April 19, 2012


...when I first saw this top on Pinterest I had to have it!
 After putting out an APB blog post for help, several readers suggested Butterick 5495 as a reasonable similarity.  I went on a wild pattern stash search only to find I didn't have it.  Can we say disappointment?  I was even more disappointed when it wasn't to be found in local stores either -  I hate stressing over patterns.  So of course I had to break down and order via Club BMV.  I didn't get a chance to make this top during the top challenge - but did get it finished today.

Here's my version.  I love the print, but the knit was a bit flimsy to work with.  I think I'll have to make this one more time from a different quality fabric as I don't think this choice tells the whole story.

Now there's another Pinterest obsession top.
This will be my first color blocking attempt if I can figure out just the right slightly oversized top pattern.  I already purchased the fabric - peachskin in black and in white.  Can anybody offer a pattern suggestion???

April 16, 2012


...to each and every one of you ladies!  Taking time from your busy schedules to participate in this challenge was a big, big deal to me.  Thank you so much for joining up and posting your new designs.  The challenge was such an inspiration to me,  and hope it was for you too.  If my count is correct,  69 tops were created in 15 days - Wow, what an accomplishment!  You ladies made this a such a success!

Although the Challenge officially ended on Sunday;  participants may continue to post.  I'll be checking back over the next two weeks for new entries and will add them to the slide show.

Here's to a great rest of the sewing year  - after all, we all STARTED AT THE TOP!!!

April 15, 2012


The day is still young!!!
There's no telling just how many people will post photos for the challenge by the end of the day.
An early morning count revealed that 55 new tops have been birthed into the world since April 1st.  Isn't that wonderful!!!
  (and just to think, 7 of them are mine, yeahhhh!)
I've even got one more top on the drawing board as I type.

The Challenge officially ends at the end of the day; HOWEVER, things do happen and we can't always meet deadlines.  If this is your case, feel free to post your finished projects on the Starting At The Top Blog anyway.  I'll be checking for new entries periodically over the next two weeks to add to the slide show.
  So keep those photos coming!!!!


April 14, 2012

...I've finished my 7th top, a white handkerchief linen tunic made with this Louise Cutting pattern
The pattern is called Ebb & Flow.  In my last post I think I mentioned in error making the view with the pleated collar (Flow), but I actually meant the other view (Ebb). 

I was attracted to the side vent and notched sleeve cuff details, and think it adds to the tops easy breezy styling.  I hope that I'm able to get one more top completed - there is only one more day left in the Starting At The Top Challenge.  It's been a nice run that yielded some nice additions to my wardrobe...

April 11, 2012


...nothing new to show today - I'm right in the middle of prepping my pattern for top number 6 - which is by the way yelling that a muslin needs to be made primarily because I think it's going to be made from the white handkerchief linen that it took me so long to find... (have you ever read such a long sentence?)

This is what I'm working on...
It's call Ebb and Flow by Louise Cutting - Cutting Line Designs

Flow has the unique collar and Ebb is collarless - I'll be working on Flow.   I bought this pattern at the 2011 Sewing Expo.  I was able to make it out this year without purchasing an independent pattern.  I'm shooting for something easy, breezy and of course cute that I'll love to wear almost any place I go.  Is that a lot of demand to put on a top or what?  

I feel the need to make a muslin because venturing out from the Big 4 is not usually my norm and sizing can be such a tricky thing sometimes.

I wanted to also mention that there are 

more STARTING AT THE TOP CHALLENGE DAYS left.  If you are a challenge participant who hasn't submitted a finished project as of yet, there's still time...there are lots of tops that don't take very long to whip up....

April 10, 2012

STARTING AT THE TOP - #5 & #6...

...seems like it took me far too long to finish these two tops.  The preparation stages of a new project takes a considerable amount of time.  For top five I used New Look 6648, View D.  An attempt with this same view last year proved unsuccessful because the cowl neckline was much too deep for my taste.   I had to  consult one of my sewing mentors for information to remedy that problem.  Raising the cowl neckline mandated altering the
armscye  which was a bit scary to me.  But I took a deep breath - then performed alteration surgery on my pattern using her advice.

I removed 1 1/2 inch from the cowl.  Not wanting to spend time on a muslin, I just went with it. 

