Last year, I made five garments and re-discovered my love of knitting and sewing (Lori Shawl | Pants No. 1 | Agnes Sweater | Hemlock
True to form, the next project I made was not from my #MakeNine2017 list. But, the spring rain has been conducive to spending evenings sewing (my machine + workspace are set up in the windowless basement). The Maya top seemed like a perfect transitional season piece; as easily worn layered with a cardigan for warmth or dressed down for summer with shorts. I was drawn to the Maya top because of the wide neck + armhole facing and I also loved this one in white linen from Sewn By Elizabeth. Not to mention, there are so many possible variations; crop top, tunic top, buttons or w/o, dress, pocket placement, lengthening the sleeves, etc.
I had noticed my habit of following direction to the tee or anticipating my alterations without testing them, but never quiet being happy with my final garment. It finally dawned on me that it’s worth the time + effort of sewing up a test with cheap fabric (i.e. muslin at $2 per yard).
I sewed the muslin up in size 3. One of my favorite parts of the pattern are the french seams. I love when patterns have seam finishing built in, especially because I lean towards woven fabrics that fray like crazy with wash + wear. Included in the seam finishing are folding over the outer edges of the neck + armhole facings. Initially, I was a bit confused on how to fold under the outer edge of the armhole facing, as it’s a curved edge. I left the curves un-folded/raw edges. It worked out ok, but I knew when I finished that I missed the intention. Luckily, I was able to correct it on “real” version (shown below).
With the muslin completed, I loved the overall fit. The body is loose, but not baggy or oversized. I have broad shoulders and decided the sleeves were a bit smaller/tighter than I wanted. So, I blended the sleeves up to the next size & recut my paper pattern. Not only did I figure out the fit and how to modify it for myself, but I have the perfect piece to experiment with natural dying with avocado skins.
Sewing up my “real” version on this woven blue fabric, I was very meticulous and slow. I’d sew/fold/iron a couple seams, call it a night, + then sew a couple more seams the following morning, etc. I learned the necessity of cutting notches into curved hems of the neck + armholes, so that they lay flat. I had also never done under stitching before, so that was a technique I looked up. This was also the first time I’ve used the invisible hem stitch on my machine. I definitely missed or caught too much fabric at different points, but am still happy with how tidy the invisible hem looks
Having just finished the shirt 3 days ago, I’ve already worn it twice. I’ve started tracing + cutting the pattern for a Maya dress. I plan to extend the sleeves by 2 inches, so I can cuff them, and to try the curved hem for the bottom of the dress.