November 30, 2009


Although November flew by it proved to be a wonderfully productive sewing month for me again. I wanted to end this years Month of Tops sew-a-long with a twist - another twisted neckband tee. The knit I worked on with my TNT pattern New Look 6735, is a light weight poly knit so I came up with idea of doubling the twisted neckband as a contrast. Initally I started with a neckband cut on the fold and folded in half, but I thought it was too light weight - so I took a chance and doubled the fabric. I actually like the contrast in weight of the neckline versus the body of the garment. I also like the look of the twisted neckline on a solid fabric.

So here is MOT #14.

This has been an enjoyable sewing experience, especially since some really talented fellow bloggers joined in with me. So, a special "THANK YOU" to Ebony for encouraging me to do a month of tops again this year. And, a special "THANK YOU" to all who joined in to give a little boost to their wardrobes with some extra tops.

I know that I will probably make at least two more tops before the year's end, but I will mainly be concentrating on other more structured sewing projects in December. The Month of Tops was a good project to take on after making the Chanel Jacket. The Chanel Jacket was a good project to take on after not being able to sew in August and September because I was taking those two classes. MY GOD, HAVE I ( S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D THIS YEAR), and have come such a long, long way in my sewing adventure since starting to sew again in September 2006!!! Many thanks to all who have watched my progress...

November 29, 2009

MOT #11 AND IT'S SPIN OFFS... thing leads to another, and then another. Such was the case Month of Tops #11. I wanted a jazzy little tunic so I was drawn to a Hillary Duff pattern - M5575. I know Duff patterns are really geared toward younger people - but sometimes I just go with my heart. To my surprise this pattern runs large, but I didn't know that so I enlarged it and it ended up much too big. I ended up having to take it in that much and much, much more. I only had one glitch with the pattern. I lengthened the bodice, but neglected to lengthen the front band and facing - not good! I ended up patching the band right in the center front area to make it work out. The busy dark print allowed me to make the correction so that it isn't noticeable.

Here's the finished tunic that I modified to add full length sleeves because it's starting to get cold down here in Georgia.
The neckline left no room for modesty, so I needed something to cover my chest (can't stand for my neck to be cold!). So Top #11 prompted Top #12. This is a TNT Kwik Sew 2740 turtleneck. I made sure the turtleneck was really loose because I also can't stand turtles chocking me! (he he)

Although the chocolate turtleneck looks good with the tunic - I couldn't help wonder how a black top would add up - thus Top #13. Can I say...I love this little top and can visualize more of it popping up this season. Only 3 pieces - with hemmed armacyes, no facing and no binding. I got the idea from The Selfish Sewer who has shown several just like it recently. Have you seen her blog? She is a hilariously wonderful sewer. Anyway, she also offers just such a pattern that you can download from her blog. I couldn't use her pattern because my printer is not hooked up yet. But, after a mad pattern stash search I was able to find OOP Simplicity 4503 for this razer cut shell. I must be getting braver because I eliminated the back seam and added the BIG cowl neck collar from McCall's 5699 (another Duff pattern). I have several other patterns with cowl collars, but opted for this pattern because of it's hugeness.

Now I guess I will finally have to agree with many others - "I am obsessed" with sewing. With only two more days left in "The Month of Tops" the pushed to the side, already cut out, originally Top #12 - now Top #14 patiently awaits in the wings. I must say that this has been the most wonderful SEWCATION of the year! The only interruption (however nice) was taking the time out to make a casserole and for Thanksgiving dinner. No one even rang my door bell since Tuesday! Every one knew some serious sewing was taking place in the bat cave. So today is my last official sewing day and I'm off to start MOT #14.

November 27, 2009


Almost all of my November posts have been about tops. Hope that they haven't bored anyone, but when ever I set a goal, I try my best to see it through. Mind you, I don't always succeed but as my Granny always said, "NOTHING BEATS A GOOD TRY!" I actually never revealed my goal for the number of tops I wanted to complete during this sew-a-long - well the goal is 12, and I think I will make it. THERE ARE THREE MORE DAYS LEFT in November. Here's a picture of #10, and #'s 11 and 12 are cut, marked and awaiting their turn. I also did a modification on Top #4 because I felt it was just a little too plain. I added my renditiion of a flower like ruffle at the center front.

