I’ve had the image of this top on one of my Pinterest boards for quite some time now and a long-sleeved jersey top is perfect for me to wear at this time of year so I’ve now finally got around to making my Pinterest-Inspired, gathered front top in a lovely Merino jersey.
I bought the jersey from the Fabric Store Online plus two others in paprika orange and vanilla…can’t wait to sew those up too.
Ok, so I’m not sure whether I mentioned this on my blog before, but after Christmas, I completed a pattern drafting course by Gina Renee Designs to create my very own personal fitting Moulage and Sloper.
Now, the moulage is based on many different measurements taken from my body to create a very close-fitting shell with bust, shoulder, armhole and midriff darts. This very close-fitting (pretty much skin-tight) shell is what I would be able to use as a basis for boned bodices or corsets. From this moulage, we then created a basic sloper with some added ease that we can use to create blouses, tops, skirts and dresses.
For my jersey top, I knew that I’d have to do a slash and spread technique using a basic shape pattern and my logic told me that I could in fact use my very close-fitting moulage pattern because a knit top needs to have pretty much no ease (or negative ease for very tight tops).
Here are the steps that I took using my pattern as a starting point:
- I made 3 angled cuts across the pattern from the centre front line to the bust point
- I closed the bust dart, shoulder dart and armhole dart. This opened up the initial slash lines. This is where I wanted to concentrate the gathers for bust shaping.
- I traced off this first pattern piece onto a fresh piece of paper.
- From the side seam and armhole, I slashed across at intervals to the vertical centre front line avoiding the bust area that had already been altered.
- Each slash was opened by about 1.5cm (I had to guess this but my aim was to make my front seam about one-and-a-half to one-and-three-quarters the original seam length.
- I traced off this final stage of drafting to create my finished pattern piece.
Here are some images that hopefully explain better what I did:
I know that most basic knit top patterns don’t have any bust darts but I’m glad that I used my darted moulage pattern as a starting point because the resulting top has a lovely shape where it cups in, in-between my bust and the gathers recess in. I think if you used a basic flat un-darted pattern and did a slash and spread with that, you would still end up with a gathered centre front seam but it would not cup the bust as well in the middle.
For the back pattern and sleeves, I checked the pattern pieces of the Grasser top that I made here and they were remarkably compatible with my own pattern so I used those. By the way, that Grasser knit top does actually have bust darts…not something you see often but it fits really nicely.
So for the most part the making up of my top was pretty straightforward as with any other knit top. The exception was of course that centre seam. I overlocked both centre seam edges separately and then had to think of the best way to achieve nice gathers.
At first, I tried seaming up and then adding elastic but it ended up with way too much give and it went a bit wavy too.
In the end, I stitched the centre front seam first, pressed it open and then ran a gathering thread right down the middle stitching line to get all of the gathers nice and even.
Next, I cut a narrow strip of self-fabric. I folded the edges of the strip in and pressed it then I laid it over the seam on the wrong side and just backstitched it in place by hand. Using the same fabric as the rest of the top secured the gathers nicely but ensured that it still had a bit of stretch.
The front neckline edge has a bit of flexible iron-on seam tape along it and then it’s just folded down and stitched in place. I added a binding across the back neck.
And that’s it! I have to say that I think this has turned out to be the best-fitting knit top that I’ve ever had. It seems to fit so nicely around my bust, armholes and shoulders…I guess it’s all down to the fact that I used my own personal moulage pattern drafted to fit my shape. Overall I’d call this a success and I’m really chuffed with it.
Let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading!
See you soon!