Saturday, February 11, 2012

Vogue 8793 - Katherine Tilton Collaged Top



WARNING! Long post ahead! More pictures.

Since the beginning of the year, I have been on a self-imposed fabric and pattern budget, so when the new Vogues came out a couple weeks ago, I allowed myself only one pattern from the new season and 8793 was it. I can always use more tops, and this one screamed, "Pick me! Pick me! I am fun to make!"

In my last post I mentioned that I recently counted thirteen Teagarden Ts that I have made in the last couple of years. The only downside of the Teagarden is that it is cut from a single, large, awkward pattern piece (not counting the gusset) and it leaves behind sizable scraps. I keep a dedicated bag where I put scraps appropriate for tees: mostly rayon/lycra, cotton/lycra, and poly/lycra varieties. My original intention was to use these scraps to make underwear, but, so far, that hasn't happened.

I now have enough scraps to make underwear for my daughter's entire high school.

I decided it was time to make another collaged T, similar to the asymmetric Au Bonheur tee I made last November, but using the new Vogue pattern.

From the Au Bonheur pattern I borrowed the asymmetric hem and the idea of CF and CB seams. Cutting the front and back in half vertically allowed me to play with a larger number of scraps from the scrap bag. From the Vogue pattern, I was eager to try the double collar, embellished with a zipper edging.

On Super Bowl Sunday, I altered the pattern and played with the scraps. I also ordered some lightweight, molded, separating zippers from Zipperstop. I ordered a few extra because I plan to make this again. It's certainly possible to leave off the zipper edging, but I think that the body it imparts to the collar is part of its charm.

Note that the pattern calls for, and you want, a lightweight, molded, separating zipper. I used the YKK brand, which is a superior zipper. You want a zipper with a malleable tape, small synthetic (nylon?) teeth, and a very long length (hence the suggestion of using a separating zipper). You want it to add body to the collar, but not be too stiff or creased or have teeth that will be uncomfortable against the neck. One side of the zipper is sewn to the curved edge of the upper collar and the other side is sewn to the curved edge of the lower collar. Zipperstop carries the YKK brand, as does Britex. JoAnns does not.

Usually my orders from Zipperstop arrive in a couple of days. Alas, this order was held up in the U.S. mail; after waiting five days, I ended up visiting Britex to pick up a few zippers. I didn't mind too much, as I also needed to restock some thread and elastic.

Since I couldn't finish the first top, because it awaited a zipper, I started a second. For the first top, I ended up using three black/cream fabrics. I spent quite awhile auditioning fabrics; for example, I tried to add in some wild poly fabric, but it just wouldn't play nice with the other fabrics - mostly because its white background didn't work with the cream in the ikat-style print, but also the textures didn't gel.


Auditioning the fabrics I think I want to use for the neckline.

For the second top, I used four fabrics in wilder colors. I chose the fabrics more quickly for this top.

Materials for Top #1:

  • Solid black rayon/lycra from Fabrix. (Sleeves and back sides of both collars.)
  • Black and cream ikat-style rayon/lycra print from Fabrix. (Right front, right back, left cuff, and larger collar.)
  • Black w/ white polka dot cotton/lycra print from Marcy Tilton. (Left front, left back, right cuff, and smaller collar.) This fabric is beefier than the other fabrics, but it worked ok.
  • 28" YKK lightweight molded separating zipper in black from Britex.
  • Dritz Wonder Tape.
Materials for Top #2:

  • Wild stripe rayon/lycra print from Fabric Mart. (Right front - stripe horizontal, left back - stripe vertical, larger collar - stripe on the bias.)
  • Green/black rayon/lycra print from Fabric Mart. (Left front, back, larger collar - backside.)
  • Solid green 14oz rayon/lycra from Emma One Sock. (Smaller collar - front and back, right sleeve.)
  • Black rayon/lycra from Fabrix. (Left sleeve.)
  • 28" YKK lightweight molded separating zipper in dark green from Britex.
  • Dritz Wonder Tape.

