Agnes wishes you a very happy birthday!

Happy fourth birthday, the Monthly Stitch! I know a couple of four year olds, and the fact that you’re not obsessed with Paw Patrol or Jake and the Pirates (that I’m aware of…) is a big mark in your favour. I hope that you’re enjoying your birthday month and that there will be many more fun sewing challenges to come!

To celebrate your birthday, I decided to push my skills a little bit. After an unhappy first experience making the Colette Moneta a few years ago, I’ve never been all that happy sewing with jersey. But, it’s such a comfy fabric that it’s time to get over my irrational fear and have another go. I’ve had the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top in my pattern stash for some time and with thorough instructions (i.e. hand-holding for knit numpties like myself) and just four pattern pieces it was the perfect choice to ease me in to sewing jersey AND take part in this month’s challenge.

That’s a Deer & Doe Chardon skirt I’m wearing too.

I wanted to see my mistakes on this make, so I opted for a plain white bamboo jersey from Harts Fabrics. It’s soft, silky and a little bit slippier than I’m used to working with, so I was a little worried about being able to sew with it. Turns out my ballpoint needle was having the same doubts, and my test swatch turned out like a mangled mess. Not to be deterred, I decided to use my overlocker instead and only use my sewing machine for topstitching with a twin needle. I’m glad I did, because it was pretty simple and now the insides look properly professional.

For the most part it was a pretty simple sew, which was a relief! The only bit I found a little bit tough was the neckband. The neckband piece is 10% smaller than the neckline itself so I spent ages pinning it. When I put it through the overlocker I was a little concerned that the back was a tiny bit crinkly but a once over with the iron seems to have sorted it out.

Yeah, my topstitching could be improved, but on the plus side – it’s lying flat!

In all I’m pretty happy with my first attempt at the Agnes. I could improve my topstitching and if I’m being picky I could perhaps do with a little more space in the sleeves, but these are small concerns. In white, the top is a great option for layering, and in a patterned fabric it will be a nice way to show off a cool print. In short, I’ll be making more.

If you’d like to read more, check out my blog, Stuff Jo Has Made.

9 thoughts on “Agnes wishes you a very happy birthday!

  1. Wow – you should sew more knits! It looks fantastic and the neckline is very nice and flat. That’s always a bit of a crap shoot. I have to admit that I’m a bit free and easy with attaching the neckline and don’t baste or pin, but always use wonderclips with knits unless it’s really pernickety. My biggest problem is figuring out the right ratio of neckline to neck depending on the knit I’m using, but have started adopting 0.875 as a baseline. (I read it somewhere). Anyway, this is very pretty!!!

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    • Thanks! I don’t know why I’ve been so scared of knits in the past, cos this felt so easy and stress free by comparison! Wonderclips might be a good alternative – I’m not quick enough to whip pins out before they go through the overlocker so I risk them pinging all over the place… at least clips wouldn’t fit under the foot!

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  2. Dear Jo,
    I love your choice of fabric for your top. It looks very nice on you with your skirt. This summer I sewed many tops that were white, one of the things I like to do is to double the front with self fabric. By having the front double, I did not have to wear a camisole to keep my bra from showing through the fabric. In a hot climate, it also cooler to wear. Keep up the sewing.

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  3. I love Agnes. It is the perfect fitting tee for me. A few quick hints: if you use a heavier weight cotton knit, be sure to size up a size, and I always quickly hand baste the neckline before running it through the overlocker. Love your simple white version!

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