2 September 2015

Broderie Anglaise button up top

This is a top that I've been planning on making for a few years. You may remember the fabric from one of my earlier bras - my second one, in fact. I did hesitate to cut into it at the time, just in case I didn't have enough left to make my shirt from it. Thankfully though, I did have just enough. All that's left now is scraps!

I decided rather than just make a few changes to my block pattern to come up with a pattern for this shirt, that I would spend a bit of time fitting my block to my shape, to save time later when make more tops, or dresses!

I do have a custom made block that my husband drafted for me. Unfortunately, it was when I was between children, so my shape has undergone a lot of change in that time. Nevertheless, I whipped up a toile to see how it looked. The result:

Not great. The armholes are off, it's shorter at the front than back, and there's something that's just not right about it.

Next up I made a few changes to my standard Size 10 block. I left the bust as it was, added a few centimetres into the waist, and reduced the front dart intake. Here's my first toile based on this block.

Better, but not quite there yet. The neckline was too high, and the back armhole was gaping rather a lot. To fix this, I took a dart out from the upper armhole to the centre back, but this in turn caused the shoulder seam to move towards the front. I fixed this by taking some of the back shoulder and adding it to the front.

After my next lot of changes, I was ready to tackle the pattern for this top.

Pretty straightforward stuff: I made armhole princess seams, and extended from the waist down to the hips following the lines on my normal size 10 block. When I'm happy with this block I'll make my own block from cardboard that extends to the hips.

I'm pretty happy with how this top turned out. It's loose enough to be nice and airy for summer, without being too big. For my next top I won't cut the armholes or necklines back quite so far. When I tried it on before I did the binding, the lines were right where I wanted them, but unless I did an outside bind which would result in a solid white line around the neck and armholes, then the inside bind was gong to take out at least 5mm. I minimised this as much as possible when I sewed it all up.

I love a project where everything is from my stash. One thing I don't like doing is having to go shopping before I can make something. Next up, a white linen top maybe?

Here is where I was going to take my photos, but I took them on the last day of winter, and taking photos in a sleeveless top at a windy beach just wasn't going to happen.


  1. Perfect summer top and I appreciated seeing your fitting journey.

    1. Thanks Sharon, I'm glad you enjoyed reading about it.