Monday 11 September 2017

autumn sewing: Vanessa Pouzet Wanted top

Time to get started with the things I actually planned to make. First up, a basic: the Vanessa Pouzet Wanted top. I had literally never heard of Vanessa Pouzet until about a month ago, and then I watched a bunch of sewing vlogs one afternoon and three out of the first four I watched were making her patterns. Ah, the little bubbles the sewing community gets into.

I wanted to start here because I am so short on tops. I don't actually wear several of the ones I do have because they don't quite fit properly or don't really go with anything, and I have to keep going to back to old RTW T-shirts that look like afterthoughts. This is the main thing about my wardrobe that I'd like to fix in the coming months, but it's really difficult to find patterns that meet my requirements. 98% of patterns for tops are either super-long with all the design in the lower part, massive, or designed with exceptionally stupid sleeves. I just wanted fitted jersey tops that can be worn at my natural waistline, but it's been a struggle to find anything that isn't just a basic T-shirt. So when I saw this top with a cool neckline, I jumped on it immediately, ignoring the bit where my French is almost non-existent these days. 

This fabric was a panic-buy for Mum's Kielo when I started to worry that time was running out, and I knew even as I was buying it that it wasn't going to work. I didn't really think it would work for me either, but decided to use it to make a wearable toile of this top rather than cutting straight into the sweater knit I'd bought for it. I never would have looked twice at this colour, but much to my surprise I actually think it looks great on me and it goes with almost every colour of skirt that I own. Apple green: who knew? 

I found the top pretty simple to construct without needing to refer to the written instructions at all. The diagrams were clear enough for the neckband, and that's the only bit that differs from making a standard T-shirt. It takes a tiny bit longer but I still had this sewn up within the hour. My main concern had been that the wide square neckline would fall off my fairly narrow shoulders, but as you can see it's perfectly fine. So I went on to make my black sweater version. 

(I took the photo above and the photo below literally two minutes apart, and the sun moved, so despite the fact that I still have the remains of what passes for a tan on me thanks to my holiday, my face is suddenly blinding white like a Goth album cover. I apologise for any damage this does to your eyes.)

This version, annoyingly, does fall off my shoulders a bit because the fabric is so much stretchier. I could do without the hints of bra strap but I don't think it'll stop me wearing it because it is SO comfortable. The fabric's also quite thin but not so prone to riding up, which will make it super versatile for my wardrobe. Normally I can't wear longer tops with my really high-waisted skirts because it creates a load of unnecessary bulk (tucking in does not work on me unless the top is only slightly longer than my natural waist or is so long that I'm literally just wearing a skirt over a dress. Anything else will ride right up and create a very attractive lump below my waistband), and if I cut all my tops super cropped I have nothing suitable to wear with trousers. This I can wear with both, which is great. 

I really like this neckline. The square shape is flattering and takes it out of "boring-ass T-shirt" territory quite effectively. I do think that in the future I'd make the back neckband a little bit shorter as it doesn't lie quite as flat as I'd like. It's so rare that the neckband pieces that come with patterns are the right size that I'm planning to start ignoring them completely and just measuring the pieces out myself. 

If you have a favourite not-just-a-T-shirt fitted top pattern, please do comment and let me know! This one and the Givre from my last post brings me up to a grand total of two, and while I will make more of both, that's going to get a bit stale sooner rather than later, and I'd love to have a bit more variety to fall back on. Functional wardrobes!


  1. Cute! The square neckline does suit you. No great ideas for top patterns from this direction I'm afraid; I have the opposite problem from you in that I need long tops.

    Who exactly does tucking in work for anyway (unless wearing a 90s style bodysuit)? It always produces lumps on me too.

    1. I've wondered the same thing! I've seen people claim they tuck in everything and would never go out with a free-floating top, and I just wonder "where does it GO??"

  2. The square neckline is very flattering on you. While I don't think the bra straps peeking out is a terrible thing, do you have the Hollywood Tape (or its equivalent) in the UK? I love this stuff for managing those minor wardrobe annoyances. Stick on in the morning and don't mess with the thing for the rest of the day. :)