Winter Wear Designs has some great patterns. Most are for woven fabric, but more are now designed for knit fabric. The Neck Tie Top is a simple knit blouse with an offset tie neck. This basic top has extended sizing from US sizes 00-30, and some awesome sleeves, and that is what attracted me. There are three, yes THREE! sleeve types. A stovepipe sleeve, a poet sleeve and a bishop sleeve. Honestly, I like them all but the poet sleeve is my favourite. It has that flowy, romantic feel that I love.
Previously the sleeves and the top were released separately as part of the 12 Days of Christmas (freebie) patterns. This happens every Christmas, so if you’re interested in picking up some free patterns join the WWD FaceBook Group. The individual patterns have been retired but released as one new pattern and part of the Winter Wear Designs Wardrobe Builders pattern group; they retail at US $5. As a new release it is on sale here October 7 -13 for US $3.
I am not a fan of high necks; it’s just personal preference. That said, I was up for a challenge to see if I’d like a tie neck any more than I did in the 1980’s. I didn’t; not on me, anyway. But, this being a blog tour we can be creative with the pattern. I decided to have a play and here’s what evolved.
I have a large bust, so I followed the pattern link and inserted a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) for a knitted top. It worked really well. The pattern fits better in the bodice and doesn’t drag into the armsyce. Note – I always add length to my WWD patterns to account for my height.
The sand coloured top was my muslin. The original tie was too heavy and pulled the fabric. I replaced it with white lace, which is more flattering and lighter weight. It fit so well I kept it, and if I am honest I love the poet sleeves! With all the trying on and off my front neck line had ‘grown’ by 1.5″, so I stay stitched the necklines on my final pieces for stability.
Onwards and upwards … For my final I pulled some lush double brushed polyester (DBP) from my stash. It is so soft and lovely I smiled the whole time I was sewing. For this item I made some changes … I dropped the neckline 6″ down from the centre front to make a V neck dress. I moved the bow to the apex of the V. As this is a winter outfit I like how there is a definite V, but it’s higher. This ended up with a neckline of 30″, not 20″. That is significant because my maths messed up first time and my tie could be 10″ longer. Even with 55″ wide fabric I’d have been better cutting 2 pieces and joining them at the centre back neck.
I also decided to go all out and make this a dress, and because I could, I made a matching mask. It’s fantastic working with Suzanne Winter, the designer, as she encourages me to hack patterns to create my own look. I measured down to my knee length, then graded the pattern out to create an A line skirt. The bottom hem circumference ended up at about 55″, basically the width of the fabric. I finished the hem with my serger, then sewed a narrow double folded hem. I feel that a knee length dress is more likely to show the inside of the hem when sitting, and as my mother would say “if it’s worth sewing, it’s worth finishing well”. It is very pretty. My husband’s eyes lit up when he saw it – SCORE!
My friend, Ann Marie, from AMA Images took the lovely mad, COVID apocalypse photos. We went from demure pre-dinner prep with a martini, to madness in my kitchen. I hope you enjoy the outcome!