Thursday, June 23, 2016

Waffle Patterns Vanilla Asymmetrical Top

Call me Stripey McDraperson!


I have always admired and lusted after those Japanese-style asymmetrical drapey tops, but unfortunately I am sized out of all those Japanese pattern books by like 3 or 4 sizes... waaah waaaaaaah. I know I probably could have graded a pattern or two up to fit me, but I'm not that kind of girl (read: lazy) and have mixed feelings about buying patterns that don't come in my size (check out Jennifer's interesting take on that topic at the Curvy Sewing Collective).


But, lucky for me, Yuki of Waffle Patterns recently released the Vanilla top, which is pretty much the opposite of vanilla. It's a beautiful, asymmetrical, drapey, knit top that comes in my size. Hurrah! Finally, my chance to try out this funky look to see if I like it on me:


Speaking of sizing, my measurements put me between a size 46 and 48 at the bust, and a 48 at the hip, so, for my first Vanilla top I opted to go for a straight size 48. Because of the unusual style, it was difficult to tell from the finished garment measurements or the shape of the pattern pieces if this was the right choice. 


Eek, too big, too big!! Above is my first iteration of the Vanilla top, which came out absolutely, irredeemably huge. I couldn't keep on my shoulders, or on my hip for that matter, giving me a distinctly Flashdance vibe. Not that that's bad, I guess... my Insta-peeps seemed to like it, but it wasn't my goal and I am not super comfortable wearing it.


The fabric I used for that first, doomed version is a super soft ponte, a tone-on-tone stripe from Girl Charlee a few years back. It's quite stretchy and apparently does not recover well, which most certainly contributed to the oversized result. I held the pattern pieces up against the final product and it had definitely stretched several inches wider than it was meant to be. So, for my next Vanilla top, I decided to sew a size down (46) and use a much more stable fabric.


The instructions are quite easy to follow, with lots of lovely diagrams. Sewing is very quick, too,
since the top is finished with bands at the waist and sleeves, it's a really zip up on the serger.


A word of warning to those who hate pattern tracing, though: the PDF pattern has the back and front pattern pieces layered on top of one another, so you have to trace those two pieces. That said, the PDF itself has layered sizes, so you can print only your size. The pattern includes seam allowance (yay!), but it's 1/2" for many of the seams (I prefer 1/4" or 3/8" for the serger). It also has lines for no seam allowances, so it's easy to trace that version and add whatever allowance you like.


My second, more successful Vanilla top is made from some striped cotton jersey I bought locally, because the Vanilla top looks so, so cool in striped fabric! Originally I meant to make the whole thing out of these small stripes, which you might remember from my Groove dress or the Union St. Tee that I made my sister. One idiotic cutting mistake later, though, (cut the back piece wrong side up, which really matters for a non-mirrored top like this) and I was out of that fabric. Luckily, I had its cousin in my stash, the thicker stripe (used previously for a Strathcona for Tim a while back). Too lazy to recut the sleeve, hem and neck bands, I decided to mix and match my stripes, and I love the result. Happy accident?!


The cotton jersey is far more stable than the ponte I used for my first Vanilla top and, thus, the fit of this top is much more true. The hip is snug enough to keep the blouse up, the cuffs are more reasonable in width. One side, though, my left, is still a bit weird when I let it hang, as you can see from the photo below. I like the sleeves pushed up to the elbow- that's how I'll probably wear them. I think you could leave the cuffs off and just hem the sleeves if you wanted. Most importantly, though, the neckline is a more reasonable, non-Flashdance size! It's still a pretty wide neckline, but that's how it's designed.


Check out the flat Vanilla... crazy shape, huh? 


You can sorta see the chevron formed on one shoulder seam below, but have a look at my Instagram photo of my on-point stripe matching. I'm pretty chuffed with it!


I quite like my Vanilla top!! It's a bit outside my normal comfort zone, but it's fun. I'm still working through how to style it/what I should wear on the bottom... jeans obviously work. It'd probably be cute with leggings, too. 