Construction:

I constructed this similar to the Au Bonheur top. Here is the construction order:

  • Serged the center fronts, center backs, and hems to neaten them, as they are otherwise raw.
  • Overlaid the center fronts (with the shorter one on top) and topstitched them together. Did the same for the back, also with the shorter one on top.
  • Sewed the shoulder seams.
  • Constructed and inserted the collars. I used Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape to secure the zippers to the wiggly knit fabric. This worked quite well and made it possible to top stitch the collars with minimal problems. (More about that in the Tips and Techniques section.)
  • A note about the zippers: When I bought a 28" zipper, as instructed by the pattern, I found it was too short. For the first top, I centered the zipper tape and this did not work well. When you fold the collar so that it overlaps, the layer in front looks bad with the zipper teeth abruptly ending too early. I salvaged the first top by sewing in a tiny strip of zipper teeth to complete the line. Not ideal, but ok as long as no one studies it closely. For the second collar, I offset the zipper so that it was correctly placed on one side. The other side, which didn't have enough zipper teeth, is hidden when the front edges of the collar are overlapped.
  • Sewed the sleeves in flat.
  • Sewed the underarm/side seams.
  • Constructed and attached the cuffs. Note that I omitted the cuffs for the second, more colorful top.
  • Voilà.

Tips and Techniques:

I wanted to share some tips and techniques for sewing on flimsy knit fabrics that work for me. I know many folks are intimidated by sewing knits, but I literally can not imagine limiting my sewing to wovens. I wear knits far more than I wear wovens and I find them, for the most part, easy to sew. Here are a few tips I used for sewing these tops.

By the way, I own a serger, but do not use it for construction - I use it to finish seams and edges. I sew knits with a sewing machine. I do not own a coverstitch machine. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).

  • I used the Dritz Wonder Tape, instead of pins, to secure the zipper to the collar. This product seems identical to Collins Wonder Tape - I have both and, other than the packaging, they seem to be the same. Here is how I used it:
    • Place a strip of the Wonder Tape along the straight edge of the collar, and remove the paper backing, exposing the stickiness.
    • Lay the zipper tape down, teeth pointed away from the straight edge.
    • Place another strip of the Wonder Tape along the zipper tape. Remove the paper backing.
    • Carefully lay the straight edge of the collar lining so that the straight edges match up. Gently, but firmly, finger press the little zipper sandwich together.
    • Proceed with the pattern instructions.
  • Once the collar has been turned right side out, and the zipper foot is on your machine, edge-stitch close to the fabric edge. Every half inch or so, I lift the presser foot and gently nudge the top layer of fabric back so that it won't create ripples. I am basically acting as a human walking foot. After the first row of top-stitching, I do a second row, about 1/4" away from the first row of top-stitching. Again, lift the presser foot very frequently (every half inch or so) and smooth the fabric back so that it doesn't distort or ripple.
  • I also did lots of basting on the neckline edges of both collars. I basted the neckline edge of each collar separately. I pinned them together along the neckline edge. I overlapped the collars as they would be on the shirt. For the first shirt, I interleaved the collars, so the left side of the upper collar overlapped the right side and then the left side of the under collar overlapped the right side. For the second one, I treated the collars as one unit, so the left side of both collars overlapped the right side of both collars. For the record, I didn't like this effect as well. Once the collars were situated as they would be on the collar, I basted the neckline edge again, going through all layers.
  • The first two times I sewed the collars to the neckline, I used the typical trick of placing the edge with more ease, in this case the neckline, on the bottom against the feed dogs. This technique usually works great, but did not in this case. I think it was due to the tendency of the fabrics to "stick" to each other and not to glide through the feed dogs. No matter how careful I was, I would end up with many little pleats on the neckline that I had to rip out as best as possible and re-sew, with not very satisfactory results.

    I finally tried a different approach. The third time I attached the collar to the neckline, I put the collar sandwich against the feed dogs and put the neckline on top, against the presser foot. I had to sew carefully, lifting the presser foot frequently and smoothing the fabric, to avoid any ripples. The result was perfect.
  • When I've sewn a seam, if it is rippled, I iron it flat, with steam, before ironing it open. This almost always removes, or at least minimizes, the ripples.
  • I sometimes use Steam A Seam II Lite to hem knits, but, to be honest, I prefer the result of a hand sewn hem. The SAS II Lite leaves stiffness in the hem that I don't like. My hand sewn hems are soft and malleable. The sleeves of both tops were sewn by hand. This is probably where it would be nice to have a coverstitch machine. :)

OOPSIE!

I did have one major "oops" as I was sewing the second, more colorful top. When I constructed the collar for this top, it went together better than the first top. However, I made a careless mistake when attaching the collar to the neckline.

