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Friday, 18 May 2012

The Quest for a Black Top

I've been after a black top for a while now.

I need one to go with a skirt I finished about a month ago, and still have not worn as I have nothing to go with it. And, as I have signed up to Me Made May, I am currently unable to wear my new(ish) skinny red jeans, as I have nothing me made to go with them. So you see, it really is important that I hurry up and make a top. Yes I could buy one (Sang, I can hear your words ringing in my head to this effect) - it would be quicker, and mean I could get on and wear my skirt and jeans sooner. But I have backed myself into a black top corner where I am convinced I have it in me to make something far lovelier, that, in one super duper garment, manages to cover all of my black top needs.

This quest has not been going well.

To start with, it took me forever to decide on a pattern. Having eventually settled on trying the hugely popular Colette Sorbetto, I must admit that by the time I had printed the free pattern out and painstakingly stuck it all together, I lost patience and guessed the sizing. I know, I know. But at the time, my logic was to plump for the same size that had fitted me perfectly each time with the Jasmine, my logic being it was the same brand of pattern, so it was bound to fit, and most definitely not worth making the 30 second trip upstairs for the tape measure.

That is the story of how black top # 1 turned out to be about two sizes too small, and promptly got chopped up and turned into a lining for this bag.

On the bright side, I now have a new bag - made out of a print I loved at first sight and had been hoarding - that, as the lining is a bit patch worked, will only ever be destined to be enjoyed by me. It is big and strong enough to pass the Picnic Test (if we ever get more than half an hour of sunshine at any one time, that is). Incidentally, by this, I am talking can a bag cope with a bottle or two of Robinsons Squash, sandwiches, crisps and cakes, and a token few pieces of fruit (that will almost certainly be returned home again), plus the usual essentials that you might need when in the company of small children (spare pair of pants/nappy/wipes/Diet Coke).

Still sulking a bit from the failure of the first Sorbetto, I opted for a different pattern for black top # 2. This time, it was going to be the tried and tested favourite Lisette 2211 - with my new love addition of a Peter Pan collar.

If the lesson from black top # 1 was to prepare properly, the lesson from # 2 was to flippin' well pay attention, and not make life hard by doing stupid things like sewing wrong side to right side and ending up ploughing ahead in that same vain until you have an almost finished top that needs unpicking. The situation was not helped by the fact I was trying to sew during my once fortnightly opportunity for sneaky afternoon sewing (eldest at school, middle girl playing at her friend's, youngest snoring upstairs). The sewing mess was so bad that I stopped and opted for mopping the kitchen floor. And made a cake, ready for a long awaited Friday night of sewing with the girls.

Still unfinished...
I love sewing with friends. Not least because then at least you have someone to laugh with when things don't go quite according to plan. And the cake helped, too.


  1. Oh no, what a shame - I love my Sorbetto and have just made a third!! Hope you get your longed-after perfect black top very soon! :o)

  2. Keep on going Janet, its the mistake that are really 'creative opportunities' that keep us going ....xxx And I love that bag! Perfect for a Jubilee Year!