This is the Nittany Top by Itch to Stitch. It is exactly what I had in mind for a pull on pleated neck work top but I must admit, it took some getting there.
I love Itch to Stitch patterns. I feel they fall on the demure side of saucy but they fit beautifully, with the shoulder seams falling exactly where they should, when I would normally tsk at them falling slightly to the back.
I also find my body measurements fall roughly into one single size, a good place to start from.
Coupled with this is the 5 bust cups. Everything a winner.
Until…… you throw in an optional tricky keyhole detail with a very tricky fabric.
This is one of 3 colours of Crepe de Chine ( see here but different colour) I bought from Fabworks last year. I bought just a metre of each (£6/m!!!), with work tops in mind.
I’ve already made this Melilot in the green.
I chose the size 6 in accordance with my measurements; chosing an A cup as my high bust measurement is within 1 inch of my bust even though I take a cup size D/DD in bras.
I was very careful to handle this fabric as little as possible to prevent the bias cutting around the neckline and arm holes from stretching out. Even cutting out and hoping everything was symmetrical was challenging. Pins and removed stitches also left their mark which steaming does not remove, but washing does. So, this has been through the wash before final pressing and photographing.
The instructions are great. The front piece incorporates a half lining, enabling you to sew the keyhole right sides together through both lining and front piece before cutting away and turning through – easy enough.
The trouble comes when pleating and sewing the lining to secure the pleats. Because you have already sewn the front to the lining and turned through, you are not able to completely machine sew the basted pleated front, completely to the lining. You can only sew up to the key hole and then from the other side and then complete the final sewing of the top of the pleated front to the lining section by hand slip stitches!! Needless to say, I had not caught all the layers with my hand stitches and some pleats came away after a turn in the washing machine.
That said, I will be making the top again, but without the optional key hole.
The Nittany is very much like some old Boden tops I had on rotation for years. They are perfect for warmer office weather or under a jacket weather.
Without any fastenings (and without the keyhole!) it’s a relatively quick make.
It is VERY long, perfect for tucking in but something I shall adjust in my next one. I’ll probably also add in a cm down the side seams for a smidge more reaching room across the back, but I’m being picky.
The fabric is a nightmare to iron! Ironing the back of the top without adding in unintentional pleats on the front is near impossible. A lot of vertical steaming is involved.
But then again, it looks good in these photos.
And it’s still looking good 6 hours later at work!
Love, Lucie xx
This neckline looks familiar – maybe it’s my Boden memory – and you’ve done a great job with it. I think I might try an Itch to Stitch pattern as the cup size feature would suit me too.
I think your hair is looking great at the moment too. I suppose you’re now going to tell me you’re waiting for a hairdresser appointment 😉
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Ha! Thank you. The hair is a product of lockdown that I’m keeping😉
I like the itch to stitch patterns. Not necessarily on trend but good wardrobe classics.
I always enjoy seeing your makes. I also like Itch To Stitch patterns and have many. You probably know this already, but I will mention it anyway–I soak drapey fabrics, which I know will be a pain, in a gelatin mixture. It is a wonderful tamer and it washes out without any problems for me.
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I’ve heard of starch but not this gelatin mixture. Can you give me some more details please?
I wish that I knew how to send you a picture of my gelatine pack. It is Knox Gelatine – unflavored. There are 4 envelopes of powder inside. The total weight of my package is 1 oz. I fill a very large bowl with cold water and sprinkle one envelope over the top. Let it sit for a few minutes. It will eventually begin to sink. When it does, I stir it. I put my WET fabric into it and stir it around and I also let it stay in the mixture for about 1-2 minutes. Take your fabric out and squeeze out as much water as you can. I hang my wet fabric on a clothesline and let it dry. I have also hung smaller pieces on my shower rod. When it dries you will see little balls of gelatine sometimes. Don’t worry about that. I iron the fabric and it’s ready to cut. After you are finished just wash your item. Occasionally, I have been overzealous with the mixture and I have had to wash my item two times. I love this method and I always use it for rayon and silk with no problems. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
I do love seeing your blogs and you have inspired me to purchase some patterns and actually make them up!
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Thank you so very much for that. I will definitely have a trial go. If it works good me, they’ll be no stopping me with slippery fabrics!!
So pleased to inspire you as I am inspired by others x