Being away from blogging has created a backlog of finished projects to report. This is one of my rare attempts to make clothes. Inspired by seeing a finished version of this top, and encouraged by its creator, I decided to try my luck at making things that (should) fit. For the few who have not seen this (justifiably) notorious tutorial, posted in Sew, Mama, Sew, it is a great project to start with. It is easy to follow, and provides enough alternatives to fit different styles.

no-ruffle top

Nevertheless, I was scared of wasting expensive fabric, so for the body I used some cheap shirting fabric bought at my local Save-A-Thon store. For the contrasting band I used a beautiful fat quarter I bought a while ago at one of my favorite fabric stores, The City Quilter.

I did not pre-wash the fabric. I did wash the top after it was finished, though, and no major disaster happened: no shrinking equal to felting a sweater, no seam distortion. On the contrary, the fabrics got softer and their drape improved a bit. Maybe I was lucky. Either way, I was encouraged to continue with my bad habit of not pre-washing unless I have plenty of time between shopping and sewing.

'no-ruffle top' top

I followed the pattern as was, except for the ruffles, which I obviously skipped. I am not really a ruffles person. There were a few adventures in the process, mostly due to my pessimistic approach to taking measurements. The top band came out quite loose, but that was easily fixed when I added the shaping on the side seams – which helped a lot.

I am already considering making another one of those, and next time I think I will try the gathering technique instead of the pleats. All in all, I am quite happy with the end result, both in terms of wearability and as a learning process. I had never made pleats before, and I am happy to report they weren’t nearly as scary as they sound. Now all I have to do is wait for the weather to get warm enough so I can wear it… sigh!

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