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09 February 2012

Powder yellow Betzina top: Vogue 2980


To go with the zig-zag fur jacket, I made matching pants. Both fabrics had that purple-grayish color which I like so much but which is quite difficult to match or coordinate. I looked at my color wheel and I tried various swatches until I found that this color goes well with powdery-pastel versions of blue, green and yellow.  As luck would have it, I found in the stash this beautiful knit, ribbed on the crossgrain. It goes beautifully with the zig-zag fur jacket and pants, and it has a relatively heavy hand, so it can be worn for colder spring or fall weather so that it doesn't look out of place with the fur jacket.

I had been dying to make this top by Sandra Betzina so here was the perfect opportunity (or so I thought, see lesson learned #1 below). I constructed the entire top with my new serger, and I loved it! When I went to the showroom and asked for a demonstration of their sergers the first thing I thought was: "Wow! That seam went so fast. I gotta have one!" The second thing I thought was: "Shit, how am I going to control that speed?" But actually I had no problem slowing down in the tricky places with this top.

The only bit I did on the sewing machine was the hem which I neatly made with a twin needle, following the most useful video on threading a twin needle from Sewing Machines etc. I made size C blending to D at the hip, and to E (!) at the arms. I added 2.5in to the sleeves length since I wanted full long sleeves, and I shortened the top by ~1inch at the hem.

I love my powder yellow top except for three things, which I am going to call lessons learned:
  1. The fabric is a bit too think for this design. Under the arms there are places with 7 layers(!) and because of the crosswise ribs this fabric is a bit stiffer than one might expect.  I will make other versions of this top, but in much thinner fabric.
  2. The instructions on the pattern said it is possible to ease a much bigger sleeve into the armscye of a smaller size. So, I thought since I need size E for my biceps I might as well cut a full E sleeve. Mistake. It is true that I could ease the 2-sizes bigger sleeve in, but that is hardly the point. I now have too much fabric at the sleeve cap and around the underarm. Next time, use the sleeve head from size C and blend into size E at the arms.
  3. The back has lots of horizontal wrinkles! Do I need a swayback adjustment? Check that for next time.

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