Saturday, November 12, 2016

Nostalgic Folkloric, New Look 6461 Top.

I'm having a bit of a rayon run at the moment.  Summer will soon be here, and in our hot and humid climate the best sort of clothing is loose and baggy in a fabric that breathes and absorbs moisture.  Rayon is ideal, although I hate sewing with it.

I fell in love with this pretty printed rayon, which came from good old Spotlight.  I'm not sure that this folkloric look is quite me, but it has some sort of nostalgic feel to it, because I used to wear prints like this during 1974-1977, when I was doing my training to become a Registered Nurse. I think I should have left the look behind, but still, rayon tops don't last forever, so I might as well enjoy the re-emergence of this type of print.

I used New Look 6461:

I shortened both the front and the back, because I don't really like sitting on long shirt tails - they get so wrinkled.  And I am not a lover of extreme styles.  Funnily, I had a top like this during my nurse training days - complete with ties at the side.  Certainly won't be revisiting that again!

I cut size 12, which gives me a lot of ease, but believe me, I need it when I bend over, which I do frequently as I am that sort of person.  I actually fill the back out when I bend my cross my arms to the shoulders.

I used the size 12 armholes, but I think these would have been better as a 10.  I raised the back neck slightly and reshaped the front to make it less wide.  By my standards, it is still fairly wide.

The pattern is an A line shape, but the hem is cut straight across.  On this drapey fabric the result is drooping sides, but I see a lot of drooping sides in the shops at the moment, so wonder if it is a "thing".  In any case, with the side splits, it seems to work.  And certainly, as the border print is straight as well, it is just the right sort of line.

Although my big machine is back working, I decided to make the top on my computerised machine. My DH gave this to me as I spent a lot of time grumbling about buttonholes and wanting to be able to do them automatically. He wanted to solve the problem for me (good man that he is).  I waited until this model was half price, and then suggested it.  It also does stitches that are handy with knits, and has some embroidery patterns as well.   But I had never used it to sew a woven garment, so decided to give it a test run.

It took a bit of getting used to, as the CPU seems to have a small delay between programming and action.  But it did sew quite nicely.  I didn't like the reverse function, because with the delay, it wanted to take another stitch forward before reversing.    I also didn't like the way it didn't allow me to crimp when I attempted to ease the sleeve.  I ended up having to pull the threads up myself.  And then I found that there were puckers when I sewed the sleeve, sleeve side down, on the free arm.  So I put the sleeves in sleeve side up so I could see what I was doing.  Then they went in perfectly!

But, this little machine failed at what I call the hem corner test, even when using another piece of fabric to level the foot with.  The cheap mechanical Brother managed this with ease on the last top.  So, I got frustrated and used the big machine to quickly finish the hem.  Ahh, the bliss of the big engine sound, and the let's get on with it stitching.

However, I do now know how both these machines perform, and they will have their uses for things that I want to make on them.  Perhaps things like lingerie and knits, because I now have a walking foot that can be attached to these little machines!!  You can't put them on industrial machines, you have to buy a walking foot machine instead, and I draw the line at that!

I'll quickly post the pictures, and then it is time for me to get some dinner.  Life is still busy here, but is starting to get more manageable again.  I even had a few hours to get a new garment cut out today - including assessing pattern and working out what to modify,  doing a quick toile, and  cutting the main garment out. That means my sanity sewing for the week is now organised.

Some quick pictures for the record - still dark, I really do have to solve the photo problem one day. Even though I look shadowed, the colour of the top has turned out well!

Well, that's my Summertime Nostalgic Folkloric Resort Style Top.   It's also my chosen garment for the Make a Garment a Month Challenge. And, if you are wondering, the pants are also made by me - in a lovely cotton dobby.

I might retire this pattern now, but then again, I just had an idea. This would look fantastic in the longer length tunic in a cheesecloth over matching loose pants.  With a little cotton cami underneath.  Maybe next summer...

That's all for now, I'm hoping to get back to blogging normal next week and get back to replying to your comments promptly.


Sarah Liz


  1. Really cute top Sarah. I had fun with rayon Challis during my hot, hot, I man really hot summer too. It's nice and flowy and cool. That print is pretty, right on trend and cute on you.

  2. Really cute top Sarah. I had fun with rayon Challis during my hot, hot, I man really hot summer too. It's nice and flowy and cool. That print is pretty, right on trend and cute on you.

  3. So true, rayon is good to wear in our hot Summers. I love the print, and the touch of pink really suits you. It is a great pattern for the season. I love how you have all your machines organised to get the best job you can every time. Must admit, I grumble about what my machine does badly, but have never thought of having several of them!

  4. I love the print and the colours - they look good with your colouring. I like your hair too.
    On another note, my sewing class tutor says we should always sew with sleeve up when inserting, to control the gather and avoid any puckers. That goes for princess seams too. I know that some suggest sewing with part needing to be gathered at feed dog, to let it do the work - maybe it depends on fabric, type of insertion, type of machine etc. I've got into habit of sleeve up and it appears to work well.

  5. Such a lovely top! Rayon can be frustrating, but so comfortable to wear.

  6. Oh I love the fabric! That print is gorgeous, and you're right - rayon is perfect for summer. It looks really great on you and matches with the pants.

    I've been out of pocket the last two weeks, but thank you so much for adding me to the MAGAM group.

  7. Cute top Sarah Liz! Rayon is tricky but always worth it to me. I understand what you are saying about the reverse stitch on your machine. Mine does the same and it just takes some time to get used to.

  8. Nice summer top! I bet you will be wearing it alot.

  9. I think your top is beautiful but I am a prints person ! Rayon is slippery to sew but feels so nice to wear that I find it worthwhile. However like you I find that it tends to develop holes easily. Enjoy your top!

  10. Great top, I love the print. Perfect for heat to have the larger size, but even though its bigger it doesn't swamp you, because of the neckline it looks good. I need to get my Nan's old machine up and out as its a strong beast and can deal with much thicker layers than my puny Toyota.

  11. My machine is back in the repair shop. Thinking a second machine is a good idea. But I don't want a cheap second machine, I want a second machine as good as the first!

    Love the top.

  12. Pretty top and fabric, Sarah Liz. The shorter back look better than the original pattern :) I have been busy as well, so many things to do and so little time to sew.

  13. Sarahliz. I love your new top, and the rayon is too pretty. I think the style looks pretty on you.

  14. Such a pretty colourful print Sarah Liz. And a practical top to take you into the next season. Pleased to hear you have ventured into trying out the "new" machine.

  15. Love this top, it looks so good on you.

  16. Oh I really like this Boho sort of themed top on you!! Terrific fabric placement, sleeves and perfect styling with your cute pants!! Is this part of the new Sarah Liz Sew Style Style? You look very chic. :)

  17. This is a lot very top. I think you can tell I am working backwards through your posts! I do really like this one, and I love the black pants. I just wish they would hang so well on me! Is this the same pattern as the top? TS

  18. Oops - spell check errors! Sorry! TS