Friday, September 7, 2012

R&RtRTW: Channeling My Inner Greek Princess

Yes, that's a very attractive compost bin in the background.
I think those flutter sleeves are just perfect. Love them!
Why a Greek princess, you ask? Well, it's because this is the Ariadne tunic, a free pattern from the one and only Tanit-Isis! She graciously provided this pattern for her second blogiversary earlier this year, and I've had it bookmarked ever since. After my post-vacation reentry into sewing resulted in a drastic capri pants fail (I have yet to bring myself to take any pictures), I needed something quick(ish) that would most likely turn out well, to help me recover my sewing mojo. I think this did the trick!

This is also part of my Remaking and Replacing the RTW project list. I had a favorite dark gray tee from Ross that looked pretty similar to this -- gathered at the front, cut-out back, slightly fluttery sleeves, and gathered to a band at the bottom -- that I unfortunately ruined with a large oil stain. It was right over my belly button, too; that's not a location that could really benefit from a camouflaging lace doily applique. I held onto that tee through two moves, hoping that one day I could replicate it. Although this top is black, it's got essentially the same function in my wardrobe: it's a top in a basic color that's slightly dressier/more put together than my screenprinted science tees, but still casual enough to go with jeans, but wouldn't be entirely out of place with work trousers, and the flutter sleeves and back cutout keeps it from being too boring. In other words, pretty much perfect.

Yergs...look at the horrid binding job, all ripply and weird.
Good thing my hair or a cardigan will hide it most of the time!
And you can tell that it's both very windy in SF and that my
fabric is indeed tissue thin.
I cut out the size small, and after some headaches with trying to figure out the right side of a black jersey knit fabric in dim lighting, managed to put it together without too much trouble. The only part I had issues with is the binding of the back cutout, but that's really my own fault because I didn't cut my binding strip on the cross-grain, as the instructions advised. It's ripply and weird, but I don't have to look at it, so I think I'll survive. In the future (because there will definitely be a future), I'll be careful to follow Tanit-Isis' cutting instructions! I would also probably shorten it by about an inch (I have a long torso, but even so this top feels really long to me -- probably because I was looking more for a tee, not a tunic) and grade down to an XS in the hips, since I don't like having quite so much fabric gathered into the band. But those are really minor changes (and not the pattern's fault, just my own preference), and in fact I'll probably do just that when I get back home. Because yes, I am finally going back to real summer after a whole "summer" of fog! The Cation family will be making the drive back down to TCOCC -- spare a friendly thought for Walnut if you think of us tomorrow!

Walnut is depressed, just thinking about the long car ride. Kinda like Henri.

My husband decided to get artsy and try to do the sun flare thing.
Okay, okay, I made him do it. Not bad, though, right?
Summary: 
Fabric: 1 yard of very drapey, tissue-thin, 4-way stretch jersey knit with a healthy lycra content
Notions: None. I didn't bother with the button at the top of the keyhole, nor did I stabilize my shoulder seams as the instructions recommended (oops).
Techniques: This knit binding method is brilliant. I will never go back.
Hours: A few? It would've been faster, except that my machine really wanted a walking foot for this project. I had to go really slowly to get the binding to not look wonkier than it already does.
Will you make this again? Yes, definitely, for all the reasons cited above about its versatility. I also want to try it with a slightly stabler knit, but with less gathers at the front, and extend it into a dress (without the band at the bottom, obviously).
Total cost: $2.50 for the fabric, from the time I met Aleah
Final thoughts: With a few minor tweaks, I can see this becoming my go-to top pattern. I'm a sucker for flutter sleeves! Thanks for putting out this pattern, Tanit-Isis!

That's two tops done for R&RtRTW; I've still got a cardigan and several pairs of pants I want to tackle. Since my last pants fail, though, I think I'll go for the cardigan first. Time to start looking out for sweater knits! Oh wait, it's supposed to be ridiculously hot down in SoCal now. Hmmm, I might be able to talk myself into a sundress or two...

31 comments:

  1. That looks fantastic! I think I really need one—or several—of these.

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  2. YAY! Someone made one! ;) And on my birthday, too. :D I will go to sleep happy. It looks great. Out of curiosity, how did you cut the binding? I wouldn''t've thought it would make too much difference on a four-way stretch.

    Hmm, maybe I need another one, too. When I have a sewing room again...

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    1. I wouldn't have thought it would make a difference either, except that it did! And thanks again for the pattern!

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  3. Also, yeah, the fabrics that work best for this have to be some of the most annoying in the sewniverse...

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    1. Seriously. Although I was surprised the machine did as well as it did...

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  4. This looks fantastic on you! But then, I'm beginning to realize that a pretty much anything made out of fabric with a random seam somewhere would probably look fantastic on you....

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    1. That sounds like a challenge to me...take a random piece of fabric, add some random seams...But really, thanks!

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  5. Have a safe trip back! And this top looks great on you.

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  6. Very cute top! Good luck on the trip back, I'm sure Walnut will do ok.

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    1. He whined a bit at first, but then he settled down after an hour. Thanks!

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  7. Oh, that is a lovely lovely top. You made it up marvelously! If you are coming near San Diego, please let me know!!! I would love to meet up with you. Safe travels.

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    1. Thank you! I'll be sure to let you know. Whereabouts in San Diego are you?

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  8. This is beautiful. Really, you look gorgeous. Good work! :)

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  9. really love this thanks for sharing

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    1. :) People need to know there are excellent free patterns out there!

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  10. Such a cute top! Looks so sweet on you :)

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  11. I love this top - it really looks cute - I haven't worked up the nerve to try knits (i am really rather a novice), but I am saving this pattern for a future attempt!

    As an aside, that original shirt you loved (with the oil stain), if you have it still, you may want to try the approach my dad uses (if the HOT water & detergent soak failed). His approach is: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. He will submerge a garment in oil if he doesn't want to say goodbye (and cares enough that the stain exists). Then you can't find the stain because it's as big as the whole thing :)

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    1. Knits aren't actually too difficult, as long as you follow some basic guidelines like using a ballpoint needle and being willing to play around with stitch length and tension. If you're feeling courageous, try it!

      I actually did consider that, but considering it was just a cheap, pilly knit from Ross, I don't think I'll bother, especially now that I've made this top! Thanks for the tip, though -- I'll definitely keep it in mind for if I ever have a dearer garment that needs it!

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  12. I love this- it looks super comfy on! I do believe I shall check out this pattern...

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  13. I love this! Also all the little details like the fluttery arms and then the keyhole at the back! so nice and the hem band (or what it is called) at the bottom! I see why you would make this your go to pattern!

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  14. I adore your version! I also really love the sun flare picture of you - very pretty ;) The top fits your very well, and I think I might add one or two in a solid color to my closet after seeing your fluttery fabulous version.

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  15. This looks amazing on you - nice job!! Also... yay for gratuitous Walnut pic... he looks very beautiful, even if he is sad :)

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  16. Your top is gorgeous on you, and I love the shape of the sleeves. Thanks for your lovely comment on my daughter's uniform! and I see now why you were taken with the cat ribbon. I have about 3/4 of a yard left if you would like it?
    Enjoy your 'real' summer!

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  17. Love the top, it looks super comfy! Hope you made it to TCOCC ok! I actually start a job in TCOCC in a month or so!

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  18. It's cool to see this pattern done up in such a drapey fabric. I really like it. Hope you're enjoying SoCal. Come back soon!

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