Sunday, November 27, 2011

Au Bonheurs Asymmetric Tee and Thanksgiving Weekend Wrapup

Wow, I have been having way too much fun the last few days. Thanksgiving was lovely at a friend's house. I made the bread rolls and they also asked for an extra recipe of the bread dough so they could make cinnamon rolls over the weekend for their house guests. I was happy to comply and will, eventually, post the recipe over on my recipe blog (which is not very active in general).

Then, DD2 came to visit and we had fun cooking (made my first fudge of the season, also to be posted later), watching movies, walking, and driving. (She is about to get her driver's license and loves to just drive.) Then she went off Swing dancing so I even had some time to sew!! (Seriously, how many 16-year-olds love to Swing dance and play boogie woogie music?)

Since time was limited, I wanted to pick an easy pattern. I decided it was time to make the Au Bonheur asymmetric tee that The Amazing Dorothy made recently.


It's sad that this company is now out of business, but I know some folks do have their patterns. This one goes up to a size 46, though the finished bust measurement is 41". This is not nearly enough for my 48" bust. However, I have recently worked out that in stretchy tees, I like a finished bust of 44", or about 4" of negative ease.

I needed an FBA, as usual, and decided to try a new-to-me technique, the pivot-and-slide FBA. You can see it explained on the Sharon Sews blog. I pivoted the top 1.5". This worked well at the side seam, but had an undesired effect in the armsyce by making it too wide. I will explain how I fixed that in a bit.

As I traced off the size 46, I straightened out the extreme waist shaping, as I do not have a tiny waist, and I removed the extra hip width, as I have narrow hips.

The top features asymmetric cap sleeves, which are very cute, especially on Dorothy, but I do not wear cap sleeves. I decided to take the sleeves from the Style Arc Adele top that I recently made. This meant that I had to transfer the armscye from the Adele top to the Au Bonheur top. This took care of the unwanted width added from the pivot-and-slide FBA and also narrowed the shoulder by about 3/4". Another good alteration for me as I narrow the shoulders of most patterns.

The pivot-sand-slide FBA also did not add length to the front. I need additional length to get up and over the boobs (cause it's a mountain, not a rainbow!), so I used the same alteration that I used for the Adele top, where I sliced the top horizontally at the bust point and added 1" across the front. This extra length is eased back in at the side seam.

Finally, I shortened the sleeves by 2".

I will not kid you, it felt like the alterations went on and on and took several days to accomplish in time snippets. I think that the alterations took longer than it too to cut and sew the top. But it was totally worth it!

I raided my stash to make this top. The stripe is a fabric from Marcy Tilton, purchased long ago. The polka dot fabric is left over from this Sandra Betzina dress. The solid black is left over from the Debra Zebra top.

I have a slight aversion to raw edges, so I serged all of the exposed raw edges. The top was very fast to sew together and I was happy with the fit. I left off the overlay on the right front, for two reasons. First, I was not sure if it would lay nicely over my bust. But, I mostly left it off because there was so much going on that the top didn't need any additional visual noise.

One thing I want to point out. If you look at the pattern, it appears that the center front seam is on the diagonal. This is not the way the pattern is drafted. It is drafted with the seam straight up and down along center front.

I will definitely be making this again! Now that it's altered to fit me, I can use it over and over and may even cut it more conventionally for a regular tee.

Tomorrow I am taking my last vacation day of the year to hang with an internet friend whom I have never met in person. More on that later. :)

More Pictures

ETA. This is too funny! I just realized that the back was supposed to echo the front, with two pieces, seamed at the CB, with asymmetric hems and necklines. I somehow missed this and traced only the back with the deeper neckline and cut it on the fold. I will trace it off for next time.


Walking up the Mosaic Steps


The top of the hill.


  1. Fabulous top! It's so flattering. I'm disappointed this company no longer exists as I had my eye on this pattern for ages but I never did buy it. :( I bought others but not this one.

  2. Yum! Love! I may need to pick your brains on the long sleeve alteration, because I don't do cap sleeves either. EVERYTHING about your top is fabulous - especially love the fabric selections.

    Great pics too - I've never seen the mosaic steps; where are they?

  3. What a great top. I must draft up something like this to use up those pesky small tshirt scraps. Too big to throw out, too small to be of much use.

  4. Wow...great top! and I, too, don't "do" cap sleeves. I love your choice of fabrics, too. Sounds like you and DD had a great time together...and you got to sew, too! Have fun with ReAnn tomorrow...I'll be thinking of you.

  5. Great t-shirt! And a wonderful way to use up all those bits of knit fabric.

  6. Fun top, love the fabric combo. Never knew you had a recipe blog...

  7. Great top - fun and funky! Love those steps - how wonderful!

  8. Very cool! I love the fabrics you selected for this top. Of course, it fits beautifully!

  9. Terrific top. Very handy for using up bits and pieces, too. Or colour blocking.

  10. Fun and stylish top! Very nice work as always.

  11. Paula- Love this top! I am featuring it tomorrow for a post on T-Shirt Tuesday on my blog
    Michele P

  12. That is one super top! Color blocking, using print is so big right now. Not easy to accomplish, but you did a great job of it!

  13. Echoing what everyone else the pattern and especially the mix of fun! My question is why would you want to change your 'technique' to the pivot and slide method when however you do it now..everything you make fits you perfectly? I wish I could sew half as good as you do!

  14. Your efforts to make the pattern changes paid off! What a beautiful top and mixture of fabrics. Suits you very, very well.

  15. Oh my gosh, that top is cuter than anything I've seen in days and days! I love the dots + stripes! Also, I must say, those shoes you were wearing in your Thanksgiving outfit photos look fabulous!!

  16. A cool top for a cool gal! Love the fabric combination. Interesting that the pattern photo is different from the schematic. On the model garment, the front seam is on quite a diagonal. I might have to copy this style. It's a winner!

  17. This is so much fun and your colour combination is great. Fantastic workm

  18. Love your top. And great fabric choices--I mean color and texture. I prefer sleeves most of the time; it's too cold here to go without.

  19. I just LOVE that top! Adorable and fun!

  20. This is such a great shirt. You look wonderful in it! I love the black/white. You are so creative.