabric. However, with all the elements going on, I thought it would be perfect for a little pattern mixing.
Last December, I tried something a little different and bought surprise packages of fabric. These came from Fab Scrap, a non-profit located in Brooklyn, New York (and now with a branch in Philadelphia). They were having a Black Friday sale so I thought I would give it a chance. I like surprises!
“FABSCRAP was created to meet New York City’s commercial textile recycling needs. Materials that traditionally would have gone to landfills are now being properly recycled and made available for reuse.
FABSCRAP is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, though it flips the traditional non-profit model. The service fee covers operational costs and allows us to give away fabric to students, artists, local designers, and crafters for reuse. Rather than receiving a tax receipt for the value of the donation, the service fee is tax-deductible.”
Kansas City has a store similar to this, Fabric Recycle, so I was familiar with purchasing other makers’ overflow. But to get fabric that came from New York designers was a strong pull.
Fab Scrap has some fabric on the bolt but also offers what is described as Scrap Packs and Yard Packs (each yard pack has three separate yards of fabric). I decided to gamble and ordered four natural fiber yard packs and one scrap pack. The Yard Packs have wonderful fabric but at the moment I haven’t decided how to use them. The shipping is pretty high so ordering a quantity made sense.
The Scrap Packs are just a mix of various scraps of fabrics; some decently sized and some very small. You aren’t sure what any of the fiber contents are but at $5, I was willing to take a chance.
Kudos to whoever at Fab Scrap curated my Orange Scrap Pack! When I saw how well a few pieces coordinated together, I got very excited. That is when I took a second look at Rachel Comey’s top and I saw a way to mix the fabrics in my pack.
Shown here are the larger pieces in the Orange Scrap Pack and the ones I was considering using. I narrowed it down to three; the thick knit with the palm leaves, the semi-opaque knit with the white dots, and the woven with the gold metallic threads.
The Challenge of Using Scraps
First up, the knitted print had very wide white borders. I needed about four more inches of the printed pattern for the front and back. To make up the difference, I decided to insert the metallic threaded woven down the sides. I thought having it in two places in the design was better than just one (I was already going to use it for the sleeve bands).
I needed a lot more of the semi-sheer orange with the white dots. Looking at the line art below, you will notice that the front panel is made up of two pieces with a seam down the middle. I only had enough fabric for one panel.
With just one panel, I have fewer gathers but I also don’t have that seam down the center. Fewer gathers don’t bother me at all. The back is straight anyway and I think the top looks fine without the extra piece. But it was something I worried about while I was sewing.
With my limited fabric, I was relieved the back panel was straight.
I like the side inserts-they add a little something.
Before it got cooler, I wore my top with white pants, but I think it goes just as well with jeans.
Are the fewer gathers and one front bottom panel a problem? In my opinion, no they are not.
Finishing Up the Inside
As usual, the insides are important. I found that the orange and metallic fabric readily frayed. As a precaution, I turned every seam and hand stitched them down.
Finishing details of the inside. I didn’t want any exposed seams except the knit neckline facing.
Finally, I made some use of the wide white edges of the knitted print. I cut a couple of strips and used them as a facing around the neck. I didn’t turn that seam under; just used my Pinking Shears to finish off the edge to lessen the bulk and then top-stitched it down.
This pattern was a good investment but I only paid about $5 for it. With the Orange Scrap Pack only costing $5, this was a very reasonable project. Even if I added a couple of dollars for shipping, it’s still a pretty economical project.
As I mentioned earlier, I purchased the pattern for the other top and didn’t even think I would like this one but I love it! It is so much fun to wear. It will be interesting to see how long they keep this pattern in production. I especially like the cross-over-shoulder detail.
If you are a beginning sewist and make this top from one piece of fabric, it is a great little (and almost Boho) top that is perfect with jeans.
That’s all the sewing for today and I hope you enjoyed my pattern mixing adventure. It was a fun challenge and I look forward to trying something like this again. I still have quite a few unused scraps from that orange pack to figure out what to do with.
Take care and sew on!
Just slip on a black blazer and I am ready for cooler weather. Whoops, forgot to get my garden Sloggers out of view!