2/19/12

Week 6 - The Ava Top

What happened to week 5? It flew right by me! I'm actually two weeks behind on my sewing challenge. At least I did technically make two garments last time so let's say one of those counted for week 5. Right? Right!

I finally finished up my Ava top last night. I've only been able to work on it in small spurts and ran into a few road blocks along the way, which I'll go into detail about later. I definitely learned a lot from making this top though, and I know it will go together much easier when I make it into a dress for my maid of honor.

When I re-ordered my fabric, I decided to go with a sheer black swiss dot instead of the white chiffon I had picked out earlier. I think it was a good decision. If I had it to do over again I might have used black thread instead of white for the top-stitching, but oh well. I love it!



I'm most proud of my invisible zipper insertion. It's truly invisible except for the white pull at the top - first time I've been able to do that successfully! I used a regular zipper foot and basted the seam together first, then sewed as close to the zipper as possible. I think this method works a lot better than trying to use an invisible zipper foot. I've never had any luck with those.



The top was a bit baggy on me around the bust initially. I sort of waffled on whether I needed to make that smaller before I sewed it up, but I was afraid of taking it in too much. It was really hard to tell whether I needed to until I put it all together. Should have made a muslin! The finished garment measurement for the bust on a size 2 is 34 1/2" and I'm a 32". I had already inserted the zipper and serged the insides so I decided to bring it in through the back darts. I unpicked just enough of the waist seam to give me access to the darts and took them in about an inch on either side. This worked surprisingly well. It fits me like a glove now!

I'm still getting used to the peplum, but it's growing on me. It didn't stand out so much until I hemmed it. I'm guessing that turning the hem under twice added just enough bulk to make it want to stand out more. I am pretty darn proud of that hem though! I had to do a whole lot of basting, gathering, and pressing to make it lay perfectly flat on the outside. Hemming a full skirt is probably my least favorite task in sewing. How do you usually deal with this issue? Any tips or tricks that I may not know?



This top was definitely not cheap to make, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. I'm already planning to use this pattern again for my wedding and I'd like to make it up in a different version for myself again as well. The fabric was a splurge, but it's so nice! And it's been on my wishlist forever. Keeping that in mind, here's the breakdown:

Fabric - Zig zag print cotton/silk blend from Mood - 2 yards for $28
Sheer black swiss dot cotton from Mood - 1/2 yard for $8
Pattern - Ava from Victory Patterns - $10
Notions - white invisible zipper and thread, from stash
Total Cost - $46 (eeek!)

Next up - my first pair of pants! I'm going to tackle the Clover pants by Colette Patterns. I bought some black stretch twill a while back that has been patiently waiting on my shelf for this very purpose. I'm excited and I need them ASAP! The pants I usually wear to work were just ruined so these will serve as a nice replacement.

22 comments:

  1. I love it! It looks great on you, and it's so nice to see this pattern all put together - I bought it and it's on my miles-long list of things to make. As are a pair of Clovers, so I'll definitely be reading to see how yours come out! Have you seen the sallieoh tutorials for modifying them?

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    1. No, but I just looked it up and that's definitely something I'll want to do later on! I've never made pants at all so after conquering that I'll want to tackle a zip-fly. I'm really pretty intimidated by it right now...just looks difficult. Possibly TMI, but am I the only one who studies my jeans while in the bathroom trying to figure out just how that thing is contructed? Lol!

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  2. So pretty and perfect. Looks gorgeous on you.

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  3. What a lovely top. This is one of my favorites from Victory Patterns.

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  4. I absolutely love this top and your blog is fantastic. I just made a pair of 7/8 jean pants similar to the clovers using Burda 7863 with a few alterations as burda pants patterns fit me well. They are really similar to sallieoh's but in black. The zip fly isn't too hard at all, don't be intimidated. I actually find invisible zips harder. The hardest bit with pants is getting the fit right. I really need to do a photo shoot and get the pants on my blog!

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  5. WOW! This looks so freakin' adorable! Well done!

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  6. This is so cute and flattering!

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  7. Super cute and the peplum looks great, really flattering! I've used that zig zag fabric before and it's so awesome. Love the combination of it with the swiss dot.

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    1. Thanks! I did notice that same fabric on your Scout tee after I bought it. I've also seen it used on some tops at Francesca's Collection so that made me happy :) Although they used it on a very blousey long sleeve top and I think it was a bit much. Yours is lovely!

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  8. Adorable! And great job with the chevron!
    I'm so glad to see this pattern made up.

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  9. the extra price for the fabric is worth it. black and white stripes are so striking and classic! looks great!!

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  10. So awesome! I love the zig zag paired with the peplum. Such a fun contrast.

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  11. Regarding the hemming question - I really don't know, I'm too new of a clothing sewist, but I learned recently how to do a bias tape facing finish on something I made for my daughters, and I wonder if it might be a good solution. Here is a tutorial I found. I also think I used instructions from my Reader's Digest sewing book.

    http://www.craftstylish.com/item/13143/how-to-sew-a-bias-tape-facing

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  12. That top is gorgeous and I love the peplum :) I am not surprised though, you always choose such cute styles and fabrics!
    Once you have installed a few more invisible zippers it will be second nature and easier than a dress zipper (if it isn't already) :D!

    As far as hemming goes I measure double the seam allowance I am using and then mark that distance on the wrong side of the skirt or dress hem (with a marker or tailors chalk).
    That way I have an exact guide for pressing my hem up.
    After I have pressed the seam allowance up to the line I marked I then sew it with my machine.
    I sew slightly further in than the seam allowance on my pattern so I know it will catch the hem.

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    1. Marking is a good idea...I've just been using a seam allowance guide and ironing as I go, pressing up twice. With circle or full skirts though, there is the problem of having more fabric toward the bottom of the skirt than you have at the stitch line. I've been working that in by basting and gathering after the first time I turn up the hem. I do separate lines of basting stitches at even points around the hem so that I can take in the fullness as needed. It's tedious but it works. I've just wondered if I've been doing it the hard way. I know a lot of people will stitch circle skirt hems by hand, but I've tried that before and it wasn't very pretty. My hand stitching needs some help!

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    2. Silly me It sounds like you have way more hemming savvy than I do. Thanks for sharing! :)

      Hand stitching argh tell me about it! My hand stitching is terrible! I am just not into hand sewing at all, especially a whole circle skirt hem!
      If you do find any new hemming tricks do share with us :)

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  13. I just love this--the peplum and the fabric choice and everything!

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  14. Thanks for all the replies and lovely comments everyone! <3!

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  15. Hi there Shona, just discovered your blog through a tweet by Victory Patterns and I must say, your creations are pretty amazing! I love this Ava top so much, it has such a cool vibe!

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  16. Ah I love love love your top! I made the dress version recently, it felt very bridesmaidey-weddingey, so it should work at your wedding. I thought it was a lovely pattern to make up.

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  17. my first visit.. love your choice of fabrics in your sewing projects.. couldnt help following.it gives me more inspiration being a beginner to this field of sewing and .blogging.

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  18. This is such a great version of the Ava top!! Looks amazing!!

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