Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sabor, Tutton....Tabor-ish

Hello, hope you're well! I'm having one of those days where I'm so tired I don't know where to start or what to do. This week's been hectic despite (or maybe due to) having a holiday smack in the middle of the week. Thursday and Friday were 12-hour days for me, and I will need to go into the office tomorrow—on a Sunday. No bueno. On the bright side, this is not a permanent situation. I've got two events in the Pacific Northwest this week to finish preparing for. Things will normalize a bit by next week when those events are behind me.

I was instantly smitten when I saw the Tabor v-neck by the intriguing Sew House Seven. It's SO my wheelhouse: loose and boxy, knit, v-neck, kimono sleeve or drop sleeve, a million variations. Now before I go any further, I need to make the disclaimer that this isn't really a helpful review of the pattern because I had to vary the construction method, but I still wanted to write about it because I think it was a good save.

You can probably spot the main reason why this is not really a good review of the Tabor in the above pic: Check out that center seam. I was following along with the instructions for the cropped sweater version with the wide lapped neckband, which was the standout variation to me. As you can see, that's not what I ended up with. Turns out, constructing the neck was trickier than I anticipated. After a few unsuccessful attempts and some overly aggressive seam ripping, I discovered that I'd torn a pea-sized hole in the front. There was no way to cover it up. I wanted to save this knit because...time, fabric, labor—but also because I think this knit, while inexpensive and therefore not the best quality, is interesting. It's meant to look like denim—even on the reverse side—but it's a stretchy knit. I guess it's intended for jeggings, but I thought it would make a cute top.

I didn't have enough fabric to recut another front piece on the fold, but then I remembered the construction of one of my favorite woven patterns—the True Bias Sutton top.

I didn't use any of the Sutton pattern pieces, but I borrowed from its construction. Basically, I cut a Tabor tee shirt front piece (NOT the cropped sweater version) on the cross grain as two pieces. Sewed the two front seams at the shoulder seam to the back of the original sweater piece (it was a little mismatched at the neck, but I was able to trim a little to get them to fit), and attached a neckband BEFORE joining the two center fronts. For the neckband, I used the tee version but made it extra long for wiggle room. I used my cover stitch to tack down the neck before sewing the center and I pulled gently for just a little tension so that the neckline would lay flat. I also added sleeve cuffs, using my Hey June Santa Fe pattern, and a split hem for kicks.

Here's a pic of how it looks on. I swear, at this point I think I should rename this blog, "Toilet Selfie."

So it's not how I intended it to go, but I like the top I ended up with. I do plan to learn the proper construction method. In fact, I've got the perfect piece of burgundy merino wool to make the lapped v-neck sweater, which would be perfect for fall. But I had so much fun with this easy, stress-free method, that I couldn't resist making a couple more Tabor-ish Suttons or Sutton-ish Tabors (Sabors?) in different types of knits. Once you remove the tricky neckline of the Tabor, construction is laughably easy. And I really don't mind the center seam.

A shibori knit for an easy summer tee...

And this terracotta tee (I'm OBSESSED with this color) for wearing with shorts and jeans. 

Here are the sizing deets and additional musings:
  • Size: 20. A little too large. Also, fabric type/stretch affects the sizing as well. I ended up making all kinds of crazy mods:
    • For my faux denim knit: Sewed the crop sweater back, with cropped tea front sewn as two pieces. In my haste, I did not remember to add a seam allowance but with so much ease it wasn't a problem. 
    • Lengthened cropped sweater by 1.5" in the front and 3" in the back. 
    • Eyeballed the side split and used Hey June piece for the cuff.
    • All three tops were primarily constructed on the serger with some basting on my regular sewing machine. 
  • For the Shibori print: 
    • Used both front and back tee pieces at the cropped length. 
    • Raised v-neckline by 3/4" and sewed the shoulder with a 5/8" seam allowance. 
    • The beauty of this construction is that you don't have to worry about the neckband being off because you end up trimming the excess anyway. 
    • Also forgot seam allowance. 
    • The front tips up a teensy bit due to my bust. 
    • Again, I added cuffs since it's a summer top that won't likely be worn with a cardigan, but the knit is pretty flimsy so the cuffs ended up being a little floppy. I may cut them off altogether and fold under for a simple hem.
    • Cover stitched the hem only because the coverstitching on the neckline wasn't looking too good. I ended up unpicking. There was quite a bit of tunneling, so I adjusted all my machine tension dials to 2 (they're usually at 4).
  • For the terracotta knit
    • First, the fabric is a fabulous hemp and organic cotton jersey that I purchased from Blackbird in April 2017. It was $10.50 per half meter. I love this fabric so much. It's perfect for a casual tee. Think, beach bonfires. Also, the color is surprisingly flattering to, I think, every skin tone—even mine that tends to go blotchy. 
      • Cut both front and back tee shirt pieces as a straight size 20. This resulted in a neckline that's far too low, which is why I make sure to wear a pretty bra with it. It's too casual (and low cut) for work, but I love to wear it with jeans or sweats. 
      • No cuffs for this one. 
      • Did not cover stitch the neckline. 
    For future "Sabors," I don't think I'll bother going down a size, but I will raise the neckline to 3/4" like I did for the shibori version. It hits at the sweet spot of not too low, not too mumsy.  The arm holes fit well—roomy, but no bra peeking out. 

    So, moral of the story:  if you find yourself messing up the Tabor v-neck, consider turning it into a Sabor.  

    Thanks for reading and have a great week!

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