Monday, 27 April 2015

Completed: The Not Going Out for Dinner Top

Remember when I started to make a top to wear out to dinner, then decided it wasn't appropriate and made this top instead? Well, this is it!

It is the Megan Nielsen Eucalypt Tank made from Cotton + Steel Frock in Hana Cobalt. It's rayon challis and it is beautiful.

I had initially wanted to make a dress with the fabric, but I was worried it might be too lightweight, so I thought I'd go for a top instead. I seriously deliberated over what to make with this. I can't remember what made me finally decide on the Eucalypt. Probably the fact that it doesn't take much fabric. At £16 per metre its fairly pricey. Fortunately I got it at Easter from M is for Make, when they had an offer on Cotton + Steel fabrics - can't remember what the discount was - so I didn't pay full price. I ordered a metre and prayed that it would be enough. Spoiler: it was!

I love the dipped neckline at the back.
I've liked this pattern since it was released but never got round to buying it. The make was more or less straightforward. The seams are Frenched, the neck and armholes bias faced. Fortunately I tried it on after doing the first pass on the French seams, and found it was neat across the bust at that point, and would have been too tight had I completed the second pass. I ended up unpicking the side seams, and then French seaming them with an approximately 1cm seam allowance, rather than the 1.5cm given. I was a bit confused about this, as I cut an XS, which corresponds to my bust measurement of 34". Given that the finished garment bust measurement is 36", this should have been fine. It's still a little bit neat for my liking but it's definitely wearable. For future versions I'll add 1.5cm to the CF.

The fabric was lovely to sew with. Yes, it was a little shifty, but not as bad as I was expecting. Even the bias facing proved not to be too tricky. And it pressed beautifully.

I'm not sure why I suddenly decided this top wasn't quite right. It just ended up looking quite different from the image in my head, which was disconcerting since I've had quite a lot of sewing successes recently. I was convinced something was off, but when I Googled the tank and saw all the other versions out there, I realised the image in my head was just different to the actual garment. Not sure why. In my head it was looser fitting, and the straps were much wider, more like a boxy shell top. The straps are definitely narrower than I am used to in a woven top, but the fit is actually spot on, and they sit beautifully. Once I got over the fact that the tank wasn't what I was expecting, and we had a very sunny day when it was warm enough to wear it, I fell in love with this top. The fabric very definitely makes the top in my opinion. The colour is gorgeously saturated and vivid. Very summery and very flattering, I think. It also feels beautiful to wear. Light and breezy, it is comfortable and cool, and it doesn't even seem to crease much. Confession: I loved it so much I wore it before it was hemmed! So, yes there is no hem in these photos. It has since been done. Took about 10 mins!!!

I just squeezed this into the metre of fabric, so there was no wiggle room for pattern placement or matching. Happily, the placement is more or less centred on the front, and the print is too haphazard to pattern match at the sides.

Flat shots (taken at night, so lighting is poor. Apologies):

Hmmm. Rug needs a clean.

My bias binding is not perfect. I always struggle to get it as neat as I would like. Typically on this tank, the worst part is right at centre front! Looks like I need to remove my stay stitching there too!

So, it never quite made it to "dinner" status, but this little top has a very happy future as a permanent fixture in my summer wardrobe. All I need now is the weather, please!!!



  1. Gorgeous top, looks fantastic on you. The fabric is also amazing. If only fab fabric wasn't so expensive...!

    1. Thanks Alison. Unfortunately I do seem to have expensive tastes - and that extends to everything, not just fabric!!! :)

  2. So lovely! I love the shape of the top and it fits you so well! 💙💙💙

  3. This is so lovely! That fabric is so vibrant & looks expensive somehow, the drape maybe? I've got the tiny pocket tank & might have to invest in some cotton & steel rayon to give it a whirl!

    1. The fabric is definitely worth the investment. I really want to buy more.

  4. gorgeous - such lovely fabric and the shape is great on you! i think you'll wear it loads even if it isn't quite what you pictured!

  5. It's gorgeous, love the colour and the fit.

  6. Oh, I love this. The colour the drape. The fit is excellent on you. Come on sunshine give Helen a chance to wear her top.

  7. Beautiful! Perfect, perfect summer top. I've had my eye on this pattern since it was released, but haven't got around to it yet. I always thought it seemed an ideal one to show off a really beautiful fabric - and you've just proved the theory! Very nice to know that you can squeeze it out of a metre, too ;) Hope the weather can stay accommodating for you...

  8. I think it's cool. I don't like very strappy summer tops anymore and will definitely kept this pattern in mind.


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