#10 is made from a nice smooth knit from Ebbjy Fabrics. I used Simplicity 3634, view B for another cowl neck tee. The top is very simple, but what really excites me about it is the plaid pencil skirt that I plan on making to go with it. It's a nice wool flannel that I also got from Ebony.

I'm going to try to start MOT #11 tonight...

November 25, 2009


I keep forgetting what number top I'm on! But just found out that this is number 9. I made this top from Vouge 8323. I used the pattern once last year when I made a top in a deep chocolate jersey knit that feels soooo very good against my body. I was unsure of the pattern at the time, so I went with a size larger just to be sure. At first I thought this pattern was a little weird with the front and back panels and side panels. But it is a great tee pattern! The top wore wonderfully, but was just a tad big in the shoulder area. I think I have narrow shoulders. So this time I went down a size just in the shoulder/neckline area.

I'm a lover of knit tees as you can tell by now. So most of the tops I'm making for the Month of Tops sew-a-long are quite simple. Consequently, I felt that I needed to do SOMETHING different to add some punch or switch it up just a bit. I got the idea that I wanted to add a twist neckband on top #9. Now mind you, adding a twist neckband is not a real complex operation, but sometimes I let new things and ideas intimidate me so much...sometimes to the point that it freezes any amount of creativity, even the smallest amount. Such was the case with adding this twist band.

I was able to get directions from four different sources and have to give credit where credit is due: Sew News, Assorted Notions, Sew Intriguing, and Sigrid - Sewing Projects. What was I scared about? It wasn't hard at all - just something new. I am so pleased with the way it turned out that I hope I don't go hogg wild with it - but I will be doing it again...soon. The next time I will make the band wider like the one Sigrid used. My band is a little hard to detect because of the print that I used.

Marked up my table a little bit, but that's par for the course (he he).

On to #10...

November 23, 2009


I started Simplicity 2850 at our little sew a long yesterday, but was unable to finish it. I rushed right home this evening to get it completed to wear to work tomorrow. I loved the two that Sheila made from this pattern and had to give it a try. I love the colors in this fabric and have a necklace that has exactly the same colors that I will wear with it. I made a shortened version on view A also, tapered the sleeves and added a simple hem rather than use the elastic as the pattern called for. I had a wee problem getting the neckband flat, but figure it was something I did wrong in cutting - I will rectify that glinch next time because I do plan on using this pattern again.

November 21, 2009

MOT #7

I really have so many things that I need to be doing other than sewing...but I just can't help myself! I need to clean this house! The "bat cave" alias sewing room should be declared a diaster area; no kidding. And I have that test that I need to study for, but you see... Month of Tops #7 was calling to me so I just had to get her completed.

For some reason I don't use that many Simplicity patterns but I used 3624 for the first time. It was simple and with the fabric I chose, really a joy to sew up. Compared to MOT #6 which was made from a poly/lycra knit and a little tricky in sewing, the fabric I used for #7 (which I purchased from Ebbjy Fabrics by the way) sewed like a dream. So here it is. I know that I will be wearing this one to work next week.
For #8 I was inspired by Sheila's last top, and I have a idea that I'm itching to use for the neckband on that one. I'll actually be using one of the New York City purchases for the next top. I haven't gotten into that fabric at all. We'll see how it comes out.

November 20, 2009


my 200th post! An exciting milestone that took me 33 months to reach. I'll have to do something special to celebrate this ... but first I need to complete "NOVEMBER - THE MONTH OF TOPS". For now I'll just be happy with presenting my MOT #6 edition - an knit animal print twisted neckline top for Butterick 5429. This is a new pattern for me and since I do not make muslins for tops, I cut this top about a size and a half larger than my norm because I was unsure of the fit of the pattern. After starting the assembly I ended up taking 1" seam allowances to take it up because it turned out way to big. This is the second twisted neckline top that I've made, and although I'm often drawn to patterns of this type I don't think I'll make another one. This top is a good one, and the print certainly fits in my wardrobe with all the black that I wear. I'm just not sold on the twist construction.

Now to make a decision on what pattern to use for top #7...

November 18, 2009


but there are two on the cutting table ready to go. I had another mishap yesterday and decided to count my lose early in the game. I promise you it wasn't me (lol), but rather the fabric choice. I was working with a light weight sweather knit and when I sewed the first few seams I knew I'd better call it quits because the fabric was stretching all over the place and the stitching was puckering like crazy. So I didn't want to waste too much time on something I thought was going to be totally unwearable.

