Another RTW rip off: Rise Turtleneck hack

Another week, another RTW item to rip off (*I mean make my own version of). This time the inspiration came in the form of a knit top from Finery, a mostly online brand that sells some pretty interesting garments in terms of shape and fabric combos. The top was £65, so not quite as steep as the inspiration for last week's Sahara Shirt, but still pricey, especially when you consider how not-too-far-away it is in style from the Papercut Patterns Rise/Fall Turtleneck pattern.

A Papercut Patterns Rise Turtleneck hack!

The inspiration, c/o Finery
With just a few splices to the front pattern piece, the Rise Turtleneck served as the perfect starting point for a hack. I traced the front out so it could be cut as one rather than on the fold, then drew a 'channel' on one side and cut down the lines. This split the front into 3 pattern pieces (remembering that the long straight edges of each piece needed a 1cm seam allowance adding at cutting). I also extended the length by 12cm so there was plenty room for the top to be ruched up, and added a couple of inches to the sleeve length. In hindsight, I wish I'd have cut the Fall Turtleneck's neckband instead, but I'll keep this in mind for next time.

Edits to the front pattern piece
I cut 2 of the 'channel' pieces and sewed them together to the new main front and side front pattern pieces. Something I didn't work out until later: it helps with hemming if the top channel piece is shorter - I had to do a bit of unpicking, turn it up and restitch the seams. I made a long tie that was threaded up the channel so that it just poked out at the shoulder, and sewed it into the shoulder seam in the usual steps for construction.

Ribbed jersey from Fabworks
I used a mid-weight mauve ribbed jersey from Fabworks - they have loads of great colours in this at the minute! It worked pretty well, but had more stretch than fabrics I've used with this pattern in the past. The extra stretch, combined with the fact that I may have misjudged the seam allowance markers on my (still very new-to-me) overlocker, meant that the finished thing came out pretty big. I did a LOT of taking in - I've had to take the sides in when I've made this pattern in the past, but never this much! The shoulders still sit slightly too wide, but at least it's wearable!

After all that, I very nearly ruined it at the last hurdle - the hemming. Everything I tried seemed to stretch the fabric out in an unsightly wobble. I used my walking foot and a ball point needle, tried straight stitch and stretch stitch, but still no luck. What would everyone else recommend in this situation? In the end, I had to cut off a first attempt, and do a very narrow zig zag with the walking foot, but it's still a bit wavy.

Up close
As an experiment, I'd say it's not turned out too badly overall. I definitely have a few changes that I'd try next time, the first one being to use the Fall neckband. I'd move the channel over so it sits closer to the neck - all that taking in was sucking it further and further towards the side seam - and maybe I'll go full hog and copy the split sleeves too! Colour wise, I'm not sure it's the most flattering on me, but maybe that's because I'm so used to wearing black... hopefully it will grow on me.

Worn with a recently shortened skirt I made way way back!
I'm really enjoying seeking out inspiration from the shops. Having a definite idea of what I'm creating really spurs me on, and being able to recreate something you wanted is so so satisfying! Now to go (window) shopping to seek out what's next!

Thanks Chloe and Lucy for taking snaps in the Stitch Up shop

Stay in touch!

Operation oversized shirt dress (the Ralph Pink Sahara Shirt)

After a bit of early New Year wardrobe lethargy, I decided to go to the shops - not to buy, but to try on for sewing inspiration. We have an &otherstories and Cos in Leeds now (my fave high street shops from my long gone days of shopping) so I went for a snoop. Deciding not to be limited by styles, I tried on anything that I liked the look of, which meant giving some new-to-me styles a go. And that's when I totally fell in love with the most perfect not-usually-me oversized shirt dress.

Handmade shirt dress - the Ralph Pink Sahara Shirt
Although I never intended to buy anything - inspiration trip only - I might have 'accidentally' bought the 'perfect' shirt dress from &OtherStories (pictured below), if only it hadn't been £85 (!!!). I'm neither a usual shirt-wearer or shirt-maker, and it's a bit silly but button holes still strike fear into my heart. But you do unexpected things when in love (with a shirt dress) so I made it my mission to make my own...

