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