Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Presto Top


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Presto Top

This pattern is brilliant!

When I saw another blogger (Art Attack) make up this top and post it to Pattern Review, I scurried over to Savage Coco to buy it. I am not a huge fan of PDF patterns—all that cutting and taping—but, in this case, it was totally worth it!

This pattern is reminiscent of my very favorite knit top pattern, The TeaGarden Tee (originally an Issey Miyake design), which I have made at least 13 times. (In fact, I'm wearing one as I write this post.) But the Presto top is more updated: it features set in sleeves with no gussets or bulk under the arm. It has a neckline very similar to the TeaGarden, which covers a bit of the neck, but also features a center front seam with a V as deep, or as shallow, as you want.

In addition, the Presto top uses two layers of fashion fabric in the front, so it's an excellent use for those thin knits that you don't know what to do with. (You can use two layers on the back if you'd like, but I did not.)

If you use a droopy knit, like my rayon lycra knit, it softly bunches at the neck. I find it pleasing. If you use a knit with a bit more body, such as some sweater knits, you can fold the neckline for a shawl collar effect.

Finally, once you understand how it goes together, it's wicked fast to sew.

Best of all, it flatters both the uber busty and the normal busted.

So I made two!

I have only two quibbles with the pattern:

  • It's only graded to an XL, which is designed for a 44" to 48" bust. The XL pattern measures 44" at the bust, so it's designed with zero-to-negative ease. (I like negative ease in my knit tops.) My bust is 48", so I made the XL with no adjustments and it fit my bust well with no FBA required. If you want more ease than 44" provides, you'll have to grade it up.
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  • The pattern instructions include no diagrams or pics. The construction is unusual (it reminds me a bit of Christine Jonson's V-Neck Tee), but I had to read the instructions several times before I figured out how to put it together. Once I understood it, it was quite simple.

I made the pattern exactly as designed, with a single modification—I removed 1" from the shoulders. This is typical for me in all patterns. Also, I typically remove excess fabric at the hipline (because I have small hips for my bust size), but I did not for either of these tops. I thought I might like it with a bit more fabric at the hips - maybe it would look "swingy" and balance the bust.

Nope. It just makes me look larger than I am. When I make this top again (and I WILL), I will remove the excess fabric from the hipline. But that is due to my shape, and not a problem with the pattern.

The pattern has three-quarter length sleeves. I quite like this length, but it would be easy to lengthen the sleeves or add bands for additional length.

I LOVE this pattern! (And, in case you wondered, I paid for it.)


Zirkel Pin Magnet

Have you seen the Zirkel pin magnet yet? My friend Susi brought it to my attention, so I ordered a red one. (I've seen it in red, white, and black.)

It's kinda fun, so I made a little video to show you how it works. Yeah, I know... I'm not that gifted at making videos. ;)

The best feature of this video is that it's about a minute long...

I've been using this magnetic pincushion for about a week and would only add: if you often pick up and move your pincushion, this one is a bit awkward with all of those pins sticking out over the edge. Other than that, I'm happy with it.

42 comments:

  1. Great top and I looove your fabric. I would not have given the patten a second look till I saw your version. Yours is great.

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    1. Thanks, Lyndle! I will love this more once I've nipped in the hips a bit.

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  2. Love the pin magnet video. Is there a noticeable difference in this pin magnet versus the traditional oval shape magnet? I use two pin magnets (for opposite sides of the sewing room) but maybe I need to acquire a third.

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    1. Thanks, 365 spies! No, the only real difference is that the pins are organized in a donut shape, where the regular round or oval magnets organize the pins in a straight row. Those clearly have a bar-shaped magnet inside, where this has a donut-shaped magnet. Other than that, they are pretty much the same. I wonder if we'll start seeing other novelty shaped magnets...

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  3. I really like your versions of the Presto top. They look very nice on you. Great job!
    See me @ www.sewplus.blogspot.com

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  4. Lovely top- I thought it looked very familiar though [not having heard of the Presto] and had a rummage. It's very similar to one of my T&T's, Kwiksew 3658. It makes up very nicely as a tunic or dress as well, I have about 5! https://static.minervacrafts.com/images/products/product-photo-large/kwiksew-3658.jpg

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    1. OMG, you are totally right, DementedFairy! How had I missed that pattern!?!

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  5. Since I, too, love the Teagarden T, looks like I must order this pattern! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Love this top and it looks fabulous on you. I, too, love the Teagarden T so I know I'll love this pattern. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. This is a great t-shirt and looks wonderful on you! Thank you so much for posting.

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  8. Well, you convinced me to get the pattern. Love the neckline, and the price is right!

