New Look 6149: wrapping up the project after fourteen years

Monday 22 April 2013
I'm still lacking in the sleep department and in the sewing inspiration department. I was moping around my sewing room with a bit of time to spare on Saturday and I still didn't feel like starting a new project which is very unusual because I just don't have kid free time to waste these days! Even sorting through my fabrics didn't help so I decided to tidy up my sewing room instead.

In the bottom of my UFO box I found a black textured polyester knit fabric that I had cut the pattern pieces out for a wrap top but hadn't done anything more than pack it away - seriously, the pattern pieces were still pinned to the fabric.  This project is really, really old - when I was at uni doing my undergrad degree in the mid 90s I used to work at Lincraft in Chatswood part time and not only did staff get discounts on fabric and other stock, but we used to also get four free patterns each month plus any discontinued patterns too. I think they were trying to encourage their staff to sew their creations to inspire the customers.  I was one of the very few on staff that sewed or had any idea about sewing actually.  Too bad the job paid appallingly because the benefits were great and it was nice standing around fabric all day! Anyway, this pattern and fabric was picked up during that time, so it's more than 14 years old since I graduated in 1999.  Yikes! I decided it was about time to either finish it or lob it.  Now that it's finished, I'm still considering ditching it anyway:

The pattern is New Look 6149, which is OOP but can be found on line from a number of ebay sellers although I wouldn't bother because it's not that special.  I wish I had of known about Pattern Review (did it even exist back then?) when I started this because I would have read that this top is really short and needs to have extra length added before cutting it out.  But luckily this purple print skirt I'm wearing it with is somewhat high waisted and so the length is ok so long as I don't go around with my arms up in the air too much.....

It's a really simple raglan sleeved wrap top with long ties on each side, one of which is supposed to slide through a slit left open in the side seam.   Except that I made this completely on my overlocker, which meant I had sewn those side seams completely closed before I remembered I had to leave an opening.  Being too lazy to unpick overlocking stitches in a black knit fabric, I instead made a jumbo buttonhole like opening next to the side seam to let the tie through.  From the outside it's not that noticeable, but the inside is a red hot mess:

I'm keeping it real here people - most of the time my sewing is done really well, but sometimes it's done really poorly.  Want more evidence of my dodginess? Well the front of the top gaped open when the ties were done up, I should have reduced the length of the front wrap before cutting out but since I didn't, this was my very low tech solution:

I just made a crude dart in each of the front wrap pieces - one isn't visible because it's on the under layer but the one in the top wrap is visible but it just adds a bit more pleating to the front, so it sort of looks ok.  And it took away the gaping so good enough I think!

The back has a centre back seam that I couldn't see the reason for at all.  I suppose it gives an opportunity to shape the back piece and get a snugger fit, especially if you have a swayback but I think it looks a bit messy and unnecessary. 

I lightened this photo so you can see the centre back seam
And being a raglan sleeve it's not so flattering to stand around with one's hands on their hips either!

I decided not to use the neck edge facings the pattern requires, and instead just used turned under and topstitched after overlocking and using some iron on stabilising tape along the neck edge.  Turned out good enough.

And I think that sums up this project - good enough! I don't think I'll ever favour sewing with knits over wovens because I do like a crisp, tailored and highly structured look which is just not what you get from knits but there's definitely a need in my wardrobe for some nice tops.  So this top is out of the UFO box and into my wardrobe, for now at least.


  1. Kristy - I agree with you about wovens and the crisp tailored effect, it's why so few tops & knit tops show up on my blog too. And sometimes, good enough is good enough...

  2. Kristy, I just cannot believe the inside of your top is what you call a red hot mess! I wish all of my sewing looked as nice on the inside as your "red hot mess" ;-)
    Anyway, it's a nice top and it looks great with the skirt!

  3. I think the top isn't nearly as bad as you seem to think. It looks good with that skirt alternatively you could try cutting it even shorter (waist length) and wearing it over a long t-shirt or vest.

