Monday, October 19, 2015

Blueprints for Sewing Saltbox Top

I've had my eye on the Blueprints for Sewing Saltbox pattern since it came out as part of the Sewing Indie Month bundle... those asymmetrical angles! So cool! So elegant!

All the Blueprints for Sewing patterns are inspired by architectural style... in particular the Saltbox top, a short-sleeve or sleeveless woven tee with a boat neck and an asymmetrically pieced bodice, is inspired by colonial-era saltbox houses in New England, so maybe, subconsciously, my New England roots drew me to it?

In any case, I was pretty jazzed about the colorblocking opportunities provided by the Saltbox, and the ability to use up small pieces of fabric. Since the batik I bought in Indonesia typically comes in 2.25 meter lengths, I sometimes end up with some odd sized leftovers once I've made something with them. I've got a lot of these scrappy ends that I hope the Saltbox will help me use up!

This Saltbox is made with a piece of batik I stole from my mom (it's quilting stuff she got from an estate sale), paired with some acid green cotton lawn I bought in Hong Kong. The batik is more quilting weight cotton, so it's a little bit stiff. I'll stick with garment weight fabrics and make sure that I use similarly weighted fabrics for my next Saltbox.

The pattern is very easy to put together. It's been cleverly designed in such a way that the angles meet just at the neckline to form a sharp point (which I achieved on the front, but must have been off by just a bit on the back).

There's the option for a neckline facing or bias tape finishing. I used the facing on this one, tacking it down at the shoulders and to the seam allowances from the angled bits, as it was popping out a bit otherwise.

The pattern has you set the sleeves in flat, which was nice. I abhor setting in sleeves in the round, mostly because I am really bad at getting them to ease in without any puckers, despite lots of practice. The Saltbox sleeves have very little ease and are simple to set in smoothly. Yay!

The Saltbox is designed for a B-cup, but has built-in FBA lines drawn on the pattern to make it easier to modify by adding a dart... I didn't do one for this top (lazy), but I might have done a small one, as I see a bit of pulling. I assume the lines would make the FBA easier as advertised, but I can't really speak to it. Anyone had any experience FBAing the Saltbox? Were the lines helpful?

I'm really happy about my Saltbox! I'd like to try a rayon challis version like Amy from Almond Rock... looks lovely! I'll definitely do some print-mixing with some of my Indonesian batik scraps. The stuff I have from my time in Indonesia is lighter weight and softer than the quilting weight fabric I used for this Saltbox, so I think it'll be nice. Now that I've had success with the Saltbox, I'm curious about the A-frame skirt from Blueprints for Sewing, too... love those lines!