Striped knit top from She Wears the Pants

Hi, I’ve had this striped rayon fabric in my stash for quite a few years – an impulse buy from Discount Fabrics in San Francisco (back when they were still around 11th and Mission St.). I didn’t have any particular pattern in mind when I got it; I just liked it. Since I’ve been on a RTW fast this year – and somewhat of a fabric fast, I have been making an effort to shop my stash. And that’s when I decided to make a striped knit top with this fabric.

Striped knit top - She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada - Japanese sewing book - Tuttle Publishing - CSews.com

The pattern is the Top with Epaulettes from the Japanese sewing book She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada (affiliate link here). I made it in 2015 using a medium-weight striped knit. You can see that version on my review of She Wears the Pants – just scroll to the end of the post to see photos of that top. I made size L and added more ease in the hips. I used the same pattern pieces.

What I really like about this top is the classic boat neck design and slightly belled sleeves, which you can (sort of ) see in this photo.

Striped knit top - She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada - Japanese sewing book Tuttle Publishing - CSews.com

If you use a heavier weight knit, the sleeves will have more body and stand out a bit more like they do in my first version. I think if I make it again, I would use a heavier weight knit to show off the sleeve shape.

Top with Epaulettes - She Wears the Pants - csews.com

This fabric was a little fiddly. I had to take my time cutting out the front and back pieces so they would match on the side seams. First, I cut the back piece because I knew I wanted the dark stripe to be at the top. Before I cut the front piece, I carefully placed the back piece on the fabric, lining up the stripes. Then I placed the front pattern piece on the fabric so it lined up with the back.

I also knew that I wanted the hem to end on a black (or is it navy?) stripe, which meant I could just cut along the bottom edge of the white stripe. My plan was the fold the hem on the bottom edge of the dark stripe.

I pinned each stripe at the side seams, set the pressure on my presser foot to zero and sewed a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine. It was a nearly perfect match! I sewed a test piece before I sewed it. I didn’t use any stabilizer and it was fine.

Matching stripes - rayon knit fabric - CSews.com

Looks like a perfect side seam!

Striped knit top - She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada - Japanese sewing book Tuttle Publishing

When I cut out my sleeves, I just cut them so the hem would end on a dark stripe. Hems get dirty and this is an easy way to hide the dirt. I wasn’t concerned about matching stripes across the body. I like the way it looks. I’m wearing my denim knit skirt with this striped knit top.

Striped knit top - She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada - Japanese sewing book Tuttle Publishing

Here’s another view of the back.

Striped knit top - She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada - Japanese sewing book Tuttle Publishing

The pattern for this striped top calls for topstitching the neck facing and the hems. I opted to hand sew the facing because I didn’t want to see topstitching around the neckline. But you can tell where I made my stitches – see the slight shadows in the white stripe below?

Striped knit top - She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada - Japanese sewing book Tuttle Publishing - CSews.com

For the hems, I fused fusible stay tape on the wrong side of my fabric to stabilize it. Then I used a twin needle to sew the hems of this striped knit top. The stitches blend into the fabric so you really can’t see the stitches.

Striped knit top - She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada - Japanese sewing book Tuttle Publishing

In case you’re wondering about the hat, it’s a vintage straw hat with a veil and a fun ribbon detail. I got the hat from All Things Vintage, a delightful shop in Oakland which always has a lovely selection of hats. The label on the inside says The Hat Box, H. C. Capwell Co., Oakland. I did a quick online search and discovered that Capwell’s was a department store in Oakland.

Vintage hat - CSews.com

The building is still there in downtown Oakland. A Sears store was in the space for several years. Capwell’s also had branches in other parts of the Bay Area. You can read about Capwell’s history on the Department Store Museum blog and you can read more about the building on this Oakland wiki page. Uber bought the Capwell building in 2015 but sold it in 2017.

I love hats with veils – though they don’t really fit in with life today. In public, I usually wear my veiled hats with the veil up, tossed over the top of the hat.

Making Colette Patterns Jasmine Top – Part 2

My finished Jasmine top (photo by Kofi Natambu)

For this post, I pick up where I left off in Part 1 — I had sewed the front and back pieces together and attached the collar.

Now I tried on the top to see how it fit. I was swimming in it. It was way too wide. I think I was overcompensating on the size because the instruction booklet says, “Colette Patterns have less ease than other patterns to provide a closer, more tailored fit.” I didn’t want the top to be too small so I opted for the larger size. It fit well in the shoulders but everything from the bust and below was too wide. I was swimming in it.

So I went back to the my machine to sew another seam about a half-inch from the current seam to see how that would work. I left the bust darts as is.

Adjusting the sleeve

I made these adjustments on the fly. I didn’t mark where the new seam would go. I just looked in the mirror, pinched the fabric where I thought the seam should go and then went to the machine to sew the new seam.

I tried it on again and the fit was good. Then I looked at the top to see how this adjustment would affect the sleeves. I needed to adjust the sleeve width or the sleeve would be wider than the armhole.

My down-and-dirty adjustment? I basted the sleeve seam to match the width I adjusted on the top. Then I pinned that sleeve to the opening to see if that would fit and luckily it did.

My next step was to pin, baste, and sew the sleeves in place. (Note: The sleeves are slightly gathered at the top, a very nice detail.) Once the sleeves are attached, you hang the shirt up overnight. In a bias cut piece of clothing, you need to let the fabric settle so you’ll have a straight hem.

The following day — as you can see from the photo below — the hem really needed to be trimmed. I took my Gingher rotary cutter and sliced off the excess fabric. Then I was ready to iron and sew the hem!

The hemming instructions said to “[t]urn the lower edge under 1/4″ and press”; then “Turn again 3/8″ and stitch. ” With narrow hems, I like to baste them in place before sewing with a machine. This helps prevent the fabric from getting slightly off as you’re sewing and then you have either too much or too little fabric as you  get to the end of the seam.

Though the pattern says that any lightweight fabric will work (silk crepe, silk twill, cotton shirting, etc.), the pattern likely works best with fabric that has a soft hand. The shirting I used didn’t drape  very much, even with a bias cut — as a result, I felt like I needed to wear a belt with the shirt to make it work.

Pining sleeve in place

 

Trimming the hem

 

Basting hem in place