When I made my first Sailor Top pattern (by Fancy Tiger) I mentioned I had a few fit issues. But once I got those worked out, this became a tried and true pattern for me, as evidenced by my makes for the first day of Selfish Sewing Week.
The Sailor Top pattern was too tight across the shoulders even though it had raglan sleeves. So at the recommendation of my friend Teri, I changed the sleeves to a larger size and kept the same body pieces. I sewed all the seams with 1/4” instead of 5/8” seams. This ended up with a perfect fit.
I used one of my favorite fabrics, Art Gallery Millie Fleur Line Drawings Bluing Fabric (affiliate link) designed by Bari J. You might remember when I used a similar fabric in yellow on canvas to make a jacket for quilt market.
This is a quilting cotton, but as their motto states, you can feel the difference. It’s perfect for this top, drapey and comfortable.
So now that I had the fit down perfectly I felt like I could cut into my Nani Iro fabric. And of course I had to change it up a little bit!
I decided since I was using Japanese fabric on a top pattern with a slight Japanese kimono air, I was going to add a few other Japanese techniques. Instead of gathering the front and back, I added small pleat folds. It does change the shape of the neckline slightly, so the neckband doesn’t lay perfectly flat, but I’m happy with it.
The other Japanese touch I added was to extra lines of topstitching on the neckband and sleeve hems. This straight-line quilting effect is also something I’ve seen in Japanese sewing. Just as a side note to Lauren Dahl, the neckband does indeed narrow at the shoulders, so my straight-line quilting had to be narrowed there as well.
I am delighted about having two new shirts for summer wear. Now I need the perfect skirt to wear with them. What color and style would you suggest?