Another Summery Top in a Southwestern Print

SouthwesternTopWhen ordering several pieces of fabric for tops recently from Emma One Sock, I fell in love with this print. The EOS site describes it as “a soft and buttery, very lightweight rayon/spandex jersey.” Buttery. Absolutely. There’s a sheen to this fabric makes me think it’s silk and spandex, not rayon and spandex. Soft. AzruelKnitLike buttah!

I decided to make it in Vogue 8831, which allows me to fit for cup size. I chose View A for the cap sleeves, and decided to just to a neck band rather than the voluminous cowl. V8831I had just made this pattern (not yet blogged) in View B, with long sleeves, out of a rayon/lycra blend I picked up at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I needed wanted a new top for the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus performance at Blossom last Sunday, and had a Jo-Ann’s coupon to make it an inexpensive top. However, the cowl was overwhelming. I pfitzed with that cowl all day in the heat and humidity. The size of the cowl and inherent heaviness (with that amount of fabric) make it not ideal for a lightweight fabric.

For the neckline, I cut the pattern an inch higher at center front, then curved out to the sides of the neckline. I measured the neck opening and consulted Marcy Tilton’s excellent Threads Magazine article, “Not Your Ordinary T-Shirt,” to determine how long to make the neck band. I cut the band on the cross-grain to pick up a row of green figures in the print. Marcy says to cut ¾ to ⅞ of the neck measurement. I took into account the lack of stretch on the crosswise cut, and—for a 33.5″ opening—cut 27 or 27.5″, which comes out to about 82%. I seamed it, folded it in half, and sewed it to the right side of the opening, then turned and top-stitched from the outside at about ¼”.

SouthwesternNeckbandThe lightweight fabric was rather delicate to work with. I sewed all the seams slowly and carefully, then zipped through the second row of stitching. (The instructions call for double-stitched seams.)

The more I touched the fabric during construction, the more anxious I was to finish the top. I left DSO sitting in the upstairs family room after dinner last night while I stitched the hems. Then I raced upstairs to slip it on, and immediately began frowning. It looked awful on me!!! This from a pattern I’d made, now, three times and with whose fit I was very happy.

SouthwesternCloseupEvidently this particular knit has more stretch than the cotton and rayon pieces I’d used for the previous tops. (Number 1) I needed to remove an inch on the front and back of each side seam—a decrease of a total of 4″ around the body.

After running lots of errands today, I came home, removed some topstitching, and resewed the sides, starting at the seamline at the waist and tapering in to the 1″ mark at the armhole.

Run to the mirror. Slip the top on. Very. Big. Smile.


This fabric calls out to be all sorts of things, not the least of which would be the yummiest sleepwear you can imagine. I’m so sad it’s sold out! I’ll keep watching the EOS site to find a similar lightweight knit. It will be worth the weight!

The pants in the picture are an Eileen Fisher washable stretch crepe similar to this. However, the elastic in the waist is about ½” rather than 2″ as in the description in the link.

The shoes are Mephisto Uldina, in their Mobils collection. Ultra comfortable to walk in.

The quilt on the wall behind me is by my friend, ultra-talented fiber artist Mary Lou Alexander.

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About Jan

Musician and geek and Juris Doctor; lover of fine art and fine craft; mother and grandmother and significant other and friend. Passionate about sewing.

2 Responses to Another Summery Top in a Southwestern Print

  1. gayle ortiz says:

    The extra work you did on this really paid off! It fits perfectly. It’s painful to go through the process of ripping but when it all turns out so well the memory fades.
    Thanks for reminding me that when you get sewing lemons stitch up some lemonade!

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