I'm probably the last person on Earth to sew a Tova Top. Wikstenmade's been on my blog roll for years, and I remember when the Tova Top Pattern came out. I had found Jenny Gordy's blog via ellybeth on Flickr back in 2007. I used to love ellybeth's handmade clothing and the fabrics she used. Now she has her own line called Garment House. The two ladies did collaborations on patterns, like tops with Peter Pan collars. Both ladies are extremely talented. Anyway, I couldn't afford the Tova paper pattern when it came out, and to be honest, I thought it would look too "maternity" on my figure. Then, a year or two ago, the pattern became available in pdf for $10 and everyone was blogging about it, making three or four, etc. I guess you could call it peer pressure, but I had to try it...
I got the chambray fabric at WalMart for less than $6/yard. I cut size M. My measurements called for a size L, but I read on line that the chest area would fit more nicely if you go down a size. I cut the dress length, but think I will be shortening it to hip length. I just wanted to test out the dress length. Overall, I am pleased with the fit, especially at the shoulder, armhole and yoke area--a nice "professional" fit--less baggy than the Simplicity patterns I am used to.
- Attaching the inset. I had read that the inset was the hardest part, and it was, but not impossible. It's the corners of the inset that are difficult to catch as you sew, as there is a slit at each corner. So, unless you're used to doing it, it just will take a little finagling and working. Next time, I won't cut the slits quite as long. I think I cut 1/4" long slits, maybe I will do 1/8" slits next time.
- Topstitching the inset at the bottom center. I had to redo my topstitching at the area at the bottom of the placket on the inset. There's so much fabric there that getting over this "hump" without wobbling the topstitch line was difficult. I have a relatively cheap machine, and think that a sturdier machine would have less of a problem.
What I'll Do Differently Next Time
- Armholes and sleeves. I think next time I will cut more sleeve fabric on the side that is set to the armhole so that there are more gathers at the armhole. One sleeve had more gathers than the other...maybe I stretched out the armhole on the one.
- Add buttons. As of now, I wear a camisole underneath.I may add a couple or more small buttons on the placket.
- Use thicker thread for topstitching. I used cheap black thread this time.