Maybe I’m slow. Maybe I’m still fine-tuning my craft. Maybe “One Blouse, One Piece, One Hour” doesn’t apply to all.
It took me way more than the recommended one hour to complete the Akita Top by Seamwork Magazine.
It’s simple enough, so what’s up with me? I’ll just direct the blame to my lovely yet pain in the @$$ fabric. That’s a good scapegoat, right? Totally not my fault, right?
I found a couple of yards of this mystery fabric in a bin underneath a table at SAS Fabrics in Tucson. Every time I shop for fabric, I tell myself I need to buy more solids. This fabric is “solid” enough and even has a cool dotted texture.
But don’t let the prettiness fool you, folks. This was a beast to work with. I think there’s a good amount of polyester in it, so that could be an issue. It didn’t press well at all and my machine kept wanting to eat it. I changed my needles twice to make sure that wasn’t the problem. Nope, the problem was just the fabric.
I even made my own bias tape for this. It’s only needed for the neckband (as seen above) and I didn’t want to use store-bought bias tape since that’s too thick for such a lightweight fabric. But my self-made bias tape came with its own issues.
I chose to make the tiniest strip of bias tape I could, which is always a great idea for a difficult-to-press fabric. After fighting with the strips and my iron, I finally broke down and used a spray fabric stabilizer to get crisp folds. Thank goodness it worked!
I used Colette’s tutorial on how to make continuous bias tape and it was extremely helpful. You only need a 10 inch x 10 inch piece of fabric to make a loooooong piece of bias tape. The only issue is you’ll have lots of joined seams, so I think it would really only work well for bias tape that isn’t visible from the outside of the garment. I had issues with the seamed sections because the fabric didn’t want to cooperate with all that seam allowance being in the way (a measly 1/4 inch) so they didn’t keep a fold well. I managed, though, as you can see from the neckline above. Not perfect, but not too shabby, either!
Akita has only one pattern piece that you cut on the fold, so it’s great for people who HATE cutting fabric. I used to be one of those people, but I’m finding the longer I sew, the more enjoyment I get out of all parts of the process.
Since it’s only one pattern piece, all that needs to be sewn are the darts, side seams, hemming the armholes and bottom, and finishing the neckline. All of that should only take an hour, right? RIGHT?
This is my sad attempt at the hem. And… wait… it’s a high-low hem? That’s not the way the pattern was drafted! I honestly don’t know what I did as I lined up the pattern markings just right, but I’m liking the extra booty coverage. So a fail turned into a win here!
For the hem, I sewed a straight stitch 1/8 in or 1/4 inch from the edge (I forgot which it was), then turned that under and pressed along the stitch line. Then I turned the fabric again and stitched again. The fabric puckered when I stitched that first line, so all fingers are pointing to the fabric and not my skills. No siree Bob.
But even after all of that drama constructing the Akita, I find it works out well enough, especially if I tuck in that God-awful ripply hem.
I graded from a size 4 on top to a 10 at the bottom. Can’t help those curves, y’all. It seems to have worked just fine and I can get this top on and off with minimal contorting.
I seem to be having a theme with making tops that are too see-through to be worn as-is. This is another one that requires a light-colored tank top underneath. Maybe my next project should be an army of white tanks…
At first I was worried that this top would be too unflattering to wear, but I’m glad to see that it’s not too shabby tucked into a cute skirt! My skirt is from Anthropologie, by the way. I got it on sale, of course. Their regular-priced items are way too expensive for me – even with working all of the overtime I have been lately! But I always get compliments when I wear it at work. I just hope my Akita top does it justice.
I’m lucky I was able to get these photos done when I did! I had my hair and makeup all set and I heard huge gusts of wind and drizzling happening outside. The weather behaved for the 5 minutes I was posing on our balcony, so I’m happy it all worked out. I think I like this setting for blog photos. I mean, you can’t beat that view!
Well, that’s about all I have for my first Akita Top. After all the grumbling and headaches over the fabric, I think it turned out a-OK. Time for a victory dance!
But maybe next time I’ll choose my fabric more wisely…