Mini Wardrobe Sewing: Top 2 Review

I’ve been really busy the past few weeks, but when I realized I had a 3 day weekend and enough time to enter the Pattern Review Zoom contest just before the closing date, I found the energy to zip through the next project of my mini wardrobe plans!

For this top, I’ve made the M1464 sweater/top/shirt from the Winter 2014 edition of My Image Magazine. It’s a pretty basic turtleneck top, but I was going for a sort of relaxed sweater-ish vibe, and so this seemed like a good pattern to start with.

Here is how my version turned out:

Here are some close-up details of the fabric, the collar (which I’ve been wearing folded down) and my cover-stitched hem (which I finally got to cover the raw edge exactly right!).

Since Pattern Review’s Zoom contest was running and I was planning to make this top anyway, I thought it would be fun to try and finish this up in time to submit the entry. I thought this more simple style and muted color would actually work really well for a Zoom call, so it seemed like a good opportunity to both work on my mini wardrobe and participate on Pattern Review, which I haven’t done in a while. I took a few screenshots with Zoom backgrounds for the contest:

I’m pretty pleased with the mini wardrobe progress so far; here are two of my concept sketches compared against the actual sewn garments:

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: Knit sweater top with turtleneck and full length sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: My Image Magazine sizes 36-46.  I made a size 40 at the shoulder and graded to a 46 at the hip.  I made several fit adjustments though, including a 2.5″ full bicep adjustment and a 1″ full bust adjustment. I also added some width to the waist and hip area.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions are very simple and straightforward. The My Image instructions tend to be very direct and minimal, but also very clear. They tell you what to do but they don’t really tell you how to do it, so I would say it is good for someone who has some sewing experience. This is also a very basic top, so there isn’t much complication going on in terms of the instructions anyway. The magazine does suggest inserting the sleeve in in the round, but I typically do knit sleeves flat before sewing the side seams, and I also try to do the neckline construction after sewing the shoulder seams to avoid stretching of the neck opening, so I changed the order of construction a bit.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  I think it looks relatively like the magazine image. I think the drape is very dependent on the fabric choice and my top has a bit more body than some of the versions presented in the magazine issue.

What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern?  I like that this pattern was very simple and straightforward. I also really like how My Image drafts their patterns. They use an asymmetric sleeve cap and have more shaping at the side seams than would be expected for a top that is sort of straight looking in the magazine. I think in the future I would use a fabric with a little more stretch and a bit softer of a drape.

Fabric used: I used a thin ponte knit with flocked black dots. I have no idea if it is a poly or a rayon blend, but I’m betting on poly because it’s super warm. It doesn’t have a lot of stretch in the vertical direction, but because of the fit adjustments I made I don’t think that is too much of an issue. I think it will be very comfortable to wear during work hours, but I think the drape may have been a tiny bit too stiff for this pattern because any fold of the fabric looks like an extreme wrinkle. On a Zoom call it won’t matter as much though because it looks really good from the shoulders up though.

Pattern alterations or design changes you made:  I made several fit adjustments, including a 2.5″ full bicep adjustment and a 1″ full bust adjustment. I also added several inches of width to the waist and hip area because my fabric only had moderate stretch. However, I ended up removing the extra inches from the hip because I didn’t need them; so my final size was a true 46 at the hip and around a 44 at the waist. I was probably a bit overzealous in adding space for the full bicep adjustment as I have a tiny bit too much fabric under my arms, but it actually provides decent movement and helps with the lack of vertical stretch so I think it’s ok. I only made adjustments for fit and to account for the minimal stretch of my fabric and did not make any changes to the design of the pattern.

Would you sew this again?  Would you recommend it to others?  I might sew this again, but I would probably look for a much stretchier knit to make it with in the future. I think that this top would be best in a lighter weight sweater knit and not something as densely woven as a ponte. I do really love the turtleneck style of this particular pattern though – it gives the turtleneck appearance but isn’t too high or tight on the neck. I would recommend this pattern to anyone who is looking for a simple turtleneck top or wants to try a basic pattern from My Image Magazine.

Conclusion:  I made this top as part of a mini wardrobe I’m working on, but also for the Zoom contest entry. I think that the fabric is a bit stiffer on the body than it felt on the bolt, and I must admit I’m much more of a stripes person than a dots person. However, I think that the pattern adjustments I made definitely help this garment fit really well and I think it’s perfect for work calls. It’s also pretty warm for a single layer top, which will be great for the mild fall and winter weather where I live. I don’t think it’s my favorite top of all time, but it fills a much needed space in my current wardrobe, which is increasingly shrinking because quarantine weight is a thing that has been happening.

Tell us why your garment is good for a Zoom call: I think this top is great for a Zoom call because the dot pattern is not too busy and also provides a nice contrast from the more simple backgrounds I tend to choose. I also think grey looks good with my skin and the turtleneck style helps to frame the face and keeps the neckline high to avoid any sort of issues with camera angles showing more than intended. Additionally, the corner of the house that is now my “office” gets very cold in the winter (even with lights on for Zoom calls) and the fabric is the perfect weight to keep me warm for the next few months without me needing to wear a less professional looking sweatshirt as I have occasionally done in the past. I think that overall it strikes the nice balance of professional and casual, and that it works really well for Zoom.

How does this fit in with the Sew Your Kibbe Challenge?  Does it work as well for you as you expected it to? I’m not really focused on the Sew Your Kibbe Challenge right now, and this top doesn’t really fit with those guidelines as the neckline is a bit too high, the fabric a bit too stiff, and the drape isn’t really particularly billowy or particularly clingy. However, it’s also not too fussy or complicated, so it doesn’t go too far from the guidelines of being more simple. I think the pattern itself would be fine in the context of an overall outfit, but I’ll need to find a softer fabric with more drape in the future. It’s not my favorite top, but I’m hoping that in the context of the overall wardrobe I’m working on that it will have a few outfits it can be worn with.

And that’s it! With any luck I’ll be able to work on more wardrobe sewing soon – although the upcoming projects will be a bit more complicated and will probably require a bit more effort in terms of pattern testing and fitting.


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