  4. The top is flattering with that skirt. I'm not a big fan of sewing with knits myself, but this one looks attractive on. As someone said above, sometimes good enough is good enough. So long as it wears comfortably, why not?

  5. That,s considered a red hot mess? I shall now go and hide underneath my fabric stash in shame; I've permitted things a lot hotter and messier to go wandering around the world!

  6. Kristy that outfit looks really nice... I really love that top (I shall try and get it as I am short waisted and I love a wrap top). I agree with the others.. not really a red hot mess but I know what you mean... while studying now.. there are a lot of these darts placed after finishing just to fit better. I can't wait to finish and actually think about what I'm doing and have time to fit properly.
    Well done getting it finished after all these years.

  7. This top turned out really cute. I hope you wear it and grow to love it. It looks great on you.

    Penny B

  8. I have this top on my to do list. Well it's been there for 2 years at least.
    Your version is good. I'm getting back into wovens and I can understand why you love them more than knits. Knits give me my sewing mojo back.

  9. Your top has turned out really well and only we will know the fixes. I have a lace knit top that has lovely darts in the neckline for the very same reason.

  10. Count me in as one of the believers in this "not" being a mess!
    It looks great! Most of all; it's not in your UFO pile any more... Right? I suppose you could donate it if you really hate it! Someone else would love it... Way, to tackle the UFO pile!
    Mine just keeps getting bigger! We had a ahem; flood into our basement last week. Just water, but we had to dry everything and so that means I've had another whole week without sewing/of fabric caressing of any sort! Heavy Sighhhhh! My DD did come over today and get my sewing room re-painted though. New baseboards are next and then move everything back in! Yeah!!!!
    Good to see your keeping busy... hopefully you will get some sleep... is your little guy teething?
    Jean C.

  11. I think that the top has turned out well, but I know what you mean about the "it's only me wearing it" type of fixes. This is probably going to be a really useful top - it's got that look about it - also ,if you are like me, if it isn't perfect, likely to be worn when perfect isn't needed. As often happens when looking after children.

  12. I think the top looks more than acceptable. It fits you nicely and you look good in it. As 'home sewers' I think we are far too critical of our creations.

  13. Really cute on you! Now when I keep my grands I wonder how I ever sewed at all when my children were young. At that stage you have to do what you have to do any way you can. I always say to my daughters that one forgets the luxury of taking a bath leisurely or doing a hundred other things one normally likes to do when the little ones visit. Pat yourself on the back for getting the top sewed up to any standard at all.

  14. 14 years! I'm not sure I'd have the willpower to start working on a project after all this time :) It's nice because it gives you the opportunity to reflect on how much progress you've made since then - and you've liberated some pins in the process..
    If I had this top I'd probably keep it for sleep/homewear, I find wrap top quite useful for that

  15. Thank you for reminding me about this pattern. I love a good wrapped top and think I'll make this up in a knit.

  16. Your mess to me looks great on the outside. I don't think I would have the will power to follow through with making it after all these years. The mess you call inside, I bet majority of seamstress think the same. Years back when I was making all my clothing I always had to point out something I wasn't happy with. What is that about seamstress's? Lol

  17. Even if it's not as perfect as you'd like, congratulations on getting it out of the UFO pile! My motto (and I admit I'm probably a much more slapdash sewer than you) is "finished is better than perfect".

    I wonder if I ever saw you in Lincraft - I used to go to that one in Chatswood around that time. The other day I found a piece of wool in my stash that I remember buying as a remnant from the Tessuti in Chatswood in about 1995 or 6... high time that got used up.

  18. Congratulations on de-UFO-ing this top. I think it looks lovely on you, and that you will get a lot of wear out of it. I agree with many of the other commenters--Only you see the 'flaws'. It looks beautiful and flattering, and nicely paired with the skirt.