MMM 2015, Day 2: Bronte knit top, wearable muslin

Me-Made-May, day 2!

Saturdays during Me-Made-May are wild-card days, I get to sew whatever I want! Today, I’m featuring Jennifer Lauren Vintage’s Bronte top, a sweet modern vintage top with lapped shoulder and neckline detail, reminiscent of 40s style shrugs. Here’s the short-sleeve version, sewn up as a wearable muslin, so still a few fitting issues to work out, but overall I’m happy: FullSizeRender-13  FullSizeRender-10

Pattern & Instructions:

Jennifer Lauren Vintage provides an excellent tutorial on using PDF patterns. I found the PDF pattern download very well arranged, and thanks to the page layout overview provided in the instructions, I only had to print the pages I needed in order to make the short-sleeve version. Short sleeve version = 15 pages to print, long-sleeve version = 21 pages to print.

The instructions were well written, very clear, and had illustrations. I didn’t bother printing them, but instead just read them off my computer screen.

Level of Difficulty – beginner, basic experience with knits would be helpful but not required. If this is your first time working with knits, I suggest a medium weight and stretch for this pattern (nothing too thin or stretchy), and buy a little extra fabric so you can test out using a zigzag stitch and adjusting your tension before you sew into the actual garment. When I made this garment, I considered it to be a “wearable muslin”, meaning it would be my first try, it wouldn’t be perfect, and I’d still likely have to make some adjustments for the next time.

Sizes 6 – 24

Garment Assembly:

Assembly instructions for the top are fairly simple. Is short, you (1) sew binding to front and back necklines, (2) sew the shoulder seams, (3) hem the bottom edge of the sleeves, then attach the sleeve along the shoulder seam, and (4) sew up the sides and hem the bottom. I really liked doing the sleeve this way, much easier that trying to set it in to an armhole, here’s a pic of step (3):

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Garment Alterations:

I’d read reviews on the pattern before making it, and several people stated they found the body length a bit short, so I added a full 3″ to the length. I’m long in the torso, and love longer shirts anyhow, so it was just right. I also have very broad shoulders (thank you competitive distance swimming), and completely forgot to adjust for shoulder width before cutting into my fabric. The shoulder seam should lie at the very edge of the shoulder, lower than a standard sleeve, giving the top a cute relaxed vintage look, but instead it sits up a bit higher than the pattern intended. And, I think the front piece is too short at the shoulder, look how it’s pulling down on the neckline and causing tight wrinkled across the seam just below the binding. I’ll have to add more fabric into the front piece at the shoulder, to allow the seam to relax. Oh well, I’ll have to work on the fit a bit more for next time!

FullSizeRender-11

Final Thoughts:

I will definitely make this again, it’s a basic design that opens up to lots of possible design variations. I see more tops, a few long-sleeve ones for winter, maybe a short-sleeve version as pajamas, or lengthened through the body for a little summer dress.

Check out this google search on the Bronte top for design inspiration!

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