After my encouraging experience with the Happy Homemade Tiered Dress for Lulu, I was ready for more! Kiki was up next, of course. She is now living by a very strict “Shirts & Skirts Only” rule. (No lovely summer dresses for me this year, thank you very much!) So, a new top it was to be.
After perusing the several top options in the book, I chose the Pin-tucked Blouse, or “h” as it’s called in the book — because honestly, pin-tucks just make me happy.
The fabric is Briar Rose Calico in Lilac that I bought at the end of the summer last year with another project in mind, which somehow was never realized. Kiki is really into purple right now, so this seemed like the right thing to do. I cut it in size 4, which turned out to be nice and roomy, without being too big.
This top presented more of a challenge than the Tiered Dress, I have to admit. There was a great deal more seam ripping and swearing involved. But, it was all worth it!
First of all, you have to hunt around in the book for the first several steps of instructions (p.s. — they’re to be found over on page 39 with the Smock Dress instructions). Also, there is not much direction given for making the pin-tucks. But luckily, I’ve been on a major Made-by-Rae Josephine Top kick this spring, which involves quite a bit of pin-tucking (with very clear instructions — thanks, Rae!). This recent experience definitely came in handy.
But my real trouble came with the neck facing. The front neck binding is pretty straightforward, but I never could figure out what I was supposed to do with the darn facing around the back. I ended up treating the facing like bias tape binding and sticking the elastic inside — although I was pretty sure that this wasn’t what the authors had in mind.
If only I had waited a week to make this top, it all would have become clear. Turns out that this very question is addressed in Meg’s post this week over at Elsie Marley about the same type of neck facing on the Happy Homemade Pullover Parka. She explains it really well, and now I know that I’ll be able to get it right next time.
The only other tricky bit was inserting the elastic into the casing on the sleeves. The way it’s done here is pretty cool and different from anything I’ve done before — but actually getting the elastic through the opening was tough. I’m sure I wasn’t doing it right, so I’ll just have to give it another go on another top on another day.
But, these difficulties aside, I think this top turned out pretty well.
Once again, we tested this top for wearability at the zoo.
All was well.