Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Spring Ruffle Top

spring ruffle top, detail
all i need is a milk pail and a goat to complete the outfit
but this german girl would happily settle for a brimming beer stein to celebrate!

I did it! I actually did it!

I've done minimal garment sewing on things like pajama pants and my high school prom dress but this is the first real piece of everyday clothing I have made myself and I am pretty darn happy with it—especially since it's been on my to-do list for a whole year now, I've had the fabric since this past fall, and I've been ridiculously afraid of all that I did not know about garment sewing this whole time. Turns out, I just needed to suck it up and try something simple to start with (smacks palm to forehead).

spring ruffle top, front
the pleats and gathering seemed intimidating but i went really slowly, watched a few videos on youtube and BLAMMO! 
pleats and gathers conquered!

I used the Made by Rae spring ruffle top tutorial over on Sew Mama Sew which you may have seen before.  I came across it this time last year as part of the Made by Rae Spring Top Sewalong and I bookmarked it thinking it'd be a great starting point if I ever worked up the guts to try making my own clothes. Maybe next year I will feel confident enough to even enter a top of my own. Or at least another one of these in all white with some delicate hand embroidery across the chest band.

The fabric is voile from AMH's Little Folks line. Sigh, still my all-time favorite even if it two lines ago and perhaps overexposed at this point. I don't really care, I just love it and am finally glad to have something to wear for myself out of it at last!

spring ruffle top
I skipped the arm divots but kind of wish I hadn't—you live you learn.

The optional shaping at the end really helped it look like I was not going to give birth to a whole litter of little ones at any moment, without it I'm not sure I would have been so happy with it. I am not the uber skinny girl I was growing up and appreciate this pattern because it is at once flattering and comfortable. Plus, you can add a basic cardigan to it so it can transition to colder months or to hide flabby arms (I totally deleted those photos!).

My new year's goals included learning to make ratatouille and to sew something that I could wear in public and not be embarrassed by—check that one off the list I think! My mom got me a copy of Julia Child for my birthday so I think I can get to work on that ratatouille now...

16 comments:

My 1st Bambina! said...

You did awesome!!!!!
It looks perfect... and the fabric you chose are so pretty!

Angela said...

It is absolutely adorable! I love the fabrics you picked out

Rachel said...

It looks great! Now don't you just want to start spending all day sewing clothes?

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! The design is perfect on you and the colors/ prints you chose = perfection!

I started Haila's voile skirt and I am finding it hard to sew with without a stablizer? Did you experience fraying or puckering at the seams? Did you use a serger at all? Alright -- I'll stop witht he questions now! GREAT JOB!!!

Christina said...

I love it! I want one! :P I haven't sewn a top before. I am intimidated a little. But maybe one day I will attempt. :)

Meeling said...

You did great!!!! I LOVE your fabric choices. Isn't it a gr8 feeling to accomplish something you weren't sure you could. Well done Kat!!!

thestoryofkat said...

Thank you everyone! If I can sew a top, I'm sure there is hope for everyone. I really did enjoy it and can't wait to try other patterns now.

Maureen—I found this bit on AMH's blog about voile to be really helpful: http://annamariahorner.blogspot.com/2010/03/all-voile.html
The first time I sewed with it on the machine, it puckered a lot but this time I went down to a size 11 needle (9 would be even better) and a smaller stitch length (My machine goes from 1-5 and i'm usually on 3 but went down to 2 for the voile)= no more puckering! I wish I had a serger but don't :( I just find other ways to finish the seams for now and that helps with the fraying.

mooncalf said...

Oh it looks great. I have this pattern on my to-do list but I've only sewn a couple of simple skirts before so I'm a bit intimidated by garments. It is good to know you had such success with it.

Kristina Strain said...

WOW, that turned out so well! I bought a couple yards of that Diamonds print in the same color for a clothes-sewing attempt of my own, which sadly did not so go well... Ah well, live and learn.

DK said...

Awesome! I'm far too afraid to try sewing clothing lol =/

considerthelillies said...

that shirt is so nice!!! you did a great job and I love the fabric combination! Very flattering fit also! Man, it makes me wish even more that I knew how to sew!

Rachel Hauser said...

Oh, you're so cute! The fabric pairing is totally fabulous. Good for you! I have yet to sew myself clothes other than pjs...

Dylan said...

I made this last summer! You've definitely convinced me on the final shaping, I never got around to it and definitely get the preggo feeling! I LOOOOVE your fabric choices and it looks great on you, Congrats!!

thestoryofkat said...

thank you thank you guys! you are all so stinkin' nice :) I've definitely been shaking in my boots about sewing clothes and have a lot to learn but want to conquer it so very much!

Anna said...

wow, it's so beautiful! great choice of fabrics and it fits you beautifully. :)

Meagan said...

Beautiful! I stumbled across your take on Rae's top through a search for Anna Maria fabrics on Flickr, and HOORAY! I actually made my top out of the same red voile earlier this summer, but I didn't like the chest band and straps I added on my first try. Something just wasn't quite right. So there's my shirt, sitting unworn waiting for a do-over in the sewing pile. Seeing the yellow you used for trim has spurred me to go for it, too! I hope you take imitation as flattery in this case... I might skip the ruffles, but the color story is irresistible!