Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Tova Sew Along- Post 3: Cutting/Alterations Part Two

The basics of cutting out are covered in part one.   Now we get a little more advanced... 
Making a Narrow Collar with Rounded Ends
I wanted a narrower collar so reduced the height from the top of the collar pattern piece by 1/2" - you can see my new cutting line below.  I also rounded the ends using a cotton spool.  The dashed line was my size so that is where the rounding fits- nice and simple!   Remember the dseam allowance will make the curve tighter than the line your draw.  Cut out the pattern piece using the new lines.  The lower line stays the same as this attached to the Tova.
Altering the Length of the Sleeves
I like the look of 3/4 length sleeves but I don't like wearing them, I always feel like something is missing!  As the sleeve pattern piece stays the same width all the way down the main section you can easily lengthen or shorten.  Obviously if you lengthen, you will have to allow for extra fabric!  For lengthening or shortening, go to your wardrobe and fins a shirt you like with a standard shoulder seam.  Put it on and measure from the shoulder seam to where you want the seam to finish.  The Tova cuff will add on about 1/2".    I chose a finished length of 22 1/2" sleeve  including cuff, that makes the sleeve without cuff 22".  Now add on 3/4" for seam allowances.  Result: the sleeve pattern piece needs to measure 22 3/4" at the longest point- the grain arrow marks this on the pattern piece.  I pinned my pattern piece on and drew the extended length at the bottom using Frixion pen- you can see it faintly in red below.  As the sleeve is longer, the cuff may need to be narrower.  I recommend you cut your cuff using the pattern piece and reduce this later.  I will cover this when we come to sew the sleeves.
If you want shorter sleeves on a dress or a top, these are versions that Wiksten designer Jenny Gordy came up with. Dress with short sleeves and cuff...
Top with short sleeves and cuff.  Jenny used fabrics that look the same on both sides which means an easy turn up cuff for the end of the sleeve, this is like the hem on the Tova but shows on the outside rather than hiding on the inside.  For this, find the total sleeve measurement you want e.g. 8".  Add on seam allowance for the top and for tuning under on the cuff-3/4", then add on the length you want the cuff to be, maybe 2"?  Total sleeve length to cut= 10 3/4"Similar method to working out the length.  If you want your cuff on the inside, you could use the same hem as the bottom of the dress and top, so for a sleeve of 8" add seam allowances of 3/4" and hem turn up of 1"-total of 9 3/4".  You can either draw your new higher hemline on the pattern and trace off a new sleeve or cut you pattern- up to you!
Cutting on Wide fabric and Striped/Patterned Fabric
If your fabric is wider- the voile I used was 54", you will be able to fit more pattern across the width of the fabric but I did this in sections.  You can see in the photo below that there are two folds, one on each outside edge.  I pinned the raw edges because I was matching up my stripes so the top and bottom were the same.  It helps to do this for stripes of larger plaid/check as when you cut out a pair of pieces e.g. sleeves, they will be the same each side.  This fabric was just for the front and back.  I placed my pattern loosely on the fabric first to work out how much i needed and then cut across the length so i was working on this section only. The fold lines will be the centre of the front and back of your Tova.  You could have a stripe as your centre point or a row of squares in a check.  I choose to have the wider blue stripe as the centre.  Depending on your pattern and size you may be able to fit your front and back pieces like this- depends on both these things.
My patterns fitted but you can see how they are running in opposite directs.  This only works when you pattern runs in both directions- it doesn't have a right way up!  It didn't work with the Lotta fabric I used on the white version.  You can see the arrows follow the straight grain of the fabric.
For the sleeve I went back to my length of fabric and again I made a fold, partway along the width of the fabric, wide enough to allow the sleeve centre line (the grain arrow works for this) to be in the middle of a blue stripe.   I pinned the raw edges and the far edge where a selvedge  is.  You can see on the left edle of the sleeve it is very close to the fold so there is hardly any waste on that side.  On the right side there is a little more wastage but it worked pretty well!
For the inset placket I knew I would never get the lines in the right place on the bigger places so I placed them so the stripes ran across.  You could also do this on the bias for diagonal stripes or plaid/checks.  I also lined each piece so there is a second piece underneath and I basted round the edge as the voile is really thin.  I would also recommend you did this for bias cut pieces, line them with a straight cut piece or a thin piece of matching cotton underneath cut straight grain to stabilise the bias which stretches so easily.    For this method of lining, you treat the two layers as if they were one piece of fabric.  These are small pieces of the Tova so they can take a bit of playing with the grain.  it is like fussy cutting for clothes.
This is my finished voile version and I absolutely love it.  I wear a lot of blue so it goes with a lot of my wardrobe  and the soft silkiness of the voile is so nice to wear.  The lining on the inset section means it is not too see through, the darker colour helps with this too.  I am going to enter it into the Made by Rae Spring Top Sewalong .  A great idea for all those Tovas that are going to be made!
Back at the weekend with the first sewing- sewing the inset to the front- the hardest bit of the whole Tova so lets get it out of the way!
sib blog

27 comments:

  1. beautiful kerry! love all the adjustments you made. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The is gorgeous K! Pastry line looks amazing when tova-shaped!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful job Kerry. That's among the most flattering versions of this pattern that I have seen. You managed to get a really nice fit.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is beautiful Kerry! This soft blue voile really suits you!
    I love the elongated sleeves I must try that when I make another one.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Super great tute Kerry. Can't wait to get started!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love the short-sleeved versions with the cuff - I hadn't seen them before, so thanks for sharing. And I just love your viole version - great job with the fussy cut - I might have copy that! (AMH's voiles are just too too dreamy!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's gorgeous...and I just got Quilt Home's newsletter and they have Anna Maria's voile fabrics on sale for 30% off....perfect timing for your sew-a-long! Let me know if you need the code.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this very thorough Sew A Long. I can't wait to get started on the first top I have ever made for myself!
    I am really loving both of yours but especially the stripes - they really suit you.
    Liz
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  9. love this with all the wee tweaks - this is def something I will try! Thanks for all the helpful tips

    ReplyDelete
  10. So glad to see the alterations, will do the same with collar and sleeve length. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kerry you look beautiful as does your Tova! I am so behind on making mine but will get to it eventually. Thanks for the great detailed instructions!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wonderful instructions and I love this fabric as much as the last one!

    ReplyDelete
  13. so pretty, Kerry. I wish I would feel confident wearing this style but I fear I would appear pregnant and at 59 years old that is not a pretty sight. You on the other hand look fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kerry, I agree you look fabulous modeling your tova. My friends and I sewed these in the 70's and then embroidered them. Love your updated look. Your instructions are well written!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, nice! I also love Jenny's short-sleeved versions and hadn't seen those photos before. I've jumped ahead and started sewing up my toile, glad you say the inset's the hardest part because I did a lot of "Ummm, WHAT?" last night with that.

    I wonder if you might discuss options for those of us without overlockers?? Jenny mentions French seams - simple enough down the side-seams but I can't figure out how it would work on the inset, for example. Also, you'd need to add seam allowance, argh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nina, on this pattern, Jenny has only mentioned using a serger/overlocker, zigzag would be just as good or even pinking shears at a push. The seam allowances aren't big enough on the Tova and there are areas that they wouldn't work like arm holes and like you mention the inset section. On the Tank pattern, she suggests french seams but this pattern has a bigger seam allowance to take care of this. I will mention seam finishes and when to do the seam finish at each step of the making process.

      Delete
    2. The 'preparation' section under the size chart does mention adding extra seam allowance and making French seams. I'm planning to make my first 'real' Tova in a slightly sheer cotton (this stuff but in unbleached cream: http://www.organiccotton.biz/store/threadwork) and I hate zigzagging! I'm going to do as you did with the voile and have double thickness at the inset - trying to figure out if I can somehow do it so as to enclose the seam between the two layers... Otherwise I'm thinking very fiddly mock-French seams elsewhere, or even fiddlier bound seams??

      Delete
    3. The seam is so hard to sew I would hate to do it between two layers as well- very challenging! In post 4 I have put a link in from the Wiksten flickr group discussing seam finishing and they mention bound seams.

      Delete
  16. Any suggestions for making this less boob revealing? So I don't need to wear a cami under it? I'm thinking a little tacking stitch to keep the bottom inch or two of the placket closed. Or before attaching the inset sew another line on top of the top stitching on the placket. Any other suggestions that might not keep the placket completely shut, but just for the first inch or two? I've seen a few versions with buttons, but don't love the way that looks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The placket opens so your head can get through so the degree to which you can close it up with an extra stitching line. i think you would have to make the placket first, join the shoulders and only then could you pin and test how far you could go. Another option is to use very small invisible clear snap fasteners and sew the male side on the inside of the top placket and the female part on the inner placket. Anyone have other ideas?

      Delete
  17. how pretty! I am searching the fabric for this pattern for a week now and couldn't decided which one.

    ReplyDelete
  18. And you look beautiful in this one too.
    Thank you so much for all the detailed instructions. The tip about the cuff on the inside is exactly what I've been looking for.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Kerry, I'm afraid I still have a question about sizes. I'm size M in the chest but L in the waist and hips. What size would be best in this case? Would it make sense to cut the inset as M and for the front and the back start on the M lines from top to the underarm (and along the inset on the front) and then continue with L? (I'm not sure if I managed to explain it clearly)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yes I think so, keep the upper section as M and as you say you could draw a line from M at the top of the side seam on front and back and gradually move it to the L line as you get to the waist and hip points. Best to check with a toile/test version first though.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you, Kerry for all of your tips and advice. I have just cut out the pieces for my "muslin" and sewn my first bit - the placket to the inset. I am planning on making short sleeves (thinking forward to the hot weather) but will finish with the original narrower "cuff" in a contrasting fabric to my solid. My collar will also be contrast and the inside of the placket is also in the same constrasting fabric. This is my first garment EVER, so please wish me luck! I will be checking in with you regularly to see what other bits of advice you have.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm a bit late with this but I've just been finishing off my cutting out and am very excited. I found this sew-a-along link on twitter and am now a new follower.
    I've chosen a cream linen with a burgundy Lecien fabric for the cuffs, collar & placket. I've also cut it out in a real blue stripe! Have been wanting this pattern for a long time now ... :)
    www.charleysews.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sorry - a 'teal' blue stripe ... I can type really ;)!

    ReplyDelete

I love reading every single comment, so thank you for taking the time out to leave your thoughts. I always try to reply if I can find your email on your profile! Questions will be answered in the comments so others can read them too.