I sewed the collar in backwards, so that the CF of the collar was at the CB of the top.

Oy.

It took me awhile to figure this out, because I was busy removing little neckline pleats and trying not to destroy the fabric in the process. When I realized my mistake, I knew that there was no way I could rip the entire neckline seam out. It's almost impossible to rip a seam out of these flimsy rayon knit fabrics. One tends to shred the fabric because the thread really embeds itself into the fabric with lots of tiny stitches.

So, I very quickly (before I could think too hard) cut the collar off the top, sacrificing the seam allowances of the collars and the neckline. I had to re-baste the neckline layers of the collar. The neckline was now larger, so I overlapped the collar a lesser amount and sewed it back on with a 1/4" seam allowance.

When you look at the photos, if the neckline of the second, more colorful, top looks larger, or the collars look narrower, this is why. My solution worked pretty well and saved the top from being a disaster.

Conclusion:

These tops were so much fun to make! Playing with the scraps was really enjoyable. The fabrics I used are quite droopy. I think if you omit the zipper edging from the collar, the resulting collar would be quite droopy. With the zipper, the Dritz Wonder Tape (two layers embedded in the seam), and the double row of top-stitching - the collar has a lot of body, almost as if it were wired. I really like this effect.

I will say that I like the first top better. I spent more time auditioning the fabrics for that one. If I'd taken more time, I would have switched up the fabrics in the second top. I also prefer the collar of the first top, which is made as the pattern is designed.



You know the worst part of this? The worst part is that my big bag of fabric scraps looks exactly the same. Not one bit smaller. On my next Teagarden project, I may have to move the scraps into a leaf sized garbage bag.

More Pictures








Teagarden T Number 13. This rayon/lycra is from Mood Fabrics. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have not yet hemmed the bottom. I will sew it by hand.


I was dreadfully overdue for a cut and color. I took this picture just as I walked out of the beauty school.


Loved this graffiti across the street.


I said I loved this graffiti! I had to stand under a truck on stilts to take this picture. I kept wondering if the guys in the garage would shoo me away, but I was quick. :)


DD2 turned 17 this week. All she wanted as her treat were Devils Food cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. I am getting so tired of Devils Food cake, which is all either kid wants for her birthday. DD1 usually prefers it as a 3-layer cake. DD2 also requested a treat I made when they were little. I learned this from my mother, who would put the leftover frosting inside of graham crackers and pop them into the freezer for a quick treat. In this case, I doubled the batch of frosting to accommodate the large batch of graham cracker "cookies".


I am officially the World's Worst Gift wrapper. Just in case you don't believe me, this is one of my better efforts. I used Winnie the Pooh wrapping paper that has been in my stash for, probably, 10 years, back when my kids were young. I've often been known to hold an unwrapped gift behind my back and to say "Pick a hand." ;)

60 comments:

  1. Both tops look great! I think your fabric mixing and matching is really good. Getting the right mix of colours/patterns would make or break this top.
    Happy Birthday to joy daughter!

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  2. I think you are so good at mixing fabrics together. I think I like the black and white one the best. Your daughter is very lucky :-)

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  3. I'm sure you intended the black and white top for me, didn't you? I'm SO impressed with your interpretations of this pattern; you really are talented in MixNMatch. And your detailed instructions will make it very easy for those of us who make it ourselves. Brava, Shams!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, the black and cream is my favorite, too. ;)

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  4. Thank you, Shams, for this comprehensive review. Your artistic choices for patterns, fabrics and techniques are inspiring. The multi-fabric black top is one of your best creations yet, I think. I appreciate your pointing out the cool collar; that feature had escaped me, but now that I know about it this is a must-have pattern.

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  5. Both these tops are fabulous, but I especially like the black and cream one. It has an elegant, yet still fun, look to it. I wasn't sure about this pattern and did not get it when I placed my order for the new Vogues, but you are making me second guess myself. And I am drooling over the fabric for your new Teagarden T.

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  6. I haven't ordered that pattern yet, but I like it even more now that I know about that cool collar! I like both versions.

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  7. Love the tops. What a great idea for using all those too-big-to-throw-out pieces of knit material. I have a similar Kwik Sew top like that somewhere. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  8. I love both of these but as others said, the black and cream is my favorite. Thank you for the tips, and the close up pictures of the collar. I can see a number of details not apparent in the drawings. I have this tee on my list for spring and am really looking forward to constructing it.

