Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Finished Project: HotPatterns 1191 - Fast & Fabulous Trilogy Top, Tunic, and Dress

*sigh*  This is not my best finished project. This top is a lesson in why you should always make a muslin:

My top is not unwearable. In fact, it's comfortable as heck, but I blew the FBA on this one (yes, you read that right--*I* blew an FBA on something. It happens.) It just has some awkwardness that makes me a bit self-conscious to wear it outside of running around on a weekend.

The pattern is the HotPatterns Fast & Fabulous Trilogy Top. My issues with this top have nothing to do with the pattern and everything to do with me approaching this quick pattern with a sense of overconfidence and getting burned by that. (For me, this seems to happen far more often with projects that should be quick, instant gratification sews.)

HotPatterns - Trilogy top
And yeah, I'm aware that the sun was distractingly bright and that there are obnoxious shadows in these photos. I took these at 7am one morning during one of our recent heatwaves, and the sun was already eye-searingly bright at that hour. Given that I'm starting to get a backup of unblogged projects, I didn't want to hold up this post any longer to re-take photos of a top that I'm not crazy about.

 

How I messed up

 

Before I go into my actual review of the pattern, let's talk about how I messed this one up. My pattern alterations and design changes on this one were like following a Choose Your Own Adventure story where every choice you make is wrong, sending you deeper and deeper into the cave of doom, to where you finally meet your end at the hands of some many tentacled beast, and have to go all the way back to some choice that you made on page 6 to correct the thing.
  1. By not making a muslin, I completely erred on where the bust point of the pattern was. I took a look at the armscye of the pattern piece, guessed that the bust point should be somewhere a little below that, and plotted my FBA lines accordingly. In reality, I needed the bust point to be quite a bit higher than this, and so the fullness that I added for my FBA ended up getting added too far down the bodice to be of much help for me. I had to add a gusset at the side seams to make this top wearable in the bust.
  2. I decided that I didn't want a bust dart on this top; there isn't one in the original design, and I've also had iffy experiences with wearing bust darts on loose-fitting tops. I hate going to the bathroom at work, looking in the mirror, and wondering how the heck my bust dart wandered all the way over to wherever it's currently sitting.
  3. If I needed an FBA (which I did) but didn't want a bust dart, I needed to rotate that dart somewhere. To me, the obvious position for dart rotation was the deep pleat at the shoulder that's both there for design and shaping. However, when I rotated my dart there, the already large deep pleat became HUGE. I panicked and decided to gather the pleat instead. Unfortunately, I didn't place the gathers well (I went off the pleat markings) and my double gauze, which handled the gathering so well in my recent peasant blouse, was too thick for the excessive amount of gathering that I introduced.
All of these mis-steps contributed to the awkward garment that you see pictured. I cursed myself a bit over my misuse of my somewhat pricey double gauze for this one. At least I've got a super comfortable top to wear around the house or maybe as a pajama top now, though, right?

Anyway, on to reviewing the actual pattern...

HotPatterns - Trilogy top
No, my version does not look like the pattern envelope. Nor does it look much like the vision in my head (where I'd already swapped out the deep pleat for shirring):

Trilogy Top sketch

Fabric and Notions Used

 

I used the following fabric and notions for this project:
  • Kobayashi double gauze fabric (cotton) in "plum" purchased in person at local shop Drygoods Designs.
This pattern required no notions, including interfacing or closures.


Pattern Sizing and Alterations

 

This pattern is available in HotPatterns sizes 6-26 (32"-52" bust).


This particular pattern isn't as loose an boxy and you might think from the line drawing. I started with a size 18 for my neck and shoulders (my typical HotPatterns starting size). By doing a flat pattern measurement/comparison, I determined that I'd need a 2" FBA on this top. I rotated the dart into the shoulder pleat and converted the pleat to gathers (bad choice, BTW).

To make up for setting the bust point too low (and therefore losing out on the ease that I needed at the fullest point of my bust), I added a gusset at the top underarm.

Finally, I doubled the yoke so that it was self-faced. Why? Because it just feels weird to have a single-layer shoulder yoke.

