Tilly and the Buttons Orla Top

This make was rather a long time coming. All the way back in September, I was encouraged to buy this teal crepe from Sew Over It by Pocket for Sweets, during the Instagram challenge Sew Photo Hop. I got their jade crepe. Such a beautiful colour!

I knew I wanted to make an Orla top similar to the one made in the sewalong. However, I fell foul of not having the right equipment. I had been using some fairly cheap fabric scissors and until now they hadn’t presented too many problems. A couple of hacks into this fabric, however, and it was obvious I needed some better kit. I got myself some pretty wobbly pieces there!

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Christmas came, and I was lucky enough to get new fabric scissors and a rotary cutter and mat. However, I then had a lot of moving and new jobbing to do (see this post), and so Orla took a back seat.

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As soon as the sewing machine was plugged in, I was a go on this top again. I cut with a combination of rotary cutter and scissors and wow having the right tools makes so much difference you guys. I love my blade buddies.

This was a pretty straightforward make, as you would expect with Tilly’s patterns the instructions are clear and easy to follow. The fabric I chose is reasonably thick but still has a nice drape which made it a good choice for this top. It doesn’t press that easily though, so lots of steam required to put it into submission. It also frays quite badly so it might be easier to mark your notches with thread rather than snipping them into the fabric? Mine disappeared into the fabric a bit.

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I made the possibly over confident decision to make this first ever exposed zipper one with a decorative edge. I did a bit of a botch job on this, although I’m still pretty pleased with it. Do you try to tuck the bottom in like the instructions suggest with a normal exposed zip, or do you sew the metal bottom on the right side of the fabric? I felt like I was going mad because everyone I found online who used these didn’t seem to have any problems.

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I took the sides in by a bit because I like my clothes a bit more fitted at the waist, although I still feel like it might be a bit loose. The biggest bit of trouble I had was with the collar. I need to start thinking about whether my collars would be better off with lining on the bottom side, because I always have a problem with the bulk created with all the layers of fabric and interfacing. I also cut some of the collar pieces before I owned my rotary cutter, and so they don’t have the crisp lines they should have.

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Overall, I’m pleased I’ve finished this top, but there’s a part of me that still isn’t sure about it when actually wearing it. I wonder if the top is just a bit too long for me? Or perhaps the shoulders are too big, despite my pressing attempts. Plus, there’s the slightly costumey collar on my little neck. I just wonder if there’s something not quite right about it. However, I did wear it out over the weekend and felt good in it, so it might just be that I feel uncertain about it because it feels a bit different to my usual style.

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I would be interested in trying this top again, possibly in a slightly lighter fabric to see how that changes the look. I did like how it tonally matched with my secondhand coat, making a pretty sweet transitional ensemble.

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