What say you: are you into the slouchy, asymmetrical look? Have you made anything like this? Tried the Drape Drape books? Tempted by the Vanilla top?

29 comments:

  1. It's very cool! I wonder if you made the line of the cuff on the left sleeve the same angle as the sleeve would it sit better? Might be a bit tigh I guess. It's very cool indee lady!

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    1. Yeah, perhaps if I changed the shape of the cuff on that side (right now it's just a rectangle). I shall experiment!

      Thanks!! ;-)

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  2. So lovely! that's really clever to use contrast fabrics on cuffs and hem. Thank you so much for sharing the photos. I really glad to see my pattern turns to nice garment!! yuki@wafflepatterns

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    1. Thanks, Yuki! It's a great pattern - lots of fun!

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  3. I just traced out one of the Drape Drape 2 patterns and am going to cut it out tonight.

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  4. Awesome shirt. I am convinced!

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    1. Thanks!! Ha ha, an asymmetrical shirt convert!

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  5. yes yes yes yes yes!! I ADORE this top!!! I think I need to make one for Fall, it will be perfect with jeans!!! Looks great on you!

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    1. Thanks, Jess! This top would look great on you! And you're right- a great seasonal transition piece!

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  6. The second I saw the pattern I wanted it. I need to wait a bit to buy it, but your post makes me wish I didn't have to wait! :) Love the top and it's such a fun shape. :)

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    1. Thanks, Andie! Isn't it so fun?!

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  7. I love your new top! Normally, I worry about asymmetrical tops on me, but your makes me really want to make one!

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    1. I think this top would look really cute on you, Alli!

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  8. When I saw the photo of it flat, my jaw dropped. That is TOO FREAKING COOL! It's a cute shape on you and the stripes totally play on the strange cut. And from a sewing geek mind blown perspective: WIN!

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    1. Isn't it cool, Inder?! Such a funky shape.

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  9. I bet it would look nice with a black pencil skirt as well. You really inspire me with your sewing. Where donyou find time to make so many garments?!

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    1. Good idea, Misha, a pencil skirt would look really cool with this!

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  11. Love this top. Looks great in stripes and the contrasting bands work so well. Suits you beautifully!

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    1. Thanks, Jean! The stripes definitely show off the cool shape.

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  12. Fab top, love the bolder stripes of the second one and the fit is much better, it has a great shape to it.

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    1. Thanks! It's a really fun and different shape for me!

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  13. Meg this looks awesome! And now that I see the proper fitting version next to the ill-fitting version, I can see what you mean. I love the mixture of stripes. I used to have a similar RTW top like this, and while it was oversized like this one, I liked how it's got a fitted waist, so you don't completely lose your shape. I think it looks great with jeans, and will probably work well with any fitting pant or leggings, and it would probably look great with a pencil skirt too. Your stripe matching is out of this world!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! I agree, the fitted waist is key here. In the bigger size/stretched out fabric I just felt overwhelmed and sloppy, but the one that fits correctly feels great!

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  14. I love you in that outfit!
    Looking like whojamaflip in Flashdance was an ambition since I was about 8 but I never fit into clothes other girls could wear. I was 30 before I could find cute clothes in my size. Also I think I cared less what people thought. Leggings and an off the shoulder sweater with fluffy socks or leg warmers perfectly combines Flashdance with the 'oh me, I'm just lounging in my underwear and hiking socks in my Swiss cabin' look. Which I'm sure we can all agree is a fantastic look. Although maybe not in Hong Kong weather 😀

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    1. Thanks, Victoria! ha ha, lounging in my Swiss cabin... I wish that were the case!

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  15. I love this top on you! I can't even begin to figure out how people design stuff like this-- the top laying flat is so crazy looking. It looks great on and looks really comfortable!

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    1. Thanks, Teri! I am in awe of how these things are designed, too. Crazy shapes! And, yes, quite comfy!

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