I’ve got a decent collection of sewing books, but haven’t really read much of any of them, nor used the related patterns. 

After purchasing the latest GBSB book a couple of weeks ago, leafing through it I liked the sound of the pattern hack of the sleeveless shell top with a button back. I’ve yet to make anything with one or more buttonholes so this simple top seemed like a good chance to try out the feature of my new machine. I have some pretty pink Liberty fabric from the autumn Knitting and Stitch Show, which I thought would work well. 

After a little consideration, I thought it would be practical to make the standard pattern in a cheaper fabric first. I chose some blue and white thicker cotton with a slight stretch, that my dad bought for me on a trip to Mexico. I traced the pattern onto greaseproof and cut the fabric. In retrospect, I could have/should have tried to adjust the fabric so the top had the pattern aligned better and a more symmetrical front. 

The make was straightforward and I liked how the facings finished the arms and neckline neatly. The pattern asked for a button and loop to finish but this confused me so I ignored that step and stiched right up the back. I tried the top on before hemming it, and was a little disappointed with the fit – this top curves down at the back but I hadn’t really anticipated it going up at the front. This made it shorter than I would like. 

All that was left to do was hem it, and, if I read the instructions correctly, this meant zigzag along the bottom, turn up once, press and stitch. I was a little surprised how untidy a finish this left, as I would normally turn up twice so there was no raw edge. As I was trying to conserve all the length possible I stuck with the pattern, but I am unsatisfied with the finish, especially after going the all the trouble with the facings around the neckline. Is it me, or is it a little odd? 

I think I would like to alter the pattern a little before I committed to making it with Liberty, to lengthen it at least. Liberty cotton is a lot lighter and softer, though, which could make a difference. Maybe it’s worth practicing with a similar weight cotton (especially the  button holes) just to be sure. 

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