Make It Monday: a Sports Top

This week I finished (for the most part) a sports top. I found some affordable wicking fabric made by Nike & thought I'd give a yard a try.

The fabric has a nice weight to it & feels almost wet yet smooth & supple. It was my first time working with a sports fabric. It wasn't much different than working with a regular jersey, except it was a little easier because it didn't shift around so much.

I used my modified McCall's 6288 pattern- its first iteration can be seen here. Last time I had altered the pattern so it fit me perfectly, but in the heavier fabric it was too tight. I loosened it up a bit in the side seams while tightening the sleeves as they had been too loose the first time around.

But the major change I made was to add a built in bra/bra shelf- you know, the band of fabric attached to elastic that often feels too tight & so small that your breasts are simultaneously squished in but also spilling out. It's nice to have a properly sized one.

I cut out a duplicate of the back & front bodice pieces, but significantly shorter. After that, I sewed them together & attached the bottom to elastic I had cut from an old pair of pantyhose- it was the perfect fit & made my thrifty heart happy. My mistake came when I basted the bra to the bodice before attaching the sleeves. So much harder to work with that way! The seams were way too thick & difficult to deal with. I wonder if the raglan sleeves made it even worse.

The real problem with the shirt was when I tried to finish the collar it got all stretched out. Hemming knits is my weakness. That's why the shirt is mostly done, but not quite. I was able to get the hem to a wearable state on Sunday, but the back part kept flipping out & exposing a not so nice finish job. When I got home I tried to remedy it, but I may have made it worse. I'm still working on it. See the collar on the upper left part where it's black, thats my ugly sewing/serging job being exposed.

Sports top paired with the Turtles & Apples Twirl Skirt I made back in February

I knew the back around the waist was a little loose & I was ok with it, but looking at these photos I hadn't realized the back was so tight around my arms. Hrmm. The seams have already been serged. Too late to loosen them up now!

It was pretty impressive wearing it on a day so hot it was in the 90's. No sweat, at all. It just evaporated away. So while the fabric was so heavy as to not let much of a breeze pass through, it was great to be able to walk around without having it plastered to my body.

Today I wore my original version of the shirt, which was much thinner yet a little tighter. It was breezy, but it did get plastered to my back, which is especially uncomfortable when you're on a crowded train without air conditioning. I think I actually prefer the thicker & dryer shirt. I might need an entire wardrobe of moisture wicking fabric just to get through this heat spell.

Sitting in what might be an original Thonet rocking chair!

In this picture I'm sitting in a $750 chair in a thrift shop. There was no identifying tag on it, but I'm pretty positive it was a Thonet. During the 1800's Michael Thonet revolutionized the way chairs were designed & built. I minored in art history. As lame & dorky as it sounds, it was like a dream come true, to use something I had studied & seen blown up big on a projector screen. It was like getting to actually touch a painting in a museum.

You know, I've seen other Thonets in this same thrift shop. How did so many end up in this one neighborhood of Chicago & who the hell is getting rid off them all? And why won't they leave them in an alley where I can easily pounce upon them like a design obsessed tiger?



5 thoughts on “Make It Monday: a Sports Top

  1. Pingback: 2012, The Year of Making Things « Disparate Disciplines

  2. No kidding, I expected it would cost lots more! I have a 1 1/4 yard piece cotton knit with some spandex up on my ironing board waiting for me. I can’t find the ancient Calvin Klein pattern I liked, may have to draft from memory. I have a cover stitch machine that isn’t pulling its weight, needs to get busy! The final stitches (disengaging) are intimidating…
    I wanted to suggest that if you don’t use a cover stitch, or double needle hem, you might try a facing of a narrow border of contrast ribbing to pull the neck line into the shape you want. Also, Mokuba makes a really wonderful elastic ribbon that folds over. I was amazed to recognize it as the waist band on a ready-to-wear rayon skirt. Keep us posted!

  3. So where did you find the fabric? Knits are also my achilles heel :-/ Having a crazy, wild 4 year old makes knits much more appealing for my wardrobe though. I swore I would never be the mom wearing yoga pants everywhere, but that was before I had a 4 year old. So I’m thinking I should probably make friends with the coverstitch option on my serger:-( I can manage so-so hems on my regular machine. Mostly I am too lazy to look for 3 spools of matching thread and to take the time to set up the serger for a different stitch.
    Good job on your shirt, though. I wouldn’t even have attempted the shelf bra. I love the chair too! My grandma had one. I remember sitting on her lap rocking in it many, many times:-)

    • Nuts! I bought it instore at Vogue Fabrics, but I can’t seem to find it on their website. I was actually going to go back today & get more yardage. I can take a picture of the different colors for you. I’m sure if you called them they’d let you purchase it that way. It was only $4.99/yd.

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