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  9. Love this pattern and your sewn versions. I've been on vacation in Alaska where i unplug so it was great to see 4 posts from you which made my day! Karen

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  10. I love the top - I, too, had the Teegarden T - so of course, I'll have to order this! Maybe you should get a commission on the patterns that sell!
    Marcia

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  11. Shams, where does one buy on of the wondrous pin caddies? Oh and the top is beautiful too. :)

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    1. I just googled and found several sellers, but Londa had the red one. :)

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  12. Love the neckline on that top, and your video made me laugh--a fine little short, with great comic timing.

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  13. Great new pattern...it looks wonderful on you, and, I think surpasses the Teagarden Tee. And I love your video...dropping the pins looked like fun!

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    1. Thanks, Margy! Yeah, I spent some time collecting different pins in my sewing room to drop. ;)

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  14. haha, i wondered why you were calling the teagarden tee a presto top - i figured maybe you whipped it up super fast or something!

    What a nice surprise to find we have an update to a classic! The lack of set in sleeves has always held me up from making the teagarden, too much fabric under the arms - along with bust and shoulders its a bit overwhelming. This looks like a very nice modern take - lucky us!

    Both versions look just perfect on you. Wonderful fit and design to the top, and great fabric choices. Yay!

    "I removed 1" from the shoulders. This is typical for me in all patterns.... " I appreciate reviews who include this information, as you always do (not that i always do myself, bad blogger!) But i feel a bit odd about the need for you to clarify that this is a typical alteration for you.....of course it is best practice for clarity to include this information.

    But i also feel a bit - ? - at the number of people sewing who seem to think that anyone having to make any alterations to a pattern for fit necessarily means there is something amiss with the pattern design. Take a look around, people are very different shapes and sizes. In height along i interact with adults who vary by more than a foot every day. It is simply unrealistic to expect one design to fit a wide variety of people straight out of the envelope, especially in a complicated non-stretch garment with average to close fit.

    I suppose i feel there are some unrealistic expectations out there...however i think the way you discuss and address that issue here really helps to educate people about what a pattern can and cannot do and increases clarity around that issue. Thank you and enjoy those tops!

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    1. Stephanie, I agree that being required to make alterations is NOT an indication of the quality of a pattern draft! I include the fact that I narrowed the shoulder by 1" (or 1/4" or 5/8" or whatever) for ME. So that _I_ can remember this in future! I include the "this is typical" comment for others.

      Thanks for your feedback!

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  15. Shams, that printed top is so perfect on you .. that style and the print converge to be just a fabulous fit and excellent style on you. I'm sure it'll become a TNT, and well deserved. Not at all a negative, but it's really amazing what a difference the print makes in the resultant curb appeal over the solid color. Good lesson for me. Is the print an ITY knit? You've certainly whet my whistle for that pattern .. thanks for featuring it.

    ~Joy~

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    1. Thanks, Joy! I agree that the printed version is more attractive than the solid version! I'll wear them both, of course, but I do have a preference for the printed version. :) I should have mentioned this. Both fabrics are rayon lycra jersey from my stash. I *think* that the red jersey contains a bit of wool, based on how it behaved when I washed it, but it is definitely not 100% wool jersey.

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  16. Your top looks great. I have a Kwik Sew pattern that is very much like this one - the front is double fabric. I think it actually has a dress as well as the top. I'll have to take a look at this pattern as well although I'm not a big fan of PDF's either. You made me laugh out loud in the video when I saw Clover Wonder Clips come up - I said to myself - "that's not going to work"...I was right - loved your "not so much" !

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    1. Yes, Carol, another commenter made mention of the Kwik Sew pattern and I have looked it up. They look pretty identical! I have ordered a copy of the KS off eBay and will do a comparison to make sure.

      Thanks for your kind words on the video. It was fun to play with the different pins and clips. The only reason I thought the clips *might* work is that I thought I saw a pic online of the clips being used with that particular magnetic pin holder.

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    2. Hello again! I was wearing one of my KS tops yesterday, and found I still love it. The entire front isn't double on it, just over the boobs and then phases out just below. I like the finish very much, although it baffled me when i made the first one...when to switch to overlocker/sewing machine and so forth. Now, I wouldn't worry!

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  17. The tee is great especially in the fabric you chose and your video made me laugh! Short, sweet and to the point!

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  18. Very nice tops. The print looks great on you. The video was fun! Maybe you are moving into film making.

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  19. Love your 'presto' top! It's always great to have a TNT pattern in your stash that allows you to whip up something great in just a little bit of time.

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  20. Perfect fit and looks great, no better combination :)

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  21. Hahaha! That video cracked me up!

    I love these tops and have just the pile of knits to use on it. Thanks for the review!

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  22. I loved that top so much, I ordered it. I also loved the turquoise jacket on you.

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  23. That is such a flattering neckline! What a gem of a pattern.

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  24. I finally downloaded the pattern and made two of these today! One in a thin jersey knit and one in a lightweight sweater knit for fall.
    I love it and will definitely make more. The neckline is just the best!

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