The Emma Top from StyleARC has been on my to do list for a while. I’m very partial to both a raglan sleeve and a cowl. Maybe they should have called this the Anna Top?
For this muslin I used a non-precious cotton voile from Darn Cheap Fabrics.
StyleARC’s instructions are brief and after a cursory glance I did my own thing. The pattern was well drafted and came together easily.
When choosing a pattern from StyleARC you need to select a single size (no multi-sized patterns available here!). This of course caused me GREAT stress as my measurements sit in three different sizes… Boobs with a thick waist and limited hips will do that for you! Anyway, I was brave and went with my RTW size and it’s a good fit (phew!).
Now let’s talk about gathering for a while, because let’s face it, there is lots in this top! Are you a one, two or three rows of basting kind of a sewist? I know Coletterie suggests three, but I must admit, I’ve only ever bothered with two. After this make I’m going to try and change my ways…
When preparing to gather a section of fabric, I change both the thread and bobbin on my machine to different colours (in this instance, maroon for the top stitch and lavendar for the bobbin). There are two reasons for this:
- I’m quite particular about neat finishes (read here, I’m an anal perfectionist) and I like to remove all of the rows of basting once the gathering has been secured. I find that the different colours make it easier to locate and remove the basting stitches.
- I am forever forgetting to change my stitch length from 4.5 to 2.5 after the basting stitches have been sewn. Changing the thread back to the colour I’m using for the project is supposed to be a memory jolt to adjust the stitch length. It’s not fool proof, but it has helped.
Now back to the top… To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this top. Maybe I love the thought of collar cowls (as described in the line drawing from StyleARC) more than the practice of wearing them. It’s a busy print, which I don’t think helps the overall look. I’m going to pop this in the wardrobe and see if it grows on me.
What do you think? Is this a winner, looser or a wait and see?
Winner!! Great fabric and gorgeous pattern. Do you think it would work with a knit fabric for a softer drape?
Thanks Adelle. The pattern suggests soft chiffons, georgettes, or cotton voile, but I see no reason why a drapey knit wouldn’t work. Let me know if you give it a go.
I really like this- I’ve never done a Stylearc- I think you have enabled me. I usually do my gathering in incriments, sometimes by hand. Its weird, but it works for me. I like to have some areas more gathered than others…
It’s a definite winner! I like your idea of different colour threads for gathering, I must try that as my technique really needs improving.
winner – it definitely should be worn! it looks so comfy and has some great details. it would be interesting to see it in a solid, too, and i like the idea of a drapey knit 🙂
[…] also traced Pattern B from Stylish Dress Book. All the gathering in my Emma Top, and my love of my vintage Simplicity 5547 top, reminded me of this pattern. I’m a hoarder […]
Lovely top! the fabric and the collar look fab!