Burdastyle Dolman Sleeve Top 09/2011

I've been on a bit of a knit odyssey lately, trying some new patterns to make into some Autumn/Winter long sleeved tops for work and play. I've tried the Maria Denmark free t-shirt pattern, and found it to be a lovely flattering style with a wide-ish boat neck and kimono sleeve. I've not bothered taking pics as its black, unexciting and I didn't do a great job on the neckline binding - it gapes a bit because I think the binding piece was a bit long. It'll do for work though, and it really just is a wearable muslin.

Today was a great day - I had the time to make a complete project in one day, it was a gorgeous sunny Autumn day, and my beloved was working from home which meant I had a photographer on hand rather than having to take 35 self portraits to get 3 decent pics!

My project was a dolman sleeve knit top off Burdastyle, weirdly called The Striped top. Like many before me I did indeed make it in a stripe - a fine beige and navy linen jersey snapped up a while ago from Darn Cheap Fabrics for $2/m! It did have some flaws through it, but these were easily enough avoided. The pattern is very easy to make up, I took extra care to match up my (annoyingly fine) stripes on the shoulder/arm seams to get a nice chevron effect - I reckon without stripes it would have taken about 30 minutes less to make up!

I cut an extra small, after comparing it to some of my RTW tops. It was crazy long - almost a dress really, so I took 4 inches off the bottom of the pattern, and ended up cutting another few inches off the bottom and turning it into a band to hem it, Renfrew style. In retrospect either I didn't make the band tight enough or its just a bit too sloppy and loose a style to be finished this way. I may yet chop the band off and just hem it. I need my work tops to be 3/4 sleeve too, so I shortened the sleeves too. I've seen some great dolman tops with a tighter band finishing the cuff - I might do this on a future make. This version I just hemmed the sleeves with some steam-a-seam and a double needle. I find using the steam-a-seam prevents the fabric bunching up between the two lines of the double stitching. I did lower the neckline slightly, and widened it to be more bateau-neck rather than round, by tracing the neckline of the Maria Denmark kimono t-shirt I mentioned at the start of the post, and finished it with self binding. Like the t-shirt, its not quite perfect - I made the length of the binding 15% less than the length of the neckline, but it is still a little sloppy especially in the back. I think next time I will do the binding 20% less. This knit is very drapy, so it might be the reason why its a bit loose still. Next time I will probably also do a sway back adjustment too - there's heaps of fabric pooling in my lower back, and maybe make the sleeves a little narrower.

Nice chevron, fairly crappy back neckline

Front neckline not too bad - could be snugger though....

Hem band - might be a bit more flattering if it was a bit tighter
And the cherry on the cake that was my lovely day - I picked up my engagement ring from being resized and cleaned and it's just so gorgeous that I wanted to share. It's vintage, apparently 1940's, in an illusion setting, one central diamond and 4 little diamond 'chips' surrounding it:

Love it, love the man who gave it to me!
Coming up next - my Colette Laurel WIP!