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  9. Love love love the new tops. I can't imagine either one being made from just one or two fabrics. See, you have gone and ruined them for me. 8-)) Also it is so nice to see exactly what is done with the zippers. The fabric of your latest Teagarden looks almost exactly like a t-shirt I just tied dyed. I must be stylish if you have fabric similar, right?

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  10. I LOVE this pattern, love your color combos, love the collar, and especially love the look of the b&w top on you. A super win for you!

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  11. Both of the tops are absolutely delightful! I held off ordering this pattern with my last BMV order. Now I MUST have it! Thanks for sharing all your tips and techniques! MMMMmmm. I love me some chocolate cupcakes and I'll have the try the graham cracker cookies next time I make cupcakes.

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  12. Those tops are great. I didn't quite get the zipper application until further down I saw the closeups on the neckline. That's a really nice treatment. I don't think I have enough knit scraps to put one of these together. Sad, isn't it?

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  13. Great use of the scraps ! Both tops are very creative.

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  14. What a brilliant way of using up scraps and still sewing clothes. Your fabric coordination is great especially as you probably had a limited choice.

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  15. I really like what you did with the fabrics and that pattern. I am not sure I would have even noticed that pattern, so thanks for sewing it up. I can see me wearing that.

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  16. WOW, you are so VERY generous with your research information! I applaud you, hands hurt from clapping them. You are a brilliant designer and teacher. Thank you for sharing. And that hair cut/style, that's a keeper, very Vidal Sassoon. I've been looking for a stylist to do that cut. I had a style just like that over a year ago in NYC, but alas, I live in California, and a few hours from SF, sigh.

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    1. Thanks, Leslie! I love going to the beauty college. It's reasonably priced (my cut and color was $85) and the students are up on the latest trends. I see the "advanced" students and they are closely monitored by the training instructor.

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  17. I raced to Joann's after your post about the Vogue patterns coming out. They did not even have the Spring 2012 catalog out front, which was their excuse for not having the new Vogues out in the drawers, either. So I went back again last weekend. The catalogs were out. The patterns, alas, were still not. Now I have to wait for another Vogue sale before picking up this Tilton pattern!
    Wah! I wanna play, too! Your mix of patterns & colors is awesome, as usual - and LOL on your stash....mine is approaching mythic proportions as well. :)

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    1. I'm sorry I sent you on a "fool's errand", Eileen. That is often the way with JoAnns - they put the patterns out much later. Or so I hear.

      By the way, I checked out your blog and was impressed by the pattern drafting you did for your pregnant client. In the most recent issue of Vogue Pattern magazine, there is an article on how to modify non-maternity patterns to maternity. I confess I didn't read it, though. ;)

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  18. Hi Sharon, I'm going to sew my 1st jersey dress and your post is helpful.. I'm quite scare and if you know best tips for sewinge jersey for the 1 time let me know... Your tops are great like always . Xx. Ps. Cakes look yummy.

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! What type of jersey are you using? Wool jersey is very easy to sew. Cotton jersey is pretty easy. Rayon jersey can be more challenging, if its very lightweight. A poly jersey can also be a bit challenging. My tips would apply. I would suggest you play with some samples. But it's not as hard as some people imply. :)

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  19. Where do I start? :) I absolutely love your tops! The black & white one particularly. You are so clever and creative!! Thanks for all the really helpful tips. I didn't buy this pattern when it first came out and now I regret it. I'm definitely buying it now. :)

    I am surprised you recommend the plastic molded zippers. I would have thought those hard plastic teeth would be irritating and that the nylon zipper teeth would be far better. Do you have a link to the exact zippers you bought from ZipperStop please? I'd like to clarify before placing my order. I was placing an order anyway so a few more zippers won't hurt but I want to make sure I get the right ones. New York is a long way from Australia. :)

    I love the graffiti too and your photos with your lovely new hair do.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sew-4-Fun! Wow, I had *assumed* that the teeth are plastic, but I bet they are nylon. I've amended the post and changed the zipperstop link to go to the page that has the type of zippers I am talking about.

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  20. I jumped in and ordered this pattern right away also. But you, you have made 2 already! And they are terrific. Thanks so much for such a comprehensive review. I am inspired. The info about the zippers is especially helpful. Your hair is fab!

