One of my many self-nicknames is ‘Mama’s Little Carnivore’. I’ve been a lover of meat since I was baby, to the point that one of my bucket list items is to eat every crazy meat out there. The most exotic thing I’ve had so far is snail — which was delicious. A little rubbery, though.
Anyway, the point is that as a carnivore, this fabric could only remind me of one thing: tripe. (Do not click on that link if you are squeamish.) I grew up eating tripe, and while it’s not my favorite, I think it looks pretty cool.
This top is a new-to-me pattern, McCall’s M6792. (More info on Pattern Review.) The contrast square is a brilliant idea, and the kimono sleeves and loose fit look cozy — perfect for a slouchy winter knit top. I plan to make another top with the contrast square, and a dress without it.
I converted the two piece back into one piece cut on the fold, and traced off half the bodice front to also convert it to one piece cut on the fold. On the front piece, I traced a 24/22/26 at the bust/waist/hips. On the back, I traced a 24/20/26. That’s my poor man’s swayback adjustment. :)
The fabric was not wide enough to cut everything in one fell swoop, so I made my own sleeve pieces and cut them on the cross grain as a design element. The pattern includes neck facings…but no way was I bothering with facings for a slouchy knit top! I stay stitched 5/8″ from the raw neck edge, folded the fabric to the wrong side, and triple zigzag stitched it down.
This fabric felt awesome to sew. It was thick and sproingy — like tripe — but also warm, stretchy with great recovery, and draped like a million bucks. Much of my me-made things derive from non-drapey fabrics, and I feel that that makes them look obviously homemade. True? False? Anyway. This top sewed together super fast, even with the pieced sleeves. Like, an hour and forty-five minutes by a super slow sewer on a sewing machine, not a serger.
This top feels as good to wear as it did to sew…but the sleeves!!! Oh my goodness! Who did they draft these for? I guess a closer inspection of the model reveals longish sleeves; combined with my narrow shoulders, it adds up to excess for Ebi. Boo. And rolling them up looks sloppy. I’m considering gently ruching the shoulder seam with 1/4″ or 1/8″ elastic along the whole length; we’ll see.
Fitwise, my version is not as loose as the one on the envelope due to sizing down and using a super chunky fabric. Fun factoid: the amount of ease needed to achieve a truly slouchy look varies from body to body. 10″ extra on a size 2 reads slouchy. That same 10″ on a size 22 merely reads baggy — which is a big no-no nowadays. So for a larger person, you either need to add more ease, or — like I did — remove some of the ease by cutting a smaller size, and the effect is loose without actually being slouchy.
//P.S. Let’s all say thank you to Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow for devising and running the Better Pictures Project! I could devote an entire post to how I’ve taken the lessons and tips to heart. Quickly: picked a TNT shooting location (pictured above); found a patch of natural light indoors in front of an uncluttered background; attempted some new body angles; finally learned how to set the manual white balance on my camera; and played around with my focus settings (standard autofocus works best, hah). I’ve noticed I’m less inclined toward my goofy pantomimes of yore: thanks to the BPP, photo shoots are no longer capricious, random sessions where I cross my fingers and hope something works, so I’m a lot more business like with my poses: all sides, features, etc. THANK YOU, GILLIAN!!!//