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!