New Look 6808 – A practice shell top

I have wanted to make a New Look 6808 top for yonks.  It was a Pattern Review Best Pattern of 2012 and I have drooling over the many lovely versions online for ages.

This is my first version of several – I want to try a version each with the two collar options. (Drool). I made View B – the view with no collar and the short cap
sleeves. 

The let down for this top is the totally yuck fabric – I love the colour, in fact I am currently a little obsessed with kelly green and navy, which is why I brought it –  its a stretch cotton sateen from Spotlight. However, it is horrible to work with and very hard to press, so it is hard to get a nice finish.  It creases really badly too. 

I orginally got this to make a pencil skirt with and then realised how badly it creased and how much that would annoy me so I decided to use it for a quick top instead. I didn’t have enough for the sleeves so I used some leftover scraps from what I thought was the same fabric from a failed attempt a couple of years ago to use it to make a circle skirt (when I found it I thought “oh, thats right, this fabric was awful to work with, why did I buy more of it – oh yeah, it was the colour that sucked me in”),  On looking closely the sleeves are actually a slightly different colour. Shrug.  Oops.  The difference is most obvious in the first photo up top.  I’ll just call it a practice garment.

I cut a size 8 going off the finished pattern measurements for the top part and then graded out to between a
12-14 for the bottom and got a very good fit – (otherwise I would have made a 12 all over grading out to a 14 in the hips, which would have swam on me).

It DID take a bit of fiddling
around to get the darts to be the right shape for me.  I
lengthened/extended the back darts 1″ top and bottom and made them a
little deeper to get rid of the pooling of fabric at the small of my
back (aka: sway back).  I also shifted the deepest part of the darts
from half way, moving that point further up my back – basically a very
lazy/easy way of doing the sway back adjustment.  It worked for me
anyway.

The front darts I reshaped and lengthened as
well.  I resewed them probably a dozen times before I was happy with the fit, but the final shape has been carefully transferred to the pattern so the next time I make this I should be able to whip it up quicker.

The front side bust darts I should have shifted up a bit but I left as
is – next time I will move up about 3/8″.

I also note that the sleeves were a little odd – they were very large for the
armscyce so they either need to be mega gathered at the sleeve head or
have a massive seam allowance, which is what I did (the instructions do not get you to join the sleeve but sew them in “open” but are not very clear as to what to do instead – the side seams are already sewn up).

I also hand sewed my sleeve facings to enclose the armscye seams for a neat inside finish.

I also needed to shorten this top quite a bit, about 3 inches to get it to hit mid hip otherwise it is almost a tunic length. ( I am 5’4).

Now that I have worn it I can feel/see that the armsyce is a tad snug and I probably graded it out just a bit too much at the hips, so I’ll lower the armsyce 3/8″ (aka cut a size 10 armsyce) and bring in the hip curve 1/4″ (aka only grade out to a 12) next time….