Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What a Great Pattern! True Bias Sutton x 2

Bonus Taco Cuteness

I'm very late to the party with the True Bias Sutton Blouse. Like the Nettie Dress, I was pregnant with Taco when it was originally released, and so it went on the "maybe sew this eventually" list. As with the Nettie, I'm so glad that "maybe eventually" arrived. I made two versions of the top which have been on my go-to outfit list for the playground recently.

Peeps, this is one terrific pattern. And I don't just mean that it has an easy fit, goes together perfectly and is a very versatile style. It is all of those things. However, what impresses me about the Sutton pattern is the thoughtfulness of its construction methods. I don't just mean that the instructions are sound and clearly written, although they are. What I mean is that each step was carefully considered and the best construction method was chosen given that the fabric recommendation is for lightweight wovens like cdc or challis - the sort of soft drapey fabrics that are prone to fraying. The net result is that the insides are perfectly finished and just as beautiful as the outside.

Bound neck and french seams on the cf and yoke

Here are the insides of my blouse. Isn't it beautiful with its french seams, bias neck finish and cleanly finished side seams and hems? These are the kind of finishing details that I generally ponder over and decide to include on my own. It was really nice for once to have it already worked out. Thank you, Kelli!

French seam back yoke and pleat

Clean finished seams, slits and hem

The Sutton is actually a bit outside my comfort zone when it comes to style. It has loads of ease. And yet, I don't feel like I am drowning in fabric. I think the soft drapey fabrics called for make this top look considerably less boxy or baggy, if you know what I mean.

"Action" shot

The first version I sewed is in Hell Gate Fabrics' cotton/lyocell georgette in cobalt (still available here). It made me very happy to support a friend (Hi Sonja!) and a fabric store that specializes in fabric that is healthier for the environment (and us, too). I was doubly happy when this fabric washed, sewed and pressed so very nicely, too. The only changes I made to the pattern are that I lowered the neckline by 1" and graded out a bit at the hip.

My two versions with beautiful necklines

My second version is in a silk habotai from my stash, originally purchased at Paron Fabrics. For this version I lowered the neckline an additional 1" (so a total of 2") and eliminated the front center seam, so that I wouldn't have to try matching the tie dye, which was uneven anyway, across the front. I used the bound V-neck instructions from The Dressmakers Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques.

Final thoughts:  Really, I think this would be a terrific sew for an advanced-beginner sewist who wants to up their game with finishes or test the waters with sewing slithery fabrics, while not having to simultaneously worry about fit. And, in the end, I love my two tops! What a great pattern! I couldn't be happier that I used "special" fabrics for them. I know some will think it is crazy that I wear silk and georgette to the playground - going down the slide or crawling after Taco. But that's just how I roll... now with a stroller.

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