Do the twist

Jumping on the twisted and tied bandwagon, I decided to have a go at recreating Cos’ tied top.

The pattern

I decided to use the New Look  6483 pattern, which I’ve worked from a few times before. One of the most useful pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to use the same pattern again and again, to improve my technique and to learn from any mistakes. This is said pattern. I’ve made three tops so far.

The blue version on the left was the first and is actually my favourite of the three. It’s a little too big and quite rough around the edges (don’t look too closely at the sleeve or the button… or any of the inside for that matter), but it was the first truly wearable garment I’ve made. The polka dot version was a significant improvement and is now an essential item in my work-wardrobe. The final and most recent incarnation, the yellow patterned number, is the one I’m most proud of. Though still not entirely without flaws, it’s definitely my most technically accomplished garment to date and, even though it’s not my usual style, I love the fabric – something I picked up while on holiday in Thailand at the end of last year. I know this top will also see a lot of wear in the warmer months.

The fabric

In my haste to get started on the top as quickly as possible, I bought 2m of this percale cotton from the Cloth House on my way home from work. I probably could have found something  cheaper from another shop, but this shop is close to work, open late enough and, well, it’s just about my favourite shop in London, so I don’t really need any excuse to pop in there.

I chose percale over the regular cotton as it was fairly thick and I thought it wouldn’t be too see-through. The thickness of the fabric helped with the tie and to create the twisted look I was after, but that does also mean that it creases easily. In retrospect a thinner poly-cotton might have worked better and had the crisp shirt feel I was after.

The process

The pattern itself didn’t actually requite much adaptation, so I largely followed the set instructions. As the fabric is quite thick, I decide to keep the facing, but not add any interfacing (applying a fusible interfacing is always my least favourite step anyway). Fortunately I think I made the right decision, and I think I probably could have even left out the facing altogether.

For the waist tie, I cut one long rectangle to the length I wanted (worked out by tying the fabric all the way around my waist), folded it in half and sewed it into a tube. I then cut it in half and sewed up the ends, clipped the corners, turned it inside out and pressed flat.  Then, when it came to sewing the side seams I fit each tie into the sides at the waist. I would recommend making the ties longer than shorter, as a short tie could end up looking a bit silly, and you can always shorten them if necessary.

And here it is, the finished article:

Pic04

On the whole, I’m quite pleased with how it’s turned out. The ties fit nicely and are definitely in the right place on the top. I am a little bit frustrated at the length – I ended up having to sew a minuscule hem – but that’s something I can work on next time I use the pattern.

Outfit pictures to follow soon…

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