Monday, 22 March 2021

just make something: Wanted top

 Two weeks in a row! And they're both actually things I've made! 

Today is Patrick's birthday (his second lockdown birthday, poor guy) and it marks only one remaining week of waiting until a) our bed arrives and b) restrictions are lifted sufficiently to allow us to have other humans in our garden. I cannot wait. Sleeping on the floor is ruining both of us and extreme introvert though I might be, I really miss people. I think it'll take me a while to remember how to socialise, and it'll be a long while yet before I'm prepared to deal with a crowd again, but one or two humans? Yes please. 

On to the thing I made! It's a top which wouldn't ordinarily be something I'd bother to post. There's rarely much to be gained by writing about the same knit top pattern more than twice and if I were making things at a normal rate, you'd see this in a month's time being photographed with whatever new pair of trousers I'd made with a short single-paragraph aside of "oh, also I made this."

But I am not making things at my usual rate. This is the first thing I've made in months. So we're going to talk about it. 

As you almost certainly know, this is the Vanessa Pouzet Wanted top. I've made this many times and used it as the bodice for a summer maxi dress many times more. It's a particular favourite of mine because it's both a very simple knit top and a bit more interesting than a basic T-shirt, and I thought making it now would let it serve as a good transitional piece between "I'm inside all day, nobody is going to see me" and "oh, humans again" without too much culture shock. 

The fabric is a piece of sweater knit from the Abakhan bins that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas in 2019. I've been hoarding it mostly because of the sheer novelty of someone else giving me fabric I didn't pick. But when March rolled around and I decided this whole no-sewing thing had outlived its welcome, this fabric was a no-brainer to start me going again. It's knit, it's nice quality, it's a good colour, it can become a simple top and get worn regularly and immediately. And so it was. For a while I was considering trying to make a dress out of it, but seeing how clingy it is I'm very glad I didn't! It did not enjoy being hemmed, and there's a chance I might try to piece together enough scraps to make bands so I can unpick the twin needle stitching. 

The first time I made this top I did so out of jersey with basically no recovery, and it started falling off my shoulders pretty quickly. I made the assumption that the neckband was too long and so not holding everything where it should, and for my next several attempts I shortened the band considerably. This time I went back to the original length and I have to say I prefer it. So far it hasn't threatened to fall off my shoulders at all. I also made the decision not to adjust for my quarantine boobs or quarantine biceps, in hopes that I can continue to wear it when all returns to normal. I'm fine with it being a bit tight, but it is quite noticeable in these photos. 

I cannot imagine how irritated Past Jen would be if she found out that she did all that work to whittle down and clear out her stash only to have Present Jen whine that now she didn't know what to make and this is why people have a stash. (Past Jen was correct, I don't like a big stash, but we are in very particular times right now.) 

I'm happy enough with this as a project to get things moving again. There are things I would, in better times, have paid more attention to, but the most important job this top has is reminding me that sewing is good and fun, I can make things I like and I should do it more often. Though I still might replace that bottom hem with a band if remnants allow,

Since Walthamstow is still a little while away, I've ordered myself a McCalls maxi dress pattern (8174) to try out with one of my experimental pieces of jersey. It's yet another triumph-or-disaster sort of project, so you may or may not be seeing that within the next week or two. The test jersey I've picked is bright red because I absolutely intend to overcompensate for the past lost year by showing up to everything bigger and louder and brighter and fancier than anyone has any right to be. 

Back soon, with a new dress and another background option! 


  1. I really like this new background (a moment of silence for the palm tree). The wall/vines looks very ethereal. But now you've peaked my interest so I can't wait to see the new option. Good for you for just sewing something (and in a great color!). I need to take that advice for myself.

    1. Debbie! Fantastic to see you making the rounds again. The palm tree is the one thing I'll miss about the old place - technically there is one here but it's very tall and skinny and more spiky lollipop than cool photo background!