The previous raglan sleeve top I made really didn’t fit properly, as I couldn’t figure out how much ease I would need and ended up making a size larger than was wise…. rather than use the same pattern, I decided to try the Blank Slate Rivage Raglan as I know the Blank Slate patterns I’ve tried before are a good fit.
The fabric came from a mystery lucky-dip bag from Abakhan – it’s not my favourite fabric, so I thought it’d work as a test run to check the sizing.
Obviously Blank Slate patterns are made to a shape that is more like my own than Simplicity patterns. I didn’t have to make any alterations other than the length (being petite, I’m getting used to altering patterns in length so the waist hits at the right point).
I tried to match the stripes, but somehow they became misaligned as I cut the pieces…. but for a trial run, I’ve ended up with a perfectly wearable top and a pattern I know works for my shape. And really, who’s going to notice the mis-matched stripes when I’m wearing it?
Even before I finished my first Shoreline Boatneck, I was already planning my next one. I needed a jacket to wear on the allotment if it looked like it might rain (typical British summers and all that), and my previous hacked Shoreline Boatneck looked like it would be just the right style.
I found some navy Rip-Stop and floral polycotton at Minerva Crafts, which look like they should be ideal for the jacket I want to make. So far I have most of the pieces cut out, but I’m still working on getting the hood to fit – the hood pattern comes from a different top, so the neckline is a totally different length, which is taking a bit of fiddling to get it to line up properly.
I will admit that I have never hacked a pattern before – literally every item of clothing I’ve made so far, has been done according to the pattern. However, the Blank Slate Patterns Shoreline Boatneck caught my eye, and was screaming to be hacked into something slightly different.
The pattern itself comes with a ‘hack pack’ with suggestions like a button back, or making it into a dress. But the idea of buttons down the back has never really appealed to me – I wanted to add them to the front. However, my sewing machine didn’t really like me sewing 7 buttons on the front of my previous shirt so I wanted to find a way around that. Really, I needed to stitch the buttonholes first, so if I messed it up, I wasn’t ruining an entire top.
Luckily I found a tutorial for a hidden button placket at Craftsy, which with a few tweaks was able to be used on my Shoreline top. Ironically, those buttonholes are the neatest I’ve sewn so far, but it definitely looks nicer having them hidden from view.
The fabric is a double duvet cover set from Shaws Direct – I actually only used the two pillowcases for this top, so that leaves me with about 4m of fabric I can use for a couple of dresses.
I started the buttons just above the bust level, although I think I could’ve done with adding in another on the neckline just to help keep the shape. But as it is, I can use a small clip as a decorative feature if I want to. The only other change I made was to add a seam allowance to the back, and cut those pieces separately – the pillowcases didn’t quite work out to be the right size to cut the back on the fold!
So there you have it; my first Shoreline Boatneck, and my first pattern hack – you wouldn’t really know that was made from two pillowcases, would you?
The June 2016 edition of Sew Magazine came with a free New Look 6483 pattern – with 5 different styles of tops, all able to be made from non-stretchy fabric, I decided this was one I would definitely get a lot of use from.
It’s designed as quite a loose fit, so looking at the finished garment measurements, I chose a size 8…. usually I’d make an 8 for the shoulders and chest, and grade it out to a 12 at the waist, but this one is plenty big enough!
This was view C, but I have cut the neckline a little deeper – the original line for the neck was much too high for my liking, but I didn’t like the wide nature of view E. I probably would try making that as a proper v-neck next time.
The only real trouble I had in making the top, was making the thread loop…. the instructions weren’t overly informative on how to achieve it, so I had to ask for advice on that. In the end, I made a kind of blanket stitch around the three thread loops, and that seems to work.
The fabric is actually a duvet cover from Primark – it’s not the thickest of fabric, but it’s fully washable and will be nice and light for the summer.