Summer Floral Top
Project by Anna at Lets Get Sewing
I rarely purchase sewing patterns as I much prefer hacking the ones I already own or self-drafting patterns from scratch in order to create a pattern that matches the design I have in mind. Sewing patterns are also expensive, so I prefer to only buy ones that I know I'll make again and again or that I wouldn't be able to draft myself. However, when Viki Sews patterns had a flash 50% sale a few months ago I decided to purchase and download a few patterns, including the Courtney Dress.
The design of the bodice is what drew me to the Courtney Dress pattern. I've seen quite a few tops with corset-y designs recently, in other words lots of seams and a fairly close fitting bodice. What I liked about this design is that the bodice has an extra level of detail which made this top a bit different. I also immediately pictured this pattern in a floral fabric for summer, I thought flowers would compliment the feminine design. Craft Cotton Co have such a wide range of floral cotton fabrics that it took me a long time to decide which one to go for. Most dressmaking patterns call for drapey or stretchy fabrics, so it was nice to make something out of cotton as there are so many lovely cotton prints available My only brief is that I wanted a pretty floral and in the end I went for this rayon linen fabric which was exactly what I had in mind. Much like cotton the linen held its shape perfectly when it came to the bodice construction, and interfacing helped to ensure that the upper bodice stands upright.
The first thing to note about Viki Sews patterns is that they are a Russian company. Although they have recently launched some patterns in English, the ones I purchased were all in Russian. It isn't just a challenge for the instructions, I actually found the website itself quite hard to navigate in a different language. Google translate is definitely a big help, although I found that the app's camera feature wasn't much use when it came to deciphering which pattern piece was which. In the end, the actual sewing process wasn't any harder for the lack of English instructions as the photo diagrams are really clear and even without those I would have been able to guess the order of construction. The main difficulty lay in labelling each pattern piece, but now that I've made this top I have my pattern pieces labelled in English for next time. Overall it was fun to try out a new pattern company which has some interesting and slightly different designs, especially as their patterns are very affordable - I paid £2.50 for 3 patterns thanks to the sale!
I always like to add topstitching to makes and the seams of this pattern were perfect for doing that. The topstitching adds a really neat finish and also forces the seams to lie flat. I really love how all the features of this make tie in together, having thin straps adds a delicate feel to the bodice which is mimicked by the pretty flowers on the fabric.
As mentioned the pattern is actually drafted as a dress, but I thought I'd get more wear out of mine as a top which I could pair with jeans. Simply cutting the top at the waist seam would have made it too short and the proportions a bit off, so I decided to add pleats to the bottom. I'm not usually a big fan of pleats and ruffles but I think the pleats work really well here. The rayon linen was a joy to sew with as it pressed so well, meaning that the pleats and hem are really even and neat.
To finish the top I added an invisible zip down the centre back, my preferred closure for makes. I'm pretty pleased with how invisible the zip is and I think that another closure such as buttons would have been too busy, detracting from the fabric and bodice details. The only thing I didn't think about when I changed the pattern to a top is that the zip can only be as long as the bodice so won't open as far down. I didn't realise this was a problem until right at the end, when it turned out to be a bit of a squeeze getting the width of the waist seam over my shoulders! I'm torn between redoing the zip as an open ended zip (which would take time and I also don't like the look of open ended zips compared to invisible ones) or just accepting that this top takes a while to get on and off.
When I first started making this top summer weather seemed like a long way away and the holidays felt even more distant. Now, the sun is shining and I'm looking forward to getting lots of wear out of my finished make!
Made by Anna at Lets Get Sewing for The Craft Cotton Company 2021