You cannot use a stretch top as the starting point for making a top with a woven fabric. Ok so its probably pretty obvious to most of you, I tried to make allowances for the stretch by making it a little bigger in some places but basically this is not the top I originally intended to make. It was going to be a boxy top that buttoned all the way down but it was too narrow around my hips. I decided to make the back a little bit open to compensate and I have ended up with a lovely top for summer, it's just not what I envisioned when I first started.
Curved hems are tricky and I need to be very careful when snipping into the curves to make the finish neat. It looks pretty good form the outside but the inside is a little messy.
Drafting patterns for sleeves is pretty easy. I thought that this might be one of the most tricky parts of pattern drafting but in fact I found it very easy and my sleeve fitted into the arm hole perfectly. I will probably do this again in future if I have a sleeveless top or dress pattern as a simple modification.
When drafting your own patterns you have to be flexible. As I said already I started out planning to make a different top to this one, but once I realised it wasn't going to work the way I planned I came up with a new idea that I liked too. I didn't have to just chuck away my work so far, I could make it into something different that turned out more fun than I had originally planned any way.
I learned the correct order for putting together a top pattern. I hadn't given it much thought before I started but realised after cutting out my pattern pieces that I would need to stitch them up in a particular order rather than just guessing.
I learned how to finish a neckline the way I like. The other unlined tops or dresses I have made so far finish the neckline with bias binding. I am not really a fan of this method, I find it tricky to get it to lie flat and I prefer not to have an extra seam there. I looked at some of my favourite tops from my wardrobe and realised my favourite finish is to sew in a neckline facing. I read a few tutorials for this and then came up with my own method. In future I can finish other tops like this even if the pattern suggests otherwise.
So there you have it, my lessons learned so far. Since making this top I have also made a skirt for which I also drafted the pattern which I will show you soon too. Zoe x