Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring Sewing: Rosie Top, The Muslin

I made a muslin of the Rosie Top and it's actually very interesting.

As it happens, I might have been just as well off making the original pattern in lieu of my very altered one. It would have been better in some ways (though worse in others).

What I altered in the muslin:
  • I removed a 2-inch, horizontal wedge of fabric from the centre back.
  • Narrowed the shoulders.
  • Narrowed the waist circumference, over a variety of seams, by 6 inches.
  • I decided to forgo the facing, in favour of self-made bias binding around the neck. I loathe facing.
What I need to do next time: 
  • For starters, I have to replace a good 4 inches of the six I removed in the waist. That was a sound alteration, but I totally overdid it given that one's supposed to be able to put this on like a T shirt (and that waist seam was not going over the boobs!). Note: I'm willing to put in a side zip if it gives me a fitted look I prefer...
  • The centre back alteration worked really well. I might need to refine it (once I see how everything else plays out) but I sense that's a good plan, in general. The bias binding also works very well in lieu of facing.
  • Although the shoulder shortening is not unattractive, it does make the sleeves a bit shorter than I'd like. So I have reversed that alteration.
  • Additionally, somehow I still have to add 2 inches to the full bust circumference so I added this at 1 inch over both sides of each princess seam.
  • I also added a dart at the front armscye (on the side front piece, slanting towards the bust apex). I've discovered that this is de rigeur with woven bodices. In order to get the full bust to fit, I often need to add volume at the side bust. That's fine, but it over-impacts the armscye given that my armsyce is very high and short.
What I really appreciate about this top:
  • My disbelief notwithstanding, it's a beautifully drafted pattern. The shoulders are not wide, even as the technical drawing makes it seem that they might be.
  • It's super simple to construct. You can make and use bias binding practically as easily as cutting and sewing in the facing.
  • The bust apex isn't drafted stupidly high (like for flat-chested teens).
  • My crepe fabric is a perfect choice for this top - it has a good amount of mechanical stretch and a gorgeous drape. The colour is rich - although not one I often wear (burgundy). It sews beautifully and serges just as well.
  • You can make practically the entire thing on your serger, with the exception of top stitching a few seams. 
  • It's very neat on the inside, because it's simple.
I'm not insane. I deliberately decided to tackle this woven top very specifically. It has a back seam, to facilitate fit in the back waist. I used a drapey, naturally stretchy woven, not a thick, stiff fabric. I made a muslin (in the same fabric as the finished garment will be made in) to avoid fabric variables on the next attempt. I used a pattern with princess seams - which are relatively easy to alter to increase the full bust circumference. I used a pattern with a defined waist. Even if made to fit "loosely", the waist seam provides definition.

And, as a result, although I'm not sure that the next one will be perfect, I do hope that it's wearable.

This top is chicer than I thought it would be. It will look great with a suit or with jeans and it nicely covers the part of one's stomach that one might choose to downplay.

Today or tomorrow, I intend to finish the next version. Stay tuned for more...


  1. I've just finished a Rosie top and also agree - it is drafted beautifully, sits so nicely on the shoulders and other than the sway back adjustment that I didn't, but should have done, it's a lovely top. It is a really quick make and really a nice classic. I look forward to seeing your end make.

    1. So thrilled to hear this - I'm off to check out your post... Thanks for the info.

  2. Can't wait to see a photo! From the drawing it looks like the center back of the waist is supposed to dip down a bit - am I correct?

    1. It does dip down - though not so much on my version (given all of the changes I've made). I think it's best to dip down at the peplum hem rather than at the waist seam. At the waist seam, it can make the derriere seem lower than it is in the way it hits. Also, the front waist seem is decidedly convex. So the concavity of the back seam is odd.