Thursday, 15 September 2016

Last of the Summer Sewing! Blue Off (Then On Again) Shoulder Top

Well who can resist sneaking out in another summer garment?  As the mercury nudges 26 degrees this week suddenly Autumn mist and chill mornings seem very distant still.  Just as I'm gearing up for some light layers, coats and cover-ups (a new mac, long line 'coatigan' pattern and some lightweight wool tweed are all currently out of the cupboard and onto the project pile) we're all back to shorts, floaty tops and summer dresses, hurray!

I made this back in late August actually, but have just around to writing about it.  This is because I photographed it and then promptly took some of it apart again and re-jigged it.  More on that shortly.

This is a Cynthia Rowley pattern, a very simple design and easy to sew up.  I liked the deliberately expansive shape of the top and sleeves, combined with lots of bare shoulder for interest.  The shape is really lovely I think, especially when combined with little shorts, skinny jeans or something equally slim fitting on the bottom half.  The fabric I chose is a cotton poplin in blue, a little like a lightweight chambray, and has just enough structure to hold the shape nicely whilst still being soft.

Now, confession time.  I DO think this top looks good on.  I DO NOT like wearing it.  Such a shame!  It is basically the most impractical top ever.  In order to move around in it, you have to remain rigidly upright with arms by your sides, as it restricts the use of ones arms to such an extent that even raising them to waist hight causes the elastic to rise up and off the shoulders.  Absolutely any raising of the arms at all means the neckline pings upwards.  I had thought that this garment could be reserved for activities that require the bare minimum of animation, like sitting in a bar drinking wine.  But no!  Even putting an elbow on the table, or raising a glass to my lips, has the immediate effect of releasing the elastic from its stretched position around my upper arm, to its preferred position somewhere around my neck.  So very irritating.  This is basically my upward-arm-swing limit.

That's why it ended up being taken apart and re-sewn, as I thought it might require the elastic loosening a little to make it sit in place.  I unpicked the casing around the neckline and added some extra few inches o the length to the elastic, basting it back together and adjusting a few times to see if it improved things.  It didn't.  That neckline remains coiled and ready to spring at any moment.  Unless I basically made it so loose that it would risk going the other way, i.e. downwards (and thus an even more major wardrobe malfunction), there really is no hope for it.

I'm keeping it in my wardrobe for now, incase I think of anything else I can do to resolve the issue.  I might make the elastic super-loose and add two small shoulder straps.  Would that work?  Maybe.  As we can surely be only days away now from the cold snap of Autumn to arrive, then this top's days are numbered in any event.  In the meantime, I love this time of year and am enjoying these few extra days of warmth.  The garden is blooming, the tomato crops are bountiful and the apples are especially delicious when freshly gathered, still warm and scented from the sunshine.  Now if I could just reach up far enough to pick one ...