Saturday, July 4, 2009

The ultimate gym shirt ... part 1

OK I know, I have not posted a photo of the skirt yet, and I have not finished my HP shirt but I have been lead astray...

I had thought I might make a nice dress I have had planned for a dinner on Thursday night, but it is so cold I know I will not be wearing a dress, so as my fabric purchase from Wazoodle arrived last week, my attention turned to gym tops.
These are the yummy fruit box of fabrics - lime, tangerine & maize. I also got heaps of black.
Even with postage to Australia, this fabric cost me $7.30 per yard - I cannot even find this fabric here, so this is a bargain as I will get heaps of tops as the fabric is so wide (around 165cm).
I love racer back styles as they allow you to move freely, plus most of my sports bras are racer backs I have worked hard for this back & shoulders so I take every opportunity to shown 'em!
I looked around for a pattern, but the best racer back style I could find was from Jalie and I know I won't make the other option in the pattern, so for the price of the pattern (in Australia, on special $18 plus postage), I figure I must be able to do something myself.
I went through my pattern stash and found Hot Patterns Deco Vibe Delano twin-set which had a tank top with a 'racer back'. Even though I could see by the picture the racer back wasn't as deep as I like, I thought I would start with it as is, and then finesse it.

I cut the pattern to a size 10 and went to it - cutting the body of the top from the black and the ribbing from the orange. Well, problem 1 - after applying the ribbing to the neckline it was clear that it wasn't working to the pattern measurements for the neck rib trim. It has so much recovery that it gathered the top into the band!

Not the look I was after. I tried a longer piece (a few inches shorter than the neck edge) but it sat weirdly so tried a piece half-way between - it still gathered but no so badly as the first try.

I then sewed the side seams & tried it on - obviously you need matchsticks for arms for this pattern as the arm hole was throttling my arm! I don't have big arms or small arms but I think fairly average arms, so I think there is a problem in the drafting of this pattern.

I took the bottom of the arm hole down by about an inch & a half and decided not to add a band, but just double turned and stitched. I then sewed on the bottom band as per the pattern.

I still am not sure if it was me or the pattern, but the drafting seems off to me. From my experience with other HP patterns, the instructions are ordinary, but the drafting is usually good, so I don't know what happened here. I even double checked my tracing of the pattern.

This is the front (in the good old ... in the mirror shot).

And the back...
Well the bands don't work (I would not use the bottom band in a gym top normally but did it this time to try & be true to the pattern) and it is not racer back (in my opinion). So I have gone back to modify the pattern.

This is the front - I have taken down the arm hole (as it was so choky) and raised the neck edge (to make up for no band next time).

And the back - again I have increased the depth of the armhole, added to the neck edge (to make up for the band) and attempted a racer back (copying from a gym tee I use a lot now).

So shall see tomorrow how this one comes out... what colour...hmmm?

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