Sure as I’m stripey?

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This was one of those instances where the finished result looks like a simple long sleeve tee, but the thought, time and effort to make this top was anything but!

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Although both the fabric and the pattern are a departure from my normal sewing projects, choosing them was easy.  I have a few brightly colour coats in my wardrobe and I needed some warm neutral tops to wear under them.  Stripes are a neutral right?

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The ponte, a viscose/polyester/nylon blend from The Cloth Shop, is super soft and warm.  I really like the different stripe widths, even if it does make me look like the model on the pattern cover.

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The pattern is View D of McCall’s 5079.  It’s part of the Palmer/Pletsch range and therefore includes excellent fitting information.

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The ‘thought’ part of this project was deciding on the sizing and the adjustments I would make… and can I tell you that I agonised.  I swayed between sewing it up ‘as is’ and seeing what fitting changes I needed to make (ie. treating it like a toile) or taking the time to make the adjustments that I suspected I would require before I started sewing.

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For those that know me well, you will not be surprised to hear that, after several days of deliberation, I did it properly… well mostly properly.  I skipped the Full Bust Adjustment as I didn’t want to add a dart in my striped fabric.  The changes I made were:

  • 3/8″ (1cm) forward shoulder adjustment (this impacts the front, back and sleeve pattern pieces)
  • Removed 2″ (5cm) from the body length
  • Removed 2″ (5cm) from the sleeve length
  • Graded out a size in the bust on both the front and back pattern pieces

The results… well I’m thrilled with this top.  Dare I say, surprisingly so.  The fit is great, the warmth and comfort factor is high and I have filled a wardrobe gap.

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Next time… oh yes, I think View B of M7059 will get another outing… I will:

  • Retrace the sleeve and remove 1″ (2.5cm) from it’s length rather than 2″ (5cm) I removed in this version
  • Reduce the width of the neckband… it’s just a little wide for my personal preference

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I treat stripe matching as a competitive sport, so I basted all the side seams before sewing them.  It does take more time, but it’s so worth it.

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The hems on this tee were secured with a twin needle and, as is customary for me these days, I used woolly nylon thread in the bobbin.  That reminds me, the other hard decision on this project (I’m being serious) was what colour thread to use… black, white, off-white, cream or grey.  I went with grey in the end.  What would you have chosen?

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Pattern:  McCalls 5079 (View B)
Size:  10
Fabric:  Viscose/polyester/nylon ponte from The Cloth Shop
Alterations:  3/8″ (1cm) forward shoulder adjustment, removed 2″ (5cm) from the body and sleeve length and graded out a size in the bust on both the front and back pattern pieces
Accessories:  Scarf from Elk (recent purchase) and boots from Florsheim
Photo Location:  Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens, Daylesford

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9 comments

  • Worth the effort to do ‘properly’ lady – looks fab,, and also toiling in a stripe is never great, once you start making changes those stripes never match up properly! I’d have gone black or grey on the top stitching too!

    • It was totally worth doing properly. I’m getting a little braver with my adjustments before sewing. The grey was the right top stitching colour.

  • M’mm, my comment seems to have disappeared, so here goes again. Love the top – great job. I must learn how to do the forward shoulder adjustment because the fit is great. I might have to visit The Cloth Shop and get some of that stripe! I think the grey top stitching is just right. I agree with basting seams. I used to baste every seam I sewed, but these days I’m a bit slack, but it does give a very good result for the effort.

    • The forward shoulder adjustment has been a big eye opener for me. I find that the more I sew, the more I discover fit changes that need to be made. For me, it’s all part of the sewing journey. If you see me at the Cloth Shop (I’m there quite a bit!) then please say hi.

  • Very nice.

  • Wow Anna, I know its not your normal style but this rocks. And the stripe matching is fab.

  • Well this is more like it! ? What’s not to love about a well fitted striped Long sleeve Tee. Great job. Nice stripe matching and super fit.