Wednesday, July 27, 2016

OAL2016: Eyelet Collar Parisian Top

Since I finished my sweater for the Outfit Along with 2 weeks to spare, I decided to go ahead with a project I had planned a while ago that would work perfectly to combine the cardigan and skirt: a white shirt. I know what you're thinking: A white t-shirt. How boring. But this is not a plain white tee :) I have the same type of thoughts with making something as boring as a plain white shirt, yet white shirts are absolutely the workhorse of my wardrobe and are one of the only things I actually wear out. I wear mostly separates day to day, but I'm not a fan of pattern on pattern and some of my skirts are odd colors that are very hard to match in a solid fabric. White shirts are the answer for me. They go with everything! But it still bores me to tears just thinking about making a completely plain white shirt (you know - scoop neck with short sleeves). So I had the thought months ago to make one with an eyelet collar. I actually had ordered an eyelet white jersey material from last year, but they ran out so they couldn't fulfill my order. At that time I wanted to make a Sorrel top with an eyelet collar. When that plan was dashed (the Sorrel has to use a knit and I couldn't find any more eyelet jersey), I shelved the idea hoping to find the right fabric to no avail. Fast forward to this year and I had the idea to use the Parisian Top pattern and make the collar in woven eyelet. Done! It just had to be.
When I first made this pattern years ago (here and here - wow, I can't believe it's been that long), I thought that all the fabrics you used had to be a knit (body and collar). I thought it might work though, so after researching the versions other bloggers have made I knew it would work with a woven collar and a knit body. Huzzah! I had a 2 yard cut of white Robert Kaufman Laguna Jersey in my stash that I could use for the body, but finding an eyelet I liked for the collar was a bigger challenge than I anticipated. All I had in my stash (inherited from others' stashes) as well as most of what I could find for sale was eyelet border print, which wouldn't work with the curved shape of my collar, and the few all over eyelets I found were crazy expensive (Some were as much as $45 a yard!). I only needed about a fat quarter worth of fabric! Ugh. I found one at Joann's that I was getting ready to buy, but online they now have a minimum of 3 yards to order (what's with that?) and I haven't had the justification to drive 1 hour to get to the nearest store. Happily (actually, it's sadly) I swung int o my local Hancock Fabric's going out of business sale and they had one that was an all over floral embroidered eyelet. I had to buy a minimum of 2 yards, but since it was 80% off, it was cheaper than just the 1/2 yard would've been at Joann's. Also I technically got 1/2 yard free because there was a big snag in the middle of the yardage and the lady cutting it for me just threw that in on top of my 2.5 yards I asked for. I was easily able to cut my collar around the snag, making this collar technically free :) So now I have plenty of eyelet and I still had enough for this project, lol. Long story, sorry.
The Parisian Top was actually the first knit project I ever made. What attracted me to it then are still the things I love about it now - what's not to love about a t-shirt with a peter pan collar and puffed sleeves?! I did make some fit changes to this shirt though just like I did to my Classy Parisian long ago. I like a tighter fit than the pattern suggests for my size so it accentuates my waist, and while I fall in the range of the size Large, I kind of end up with a size Medium from the bust down. To do this I cut the pieces in the size Large, constructed the shoulder seams and sleeves, then laid my Classy Parisian top on top of it to see where to contour the side seams more and sewed from sleeve hem to main hem with a much larger seam allowance. After trying it on, I thought I might like a smidge more ease, so I tried to unpick my side seam - holy cow what a nightmare that was for my eyes! My thread was the exact color of my fabric and I used a lightning bolt stitch so it was near impossible to unpick. I made a small hole in my efforts about mid waist and just said the old fit was fine and resewed the seam (adding knit stay tape to the hole and making sure it was in the seam allowance.
So the shirt is slightly more snug than I would like, but I can live with it. The part that kind of annoys me now is how sheer the laguna jersey is. I understand it's white and white is sheer, but I feel like I am constantly on the hunt for a slightly thicker but still nice and not polyester knit in white. When I find it, Watch Out! Anyway, it's a little sheer, but that's normal in white even in ready to wear, so I'm not that worried about it. I did make another change to the pattern by leaving the hem bands off at the sleeves and body - this is just my personal preference. I love a good twin needle hem and it's so much less fiddly to wear than a hem band. I just lengthened the body to account for the hem band being gone. I made the sleeves shorter anyway, so I just turned them where I liked the length and stitched (the pattern comes with 3/4 length sleeves). I wanted the sleeves to be short so i could wear them under a cardigan easily (which I totally can!).
I love how the sleeves fit me on this shirt though - they ended up not as tight as the body, so they are able to keep their nice little poof at the top. And the length is good for me :) One advantage to the jersey being a bit thin is that the puff on the sleeves easily lays flat under a cardigan - yay!
Now for the real star here: the collar. I can't lie - I did settle for this eyelet fabric, but now that it's all finished I really love it and think it's a better choice than one with more holes. There is a rose pattern embroidered on it in a shinier thread so it stands out from the white background better. I wanted the pattern to match as well as possible, so I cut the collar top in two pieces with added seam allowance at the back instead of on the fold like the pattern calls for. This was I was able to lay the first cut piece on top of the fabric to make sure they matched. I deliberately made is so that the larger rose motif was on the main part of the collar with the eyelets ending up above them and I think it worked pretty well :)
Here's a close up of the collar front and pattern matching - not bad. Not perfect, but not bad. The eyelet fabric was very sheer, so I opted to use fusible interfacing to the eyelet pieces of the collar instead of the bottom to help hide the seam allowances inside. I didn't want the under collar to be bulky with another layer of eyelet, so I used a plain white mystery fabric from my stash (it seemed like a cheap poly cotton) and this worked great. I followed the pattern and trimmed 1/8" off the outer edge of the collar before sewing the top to the bottom to keep the seam line securely under and it worked like a charm! This is the first time I've done it correctly since it's the first time it actually worked, lol. I also really love how neat the binding inside the neck turns out on this pattern. It's undoubtedly the most fiddly neck binding of any of the knit patterns I've used, but very much worth it since everything is encased and smooth when you're finished. I stitched the neckband binding on with a zig zag stitch. The final shot is of the seam at the back of the collar - since it worked out so well it deserves a photo :)
Let's look at that collar one more time :) I really love that this idea worked out and the fact that it's white on white makes it seem like a shirt you could buy somewhere (hopefully that makes sense). I guess I mean that it feels like a good design choice. With this collar and the puffed sleeves I think Anne Shirley herself would be envious :)
And there you have it - my final piece for the Outfit Along that really makes the whole outfit come together and I can't imagine this project without it. I adore this shirt, and I might be tempted to do the eyelet collar again in other colors - how cute would yellow or teal be?!

I've said it for all of my Outfit Along pieces, but this will get so much wear with other things in my closet! I'm excited to have each separate item to wear together or apart. While I do love my crazy print dresses, there's something to be said about easy to wear basic items that you know will be worn much more often, which all of these items are :) So I'm really happy that I was able to complete my goal of the Outfit Along and end up with such practical items in the process!

Did you join in the Outfit Along? I'd love to see your projects!

Shirt Summary:
Fabric: 1.25 yards Laguna Jersey in White - $7.50, 0.5 yards of embroidered cotton eyelet - Free, 0.25 yards white broadcloth (?) - Free (stash)
Pattern: Parisian Top by Go To Patterns
Notions: Interfacing - $0.50, knit stay tape - $0.25, thread - $0.50
Time: 4 hours
Total Cost: $8.75

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