I know that the Month of Tops is not a contest, but I feel so behind schedule. Life stuff just keeps popping up delaying my sewing goals. I think I will be able to salvage some time though, I've got this weekend, and only work Monday and Tuesday next week. Furloughed next Wednesday and the I have Thursday and Friday free and then another weekend to work on some tops. So it's on with the show. I will have something ready to post soon.....

November 14, 2009

MOT #5

I finished this top last night after my trip got a little extended because I didn't think it was safe to continue driving after dark. This was made by morphing my TNT New Look 6735 with the cowl collar from McCall's 5699. I kinda wanted a turtleneck from this fabric, but opted for the cowl collar instead to give the top a little punch. I wanted something really comfortable and loose fitting so I cut the top a little wider. I purchased this fabric from Ebbyj Fabrics. I fell in love with it because it was such a light weight knit. The color doesn't show up that well in the picture for some reason, but the tulip print is a really dark chocolate on a sort of taupe background. I think it is such a cute and fun print. I will probably go ahead and make the McCall's 5699 in it's entirety also. Trying to make a decision on what pattern for what fabric is sometimes trying and definitely time consuming.
Thought I'd sew a little tonight, but I guess I'm too tired to start....
TO ANSWER NORA'S QUESTION: Concerning sewing the neck band flat: there is actually no bulk created in the shoulder area. I hand stitched the band to the seam so that it would stay flat. Also after stitching the remaining shoulder seam press the band away from the top, and the band seam toward the top. I then machine stitched the seam with topstitching. Hope this helps.

November 12, 2009

MOT #4

I didn't want to have to sit around for two evenings with nothing to do so I brought my machines on my business trip. This is not the greatest of pictures, but here is top #4 for me. It's another TNT pattern, Simplicity 4095. It's another simple tee, but this time with a V neck line that has just a little rauching at the center front. I wasn't able to use the flat neckband application on this top because if the "V". I really needed a cream or off white top so this is it. I still have another piece of cream fabric in my stash that I will hopefully make up this month too.

Maybe I can manage to cut out another top while watching Project Runway...

November 11, 2009


I finally finished top #3. I had started a Vogue top several days ago that turned out to be a dud. I don't know if it was the pattern or the fabric or both because it certainly wasn't me (he he). I thought it would be best to just call it a loss. I had used a knit and the pattern called for bust darts. I hate darts in knits - they just never lay right. So I moved right along but this time with " TNT" New Look 6735. I've made this top at least 3 other times. It's a super simple tee that fits really good. It's easy - only 4 pattern pieces, and I don't need the instruction sheet at all. The only thing that makes it different this time is the way that I applied the neck band.

The instructions for this pattern like all the others I've made call for sewing the shoulder seams and then applying the neck band in the round which isn't hard to do, but I found the interesting idea of sewing it flat on this blog Actually it is easier this way and the neck band lays much flatter when installed in this manner. I had wanted to use this method ever since I read about it - and I really like it. So, even thougth this is made from a "TNT" pattern I learned and used a new method. Now it's on with the show...

November 8, 2009


The following "Month of Tops" participants still need to respond to invitations sent out to them that will allow them to post to the Month of Tops blog:

The Creative Lady
Joyce in NC

As soon as you have responded, you are officially logged in as "Blog Authors" and will be allowed to post. Thank you for your cooperation, and HAPPY SEWING!

November 7, 2009


This is the top that I wanted to make specifically for my Chanel inspired jacket. Top #2 for the month of tops. This is McCall's 5708 that I made the protype of earlier. The pattern is well drafted and goes together very well. I love the short sleeve with the little band and I can see that I will probably make this one up again. I'd like to see it done up in black - a classic wardrobe essential. I wore the protype earlier this week with a belt as illustrated on the pattern envelope.

Now on to top #3...

November 6, 2009


I've reviewed all requests to join the month of tops several times. BLOGGER INVITES have been sent out to all of the email addresses that I have. I'm new at this so please be patient with me. If I have missed anyone - please do not hesitate to comment on my blog (Faye's Sewing Adventure) and let me know as I don't want to leave anyone out that wants to be included.

NOTE: please include your email address in your comment to be added to the "TOPS" blog.