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  21. I'm not a knit top type of girl, so I would not have looked at this pattern as a buy. But you did a really good job of making me notice it. I love the collar detail with the zipper! Your tops are beautiful.

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    1. You know, Karima, this neckline could be made with a woven, I think. Nothing too thick or stiff, of course. But if you used the neckline from the larger size, it should go on over the head pretty well. Cut the collars on the bias for more drape. It could be uber nice.

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  22. Thanks, everyone!! This was a fun project.

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  23. Nice job, Shams! Love both the tops -- I have that vogue one on my list to get also. And the graham crackers with frosting...well, our moms must have known each other!

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  24. These are such fabulous tops. And thanks for this very helpful post. First I must buy the pattern, then I must make a shirt from scraps. Yep, I'm going to copy you!

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  25. These are just scrumptious! Seriously, I love the fabric choices you made for these tops. And can I say that you make the kewlest tops EVAH! I only wish my lifestyle allowed me to copy you!

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  26. These two tops are both gorgeous! I just love that double layered zipped collar, and I wouldn't have noticed one was looser than the other if you hadn't pointed it out. A fantastic save! The different patterned and coloured fabrics are just beautiful! I didn't really look at this pattern properly before, but once again you have made me sit up and take proper notice; WOW!
    And your hair looks lovely!

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  27. Beautiful work, Shams!

    I also wouldn't have noticed the zipper treatment, and appreciate all the photos.

    It's been a cold, freezing-sleet day in Denver and I read this as night was falling. That's all that kept me from running to the store for some graham crackers to make buttercream cookies - a childhood favorite!

    Another Carol in Denver

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  28. Great looking tops! I would have never thought the collar had a zipper. Interesting twist. My fav is the black and cream. Thanks for showing the collar and neckline, helped me understand the zipper in the collar design.

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  29. This pattern did not even whisper to me when I looked at the new Vogues,but it started yelling very loudly as soon as I saw your tops. You are a a textile combining genius and look fabulous in both tops. The collars are extremely cool. It is possible that this level of amazingness would not be achievable with a smaller scrap bag, just saying.

    I now also know what to do with left over icing.

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  30. Shams, when I first saw this pattern I thought of you! Love your new tops. I am picturing equally fun & funky panties (oh wait, I mean good funky!!) made from fabric in your scrap bag.

    Chocolate buttercream frosting is the best, thanks for a *new way to eat it.... Great hair color, too.

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  31. Both tops look wonderful on you but I just love that black and white!
    I had eyed this pattern too when it was released and couldn't decide if the collar detail was worth getting another basic knit top type pattern for my stash. I have to say, it is! Come one Vogue, have another sale! In the meantime, oh graham crackers and chocolate frosting....makes the waiting much easier. ;)

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  32. Thanks for pointing out a pattern whose virtues are not immediately apparent from the dinky Vogue drawing.. I like your fabric mixes.

    A small word of advice: don't accumulate scraps with a view to a panties marathon. It's far less painful to just spend 15-20mn at the end of each t-shirt to whip a single pair out. And far more fun to wear your t-shirt the first time with the matching panties, feeling very Coco all the while :-). My current favorite is rayon/lycra, I think the lycra is very helpful and the rayon is very soft, but your mileage may vary. Just saying you may be able to throw out half your scraps are not really suitable, and be able to get the pile to a more manageable size, even if just psychologically.

    I also don't understand why you'd use a serger to finish knit edges, which don't need it, and not to sew seams, which are much more satisfactory that way. It's a lot faster than a sewing machine too. Seems a bit of a waste of technology :-).

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    1. Great advice, Marie Christine! But who says I use my serger on knits? :) I use it to finish edges on ravelly wovens. ;)

      And, actually, I have thrown out the icky scraps.

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  33. Shams, why is it that you have the knack of turning out things I think I would really like to wear, despite our figure types and our styles being so different? And so, I shall buy this pattern, you fiend!

    You are correct though, you are the world's worst giftwrapper. In fact, even worse than my Mom, who had a brain injury that rendered her unable to wrap (affected the spatial processing part of the brain). May I suggest, following Mom's lead, that you use gift bags? :-)

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    1. That's a high compliment, Elizabeth! thx!

      lol. I made gift bags one year, so I do have them, but they are never around when I need them. ;)

      You would rock this collar, by the way.

