In The Folds ‘Collins Top’

Aloha Sewistas! It’s been a while since I posted anything here but I have actually been sewing quite a lot. I’ve got a few new items that I’m really happy with so I’ll try to get them all written about. First on the list is the ‘Collins Top’ from sewing company In The Folds.

This is the first pattern I’ve made of theirs and I really enjoyed putting it together. It’s a bit unusual as top patterns go. None of the pieces are recognisable as ‘sleeve’, ‘front’, ‘back’ etc. when you cut them out. There are just lots of weird looking geometric pieces that fit together in some kind of magical way to make a top! The way the pieces are shaped gives the garment an exaggerated 3d effect when you wear it and although it’s very loose and flowy it doesn’t feel swampy.

I made the first version from this gorgeous cotton poplin from Fabric Godmother. I have a real weakness for any fabric with animals on it – this has a very subtle blue and white stripe and very UN-subtle pink cranes embroidered all over it.

Because the cranes are big and quite widely spread I paid a lot of attention to where they were placed when I cut the fabric – I wanted to keep as many whole birds as I could. Unfortunately I made a mistake with the middle back panel. The pattern gives you the option to either add a fastening in the back or not. If you chose not to add the fastening you cut the back on the fold. (The top is very easy to put on over your head without the opening).

I should have read the directions more closely because if you cut it on the fold you have to account for not needing a seam allowance .. I missed that step so ended up having to sew a seam up the middle and therefore cutting one of my poor cranes in half.

Other than that the whole thing came together very easily once I got to sewing. It’s very important to mark all the notches on this one as it would be very easy to get in a muddle if you don’t. (maybe you don’t need this warning but I can be a bit slapdash when it comes to notches – and I usually regret it later)

I decided to take these photos early in the morning before the forecasted wind and rain which accounts for the dramatic shadows and my scrunched up face in the glare of the morning sun.

It’s a lovely easy-breezy summer top in a light fabric and I was so happy with how it turned out that I decided to make it a second time in something a bit heavier.

Sadly I can’t remember where I bought this burgundy fabric but it’s really gorgeous. I think it’s a linen mix and it’s reversible. I used both sides of the fabric for a two-tone effect. The Collins Top pattern is perfect for using two contrasting fabrics and you can pick and chose which panels you use them on making it completely unique.

You can’t see it very well in the pictures but the front panel has the orange dobbies and the side panels are the darker underside of the fabric. (Also I assure you I have not forgotten to zip up my jeans! These are my Ginger Flares and the fly guard gapes open. I can’t figure out why… they don’t feel too tight. It is either some kind of weird fitting issue or some kind of shoddy sewing issue … suggestions always welcome!)

I really love the high-low hem feature and the way the panels guide the fabric into it’s folds (if that makes sense) I’d really recommend this pattern if you’re put off by how complicated it looks – there are actually no tricky sewing bits. Just follow the instructions carefully and don’t get the bits mixed up and it’s pretty quick and easy!

A blog post is never complete without a weird action shot in my opinion!