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.

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