Friday, 29 April 2022

Vikisews Nola Dress - Top Hack

It has taken me forever to get round to writing about this top, but I think it's one that's worth the wait! This top was a very spontaneous make using fabric from my stash. I made the Vikisews Nola Dress at the end of last summer, and after finishing decided to try hacking the pattern into a top. 

Ages ago, back in 2019, back in pre-COVID times, I went to a fabric market in Bordeaux where I purchased several pieces of fabric that ranged from 0.5-2 euros per metre - in other words, very cheap! Such cheap fabric obviously isn't great quality, and this white jersey that I bought even came with multiple holes in and odd pieces of fabric sewn together to make one continuous length. But it has proven to be perfect for the kind of fabric for experimental projects where I'm not sure if the result will come together and don't want to waste more expensive fabric.

Considering how cheap it was, the white jersey that I used for this top actually feels quite nice to wear. It's lightweight and drapey, so I thought it would work well for a pattern that is intended to be made out of viscose. The last time I used this white fabric was to make this twist top, which somehow ended up being one my most worn makes ever! It's kind of falling apart now, the fabric wasn't really cut out to be worn and washed that often, but I'm very pleased about how long it did last for.

One thing I didn't consider when making this top is that adding shirring to jersey fabric would make it very stretchy. The shirring is very necessary in order to take the dress on and off, but jersey fabric is stretchy anyway and I definitely could have taken this top off without the shirring panel. I do really like the look of the shirring, so I'm not displeased to have it there. The only annoying thing is that the top ended up quite a bit too big at the back, so I did have to take the shirring panel in quite a bit in order for it to fit.

I'm very pleased to have managed to grasp the skill of shirring though, particularly on jersey fabric which is trickier to sew with. One of the main points to consider when making this top was that the back panel needed to be hemmed before the shirring was added. The pattern is designed to have a skirt added, so I extended the back panels and shortened the front skirt to turn it into a top.

My favourite features of the dress I made are the gathers on the sleeves and at the front, and I'm so pleased that they look good in the jersey fabric too. I don't think it would have worked with a heavier weight jersey or a less drapey cotton jersey, particularly the sleeves which require a light weight fabric for the top gathers. 

Despite making this top fairly soon after the dress, I forgot that I had to take the shoulders in on the dress. When I tried it on unadjusted, the top was much too low and the shoulders needed to be brought up. It's a fairly simple adjustment, solved by sewing the shoulder seam with a wider seam allowance, but I'd already sewing the sleeves in and overlocked them which was very frustrating! I had to unpick the sleeve at the shoulder, re-sew the shoulder seam and then re-attach the sleeve. It means that the sleeve actually has more gathers than it would normally because I had more fabric to gather into a smaller armhole after adjusting the shoulders. I'll try to hack the pattern before sewing it next time to adjust the shoulders without changing the shape, but I do quite like the additional puffiness of the sleeve. The only thing that irritates me is that the shoulder is now slightly less wide than it's intended to be and the sleeve slips down slightly. Again, I'll try and change this next time by shortening the shoulder pattern piece before cutting out the fabric.

I'm very pleased with this top, it was a spur of the moment make and a pattern hack that I hadn't tried before but I think it turned out well. I prefer to save the prettiness for a summer dress, but I think that the plain white works well and I like how it pairs with my black Dawn Jeans to counter the femininity a bit. It's always nice to have slightly more interesting tops for the summer, and because this one is made of jersey it's comfortable to wear and should be easier to wash than a cotton blouse.

1 comment:

  1. Shirring is tricky. Bet I would have had holes all over that back. Nicely done.