Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Best Laid Plans ...

So, we're getting really close to this whole wedding business. I've planned it to within an inch of its live, and so far, everything has gone pretty smoothly. Tomorrow it will be a week until we load up our car, drive down to Stranraer and hop on a ferry. So you know what would be just excellent right now? For the car to suddenly stop working.

That's right. Yesterday, our beloved lump of a car, Bessie, decided the best thing to do to help ratchet up the pre-wedding tension, was to break down. So she spent the evening waiting to be seen at the nearest garage, which, judging by the amount of cars there and the length of the waiting list, is currently experiencing its busy season. As you might expect, yesterday was not a good day. So what's a girl to do when she's freaking out about things beyond her control. Why, sew, of course!

I had cleaned up my sewing room, packed away all my bits and pieces, and covered my machine, with the intention of not touching it until I got back. I thought these two weeks would see me ridiculously busy. But thanks to all my planning ahead, I'm actually at a bit of a loose end. So, to calm my nerves and take my mind off the car, I started, and finished, my Wiksten tova.

Some of the details get lost a bit here thanks to the picture, but it looks great in real life. I didn't make a muslin for this - I simply checked my measurements against the size chart. I cut a large and graded to an extra large for the hips, but, to be honest, I'd probably need to add another inch or so in that area. I also feel that it's a bit tight in the upper arms for my liking, and the shoulders are too big, so there's a few little adjustments to make if I plan to make another. As it is though, it fits well enough and I'm happy with it.

One thing I'll be doing to it though, is to add a little stitch about an inch from the bottom of the opening, as it falls open far too much and is a little indecent. I don't really want to wear anything under it, so I figured if I hide a few stitches in the top stitching to hold it together, that'll do the trick. I'm not sure if that's a universal problem with the Tova, or a sign that I cut too big a size in the top half.

This is only the second time I've made a top with sleeves, the first being the Mathilde blouse. I wasn't aware then that some sewists find sleeves daunting, and I, knowing no fear, did a fairly good job with the Mathilde. These sleeves were so similar in construction to that blouse, that I felt well within my comfort zone, and they were no problem at all. I'm probably owed some difficult sleeve karma though!

The fabric I used is a printed cotton from Minerva Crafts. I liked the warm, vintage tones and did all my stitching in peach thread that looks great with it. About half way through I worried that the pattern was too much, but I think it's turned out lovely, and will look great with blue denim. My top-stitching skills are also improving drastically and I'm rather chuffed with that! The only problem I encountered was getting the collar to fit the neck opening. I don't know if the fabric stretched a little, or if my seams were too small (I eyeballed french seams throughout, rather than making sure to stick to the 3/8" allowance in the pattern - I may have erred on the side of caution) but whatever the reason, the collar piece was simply too small. This meant that I ended up sewing a pucker in the shoulder area, which had to unpicked and fixed. I probably should have left the collar to finish this morning, as I knew after I finished the sleeves that I was getting tired and sloppy. But I was so close to finishing I just ploughed on. The collar isn't as tidy or perfect as I'd like, but I don't think anyone would notice but me.

Overall, I'm pleased with this shirt, and will definitely get wear out of it. It's the kind of clothing that I really need at the moment - things that are easily paired with jeans and well suited to running around after three little boys in. The fabric is a little bit stiffer than is ideal for this shirt, and when I make it next, I'll choose something with more drape, but I just couldn't resist the pattern. I'll be wearing it when travelling next weekend.

Now onto the math.

Pattern: about £8
Fabric: 1.5m at £5.99 a metre, but it was a gift, so free!
Thread: stash
Total: £8

A bargain in my opinion!

And as for the car? Well, we managed to drive it back from the garage today, after the water in the engine that was causing the problem had a chance to dry out, though the engine still sounds ill. We'll be dropping her into our usual garage on Monday, and fingers crossed they can do speedy work!


  1. OMG ...I have everything crossed for you ...please let me know what happens on Monday when Bessie is looked at.
    As for the shirt /top I LOVE it but I agree that a material with more drape will work even better.xx

  2. Oh your poor car, hope she is better (very!) soon. Love your top, I too have never had an issue with sleeves, invisible zips are another thing though :)


  3. Top looks great - you will get a heap of wear out of it! Good luck with Old Bessie - sounds like she needs a bit of R&R ... J

  4. Your Tova looks fabulous! I'm definitely moving this up my list of things to sew. I hope everything goes more smoothly for your wedding! Maybe you should keep your sewing machine nearby at all times, just in case...