I got my inspiration to make this top from a Boden style. I started looking for interesting eyelet fabric but couldn’t find any colours, just black, white or cream and not cheap, even on Ebay it would be at least £15 per metre. Also you would need the same colour for the underneath fabric so I dropped the eyelet idea.
I drafted the pattern myself and in fact it’s just a bodice block with the bust dart moved to the side seam and the body lengthened. It has an invisible zipper at the left side seam which was the first time I’d put one in a top.
I ended up buying the print cotton in John Lewis. I was confident I didn’t need to buy a whole metre and just bought 80cm. The fabric is 112cm wide and I only just had enough but I had to cut the collar pieces across the grain to get them out. The local habby shop had a perfect match for the red binding. I bought a piping foot for my machine which was great for making the narrow piping but I couldn’t get close enough when I was stitching the piping to the collar. I bought this Janome piping foot But I think this would have been better, universal adjustable zip and piping foot. (scroll down the list of feet to the universal adjustable zip and piping foot). This actually says how you can get really close. So in the end I went back to using my normal zipper foot which did the job ok.
I hadn’t cut a peter pan collar in a long time but remembered that you needed to overlap the shoulder seams at the outer shoulder point. My starting point reference book is Winifred Aldridge who just gives one measurement for overlapping. I also have the Helen Joseph Armstrong who goes into more detail by explaining the different finished look when you increase the amount of overlap. The more you overlap the higher the collar sits, as the outer edge of the collar gets shorter and you get more of a ‘stand’ or a roll on the inside. In the picture below the pink area is the amount of overlap, the shoulder points at the neck edge touch each other, it is the outer shoulder that overlaps. Diagram B shows more of an overlap and the collar would sit higher whilst diagram A would have a collar that sits flatter on your shoulders.
I put a seam up the centre back and left an opening which I closed with a loop and button. I wanted to do a rouleau loop but once I’d sewn it I couldn’t remember how to turn the right way out. So I ended up just sewing a bias strip and stitching on the outside edge. To avoid his happening again I bought a loop turner from Amazon. Since then I read a Sewaholic post where a hair grip is used and I think this is what I’d have done in the past, anyway, I now have a new gadget.
To finish the neck and armholes I used a narrow bias facing. I had some plain off white cotton lawn to do this with. I hand stitched the binding around the armholes but machined the neck as the stitching wouldn’t be seen with the collar covering it.
I think the top could have been just a little bit slimmer but with such a busy pattern on the fabric it doesn’t look too big. If I use the pattern again I may make the neck line wider, more like the original Boden style. It’s been worn out a number of times over the summer and had some compliments and I’m happy with how it turned out.