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Monday, 18 January 2016

The 'Orla' top - Tilly and the Buttons

My first project of 2016 was determined by the need to find something to wear to a work event at the end of January and by the fact that my Mum had ordered this pattern before Christmas and I had been dying to give it a go.  As she is on holiday for the whole of January, I convinced her to lend it to me before she had even made it herself.  I will start by declaring my love for Tilly's patterns.  I have made three Mathilde blouses, a Bettine dress, an Agnes top and most of the patterns from Love at First Stitch.  I'm such a geeky fan, I even had my photo taken with her at The Handmade Fair back in September:

I had originally wanted to make the Orla top in a green crepe which my Mum bought me as a remnant from Sew Over It, but alas, there was only enough for the bodice.  I had some dark grey cotton lawn with tiny bow-tie design from Maud's Fabric Finds which I had earmarked for another Bettine.  Keen to get sewing, I decided to use it for this instead.  I was unsure whether to include the snowdrop collar - I wasn't sure if it would look right, or if I had the skills to sew it well (and sewn badly, it would make the whole thing look truly awful).  I cut the pattern pieces for it anyway, thinking that I didn't need to make an immediate decision.  I did debate making the collar in plain black cotton lawn to make it really stand out, but I thought this might look too much, and would be even harder to get right.

The Orla top was definitely a step-up for me skill-wise, and I enjoyed the challenge.  The instructions weren't as detailed as for other Tilly patterns, but I guess that this is aimed at a more experienced sewer (I'm always nervous of putting myself in this category when I see how good others are!).  Apart from one session when I was suffering from sleep deprivation (teething baby) and I sewed everything together wrong and had to unpick it, I managed to sew even the tricky bits well first time.  The collar was difficult, but I purposely took my time and decided to include it in the end.  I did find that I had to take it in on the upper body and the sleeves.  I've never used a facing on a hemline before, and I really like the effect.  I decided to apply fusible webbing to the hemline facing to keen the clean lines without any visible stitching.  

The finished result:

On reflection, I wish I had gone for the contrast collar as I feel like you can hardly see it here.  I would also make it with short sleeves next time.  Overall, I am pleased with the final result and I will be wearing it to my work event, but I don't think it will become a wardrobe staple in the same way my trusted Mathildes are.

Before I sign off, I would like to share a very proud moment from last week.  Thomas asked me if I could teach him to make his own clothes when he gets bigger.  Of course I can lovely boy xx

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