The Breton Top

This top is inspired by two fellow Sewists – Scruffy Badger and So Zo.

As you can see, this is a close duplicate of the top Scruffy Badger recently made, using the book Sew U Home Stretch.

I really liked the tops Scruffy had made and wanted some of my own. I already had this striped jersey in my stash, bought from Saeed Fabrics. I ordered a copy of the book and set to.

I graded my pattern from a medium at the chest to a large everywhere else. I used Lite Steam A Seam on the neckline. I had to take the sleeves in by about three inches because they were flapping around my arms.

The hem line… It crept shorter and shorter and shorter – it took me three attempts to hem this baby. I finally cracked out the walking foot on my sewing machine and things went much better. It didn’t help that I was working with some really cheap thread that kept snapping. There was violent swearing. Not for the first time, I apologise to my neighbours.

But I kept at it, determined to win this war. In fact, I’ve decided to stop being so grumpy around knit fabrics, inspired by my second friend – So Zo. I really liked her recent interview with Stitch and Witter and the emphasise she placed on comfortable clothing. I’ve realised it’s silly to reject knit makes, just because I can buy a knit top in Sainsburys for a fiver. If I want a long sewing career, it can’t all be horsehair braid and bound buttonholes – there needs to be a balance.

I’m wearing the top with my V1247 skirt. Aren’t they great together? I definitely need to make more versions of this skirt.

I love the gold buttons I sewed to one shoulder…

I think I’m slowly getting somewhere. I guess the issue is that I’m having to eat humble pie, and I’m not always enjoying the taste. I thought I more or less knew how to sew – then knit fabrics whipped my ass. I had to start at the bottom again. But if there’s one thing I am, it’s stubborn! You’ll be seeing more knit makes around these parts.

STOP PRESS! There’s another Pattern Pyramid giveaway over at The Bookworm Sewist. She’s added five more patterns to the giveaway, including a darling suit and what looks like … a vintage onesie!

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31 Responses to The Breton Top

  1. Karen yours looks like the look sweat and swearing was worth it!! What a look , it looks great Madame and you seem to have avoided the issue of the too wide neck that I had. I’m wearing mine today too!! By the way the buttons are lush! I’m looking forward to making my own version of that skirt…then we can be twins ;-)

  2. Hurray for battling on!
    Love it, especially adding the little detail of the buttons! You wouldn’t get that for a fiver in Sainsbury’s… ;)

  3. It seems you’ve well and truly conquered that challenge. It looks very nautical and the gold buttons are a distinctive touch. Lovely.

  4. Sam says:

    That’s a great top. The stress and swearing were definitely worth it. Isn’t cheap thread the worst?! I normally use Guttemans, but recently needed some black thread urgently and my little local craft/art shop didn’t have any, so I had to buy Coats. Even that kept snapping! Grrrr……

    I keep wondering why I’m not scared off knit fabrics, and I’ve suddenly realised it’s because in the past I spent many years making skating and dance costumes out of very stretchy leotard lycra. Anything else seems pretty stable in comparison to that!

  5. I was reading the book last night and i was between the breton top and the tank. you convince me to go for the Breton.. its so adorable….

  6. Looks fab! I’m currently knitting a Breton jumper, so I’m very much loving stripes right now – nice work!

  7. Great top Karen! Did you sew it up mainly on your overlocker, or on your normal machine please (just curious) :)?

  8. danac2012 says:

    Nice…like the fit of your sleeves, thank you for sharing

  9. Charlotte says:

    I totally live in fear of knits, but the comfort argument might win me over. You did a fantastic job on this top!

  10. pat says:

    Nice job. If you want another easy top to sew that’s free and spot on with RTW sizing try this:

    http://cationdesigns.blogspot.com/2012/08/free-sewing-pattern-dolman-sleeve-top.html

    It only has 8 pages to print and I made it without a serger.

  11. Lauren says:

    I knew that measuring tape was an accessory! Loved the top with the tights. :)

  12. Roobeedoo says:

    Hooray! She did it! ;)
    Speaking of skirts (we were, weren’t we?) I think you would really suit the new Grainline Moss skirt. It reminds me of the skirt you were wearing in Edinburgh.

  13. I love it! What a fantastic wardrobe staple. I’d be wearing it all the time if I were you. Congrats on wrestling a knit and coming out the winner. I am too chicken to try yet.

  14. gingermakes says:

    This looks so cute on you! Love it! I’m glad you’ve conquered your fear of knits– there’s something so cozy and easy about wearing them!

  15. alibobs says:

    For value-for-sewing time you can’t beat a classic long sleeved t-shirt – I have a black striped top that has almost been worn to death, and I can’t find the same perfect stripes anywhere.

    I am doing the opposite to you and relearning how to make tops with woven fabric, and struggling with all the precise fitting.

  16. Marie says:

    Yay for not giving up on jersey! If I can sew with it, so can you lady and you proved just how good you are at it with this sweet little top ;o)

  17. kim says:

    This is wonderful! I’m discovering knits and want to try to do rub off of a favourite knit dress but going to practice a bit more first. :P love the embellishing buttons!

  18. ooobop! says:

    Worth the fight if you ask me. For sure there are a lot of high street knits out there but not nearly of as much quality and style!

  19. Love, love, love. The fit looks great and very slimming. You look gorgeous in it. I’m loving my walking foot for all sorts of things now; Hemmed jeans today.

  20. Emma says:

    Bof! Sacred Bleu! Vraiment TRES beau. As-tu du confit de canard? Non? Peut-etre une galette?

  21. Portia says:

    Lookin’ gooooood lady! I’m a bit of a knitophobic too; but I do neeeeed a nice Breton top, so, hmmmm…maybe…..;)
    Px

  22. Meg says:

    I love knits – I totally resisted, and now I find that 60% of my stash is knit! I love being comfy – it’s worth the battle I think :) Your top looks great – love the stripes and the addition of the buttons!

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  24. Zoe says:

    LOVE it! You’ve done an awesome job Karen. It’s a basic top that you’ll wear again and again, plus I’m sure it’ll was much better and have a much longer lifespan than the Sainsbury’s equivalent. Also, thanks for the link to my interview, I’m so glad some of it resonated with you xxx

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