HotPatterns Trilogy Top - back


Pattern Instructions

 

HotPatterns don't have super detailed instructions, but this is a pretty easy pattern. The cap sleeves and neckline are all finished with a self bias binding, so that was a nice touch to have instead of using a facing.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Meh. Obviously, I'm not thrilled with this one. I don't feel like it's the pattern's fault, though. A fair number of people in the HotPatterns Facebook group have made this up, and it's looked really nice on everyone; however, they were not overcome by a Cascade of Bad Decisions when they made up their versions.

I might tackle this pattern again some day (fixing the errors, of course), but for now, I'm putting it aside and starting on a different project.



18 comments:

  1. I had a very similar experience recently--no muslin, did an FBA but either placed the bust point too low or didn't add enough width, then rotated the bust dart to the shoulder where there was already a lot of gathering. A cascade of mistakes for sure! I ended up with really ugly gathering and big poofs of fabric sitting on my chest. I didn't even bother finishing the top. I am planning to repurpose the fabric as a contrast yoke for another project, so there's that, but I definitely feel your pain.

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    1. Yup, we all have things that don't work out from time to time. I don't know if I can even repurpose this one--it's got a CF and a CB seam, so there's just not a lot of width to the fabric, even if I pick the seams apart. It is comfortable, though, so it will probably be a "wear around the house" shirt.

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  2. Sorry this one didn't work out:( It looks good from the back though so once you fix the FBA I think this style will work. I've got a dress hanging in my closet that I thought was going to be great but is a real stinker on me, and the one I'm working on now is very iffy........I'm about to take a break from clothes and do some bag-making:)

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    1. TNTs, kids' clothes, and bags are nice options after a wadder. I dove right into a Burda shirtdress (I'll be reviewing the new Burda Plus book), so I'm hoping that one works out better.

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  3. Can I first tell you how giddy I am that you will be reviewing the Burda Plus book?! Ahhh. I will buy it even though I can't wear plus tops/dresses from Burda and grading is too scary for now.

    Now...for shame about the top! Shoot. Like Angela said it is a good overall top and hopefully you can revisit it. I like the color too; would be really nice going into fall.

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    1. It's got some nice tops and dresses in it, but the pants and skirts are kind of boring. (There is one skirt that I might make, though.) But OMG...the instructions for the pattern that I'm making are AWFUL. I mean, it's an easy enough garment that I don't really need the instructions, but man, as much as I wanted to, I'm not going to be able to recommend this book to beginners.

      I'm pretty sure that I'm going to tackle those Burda Plus seamed and flared jeans that were in a very recent issue as part of my fall sewing. (The pattern was on sale for $3 fairly recently, and I finally pulled the trigger.)

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  4. Thank you for all of the work you do writing your reviews. I appreciate your analysis of what went wrong and how things could be changed. Its very, very helpful.
    Kathy C.

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    1. I figure that if I can save someone else from making the same bonehead mistakes that I have, then at least some good comes out of it, right?

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  5. At least you know this color looks good on you.

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    1. Haha, yes, the color is good. I may buy more of this fabric at some point to get something wearable out of it.

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  6. This is just a thought; could you unpick the gathered yoke seam, re-cut and re-sew the original size? Since you only need 2", that could come from the gusset. The fit might be snug, but infinite better looking, even if just for wear-around-the-house. Just an idea 😉

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    1. Eh, it's 2" on either side--so a cumulative value of 4". And I'd rather be comfortable (snug = not comfortable) for something that I'd wear around the house. ;)

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  7. The back fits beautifully. Can the dart be rotated to the CF seam for some gathers or pintucks?

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    1. I know! And I didn't make any alterations to the back at all--the CB seam was shaped perfectly for me out of the envelope. Looking at these pictures, I do think that I could maybe stand to go up a size in the shoulders on this one (plus, the armhole is pretty high and tight)...so maybe going up a size all around, then doing a smaller FBA would be the answer here.

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  8. Shame it didn't work out for you. That is lovely fabric and the back has a lovely shape to it. It will be a great summer weekender.

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  9. Well i know the feeling of 'rats.' But i think it looks pretty nice on you actually, that color is gangbusters with your coloring. Come fall/winter maybe layer it under a cardi?

    This also points up one thing i like about sewing with ultra drapey fabrics like silk crepe de chine - the drape does hide a multitude of sins. Plus so wonderful on the skin! Pain in the neck to work with, though.

    Happy Saturday!

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    1. That's a really good point. This would be perfectly fine under a jacket or cardigan to hide the weirdness between the shoulder and the bust. I do like the neckline on me. Thanks!

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