I'm kind of glad that I left trying it out again, as not only do I now I have a better starting point with the block that I've been working on to fit me better, but I discovered that I have enough white linen in the stash which will made up much better than the cotton poplin would have.
Starting with the same block as my recent broderie anglaise top, I took out some of the extra ease that I had added into the waist area, and drafted the pattern. (It's on page 84 in my copy of Pattern Magic if you're looking for it). This didn't actually prove that successful, and I ended up with a big fat headache. So I pulled out the pattern I made the first time, and transferred all the lines onto the new block.
The reason for my headache, in case you're wondering, is that on other versions that I have seen, the lines were drawn in at 90 degrees, with the bottom of all the 'Vs' joining at centre front, oh, and they're usually parallel to each other. I was going to do this, but I just couldn't get it to look right, no matter how many times I rubbed it out and started again. If you look really closely at the picture in the book, the lines do not all meet at CF, it's actually the centre of the end of each of the pieces that go down the centre front, with the centre of the Vs all meeting up when you draw a straight line through them, as I have done below in red. The lines are also not drawn in at 45 degrees from the CF line in the book, making it even harder to work out how to do it in the first place.
|Making sure the pattern works|
Here's an interesting fact that I discovered whilst pressing the folds in place. If you leave your iron on the linen setting, and iron your folds to match up your thread tracing, your Gutermann thread will melt. And the colour will bleed out of it and stain your linen. Good to know! Would have been better to know before I used green thread though!
I also cut the ends of each pleat, so I didn't end up with an excessive amount of fabric bulk, and overlocked the edges of each of the seams. If you do this on your pattern to start with, you can trim off the excess, then you'll be able to cut out the right shape the start with.
At the back of each of the pleats, I tacked the end of the V's down so that the pleats wouldn't gape open all the time.
To extend the top down to the hips on the front, I added two layers from the waist down, with the top layer shorter, and slightly flared, peplum style! The neckline and armholes are finished off with an inside bound made from scraps of cotton poplin. (I actually cut up my first version that I had been playing with, and used it for binding on both this and my broderie anglaise top).
I tried to take photos outside, but I was getting blown away, so had to go back inside, windswept hair and everything!