Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Sewing Workshop - Olive Top

The Sewing Workshop Alex & Olive top pattern isn't a cheap pattern to buy but when you consider it has two really good but quite different tops in it, the value goes up.  Last post I showed you the Alex top I made, this time the Olive top.

I made this top in some fabric purchased from the Fabric Store in Brisbane.  The stripes are woven in but were skewed so did not run at right angle to the selvedge.  So cutting was a bit of a PITA.  I basically cut the top so the grain line markers ran at right angles to the stripes so that the stripes would sit straight in the top.  Luckily the pattern allows you to cut each piece whole (not on the fold) so it helped in keeping the stripes straight.  I did not concern myself too much with stripe matching as I felt you really want to see the seam detail in this top and matching the stripes would hide them.  Other than that the cutting was straight forward and the top hangs fine (phew!)  The only alteration I made was to shorten the sleeves.

The top has plenty of great details and the description is: Scoop-neck knit pullover with diagonal side seams and exposed decorative back zipper on the diagonal. Curved left back hem detail and open vents in long sleeves. Zipper is a 22" separating zipper.

I like the detail - all the seaming and the vents in the sleeves, but was concerned the zipper would be too heavy for this fabric and would result in it not sitting well and buckling into waves.  I spoke to my sewing buddies and got a great solution.  I used a different seam finish for the back seam (where the zipper was supposed to be).  

I sewed the seam as per normal but used a long basting stitch on the machine.  I neatened the edges and pressed it open.  Then I applied ribbon to the seam on the inside - first by pin.

and then basted by hand on each side of the ribbon

I then sewed the ribbon on each side by machine and removed all the basting including the basting that I initially did to sew the seam together.

The end result...

I thought this was quite perfect for this seam.

The only issue I had with the pattern was the application of the neck binding.  It was not stretched on, so ended up wavy and would not sit flat no matter how much I steamed it.  I did cut the band on the bias as I wanted the stripes to look interesting but I don't believe that affected this piece.  

I did not want to unpick what I had done as the fabric is quite thin and I did not want to risk harming the fabric.  So after some thought I simply turned the binding another time to the inside and stitched from the front in the ditch to hold it.  I was much happier and this sits much better now.

I am sorry I forgot to get a photo of the sleeve vents.

I love this top and I don't think these photos do it justice.  It really is nice to wear and falls beautifully.  I had knit (DK) pants on so don't know if that is why it is not falling so nicely in the photos.  You will have to take my word for it.  I love this top and would make this another time.  I prefer this slightly slimmer fit to the loose fit of the Alex top.

So next time some crafting and knitting... Ciao! 


  1. I really like the surprise back hemline--it adds a lot of pizzazz!

  2. Fantastic top, Sue, and I love how you used the ribbon to make that unusual seam finish. Great idea!

  3. Great way to finish the back seam, very interesting. You now have a lovely top, that looks great on you.

  4. Fabulous Sue! Love the back hem and seam details, a really top top :)

  5. What a great technique for replacing that annoying zipper. I love yours and wish I had read this prior to just completing my Olive. Well done.


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