Finished - Dolores Batwing Top

Hello lovelies! How is the week before Christmas treating you all? It's reasonably well controlled chaos at Chez Tragic - I've only committed to making a few easy gifts, but I had myself a little freakout when I realised that I had to get this post up in the next week and a half! I was lucky enough to win a copy of So Zo's Dolores Batwing pattern a few months ago, and the only request Zoe had for the winners was to have the review up before the end of the year....




I actually made these up at least a month ago, but was dragging my heels on the photos. I had a small piece of bamboo knit in my stash, and thought it would be a perfect match. I've never sewn with bamboo before, and there's mixed opinions on the interwebs about it. Mine was a remnant picked up from Clegg's at their post Christmas remnant sale, and there was just enough. It feels amazing - silky and lush, almost as nice as a silk jersey. It was ok to sew but with creases terribly, is a bitch to iron and shows up iron marks.  I coped until I had to hem it. I used my fusible hem tape on the hemline to reduce the channelling of the twin needle but they most certainly did not like each other. The hem is so awful I actually can't bear to photograph it, and would only wear this top tucked in as a result. Stinking bamboo.

Anyway, to the pattern!


It's a PDF, with a nice economical layout. The front and back pieces are identical. There are 2 sleeve length options, and 3 length options (top, tunic, dress).  I'm pretty sure I traced off a straight size 10, and I neglected to twig that the hips are fitted with negative ease, wiggle dress style, so even if my hem wasn't a crappy mess I'd probably be wearing this tucked in anyway as the bamboo hides no secrets when it comes to lumps and bumps.



Being summer I chose to make the short sleeved top version. I really can't remember why, but for some reason I decided to double the length of the arm band pieces. Zoe gives 2 options for getting the sleeves to fit the armbands - gather or randomly pleat. My gathering (unsurprisingly as I suck at it) looked just awful, and my OCDness wouldn't allow random pleats, so I made 4 reasonably symmetrical pleats in the top of each sleeve. I quite like the look, and with the drape of the bamboo I think is rather stylish.



A couple of things that I did that weren't in the pattern instructions - I stabilised the shoulder seams with some ribbon - this is something I always do with every knit top (usually I use clear elastic but I had none on hand). I also found that the neckline seam stood up on each shoulder so I sewed a little triangle seam which flattened it out. I first read about doing this on a boatneck in the Tessuti Mandy top instructions, and it does give a nice finish. Zoe recommends attaching the neck binding to each piece individually, then sewing the shoulder seams, and I think this is the best way to get a good finish on such an exaggerated boat neck - it's just too hard to try to attach it in the round. I didn't stitch down the seam allowance on the first version. I do think the front neckline is a little high on me - the top has a tendency to slide back on my shoulders (maybe the bamboo, maybe I need a forward shoulder adjustment) which makes it sit even higher at times so for version 2 I decided to lower the front neckline.



My rather Where's Wally-esque version 2 is made in a cheap and thin striped rayon knit from Darn Cheap. Rather than bother to alter the pattern pieces I just cut out the front piece, then trimmed the neckline a little lower at the front, tapering to nothing at the shoulders, and cut a slightly longer binding piece to fit it. I didn't need to make the neckline seam adjustment on this one (maybe due to the less slippery fabric?) and I also made the armband the regular size and gathered it rather than pleating (using shirring elastic).


It's a cute top - I think the batwing shape is much more exaggerated in the long sleeved versions that I've seen (check out my favourite, Sara's amazing dress here) and I look forward to making a long sleeve version for next autumn. I think I'll probably size up a bit around the ab too so it's not quite so snug.


Thanks Zoe for the freebie! :)

And just quickly - the cat has spoken, and chosen Danielle as the winner of 4185, and Jen L as the winner of 6022 from my last post. I've got your details already Danielle, but Jen let me know your email address and I'll be in touch!

Have a super holiday season everyone! xx






Comments

  1. Love the symmetrical pleats - god bless your OCD - I’ll totally copy you! BTW I love them both the Where's Wally-esque version is so much fun!

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    1. Thanks Sasha! I was getting a twitchy eye at the idea of them being uneven.....

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  2. I love the colour of the first top, it looks amazing on you! The pleated sleeves are awesome, they look great with the drape. I've never liked batwing tops, but I really like both of these, so I may have to reasses! Thanks to the warning about bamboo, I have some bamboo cotton waiting to be cut out....

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    1. Thanks mate! I do like that red too. I used to wear a lot of red, this year has been more of a blue year. I think your bamboo- cotton will be fine, I suspect blends are the way to go which is a shame because it's so beautiful to touch and drapes so nicely.

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  3. Really versatile pattern. Love the striped version.

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  4. Oooh that's me! jenlilley@hotmail.com Thanks so much!!

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  5. Love the red of the top one, it's a great colour for you. More red!! I wasn't at all drawn to this pattern and I'm still on the fence about the batwing thing for me, but I think these have turned out great and I love the pleats in the sleeves of the first one. Very stylish! I made a decision recently that knits are way too annoying to sew with. They rarely behave and I'm not seeing too many knit projects in my future. Except for that Bombshell I must get done this summer! Love how you can tweak a pattern to make it truly work for you!

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    1. Thanks mate - it's a really nice shade of red. I think with how busy you are you just need to focus on making what makes you happy - pick your battles. If knits give you the stinkeye then flip them the finger and move on!

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  6. The (red) sleeves were the first thing I noticed - I LOVE the wider band! I think I'll have to get the pattern and shamelessly rip off your version...And please say a grateful thank you to the cat; I'm thrilled to win that pattern :D

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    1. Feel free - shameless copying is highly encouraged around here. Yeah the Tilster Is a good kitty - she's very pleased she made your day!

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  7. I really like the wider sleeve bands on your red version too! And you look fantastic in red!

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    1. Thanks so much Gail. I just can't remember why I did it. I suspect just because I could!

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  8. Those are really, really cool! I love what you did with the pleats in the sleeve and the band. Very clever!

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    1. Thanks Sara - it was a happy accident I think!

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  9. I like the striped one too, very Christmassy :) I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a wonderful New Year too :)

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