Monday, 18 November 2013

Pleasing peerless Pleated Pia

I LOVE my new StyleArc Pleated Pia top. It is just lovely and I am so happy with how the neckline ended up and really like the "scoop" shape of the neckline.

Here it is on Babs

Close up of neckline

The pleats kind of get swallowed up by the fabric - but they are there.

I purchased the fabric from Sawyer Brook's online. It is called eco tourist and if you look closely at the pattern you can see why.

I can't decide if it looks like a whole lot of amoebas:

Or some hot mud springs

But whatever - it looks alive - organic. It is lighter weight than I was expecting. It is a viscose / elastane jersey knit. It will be great for our summer but I would have liked a bit more substance to it. Maybe that is my ignorance over what a viscose / elastane jersey knit is. It does feel nice on. I shall make more Pia's I am sure.

Here it is on.

BTW - thanks for all of the nice comments on my haircut. Unfortunately the rain has got to it and it has gone FRIZZ.

I started this top on Saturday at Tessuti's Sewing Day but was having trouble with the neckband. I always have trouble with the neckband. The fabric is quite a fine knit and it kept getting swallowed by the feed dogs (hungry little critters they were). After unpicking it 3 times I decided to have a break from it and I finished it successfully last night by using my walking foot.

Can I say that the walking foot is never coming off my machine. If ever I have to do a zip or a button I will have to buy a new machine. I love the walking foot. I purchased it for a sewing workshop on knits that I attended (it was on the required equipment list) but really didn't get it until yesterday when it fed this fine knit through like it was linen. That foot was certainly made for walking. Love it.

And the Pia - as you can see in the title - I didn't have any successful me made tees in my wardrobe. I can't count the StyleArc Creative Cate as it doesn't have a neckband and the sleeves are cut on the front and back. Not really a tee and very easy peasy. That is why I am calling the Pia peerless - so far.

Adjustments to Pattern:

- Purchased one a size too small and added 2 cms to each side seam = 8 cms in total. That way the shoulders and arms fit better. It is still a bit big in these areas but it could be the soft knit used too. Found out about different knits the hard way!

You can just see the 2 cms added to the side of the sleeve to match the 2 cms I add to the side of the pattern. I then grade that down to zero about half way down the sleeve.

- Added 2 inches in length to cover tum tum.

- Cut some off the sleeve length. Next time I will another inch or so on the sleeve. I don't like short sleeves and not keen on long. I like 3/4 sleeves.

- I made the neckband a tad wider - about 1 cm.

No other adjustments (which is really great for someone my size).

Overall - very happy.

Things I learnt during this project:

- Even if your fabric is a very fine knit - using interfacing on the neckband is not a good idea if you want to stretch it between the quarters!

- Every good sewing machine deserves feet - and a walking foot is worth the money. I am going to check out if I can get one for the Elna Overlocker....

- Suzanne Gray says you should always sew a sleeve in and not sew it in one go from the hem to cuff. I am starting to think she may be on to something there.

Review on Pattern Review

Next post will be details on the tea dress.                                                                                                                                                         .  


  1. Woo hoo Beverley. What a great outcome. Walking feet are a dream.

  2. Nice top! Love that neckline, very flattering.

  3. This top looks great on you! Fun to see some fabric from where I work - Sawyer Brook Fabrics - made up. Sorry to hear our description of the fabric didn't give you a clue as to its weight. I'll pass that on to my boss.
    It's good to know you were able to get such a good fit with a Style Arc pattern. I haven't tried them yet; maybe I should!

  4. Pia is on my wishlist, too. Beautiful job, I love it on you. I have just finished using my walking foot to keep some stripes under control on a very stretchy stripey jersey. Fantastic .

  5. Walking feet are the best feet. Good for slippery fabrcis too! I haven't heard of one for an overlocker... let us know what you find out. Lovely top!

  6. Hey, lovely to see this finished and it looks great on you.

  7. I'm so glad you finished this and didn't let that neckband defeat you! It looks great, the fabric is very mesmerising

  8. BeaJay, this top looks absolutely gorgeous on you - the organic pattern suits you so nicely. Very, very flattering. And the haircut has taken years off you.

  9. The fabric is gorgeous and that top looks very nice on you! Your neck band looks amazing...perfectly sewn on!

  10. Lovely top! I really do rate Style Arc patterns, never had a duffer yet. I'll look out for Pia next time I place an order. Can I please ask why you think it might be better to sew the sleeve in, rather than construct flat?

  11. Lovely top BeaJay. The neckline is very flattering on you (and beautifully sewn). I never sew knits without my walking invention ever.

  12. Love the top! It's a great print, with a very nice drape and it fits you beautifully. I bought a walking foot about a year ago, used it for a bit, then went back to my regular foot. At the time I was sewing with a lot of lycra and small seam allowances, and it wasn't so great. I should put it back on now I'm sewing more for me - with normal seam allowances.

  13. Great top and super neckband! So nice to see pre-sewing adjustments being made! That fabric and the others are very eye catching and conversation starting...I want some!!!

  14. Just bought a walking foot, haven't had a chance to use it yet, now I am really looking forward to it. I too, would like to know more about setting the sleeve instead of sewing it in flat. I would be grateful for whatever info you want to share.

  15. Beautiful top, BJ! You did a fantastic job and the neck band looks perfect. I'm thinking I bought that fabric too and may need to go searching to see if I did and where I put it. I may not have, but know I looked at it hard! Your hair looks great, even if you think it's frizzed! :P}}

  16. You've done a lovely job BeaJay. My first thought on seeing your fabric was that it looked like water droplets in oil. I love it and wish I could get some too. I don't own a walking foot, but am anxious to get one for my machine. I sew quite a bit with knits and I think it would be a tremendous help. Happy sewing!

  17. Absolutely wonderful! The neckline looks great, it was worth all the work and effort to achieve a perfect finish, I laughed with your compared about the fabric. Happy start to the week, dear.

  18. It looks fab. Very flattering! Now, to the hair. For frizz I highly recommend an anti-frizz product (for me it's a moisturising cream). Don't use mousse as in my experience it just makes the frizz worse. :)

  19. My walking foot ONLY comes off if I'm doing a buttonhole or topstitching. I use it for everything - wovens and knits. Some new high-end Janome machine has a walking foot that can...wait for adapted to use with a zipper foot! O_o

    Love the Pia top. This is definitely a TNT!

  20. love it.
    (I also like the new hair cut - very flattering)

  21. I LOVE that fabric!

    I've actually wondered about the sewing the sleeve in versus going hem to cuff, but I haven't decided one way for sure yet. I think that I've had enough successes that it steers me toward the easier way, but I am inclined to think that often sewing it in is better. My issue is that I haven't figured out for sure when I think it's necessary.

  22. Lovely fabric, the neckline looks fabulous - and it looks great on you! Very nice indeed!

  23. I like it! See- even nature wants to wear animal prints!

  24. Silly to say but that looks like it was made for you.. I mean I know it was but.. great fit! I am no good at choosing knits. Great neckline.


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate your feedback and your interest.