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Tag Archives: Yalta ladies top

did I make it or not?

Firstly, happy new year. Personally, I hope 2014 is a better year than 2013 turned out to be but whatever it holds, I’ve no doubt at all that there’ll be more plans made and never fulfilled. I mean, for example, I’m already a year down with my plan to knit YoungB’s cabled jumper and I haven’t yet begun it! (That leaves me two years in hand, I tell myself. Bags of time, absolutely bags.)

Wrapping up with 2013 Sewlutions: if I put the Yalta top as a success and something I could or even would wear to work – and the answer to both of those is yes, since I would never be without at least a short-sleeve jacket in any paid employment, which would certainly hide a multitude of sins – then I came in as a completion. Since my original brief was something like that, perhaps I got there in time. (Excuse the poor picture, I was being lazy about the tripod; and I deliberately didn’t include my face since it’s presently suffering an horrific outbreak of cold sores.)

Wearable and respectable and a vast improvement on my old, faded tops. But is it acceptable to the Mistress?

Wearable and respectable and a vast improvement on my old, faded tops. But is it acceptable to the Mistress?

If, however, we take the view that my main purpose was to use that lovely piece of rayon to make a nice top? No, I failed quite dismally. I could have sat up late on New year’s Eve and done a terribly botched job simply to make the deadline (although, being among the earliest to greet the New Year, I’d have had hours in hand, that’s not actually an option when you know your day is already spoken for). But that’s part of the deal, too: I wanted to do a good job. For once I wanted to have all the seams finished nicely and the neckline tidy and the hems straight. In that case, the Yalta top doesn’t fit the bill either, since I made it in such a rush that there are bodgy bits of finishing. It’s perfectly wearable, just not brilliant.

Also – because on New Year’s Eve I was tired to the point where I couldn’t keep my eyes open even to read a book (rare, but it happens) I went to bed and was so soundly asleep that I didn’t hear Dr B and Eldest Aunt come home from the beachside fireworks display – I didn’t blog about my failure or read Karen’s post on the appointed day. I’ve since headed over to do that, sure she’d have pulled another rabbit out of the hat; and, you know, of course she had! But I had a feeling there’d be others who might also be in that grey area of not knowing quite whether to claim a success or a miserable failure and probably quite a few who didn’t manage to meet either the Sewlution or the deadline. That’s proved to be the case.

In a bigger picture way, I’m quite sure that my muddled output was a product of my muddled year. I did manage to knit a reasonable amount – 14 completed items, if my record on Ravelry is accurate, as well as two cardigans that are frogged or still WIPs, a care shawl that’s also still on the needles and the Noro Silk Garden scarf that’s growing slowly – but my sewing was less productive. I mended a lot of things, though I always think of that as rescuing them otherwise I probably wouldn’t do it! But let’s see, what did I make? A bandanna, quite a few lavender bags, several totes of varying descriptions, a little clutch I didn’t blog about but use all the time and three aprons as well as the galactic Yalta top. Not a large output, I think you’d have to agree. Perhaps this year I’ll manage to get that sewing room back to a better state of usefulness and improve my output.

So I remain uncertain as to the answer to my question but perhaps, if the Mistress is in a good mood, She might reckon I managed to meet the goal of making a top suitable for work. Otherwise I’m in for a terrible time. I hope you’re not also quaking in your boots!

 

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Knitting, Reading, Sewing

 

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prototype or wearable toile

Yalta top in a stiffer fabric than suits it with a bigger cowl than I wanted; the faults are mine!

Yalta top in a stiffer fabric than suits it with a bigger cowl than I wanted; the faults are mine!

I think the galactic fabric – really; it’s described as photoreal and, things cosmic being always hot topics in our house, it seemed to be good choice – turned into what ought to be considered a wearable toile. Therefore, since it won’t meet the stringent demands of the challenge I set for Sewlutions, I might as well carry on and make a few comments about it now.

Firstly, the fabric is quite strange, having an almost rubbery feel to it. I chose it because of the colour. I needed a knit fabric and would have been happy with a plainer one but there was nothing to be had that was at all appealing (and certainly nothing in my stash, which was the first place I looked). The slight rubberiness makes it surprisingly warm (not always a good thing in an Aussie summer) and it holds shape well. In fact, for the pattern I used, a softer fabric with a correspondingly softer drape might be a good thing. No matter. It’s a toile, however wearable (and of course I’ll wear it; I’m like that) and the whole idea of such a thing is to learn from what you have done so that you can improve when you do it again. Yes, I like the top enough to want to do a better job.

I’ve nutted out a lower profile way of having the gathered effect on this fabric – using good, old-fashioned gathering threads, which didn’t cause too much bulk – and I ended up hemming it for the sake of tidiness. I haven’t yet rescued the armscyes but may do so at some stage. It’s wearable and all right. Its many errors of construction mean it’s less than brilliant but the fault is mine, not the pattern’s. The pattern, the ladies’ Yalta top by Lena Merrin, is great. And when I make my next one – perhaps not immediately but fairly soon, I think – I’ll take a bit more time to do it properly. Whether I’ll use the required self-tape to obtain the gathered look I’m not too sure. I might go with clear elastic to reduce bulk. Or perhaps when I take a bit more time, finish things properly and use a less bulky fabric, there’ll be no problem.

Sometimes you throw caution to the wind and go with the flow, which is rather what I did on Saturday afternoon because time was pressing. I decided that, if I spent any more time trying to look up hints on the computer, I’d never get anything sewn. I’d looked at the tutorial on how to do the cowl which was not a lot of help to me because there’s insufficient contrast in colour for it to be easy to follow; but I think the idea is what I’d arrived at as the answer (only after a third attempt, which took me to a different solution, was the one I’d decided would have to do or we’d never be getting to the party at all): a pillowcase-style closure method.

Next time, I’ll be careful to cut the cowl to match whatever size I’ve decided on for the shoulders, rather than what I decided would fit for the bust, as I think perhaps I did this time. That should give me a smaller cowl, which was partly what attracted me to the Yalta; I do like the softness of a cowl and the slight variation of neckline that’s achieved with only a small alteration but am perhaps too small myself to carry a large cowl with much confidence these days. Plus, you know, cleavage-visibility problems are much likelier with a larger cowl. Acceptable at 17, perhaps, but 40 years later? Not so much.

And, although I can’t measure across my own back, I’m not so truly indolent that I hadn’t checked any measurements. I had measured my circumferences and checked against the chart Lena gives and I can see that there’s a significant mismatch for me and/or the pattern runs quite large. It’s voluminous on me, except at the hip (which is probably about right). Do I care? Not much. It’s a bit different, the fabric is fun and a pretty colour and, all in all, if every garment I made, toile or not, turned out as well, I’d be very happy. Yes, there are a few bumpy bits of sewing, and the fact that – of course – they occur where the black thread crosses the patches of pale fabric means they’re quite obvious, I don’t suppose many people really will notice, particularly if I’m wearing a jacket.

So if I could consider that a successful toile but probably not suitable for a place of employment or perhaps a really decent top, then I’m still well behind in my Sewlution sewing! How about you?

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2013 in Sewing, Uncategorized

 

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