Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A tova top & a case for a fabric hoarding gene

My grandmother always cautioned my mother and me that, when she died, we were to get to her house quickly and remove her fabric stash before Grandpa found it!
With the online popularity of the Wiksten Tova top, I decided I'd dust off my all-but-retired garment-making skills. I asked Mum if there was a suitably soft cotton in the stash inherited from Grandma. Sure enough, we found this very pretty cotton - all 8.5 metres of it! The Boy calculated we could make two-thirds of a tennis net, but we opted for a Tova top (or four)!
The Tova top looks universally flattering in the many photos on the web, albeit most are worn by stick-thin, tall and young beauties. Undeterred, we printed out the extra-large and got sewing!
I am an Australian Size 12 (inching closer to a 14 every day it would seem) - the extra large Tova pattern fits me perfectly, without alteration. It is super comfortable, and conveniently disguises a multitude of sins around my midriff. It unfortunately doesn't help with the thunder-thigh issue lower down, but that is surely beyond the capability of a single pattern. 


The only thing that I'm still coming to terms with (other than having to cut out an XL) is the neckline. I had hoped the collar would stand pertly rather than flop open. My dressmaking mother is hovering, eyes glinting, quick-unpick at the ready with a view to redrafting the collar. But I've decided life's too short for that.
I hate having my photo taken because it forces me to acknowledge the form my body is taking with age. But in the interests of confronting my pride, here I am, the best of apparently hundreds of takes :) Admittedly, I resorted to hiding behind tree trunks to obscure the thunder thighs, but there you have it.
I will definitely make this pattern up again. It is well written, and very achievable. The yoke inset is the trickiest bit. It is conveniently available as a PDF download here.

I have no idea what Grandma was intending when she bought 8.5 metres of this pretty print. But I think she would be very happy that it is seeing the light of day, and being used at last.

37 comments:

  1. Nice fabric, and great top. Scared that if you're a XL, at a size 12, how many 'X's I would be!! :-) wonder if your Grandma bought this fabric for something special, or, if like all good fabricologists, she just bought it because it was pretty?

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  2. You are too funny -- and beautiful, I might add! Your new top is gorgeous -- I love the fabric and the pattern. I love making tops and will have to add this to my patterns. It looks great on you! And I LOVE the first line in your post -- I'm thinking I better tell my daughter-in-law the same thing!

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  3. It looks great, and you have almost convinced me to buy it. I saw one of these with binding like the sleeves around the neckline to stop it flopping over. I would be buying the same size and it frightened me too!

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  4. Wel I definitely don't look at you and think thunder thighs. More like, you are shaped like the rest of us women in the real world who actually eat on a regulr basis! :) Darn that pippa Middleton and her skinny backside anyway!!

    Beautiful fabric as well! Maybe you could cut it up and swap with a few (hundred) people! I'll be first on your list if you want! Ha!

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  5. Believe me you look FABULOUS!! Love the top and your 'just right' healthy body!! There is NOTHING wrong with being Size 12!! Just enjoy it!
    P

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  6. I'm sure your gradmother is verry happy! Congrats!

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  7. What a great top and story - yay for such a great hand-me-down stash! Thanks for posting pics - I never considered making this top because of all the stick thin pictures - how would it look on my body? But it looks like the yoke fits wonderfully and the rest floats gracefully - thanks for sharing your pictures!

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  8. You look beautiful in it! Amazing job. I don't know if you used interfacing for the placket and collar, since the instructions don't call for it. The reason I didn't include that is that I like the easy way it flops open without interfacing. If you want the placket and collar to stand up stiffer, using interfacing on both should do the trick! : )

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  9. It's adorable and so are you!!! Both inside & out :)
    Jen

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  10. I'm with 'one for a wish' (first commenter), if you are an XL at a size 12, I am scared to think how many X's I'd be in that top! I usually wear an 18/20 (or a 2X mens shirt). I was ''gifted'' with a very large bosom :P I have some LOVELY aqua print with white blossoms (apple?pear?cherry?not sure) from my grandmother's stash (I believe it's a rayon, very soft and drape-y) that I'd love to make a top with. Don't want to look like I'm wearing a tent. Yours is LOVELY though and it looks great on you!

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  11. I really like the collar (and the necklace it is showing off.)
    You did a great job. That fabric is lovely.

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  12. What a lovely pattern and you look fabulous in it! I'm sure your Grandma would be very happy - you could make one for every member of the family with 8.5 metres. You could be like the Von Trapps! I actually really like the way the neck drapes, I might have to investigate making one of my own because my midriff needs all the camouflage it can get!

