I've always known that I hate the feel of polyesters on my skin as they feel scratchy and make me itch. Because of this, I usually stick to 100% cottons. It's becoming clear though, that most of the patterns I like are summery dresses and tops, and I find that cottons don't tend to have quite the right drape for them. So, after looking in my wardrobe at the clothes whose fabrics I preferred, I discovered that rayons (aka viscose) are my poison. What ensued, was hours on end of online searches for rayon fabrics, which left me feeling largely unsatisfied. I either don't like the print of the fabric, don't want a plain unpatterned fabric, or I find a gorgeous print that is so expensive that 1 metre of it costs more than 3 weeks of my grocery budget. However, I persisted and finally found some rayon shirting on Fabric.com that was on sale. So, I went ahead and bought 3 very similar ikat print fabrics for a very reasonable price - I would only have to go without food for 1 week!
When my fabrics arrived, I was over the moon, until I opened the box. They were not what I had expected (I guess this is the risk you take when buying online). The colours were a lot brighter than I'd thought, and were kind of off-colour and unevenly dyed. But it was cheap, and I wanted to sew, so I got started on the Simplicity 4127 pattern that I'd bought years ago and had never gotten around to making.
Since my measurements suggested (according to the pattern) that I should make a size 12 but I usually wear a size 6 or 8 in tops, I settled on making the size 10, as I was sure size 12 would be way too big. It turns out I was right, too right. The size 10 was still huge on me, but I don't have either the patience or the know-how to unpick it all and resize it, so instead I just took it in by 2cm along the back seam and hoped that it would do. While I think it still turned out okay, I do wish I'd made the size 6 0r 8, as it is still a bit loose around the bust. So lesson learned... ignore the pattern sizings, or check the "finished garment measurements" first and go by those instead. Admittedly though, I actually had no idea that patterns included the finished garment measurements until then. What a good lesson to learn though.
All in all I really like this top, although despite my hardest efforts, it still stretched a bit around the neckline and armholes and so gapes a little. It was my first invisible zipper too, and despite not having a special invisible zipper foot for my sewing machine (I've been told these exist...?), it turned out pretty well.
I'm also happy to say that the fabric grew on me, and I now absolutely love it and wish I had more! Luckily, I still have 2 more other fabrics like this one left. One is the same purple, with a smaller ikat pattern; the other is a teal-y colour I think in a smaller ikat pattern as well. I just love the drape of this fabric, and it feels so soft and cool for summer; it swishes when I twirl! I just wish that I could find more rayon fabrics at a reasonable price. One day, I'd love to buy some of the gorgeous fabrics from the Sydney store Tessuti, but I'll have to sell my organs first, not that anyone would buy my overused and abused liver.
Would I make it again? Yes, it's a good summer top. However I definitely would make a smaller size. I also left out all the fancy ribbons and trims, and made the straps a bit skinnier too, which I would do again.
What would I do differently? Make a much much smaller size!
By the way, on a side note, it is really very difficult to take good photos of yourself without a remote for your camera. To achieve these, I had to set my camera up on the tripod on self-timer continuous shooting, try to focus on a particular spot and release the shutter button, then quickly run to the spot where I'd focused and try different poses while it took about 10 pictures in succession. The saving grace to these pictures is the wonderfully gorgeous setting (my Mum's amazing garden). A remote or a photographer would really help, I'll work on it for the future.