Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Drape Front Top - The Maker's Atelier

After my success with the pencil skirt I was really keen to try the Drape Front Top. This is another simple pattern with 2 pieces. I had a beautiful piece of bronze coloured jersey with a lovely drape which I had had for some time with a view to making a short sleeved top and it seemed ideal for this project. This top went together quickly and easily and begin a very loose fit there were no fitting issues to consider. I made the size 3/4.

I tried the top on Flossie, my dress form, and I was pleased with the drape which showed off the shine on the fabric very nicely. I was also pleased with the back view which hung in vertical lines.

When I tried the top on and looked in the mirror I have to say that this is probably the most unflattering top that I have ever made. I was so disappointed. I put the top back on Flossie and it looked good on her. I hung it on a hanger and it looked even better. 

So I put the top on and experimented with the drape neck to try to make it look nice, but without success. I put this top on so many times and I have done so much posing in front off the mirror but have had to admit defeat. It just looks awful. 

I hate to be defeated... 

I went back to the pattern photos and the instructions. Looking closely at the models in the Maker's Atelier book, their tops have more of a scooped neckline whereas mine is round and quite close around my neck where I think it emphasises my wrinkles. 
The neck on my top is very narrow across the back. The pattern instructions say that you need 12 inches of bias binding. My finished neck is just 6 inches wide so I wondered whether I had pulled in the bias binding when I was stitching. I had taken great care not to stretch the neck out as the instructions advised, so I took the binding off and tried my top on again but the neck still seemed too narrow. I pulled on it but despite it being a stretch fabric I could only stretch it out by about another inch or so and this didn't make it look any better. 

The other thing I didn't like was the way the drapes on the blouse hung either side of my bust in a very unflattering way. None of the examples in the book look like this. 

On the other hand I love the fabric so I gave up the idea of a drape fronted top for the moment and went back to a tried and tested top that I have made in February here.  This is New Look 6217. 

I kept some features from the drape front top that I really liked. I cut some more bias binding from a printed cotton that I have in my stash and used it to neaten the neck edge. This is hidden when I am wearing my top but I like having  nice finishing touches on the inside. 

The drape neck top was hemmed with a narrow zigzag which gave it a simple, decorative finish that I really liked. I hemmed the second top with the same narrow zigzag. 

Like my first version of this blouse it pulls over my head without needing a fastening at the neck and the centre back seam isn't really needed, but I think these details add a bit of interest so I kept the button and loop fastening. 

I feel much more comfortable in my second version of the bronze top. It is figure skimming and much more flattering. 

Once I had resolved the issues with the bronze top I was on a roll, so I made another stretch pencil skirt in a black jersey with gold flecks, which I think also goes well with my new top. I can see this skirt pattern being a real stash buster.

But... As I said above, I hate to be defeated by a pattern. I am very tempted to have another go at making a drape fronted top and this time cutting a wider neck. 


  1. I'm so glad you managed to solve your top problem with a lovely new top. It's such a shame when you make something and when you try it on it just doesn't look / feel right! It has happened to me a few times.
    A great skirt too!

    1. I think that when you make your own clothes there are bound to be things that don't work out well. It is good to know when that happens that I am not alone.
      Thank you