 I took it for a test drive today and was very pleased with the results.

I had enough fabric left to make up Simplicity 1916 - View F.  I'll have to admit that I eliminated three pieces (should have eliminated four pieces) of this pattern that I felt unnecessary.  Picked that up from Sheila and a top pattern she made recently.

I love the fit of this top and really love the fabric I used.  It's a jersey knit that I purchased on my 2010 visit to Metro Textiles - hope I can get back there this summer.  I have only one regret in using this fabric - after it was too late, I got the idea that this would have made a really cute maxi dress.  Oh well, what's done is done....

April 8, 2012


Oh my soul, and all that is within me.  Bless His Holy Name.



April 6, 2012


...Although I love this pattern (that'll be the last time I say that)

I did not love the long sleeved version - not sure exactly why - just didn't.  I did; however, love the jersey knit it was made of so I wanted to keep the top.

Nice jersey knits are limited in this area. So to make this top more wearable I just removed the sleeves that I didn't love - problem solved.

Now this top can fall into regular rotation with the other two. Don't be surprised if I don't wear all three in the same week - just kidding...

April 5, 2012


...all of a sudden, I have got to have this top!

Are you familiar with a pattern that would yield a similar look??

I am considering New Look 6940 - 
What do you think???

I would be making the top for a friend.  How in the world would one do a FBA on a pattern like this???

Any help would be appreciated......

April 4, 2012


...Did I mention how much I love this pattern?

This is the third time I've used it, so I guess that makes it a real TNT although I don't think I'll make it again.  I've made view B once, and view C twice.  I am seriously contemplating removing the sleeves on the view B top and turning it into view C.  I think that's enough of that view, but there are other views remaining - Simplicity 2181 is quite a versatile pattern.

Here's my 3 top for the challenge
front view

back view
 Now I need to make a decision about top #4.

April 3, 2012


...It would be a travesty if I allowed one more day of this challenge to pass without a finished project.  Maybe I'll be able to get a third top prepped and cut out this evening.  

Top one - my camp shirt:  plain and simple - but that's just the way I like it sometimes, plain and simple.
Really, the only problem with this project was my fabric choice.  It was not suited for this shirt - or any other shirt for that matter.  Don't ask about the fabric content, I liked it and  bought it so fast that I forgot to look.   I think the shirt will stick to me something awful as I'm sweating (like a lady mind you) in this beyond hot Georgia heat.

Top Two:  Of course I did a switch-a-roo from my original plan in making this top.  This is Vogue 8797, view A.

I chickened out on the color blocking idea but instead added pocket flaps.  I give you three different views.

I kept wondering if it looked like a man's shirt.  Mmmmm, I still plan on wearing it.  I'm convinced that some narrow legged white pants and cute sandals will help me pull off my imagined look. We'll see...  Now I think it's time to work with some knits.

April 1, 2012


LADIES,  The 15- Day Starting at the Top 2012 Sewing Challenge has officially begun!!!

But, before I get started may I need to mention two things: 
  1. five sewist have not responded to challenge email  invitations.  A second invite has been sent out.  Just let me know that you still want to be included and I will add you in.
  2. the link to the Starting at the Top Blog
    My advise on how not to approach a sewing challenge:

    ...Get so excited about the garment possibilities and challenge camaraderie that you...
    1.  Run to your pattern storage place
    2.  Fling open the drawer/open the box
    3.  Thumb through the hoard flipping past patterns that you don’t EVEN know why you  bought, or know you will NEVER in a million years make.

    4.  Hurry up now - snatch out every top/blouse/tunic pattern from the Big-4 and beyond that you have EVER even had the slightest inkling you MIGHT want to make.  End up with a pile on the floor that looks something like this
        even though you KNOW you can't possibly make all of these in 15 days.  Go ahead, pull them out - even though the sewing room is already in shambles

     6.  Woooah, now decide that some degree of order is called for, so place them all in a bag that looks like this
     7.  Sit looking through the patterns for at least an hour, even though you know you have more important things that need to be done today.

    8.  Then look around the room in total amazement, not believing that you just put yourself through all of this....

    Paying Homage to Black Pattern Designers...

    ...for years February has been set aside as a special time to learn about and recognize accomplishments of African Americans and other peopl...