Saturday, 20 September 2014

.The first Tova.

The Tova. 
This pattern has been sitting in my "to sew" pile for years. I know I am probably one of the last people on the earth to make this top, but sometimes I like to wait until the fad has passed so that I can have a good look at what everyone else has made - read reviews, suss out fabric choices, etc. The blogging world is great like that, usually before I start sewing any pattern I'll do a few searches (Google, Flickr, Pinterest, Kollabora) for others who have made it, it really helps when choosing fabrics and making alterations.
So, a couple of weeks ago I started to have wardrobe crisis. Wardrobe crisis seems to happen with the change of every season, doesn't it? Everything seems old and boring and you just want to freshen things up a bit. I used to turn to the shops when wardrobe crisis crept in, but now I turn to my sewing room! I haven't bought new clothes forever and I like it like that (kind of helps to justify my fabric buying addiction!)

We are starting to have some warmer days (just a few, but enough to give hope for Summer's arrival!) and I knew that the Tova would be great for in between seasons. The cropped sleeves and open neckline are just right for those warmish-coolish days when you're not sure if you should be wearing a tshirt or cardi.

My measurements placed me exactly in a size small for everything, so I pulled out some of my favourite Nani IRO and got sewing. The Tova was a lovely sew, quite fast and easy and everything came together beautifully...
...but the fit is not good on me! I don't think these photos really give a great indication of how tight the top is across my bust and upper back, but it is...really so uncomfortable that I only wore the top for a morning and then had to take it off because my underarms were so sore!! I haven't read of other people having this problem before though, and I do have wide shoulders (thanks Dad!), so think that the fit issue is probably just unfortunate for me that my body shape doesn't quite suit this particular pattern. And that's the beauty about sewing for yourself, you can chop and change and alter away until you have something you are completely happy with!

You can see how tight the fabric is pulling from my underarm to bust in the photos below:
And across the back, when I stand up straight, there actually isn't any bagginess across the upper back like you can see below:
Fit issues aside, let's talk a bit about this amazing fabric though. I'm a little bit sad that it has ended up being used on a top that I will rarely wear but it is just gorgeous, isn't it? This Nani IRO double gauze is a lovely silvery grey with a subtle pencil stroke herringbone print all over it. The fabric had a metallic pearl border strip that I placed on the hems of top and sleeves - and I managed to cut the whole thing out of 1.5m of fabric with just a few little scraps to spare!
As much as I love everything about it, I'm sad to say that this top will probably be given to one of the sisters with narrower shoulders in the future - when I am ready to part with it! After all this I was determined to make a Tova that actually fit me so next I made a muslin (yep, should have done that first!) - will be back to share that soon!

Wiksten Tova sewing pattern
Nani IRO double gauze, Herring Bone Pencil in Feather purchased from Miss Matatabi


thingsforboys said...

oh no! I have read of quite a few people saying it's tight across the bust and that they've done a FBA on it or simply widened the side at the underarm. Such a shame for your gorgeous fabric! I've made 2 muslins and gave up getting it to fit. That was over a year ago now, so I should try again.

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry that you had this problem. Funny enough I had the same experience when I made my first Shearwater Kaftan. First, I didn't make a muslin. Second, I cut the pattern pieces across the grain to get the fabric (Nani Iro) pattern I wanted which is what you did too I think. I ended up putting in a gusset under the arms. You can see my post for details I hope that may help as it saved my top.

I have restarted my Shearwater Kaftan - I had to go up a size for the shoulders/back, then trim the sides. I have made two now and love the pattern!

I hope you try the Tova again too. I love mine!

Lauren said...

I think this is a common problem no one talks about with this top. I noticed it pulling in many people's photos, so even though I measured a small, I made a medium. And honestly, I could still do some alteration in that problem area. I am not large-chested and have average, sloping sboulders.

bec said...

Oh no! Yep, I would go up as size. I'm normally about a 14 in ready to wear, but I'm an XL in a Tova.
It also depends on fabric a bit, I made one that exactly like you've described in a suiting fabric, and couldn't move! Anything with a bit of stretch seems to work well, even cord was great. I might mean it's a bit looser around the tummy and hips, but I don't mind that.

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