How to finish off this top

sudimariNovember 12, 2012

This top is all finished except doing a solid hem and figuring out what to do about either 1)the cut out in the front or 2)the length. It's a stretchy wool blend. It was really nicely fitted except my new belly bump was a little too snug. (No not a baby bump but would certainly appear that way, LOL)so I thought I'd do some goofy asymetrical thing.

I did think ahead enough to keep the front cut low enough that I can chop the whole top and hem it keeping that as a last option. It would be shorter than I really like.

I thought about doing this ruffle but I'm not sure it works. Any ideas (or feedback....even unpleasant, LOL)?

Oh and because I got so tied into matching the stripes my side seams kind of flare out and have become triangular. When I go to hem it do I just chop it straight and hem or do I go back undo the seam trim the sides and seam again without focusing on lining up?

I can get more pictures or close ups if needed Just let me know.


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Annie Deighnaugh

Well, since you asked for the unpleasant feedback, I'll jump in. Nothing at all to do with the fabric colors, which are lovely or your sewing skills which look great. I'm just concerned about the styling, esp since you seem to be worried about the tummy area. To me, the ruffle in the front just adds more fabric where you least want it. The sleeves with the puff gathered into the cuff seems to be adding more volume around the middle and there is no defined waist in the style which is what you'd want to make your middle look slimmer. I would want to eliminate the ruffle and sew in the side seems to emphasize some curves around your waist. I like how you turned the stripes for the yoke and the cuff, but typically horizontal stripes will make you look wider...vertical tend to be more flattering. Bottom line, you're no where near as large as that top is making you look.

Sorry, I'm not being more positive, but you asked....I've been watching Stacy & Clinton too long not to say something.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:23AM
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Thanks! There actually is a curve in then back out for the mid torso, but the sleeves right up against the top hide it. The sleeves were originally bell...very full, but about 2 inches short, so I cuffed them. New technique and test run for me.

I've always avoided stripes because I was typically too bony for them to work and too long for the vertical. This new picture shows more where the top of that ruffle is. Would just cutting it all at that point and hemming it be really bad? It should end up pretty close to where the elastic band for most of my pants is.

I'm also seeing that side seam pulling toward the back. Likely because my measurement adjustments on the pattern need to be less 50/50 (front/back). Although it could just be that the longer back hemline is catching on my big butt.

Thanks for any input. Slowly teaching myself and keeping myself in clothes is challenging!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yes that side seam is pulling toward the back, which isn't good. Also, your butt isn't that big. Stop running yourself down. It's not you, it's the clothing. Elastic waist band pants will make your waist look larger and your bottom look saggier as they can't possibly be tailored enough to fit a woman's curves...they have to be tailored to fit over the hips which leaves excess bulk at the waist, and no way to fit properly around the butt....again not the most flattering look. Rather you want to emphasize your length, especially with a longer leg line, and show your curves, that you have a waist and a hip and a bust line.

Yes, get rid of the ruffle, but then the shirt is most likely going to be too short. The more flattering look is for shirts to stop around mid hip. If you convert it to a bandeau, then that will put the emphasis below your waist which is also not flattering.

You clearly are putting a lot of time and effort into sewing a wardrobe for yourself, which is so fabulous. Custom made clothing is a dream and you certainly can sew well. However, I hate to see you spending so much time and money and effort on looks that aren't flattering for'd be so much better if you put those efforts toward good design and style for really costs no more, but the payoff of your work would be so much greater as you would look totally fab, and you'd be so much happier.

If you haven't watched the tv show "what not to wear" you might want to, or buy or get their book from the library, "dress your best" which illustrates the rules by body type of how to most flatter every figure and buy clothing that best suits your lifestyle.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Thanks Anne. I used to watch the show like crazy when I first went on disability. Currently no cable so... My problem with styles is that my body shape/type has changed so many times in the last 10 years. Making my own clothes started off as a get by thing. I enjoy the altering/customizing a lot, and slowly my sewing is getting acceptable

Can you recommend a good non-elastic basic pants pattern? After my machine is returned I think my proportions are finally such that I can likely make it work/fit. If the pants customizing I did this afternoon works out fairly well I'll be ready for a new challenge/skill to master.

I think this top I'll just cut and hem. The big focus on this one was shoulder seams, collar & sleeve. Which is now going to allow me to go back and fix a really nice top that I couldn't wear due to sleeves binding. So even if this is just an around the house top its good enough. Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I'm afraid I can't recommend a pants pattern specifically, but I would look for something that has straight legs...not tapered or bell's most flattering for pants to fit at the hip and have the leg line go straight down from the hip.

I haven't sewn clothing for myself in years....what I ended up doing way back was I had a ready made pant that I loved so much, I ended up cutting it apart, making a pattern and then sewing it back together! Worked great and I had a pattern that I really liked...though that's not the easiest or best way to get that done! I pretty much just sew for the house these are a lot easier to fit!

You do have internet access, so you can look for the latest trends and some episodes of WNTW for free on line. There is a forum on that website too, similar to this one for questions and discussions.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:10PM
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I wouldn't cut off the back part, just remove the ruffle and fix the side seams. Perhaps you'll have to give up on matching the stripes exactly but you should be able to IMO. I like the idea of the shaped hem so at least see how it looks before you do something irrevocable.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 3:05AM
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