Pattern Reviews · This 'n' That

Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top Polo Hack

Bonjour! I’m still laid up with my ruptured Achilles, so I can’t sew at the moment, however… here’s one I made earlier!

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It’s the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top that I made into a polo neck (pre-injury). I’ve made the Agnes a few times before and I think it’s a fabulous pattern, with plenty of options to make each one different. I make it in a size 3 at the sleeves, waist, and hips, and grade it up to a size 4 at the bust.

The construction is really straightforward and the sleeves are very simple to insert, as there’s no easing; you just sew them in flat. As I’ve made it before I didn’t take any ‘work in progress’ pics this time, so, instead, here are some photos of one the first one I made last year, with some fabulous pink stripe jersey from Fabric Godmother, that I named my Bagpuss top…

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Check out that stripe matching; it took a LOT of careful cutting and pinning!

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I also had some fabric left over, so I made another one for my gorgeous niece, AKA Titch!

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Anyway, back to my latest one… when I knew we had a French-themed exhibition coming up at our gallery, I naturally *had* to have a black and white stripe top for the preview day. I chose a lightweight, ribbed jersey fabric from Fabworks.  I decided I wanted it to be a polo neck, so I thought I’d have a go at hacking the faithful Agnes.

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I traced my existing pattern, then compared the width of the shoulders and the height of the neckline on my Agnes pattern with a RTW polo neck and adjusted my pattern accordingly. Here you can see the original lines and how much I added:

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Once I’d cut and joined the front and back pieces, and attached the sleeves as usual, I measured the opening of the neck hole and cut some fabric 15cm high, so it’d be 6cm high once folded in half and stitched on, and 25% shorter than the neck opening in length, as that’s how much I’d usually make a neckband on a stretchy jersey top. I then, stupidly (hindsight’s a wonderful thing!), plunged straight ahead and sewed the ends together, then attached it to the top… but when I tried it on it was far too tight – let’s just say breathing was impaired! So out came my seam ripper and I spent then next hour-and-a-half carefully unpicking all those teeny zigzag stitches… I *hate* unpicking jersey!

What I hadn’t considered was that this was a funnel neck, not a normal neckband, and I’d also forgotten to add the seam allowance back onto the length measurement. Argh! I re-measured, cut out a new piece of fabric at 15% shorter (+3cm seam allowance) and sewed the ends together, then I tried it on before sewing it to the top and hurrah, it fitted perfectly! Breathing was resumed! I quickly made a note on my pattern piece for future reference.

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So that’s pretty much all there is to it. Here’s a photo taken at the exhibition preview. If you’d like to know about the exhibition by Kent artist Graham Clarke, visit (shameless plug alert!) www.gallery-plus.co.uk

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This 'n' That

Please vote!

Hello, lovely readers. I’m writing this post from my sofa while I rest my leg: I’m on crutches for at least 10 weeks, as I ruptured my Achilles tendon playing in a badminton match last Friday – owie! – though on the plus side, my pink cast is rather fabulous!

Anyway, I’m absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for Dressmaker of the Year Readers Choice Award!

It’s for a shirt I made for my wonderful hubby using gorgeous green Liberty fabric.

It would be brilliant if you’d kindly vote for me. Here’s the link:

https://acevillepublications.typeform.com/to/X60XZT

And if you feel like sharing and encouraging your friends to vote as well, that’d be very much appreciated too.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get myself rigged up with a leg rest in my sewing room soon, as I’ve got lots of plans for new makes, so watch this space.

Thanks SEW (sorry!) much, Daphne xx