NOTE TO SUE (THE BLOOM BOOK CLUB): Please post your email address because I cannot figure out how to leave a comment on the Book's blog.

November 5, 2009


So, I figured out how to set up a blog for the participants of "The Month of Tops" blog. It can be found at

November 4, 2009


Dang it, my picture showed up sideways! And of course I don't know how to fix it. I need a Blogger class! Doesn't EVERYONE just love receiving packages (unexpected of otherwise). Well, this one was expected and even though he doesn't know it, I was sweating the mailman about it. I've had the same mailman for the last 20 years, and although he is cute, he is not the most sociable person. He does however, wear short that are toooo short in the summer (at which I laugh at).
Anyways, James finally delivered my package from Smoking Needles' give a way - I won SECOND PLACE - hurray for me, and many thanks to Rachelle. I received a stuff bucket that I'll use to carry my stuff when I go away for sew-a-longs, 4 patterns and a toiletry travel kit. I just found out that I'll be going to a 2 day conference next week so I need that toiletry kit.



The list of people interested in THE MONTH OF TOPS SEW-A-LONG has grown to fourteen (including me). IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN US! Just post a comment saying you are interested, and you are in. All participant links will be posted on my right sidebar, so those wanting to follow your progress can click right in to your blog to see what you are doing along the way.

This sew-a-long is quite simple:

•Choose your fabrics

•Choose your patterns (or self draft)

•Add a new twist to a TNT pattern

•No quotas

•No limits

•You choose how many you want;

•and by November 30th we will have a number of added wardrobe options. ...

November 2, 2009


As I mentioned in my last post, I ALWAYS find myself in need of new tops. If I can go to the closet and pull out a top that I really like - pairing it with a pair of slacks and maybe even a jacket (matching or contrasting) just makes dressing easier. A new top can give an old outfit a much needed spark and can even brighten your day...Thus "The Month of Tops".

Several ladies have already expressed an interest in joining me in sprucing up my wardrobe with extra tops. This sew-a-long is quite simple:

  • Choose your fabrics

  • Choose your patterns (or self draft)

  • Add a new twist to a TNT top

  • No quotas

  • No limits

  • You choose how many you want;

  • and by November 30th we will have a number of added wardrobe options.

Soooo, if you are interested in joining, just post here or shoot me an email so I can add you to the list. THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!

It was also suggested that we do a Spring Month of Tops; soooo April it shall be....

November 1, 2009


Last year I made a knit top on October 30th, and although I hadn't planned on it, I didn't stop making tops until November 31st. I needed to add a lot of tops to my fall/winter wardrobe, and I think I made a total of 15 of them, all knit.

Well those tops did get me through last fall/winter. But after careful consideration I did have evaluate continued wearability. Some of them had to be eliminated because of fabric choice - a turtleneck for instance definitely needs to be made from a two-way stretch fabric. Several others have been eliminated because of shags, stains, unsuitable color choice, or because the way the fabric felt against my skin. (I cannot wear stuff with metallic threads running through it.)

Anyway, my friend Ebony was amazed at the number of tops I produced last fall, and has been suggesting that I make the "TOP MONTH" an annual event. I've been telling her "I don't know about that", but she was adamant, and I do find myself needing a number of tops for the why not? I don't know how many tops will evolve this month, but I do have some REALLY GORGEOUS KNITS that are calling out to me "SEW ME UP... NO ME, SEW ME FIRST".

I recently finished the Chanel Jacket (and by the way I am ubber proud of that), but the goal was to make a complete Chanel suit. So before I hit up the bin of knits for tops, I must finish this Chanel suit. I read that Coco Chanel suits quite often included a stylish blouse made up from the lining fabric. I've had visions of this, and think that it would be so classy to do the same thing. So I got more of the shocking pink charmeuse that I used for the jacket lining (wish I knew how to spell charmeuse rather than having to look it up every time I use it) to make the tie neck blouse of my vision. I so love this blouse, but was afraid to try it in charmeuse since the pattern suggests georgette like fabrics. So I opted for this one (view C), which I also love, and that the pattern actually suggests charmeuse. First, I made this prototype from a WalMart find to get the feel and fit of this pattern. I love this pattern and fooled around with it a little earlier this year, and with just one minor adjustment it will be fine.

Ebony we'll see how the month of tops goes...


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