wow! this took 3 hours from start to finish, tracing and everything. that also included ripping a load of stitching on the shoulders. i didn’t have a clue how to go about stabilising the seams, first i tried stitching some firm interfacing in with the overlock stitch, but it wasn’t solid enough and came to bits when i tugged on the seam. after lots of unpicking i used some of the brushed cotton from the pjs, just straight stitched in, then ran another row of straight to keep it from showing on the right side. seems to have worked fine.

i had a bit of a battle with the clear elastic too. i couldn’t stitch it in straight at all, the presser foot kept scooting over it, elastic went one way and the fabric went the other. in the end i hand cranked it all around the neckline. i didn’t quite follow the directions here - i finished the neck before putting in the sleeves or sewing the side seams, which was a very good idea as i could work on it in the flat. i also didn’t stretch as i basted down the elastic as i didn’t have enough hands. the finish is reasonable, and the only problem is a slight flaring out on the bends that might have been down to not stretching during basting (i did stretch when i sewed it over on the right side) but equally might be because i turned it down too close so the elastic is folded over a little.

i used my machine’s stretch version of the 3-step zigzag for the neckline and hems and the overlock stitch on the seams. the overlock is pretty good actually, the trick is to go as fast as possible and hold the fabric at quite an angle. didn’t get any problems with the edges curling under, and managed to keep it from veering off the edge which it really wanted to do.

this project has got me raring to go with more knits, which is fortuitous since i’m currently in negotiations over a secondhand serger. it looks like i won’t get it as it’s out of my price range but this has whet my appetite and i’m dreaming of a machine that can handle stuff like this without me having to fight it most of the way.

haven’t tried it for size (did the smallest, 92) but it looks pretty good compared to one of her rtw tops - there looks to be enough stretch to go over her head (it’s cut higher on the neck than i expected). if anything it looks to be a bit short in the body - another case of short and wide ottobre fit perhaps.

oh and the fabric is the exact same one featured in the magazine, one of my michas stoffecke buys. i think it’s cute but not overly so and i hope it’ll appeal to madam. it’s lovely and velvety soft and bloody well should be for the price.

edit: duh! have just realised i shouldn’t have sewn the reinforcing tapes in between the shoulder seams but on top of them. then there’d be no worrying about them showing through on the right side. well all educational i guess.