Completed: Tova blouse

Ooh, I'm getting close to the completion of my 20:20 challenge. Item 18 is Wiksten's Tova. I have seen a few versions around the blogsphere and thought it would make a great casual top for pottering around the house (I potter a lot!) These photos are taken in front of my lounge window. I had planned to take them outside to show off the real colour of the fabric but Christmas shopping got in the way! 

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I downloaded the pdf version as, sadly, I didn't have time to wait for a paper copy to arrive on the door mat. I did have some problems putting the pages together, with many of them not matching up by about five millimetres. I did use a different printer for this pattern so I may have had the settings slightly off but the test square was the correct size. After a bit of tinkering once the pieces had been roughly cut away from each other, they sat much better. 

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The fabric is cotton and the print is Crosshatch. I got it from the Village Haberdashery about six months ago. Like most cottons, it was a dream to work with and pressed very easily. I kept thinking that it was a little stiff until I realised, after I had cut every piece out, that I hadn't actually prewashed the fabric. Oops! I'm not normally that disorganised and the tell tale sign of no folded over edges should have set alarm bells ringing. Hopefully it won't shrink too much during its first wash. 

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The pattern goes together very easily. You need to remember throughout that it only allows for 3/4" seam allowance. You have plenty of opportunities to practice top stitching while constructing the front inset. Both plackets need top stitching as does the inset. I did find positioning the inset the trickiest part of the construction. I just couldn't get the bottom corners to work but after a lot of pinning and repinning, I finally stitched it in place. This is one area that I would recommend basting the pieces together before stitching. The collar and cuffs were very simple to put in. I did add an extra line of top stitching to the collar as it looked a little odd with just the top line. All of seam allowances are overlocked and I'm really pleased with how neat it looks on the inside.

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Over the last couple of years I have leaned towards more fitted clothing and was a little worried about the loose style of this pattern. When I first put it on, I wasn't sure but I have worn it a couple of time since completing it and I've completely changed my mind. I love the length of the top. The sleeves also hit at the right spot as I'm always guilty of rolling up my sleeves. I've grown quite fond of it and can see it being a go-to piece for weekends or evenings that call out for comfy clothing. There is the potential for a smarter version for work and I have this planned to sew in the new year. 

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How about you, are you planning next year's sewing yet?