Alice Top + Give-away – Closed

ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing|DIY Embellished Summer TopI know, I know! A second posted project in as many weeks. Cannot quite believe it myself but there you have it. Momentum is a beautiful thing. For you today, I’m so excited to share my version of the Alice Top (and dress), a recent pattern release from Tessuti, which you may have already seen gracing your Instagram feed recently, maybe yes? Firstly, I love love LOVE it. Second, it wasn’t part of any official sewing queue. It was a pure impulse saw-pattern-had-glorious-vision type project, which are the most fun and often turn out the best, don’t they? Something about freeing yourself from your own sewing shackles. Fly my pretty, fly! alice top favs re-edited-26I’ve been trying to remember what came first: the pattern or the inspiration. And I think it was one of those situations where you keep seeing a particular style around and then suddenly there’s a pattern released for it. In this case, a whole influx of tops with beautiful woven embellishments like this one and this one. To be honest, it’s not a style that I normally go for and I don’t want to put little Alice in a box but she definitely has the potential for some folksy, peasant-y, free-lovey vibes. Which, I am not opposed to, no no…just haven’t dipped my toe in the boho-pool yet.ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing|DIY Embellished Summer TopIt all comes down to fabric selection anyway. And playing with fabrics is SO much fun here! The Alice top is divided into yoke, sleeve and bodice sections and could not be more perfect for using up small remnants of extra special fabrics. You know, the ones you only purchased a little of (because they wouldn’t take a trade for your first born) or you loved so much that there’s hardly any left but you’ve kept every last scrap anyway. Those fabrics that are crazy-embellished or heavily woven or embroidered and would make more of a statement in small doses. Hey, even those two cushions that you only recently purchased for your lounge…those would make a killer Alice top! ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing|DIY Embellished Summer TopYes, it’s true, I’m wearing cushion covers. Give it time, it’s going to be big. The rest of the top came from elsewhere too; I literally cut the gathered skirt straight off a silk/ cotton RTW dress. Which makes the whole thing re-fashioned, which makes me very happy. And not just because it appeals deeply to my smug environmentalist within. But also you would never guess to look at it! This is probably a good point to talk about fabric selection for the gathered part of your Alice top. I had originally bought some lightweight linen for the gathered bodice and washed it several times to try and soften it, but even so, the gathers would have been quite stiff. Because of the style of the top, you have the gathers sitting right on the fullest point of your bust. I’m open to extra bust volume, really, I am. But here, you’ve already got a loose boxy shape so you may want to consider a fabric that will gather softly and ‘flow’ ‘cascade’ and ‘shimmy’ down your front, instead of puff out. Silk / cotton voile good. Stiff starchy linen bad.ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing|DIY Embellished Summer TopA word on sizing. After a bit of pre-sewing investigation, it seemed the general feeling was you could size down and still end up with a good fit. So, I measured the small, but made the extra small and the fit is perfect, still plenty of room under the arms, across the back etc. As per usual, with my previous makes from Tessuti patterns here and here, the instructions were great to follow and it sewed up beautifully. Actually, I was surprised by how quick it was overall. Okay, so maybe the lower half that I borrowed was already gathered and side-seamed and had this nice scooped high-low hem sewn for me. But still! The yoke and sleeve area are both lined and under-stitched and they seemed to sew up quickly too. EEEOh my! I almost forgot to touch on the Green-Sleeve vs White Sleeve debate. Not quite on par with the Gold & White or Blue & Black debate, but still. During the making I got stuck not knowing whether to continue the green fabric across onto the sleeves or sub in some white sleeves for contrast. I posted a picture on Instagram with one of each and asked my most trusted advisers, you lot, for advice. Your responses kept me entertained for hours. Some solid points were made too. Team white said it was more ‘classic’ and ‘balanced’. Team green said it was more ‘fashion’ and less ‘folksy’ and that white was more ‘little girly’. Team green was infinitely meaner. In the end, I went with green and love the contrast between this structured shoulder section and soft and flowy down below. So, thanks, you’re the best.ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing|DIY Embellished Summer TopThe lovely ladies at Tessuti have offered up a hard-copy of the Alice pattern to give-away to one of you! Maybe you have some home furnishings that you’d like to hack up too? To enter, leave a comment and I’ll draw a winner by random number on Friday. Open world-wide.

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