Named's Blair Batwings
In amidst the madness that was being sick for three weeks and the last few weeks of wedding planning, I did manage to make a couple of Blair Batwing tops. These were the projects du jour in part because they looked simple (and were) but more to the point - I'd decided that I needed to make one as a birthday gift for a friend, and wanted to save myself postage by giving it at wedding.
My husband picked out the pattern as part of his lovely Christmas gift of patterns, because he thought it would be a great cut on me. I thought it would also be a great cut on my friend! So! Off to the races.
Vying away from my normal sort of strenuous sustainability-minded buying standards, I got some black and some merlot ponte de roma from blackbird, which is a rayon-nylon-spandex mix and therefore *not great* on the whole green front. To boot, I definitely over-ordered on length; the pattern calls for 2-2.5 yards, I ordered 2.5 metres (only like 2.7 yards), but I have enough leftover to make another project of some kind. I'm thinking a menswear shirt, but not quite sure what as this ponte has some nice weight to it.
The drape is LOVELY, with the perfect structure for this top as well. The weight is nice for making it feel trans-seasonal (certainly not summery, but spring, winter, and fall all feel right). As expected, the first shirt came together easily - the worst thing being worried about having the iron too hot. Until. Until I hit the neckband.
The Named instructions (such as they are) call for a neck binding, but I wanted to stick to a more classic t-shirt band. And there are no suggestions for length, so I tried the good ol' 90% rule. Horrible, standing-straight-up science-fiction neckband (first photo). Tried the 80% rule. Not a lot better (second photo). Luckily I was basting these on. Found this post on actually CALCULATING the length of the band and was so so excited that I set about measuring pattern pieces and using my computer as a compass for measuring angles. Finally, something resembling right. Realized the neckband was on backwards (third photo). Got it off again. After getting it off that time, decided to say fuck it to basting and sewed the thing on with a tight stretch stitch and call it a day (fourth photo).
I used a double needle around the neckline and on the hems to finish. I had to be patient for this bit as I did not have properly matching thread, but my husband managed to get the perfect one a few days later. I quite like the look around the neck seam, as I tried to centre the seam, and the bit of tunneling from the needle looks kind of design-y to my eye.
The second version of the shirt (this time in black) came together also beautifully, and though it's been a minute, I don't really remember running into any issues. The neckband fit. I finally lowered the bobbin tension enough to mitigate most of the tunneling. Quite happy with it, though of course I didn't take a photo. Not. A single. Photo. So here's one more of the merlot one being swingy. Oh well. Can't win 'em all.