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  13. The top looks great...as do you, don't be so hard on yourself!

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  14. You look great and those glasses are very funky. The top is pretty good too!!

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  15. This is such a lovely top Ros - and the fabric is so pretty. You look so nice in the photos.

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  16. It looks lovely Ros and you look gorgeous in it....Don't be so hard on yourself....Hugs Kate xo

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  17. The top looks lovely and how nice to have such beautiful vintage material. You are lucky to be able to "blame" your fabric hoarding on your "genes"...I have no excuse (nor do I have a such lovely fabric!)

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  18. Such sweet fabric, I have been pondering over this pattern for some time so may just have to bite the bullet and go for it! And no you do not have thunder thighs, everytime I see you you always look great. Hope you have had a lovely time at the farm these holidays...

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  19. Well done! It looks great and very comfortable! You are not the only one whose body shape seems to have taken on a life of it own!!!

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  20. Your shirt looks lovely and so do you. I find that these days if I have to have my photo taken I grab one of my children and crouch down behind them, partly for a cute snuggle, and partly to hide ;-)

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  21. I like the new top. And free fabric that is cute is a HUGE plus. Regarding size, think about this...
    If you were skinny as a stick you would have an eating or non eating problem. Or you would have another health issue.
    Be happy that you are healthy, and have a few extra pounds to worry over.
    I knew a couple of gals that developed eating issues that ballooned into much more that deeply effected her health.

    Enjoy your new tops, and other things you get to make from all of the fabric. Happy sewing...Kgcg

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  22. Looks great Ros.....you have inspired me to try and extend my dressmaking skills past basic skirts!

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  23. you look so lovely! what beautiful fabric - and I love the blouse pattern - it's just the same pattern I was thinking of sewing up this coming weekend. It is flattering and oh so comfy. So pretty! And so nice to see your face :-)

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  24. I think it looks great, a nice casual look. I love what she did here, the pleats dress it up a bit! I wonder if she would share the pattern piece she drafted?!

    http://www.filminthefridge.com/2011/11/29/one-more-shirt/

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  25. Great to be able to put a face to a name! :)
    Love your top and that fabric is beautiful.

    The fabric hoarding gene is alive and well in my family too!!! Your Grandmother would be very happy you created something beautiful from her treasure from the past.

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  26. Não precisava ter se escondido você é linda.PRAZER EM CONHECE-LA.Com certeza sua avó ficaria encantada com neta talentosa.Um grannnnde beijo.

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  27. So glad you blogged about this top Ros - I almost joined a sew along last month but gave up because I wasn't sure it would fit...I am your size! I'll give it a go now I've seen how loving yours looks! Thanks! Kym

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  28. I love that your Grandma stashed 8.5 metres of this fabric...I can now rest easy knowing that if I don't use everything I buy (and I won't...at this point it would be practically impossible to do so!), my children, and children's children, will! And it's such a pretty fabric, too! This pattern is on my list for the next few weeks, and I hope mine turns out as nicely as yours did. :)

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  29. The fabric is beautiful!
    I love this model.

    Your figure is fine,
    you're a beautiful person with a cheerful and splendid face.

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  30. Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments about my first Tova top. My ego has been re-strengthened by your positive and encouraging words! I write my blog for a myriad of reasons, but one is the unfailingly positive feedback I receive from you all online. I am completely enthused and ready to make another Tova. I am also feeling a whole lot better about my aging, imperfect body because of the empathy of so many of you! Thank you all sincerely. Ros x

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  31. love your new top....the fabric is lovely!

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  32. Lovely top, you look great in it and I love the story too. I'm sure your Grandma is smiling.

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  33. I'm loving it !!!! The top and the gorgeous "young" lady who is wearing it :)

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  34. Grandma sure did pick some pretty fabric!!
    I love the top too....

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  35. Thanks for sharing information on A tova top & a case for a fabric hoarding gene, i have visited your blog great post....................

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  36. It looks great. I have the pattern and had no idea which size to cut. I am size 12 also so scary enough I'd have to cut out an XL too. I can't even say that out loud. Anyway, you look great in it. I hope I have lots of fun with the rest of the fabric. Perhaps a big bed sheet was planned for all that fabric?

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a message. I endeavour to reply to each & every one of your comments, but forgive me if occasionally I don't - life just gets in the way sometimes! Be assured your comments are ALWAYS read & appreciated. Best wishes, Bloom.

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