Sunday, 12 February 2012

3 Cheers for 3 Hours Past....

Burda Style Magazine 2012
The next item to be sacrificed from the stash was the fine ivory knit. I was planning on a ballerina-at- practice type of wrap cardigan. While I neither have the poise or the body (I put it down to genetics) I thought one of those would look good with a swirly skirt and even high waisted trousers (pants) in spring / summer.  I don't do sleeveless even in 36 degrees C, especially in 36 degrees, and this would be just right as a cover up. I found a pattern in Burda Style Magazine - YIKES - lines and colours and A B C D sheets and tracing and time and .... oh just forget it. I am basically lazy and couldn't be bothered with all that crap.

However, there was not a pattern out there in whole wide world that met with my stringent requirements so I was gearing up to do the tracing thing - went into training and all - when Stephanie from 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World posted about a little 1950s Advance 7701 pattern for a kimono wrap top that she'd been working on. I was so jealous - this was exactly what I wanted, but how to get my grubby little hands on it?

I retired to the hollowed out volcano to devise a plan. I developed a behavioural-neural influencing ray and set the coordinates for Brisbane, specifically at Stephanie's house. And it worked!

Not long after I zapped her with the ultra-infra-high-frequency-thingy-that only dogs can hear, she transposed the 1950s pattern into her own design and created a pattern that we all can have. I made her stay up for a whole week so that she could finish it in time for my sewing schedule this weekend. She didn't sleep or eat or cook dinner until this beautiful wrap top pattern was complete. And the funny thing is, she thinks she did this all of her own choice. Ha Ha Ha. Ha Ha!

I got first pick (of course, that was part of the grand plan) at the pattern on Friday as a proof reader and tester.

The instructions are clear, ordered with just the right amount of personality that proves that a real person designed this for other real people. Stephanie included photos at various steps throughout which proves she has made and tested the design too - so knows the pitfalls and areas to watch. She gives fabric amount and width, even the sewing needles you should be using - sooo considerate.

It is a downloadable pattern in 24 sheets (plus the instructions) and I could just about manage that - but there's only three pieces - it's really no big deal. I tiled and lined up the sheets, taped them together and cut out. The top is really made from one big piece (cut twice), a neck band and the ties are separate so that you can choose a wrap or a draped version. Two patterns in one - I love that.
Right, now on to this stash thing.

It really isn't working for me. I had this fine knit just sitting waiting to be used - 2yds - plenty you would think, BUT, it's only 50" wide! Maybe I should read the small print. For this top I need
1 3/4 yds at min 55" wide. I was undeterred and determined. I marked out the bias grain line and used that instead of the straight or cross-grain lines. That way I could get the one big piece to fit onto the fabric albeit diagonally.

From then on everything proceeded as per the instructions and today's plan. Unfortunately, I do have to stop for lunch and messages (errands) and other stuff, but best guess is this took 3 hours maximum to complete. 
I deviated slightly from the instructions on the following points: Added tape to the neck edge to stabilise it - remember I cut on the bias. Lengthened the ties - the pattern is for a 30" waist, and I don't have a 30" waist. I  also slip stitched the neckband in place as I'm a big scardy chicken when it comes to stitching in the ditch. I made the bracelet length sleeves.
I have a very basic Janome sewing machine and normally I only use the straight stitch, the zig-zag and the button hole. Today I tested another one and created a little fancy edge thing to the sleeves. I don't have an overlocker (serger) so I zig-zagged all the raw edges of this knit to stop the unravelling.
I said this was a fine ivory knit, what I should have said was that this is a VERY fine ivory knit. Regardless - here is it and don't I look just like a ballerina (retired). Paired with Paco's half-circle skirt for extra ballerina styling

The back (obviously)
Wrapped around waist and tied in front

Tied at the back

Pulled down over hips
 There's more than one way to wear this top too.

Designed by 3 Hours Past
Takes 3 hours to make
Wear it 3 ways

I say 3 cheers for Stephanie!

To get your own pattern for this super kimono wrap top to go Craftsy.
And to read about the trials and tribulations this girl went through go here.

Thanks for reading. Ruth


  1. really sweet looking cardi - very ballerina

    I hope Stephanie has recovered from being zapped.

    1. I wish I was in Houston .... does that sound sad?

  2. You do look like a ballerina!

    The grainline is really more of a suggestion on this top... I think it would be ok however it was cut. I settled on that grainline because it's the best for stripes.

    I'm so pleased with your top! It looks gorgeous. :)

  3. It looks great on you! More importantly, it looks like you feel great in it. Win win. :)

  4. Looks great! Thanks for the review

  5. It's such a success that I've already ordered more fabrics in lots of colours.

  6. I love this top, isn't Stephanie great!! X

  7. Looking good! Very fine fabric; that should work for summer (I'm the same with covering up, by the way).
    And a funny post.

  8. How glamorous! You do look like you have a 30 inch waist in that top!

  9. You look amazing in this. Isn't StephC just the best!!

  10. Love it! It's so perfect on you!

  11. oooo I like your new cardi .... and agree StephanieC is one clever gal.

    BTW, do you do lessons on the development and use of your highly effective behavioural-neural influencing ray? Though I will only use it in extreme circumstances and in areas dogs don't frequent on account of their barking.

    1. Sorry Emily, copyright protected on the influencing ray. I designed it only for pattern construction techniques, do you require additional behavioural manipulation? Let me know... we may be able to work something out

  12. I loved reading your post! :-) And your creation looks amazing, congratulations!

  13. It look great on you! Good job!

  14. How lovely to see so many new interested sewers. Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. I hope you found it useful and worthwhile so now GO BUY the pattern- no commission, honestly!

  15. I love the top and skirt together, they look both casual and elegant.

  16. I bought this pattern yesterday and just Googled to see if anyone else had made it and found you! This looks stunning on you! Really lovely. I plan to make the bracelet length sleeves too. The whole thing looks so much nicer than how the Burda line drawing looks - I think the Kimono sleeves is what does it.

    1. I've actually made three now, 29th Feb and still planning on making more! Good luck