Copy Cat

I have a confession to make:  I’m a total copy cat.  I see lovely handmade clothes on your blogs and I want to make them as well.  My latest make is no exception – when I spotted the awesome Dolman-Sleeves tops that Gail made I knew I wanted to make one for myself. 

Bad light = bad photos!

Mine did not turn out as cute as Gail’s but I love it all the same.  The fabric is a bit boring, but in the spirit of stash busting I used what I had on hand.  This is some sort of inexpensive poly cotton blend and when I say “inexpensive” you should read “poor quality”.  I have washed this baby twice (goes to show how much I’ve worn it) and it’s already showing evidence of major pilling.  On the other hand, it’s super soft and the colour is a good wardrobe staple, right? Besides once the pilling gets to be too much it will be soft enough to be demoted to pyjama status.

Silly pose for your benefit: check out those sleeves!

This is a free pattern made generously available by Cindy of Cation Designs.  The instructions are clear and easy to follow and the fit is just great – I love the flattering lines and the super cool dolman sleeves, which I lengthen a bit for a more season appropriate top.  If you use a serger to construct the top you could produce one in as little as one hour and it would not be much longer than that if you use a sewing machine instead.  Thank you, Cindy, for making this pattern available to us all. I want to make one in every colour of the rainbow!

More sleeve action

There is one major issue I encountered in making this top, and it has nothing to do with the pattern or instructions but rather with my poor sewing skills.  See the wavy lines on the picture below?

Unwanted seamline wavy effect

The above photo of the waist band was taken from above while I was wearing the top: the seam line is crazy curly.  I tried fixing this with some heavy-duty ironing but there’s no flattening those wild waves. Gail suggested this could be because I used a walking foot to topstitch the seamline, but the seamline was already curly when it came out of the serger and pre topstitching. Maybe I’m pulling on the band a little too much or maybe I cut the band longer than it needed to be? Here are some more views of the curly waves problem for your ease of perusal:

Regardless of the waves, I’ve worn this top quite a few times already. In connection with the launch of her Tiramisu dress pattern, Stephanie of Three Hour Past the Edge of the World recently wrote a series of posts with excellent information about sewing with knits. I’ll be reading through her posts before I venture into knits again.  In the meantime, if any of you have any suggestions as to why the crazy wavy fabric please let me know. And if you haven’t already made this pattern, go ahead and jump on the copy cat bandwagon – this top is awesome!

20 thoughts on “Copy Cat

  1. I love this! And I disagree – it’s not boring at all! This is a fantastic color on you! I wish I could be more help with the waviness. I’m not having a whole lot of luck with sewing these days myself!

    • What do you mean you’re not having luck with your sewing? The quilt is looking great… is it a new project you’re having issues with? I seriously love this shirt. I’m eyeing a fuchsia knit in the stash for my next version.

  2. Not boring…a classic wardrobe staple. I love it and it looks great on you. Not sure but could the waviness be something to do with tension? I only suggest this because I’ve been ready Steph’s posts and they are amazing!

    • It definitely could be a tension issue – I totally have to get my act together and go through Stephanie’s posts. I’m itching to make a second version of this top but want to figure out the wave thing first.

  3. How cute! I LOVE this! It’s a beautiful shade of blue, and it looks so comfy! I need one!

    I don’t actually know what causes that waviness, but I’ve had that before…

  4. It’s really cute, and plays up your great coloring. You look fab in it. The waviness: I sew knits with my sewing machine (no serger) and I avoid cotton/poly knits. They are difficult to manipulate without getting stretched out. I use a slight zig zag, with a longer stitch length and do a sample before going onto the real deal. I usually use my reg foot, not a walking foot. I do not pull the fabric but hold it flat both front and back. Sometimes on hems, I’ll get a wave and will topstitch to remove the wave as a last resort. You can also use Steam a seam before hemming-that helps a lot.

    Cotton poly knits=frustration for me.

    • Mary, thanks for all the tips. Next time I may try doing the whole think on the sewing machine with a zig-zag setting. To be honest, here is so much in sewing knits I need to learn that I’ll probably have to try a bunch of things before I can figure out what will work for me. Also, I’ve heard of steam a seam but have never seen it. Maybe I need to take a little trip to Vancouver to look for it :)

  5. It looks great on you! :) Good job. :)

    Wavy seams are caused by stretching the fabric as you sew- either you or the machine… You’ll find solutions to that in the Tiramisu Circus posts.. :) Thanks for the link love!

    • Thanks Steph, and thanks for visiting! I’ve got my morning coffee on hand and am off to read the entire Tiramisu Circus… I’m itching to make my next version of this top.

  6. The top looks great. The drape and color are fabulous on you. I wish I had advice on the waving but the only thing I would suspect is that the band got outstretched a wee bit. I bet the next one will come out perfect.

    • Thanks Mela. Yes, I think your 100% right – after reading Steph’s posts I’m pretty sure I pulled on the band a bit too much. I’ll be practicing a bit before I make my next one :)

  7. A problem I’ve had many times! Since you attached it with your serger, it has to do with the differential feed setting. Make sure it’s on the highest setting, or else the fabric stretches along the crossgrain as you serge. A walking foot on your sewing machine is actually a great thing for knits! I’ve also starched my knits before, and used Steam a Seam, so they’re stabilized and less likely to wave. Good luck on your next one :)

    • Andrea, thanks for the tips and thanks for visiting! I must confess I’m not even sure what the differential feed setting is. I best go read my serger’s manual before I make this top again 😉

  8. This looks awesome! The color is beautiful on you, not boring at all. I’m glad someone else finds this top super comfy and pajama worthy.

    I don’t know anything about sergers, but mine got a little stretched out when I stretched it while sewing, too. On the fabrics I had that have good recovery, it becomes a non-issue after some steaming, but my first version was with a not-so-good-quality fabric that stretched out but didn’t recover. Still, when the band is stretched out around my hips, it’s not really obvious anymore.

    • Thanks for a great pattern, Cindy. My next version (in magenta!) will be made out of a fabric with better recovery so hopefully between that and the great tips I got from other readers the band issue will become a non-issue!

    • I have so much to learn about sewing with knits but I’m starting to get the hang of it, I think. Nothing beats the instant gratification of a one-hour knit project :)

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