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  34. Love the necklines--so inspiring!

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  35. What a great blog post! Instructive, envy-producing, and filled with delicious carbohydrates! The graham crackers w/frosting treat was our absolute favorite! Opening up a dreary sack lunch at school was always improved 100% by graham crackers w/frosting!! My mom made the best buttercream frosting! She probably still does if she felt like it!

    The black and cream top is smashing! Brava to you!!!

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  36. Fabric combos are fantastic, love the results. Great pattern on you.

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  37. I love your new tops Shams (would piping the edges work or do you think it HAS to be zippers?)
    I think you have also just introduced me to another bad habit. Graham crackers and buttercream.... and they freeze! Got to make a batch of those!

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  38. And here I've been trying to avoid buying any new patterns, especially Vogue. However your tops look so much better than the originals it's hard to tell it's the same pattern! Love!

    And gift bags are definitely the way to go for presents. I buy lots of different sizes at the dollar store to have on hand because I'm nearly as bad at wrapping as you are. Assuming I even remember to give gifts...

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  39. Hi Shams!
    Thank you so much for the informative tutorial/post. I LOVE, LOVE your tops, especially the black and cream one. I actually was in the MIDST of making this. Your recommendation on how to position the collar and shirt body in the sewing machine was invaluable. It worked perfectly. You are so gracious and generous with your knowledge and time.
    I actually serged the edge of the collar instead of putting in a zipper. This provided enough stiffness to the edge. I guess it would be like finishing a napkin edge (except wider) - really small stitch length. I also serged the seams of the top on the outside to mimic the collar. Thank you, thank you!
    Kathryn O

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  40. These tops are just wonderful! You look great in them. i love how you make your 'oopsie's' into design opportunities. Working with those flimsy knits makes me crazy, but they do look so good on and very comfortable. Any opportunity to fondle our fabrics is fun, and I can see you really enjoyed your auditioning sessions. Love your hair! The color is great too. I'm making my husband peanut butter chocolate cupcakes for our Valiversary. I haven't prepared cupcakes in ages!

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  41. I really like this pattern, I think I would like to give it a shot! I also really like your fabric choices for this top, they turned out fabulous together!

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  42. You have a marvellous eye for matching your prints so well - your tops look great , so much pizzazz. I think there are going to be lots of this pattern sewn up now - I will definitely be looking for this pattern when on sale ( they cost up to $30.00 in AUstralia ) . I feel your pain about the scrap bag - a bane in sewists lives.

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  43. I just got my zippers yesterday from zipperstop, I took your suggestion/recommendation. I was very please with what arrived! I bought the rainbow packs of several different styles and colors. They should give you commission! Love these tops also like the idea of the zipper on the neck. I'm guilty of being a bad wrapper myself, I went to pick a hand a long time ago too, and have recently gone with, here's some money :-)

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  44. Those tops look pretty, especially the multicolored one. Is the zipper harsh on your neck? Would the collar work with piping? Just not sure about a zipper around the neckline, but I love the double collar and the pieced body.
    About the gifts--twist the end of the tube shaped gift and tie two ribbons on the ends like a giant candy!

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  45. I just found your blog and love love love it! When I need zippers for decorative stuff like this, I buy zippers by the roll. Sullivan International makes Make-A-Zipper. A 51/2 yd roll comes with 12 zipper pulls. love the stuff!

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  46. This is a terrific pattern for using up those pesty small left over pieces of knits. I have a boxful of them.

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  47. Nobody does funkarific like you, Shams! I love both of these tops, but particularly the green one. Your fabric choices work incredibly well, but these tops also fit you beautifully, and flatteringly.

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  48. Ok, it's all your fault, again - i saw this post and then went and ordered this darn pattern - it finally arrived yesterday and i'm starting it today - i love what you did with it and i'm going thru all my "scraps" too - maybe we can compare someday at Penwag. You're an inspiration!

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  49. I found it - I knew you'd done a review on this top. Thanks for that. I love the black and cream one best but they are both great. I was looking for tips on the zips - I'd love to do it with metal zips but I suppose this wouldn't work?

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    1. Hi MareeAlison! If you don't mind the metal teeth on your skin, it would be fine. (And, to be honest, I don't think it would even touch your skin much except when putting the top on or taking it off.)

      Thanks!

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