The (expensive) inspiration!
First step was finding the PERFECT pattern. After racking my brains a bit, I resorted to an Instagram cry for help, and was met with masses of wonderful comments and suggestions (so many suggestions in fact, that I had to make a Pinterest board to contain them)! Among the possible pattern matches were the Named Helmi, Deer & Doe Meliot - both of which have the perfect neckline - and a couple of sack dresses with the perfect sleeve, but none of them quite 'the one'. It was Hayley and Megan whose suggestions of the Ralph Pink Sahara Shirt made my heart sing. Apart from the collar, it looked spot on from the line drawing, and I thought it would be interesting to try a new-to-me pattern company, so I bought the PDF.

Taking the opportunity to use my Maker's Workbook
The PDF pattern has a border but no line to define it, so it was a bit tricky to trim to size, but once it was prepped, I was off! I used a plain black crepe with a good drape, similar to the shop bought version. The pattern only gives the yardage needed for the largest size (2.35m for size L) so I took a punt and bought 2.2m for the size Medium - perfect, with just a little breathing room. I skipped the faux pocket and collar pieces from my pattern cutting (though as a heads up, they would've fitted within the 2.2m) to get it as close to the inspiration garment as possible.

Getting to grips with my first overlocker!
Having never made a shirt before, I was a little tentative, but needn't have been. The instructions and illustrations are good and really easy to follow. Topstitching the very long plackets in place gave me the sweats just a little, but it was all suprisingly straightforward make. I also took the plunge and used my brand new overlocker for the first time, so it was a little bit of a learning curve in that sense - managing to re-thread it was a triumph in itself! I was quite thankful to have it as there are lots of veryyyy long seams to finish.

The finished dress!
Lovely draping from the side
In an attempt to copy the shop version's neckline, I sewed the 2 collar stand pieces together in the same manner as making the collar (without the actual collar pieces sandwiched in the middle). I attached the collar stand as instructed, and voila! The perfect neckline (phew)!

Detail and a pretty professional finish :)
And now for the much disliked task of adding button holes. The pattern says 11 buttons are needed, (though one of these is for the faux pocket which I skipped). I'm not sure if this is an 'unfortunately' or not, but there are no pattern markings given for the buttons on the pattern pieces. I ended up using 10 buttons on the placket, each spaced 7cm apart. I found that I needed a smaller button for the collar stand, but luckily I had a very little one in my stash. Of course, my first 3 were a near disaster - even after 3 successful practices on a replica placket, typical - but I soon got into the swing of it, and they look pretty good! As a possible word of warning, I found that the button placket came up a little long, but this was really easy to trim just before hemming.

11 button holes down and still standing!
The pattern recommends a rolled hem finish for the curved bottom. Now I've never done one before, but my overlocker's instructions said it could do them, so I gave it a go. I'm not exactly sure if it looks how a rolled hem should, but it does the job, and it was FAST. My first finished make of the year, and quite an exciting one, which has got me all the more inspired!

Back view
...and with a bit of a breeze!
I love love love the finished garment, and just a week from shop-try-on to wearing my own version isn't half bad - only a quick distraction from my #2017makenine plans! The shape is exactly what I wanted, and I'd say the addition of the curved yoke even makes it that little bit better than the &OtherStories version. I can definitely recommend the pattern and will be making it up again with the same tweaks  - in fact I've already got some textured black drapey fabric for version two! Who'd have thought I'd ever feel so stylish/cool in a sack dress?! It's a style I'm keen to explore further, so if you have any tips for fab oversized shirt/dress patterns please let me know in a comment below :)

Dangerously flag-like on a windy day... thanks Sara for the photos!

Stay in touch!

Bloglovin \\ Twitter \\ Pinterest \\ Instagram

Kollabora \\ The Fold Line

Thanks for visiting!

Thanks for visiting!