I came across this pattern at the “Spring Top Sewalong” hosted by Rae this last spring. I saw many people had made the top and got curious about it for myself. So I purchased the downloadable pdf pattern and (after printing and taping the pieces together) started to sew. Since I don’t use a lot of sleeved shirts around here, I decided to make a sleeveless version, and bound the shoulder seams with white bias tape. After posting it on my favorite Norwegian sewing forum, the Sykroken, somebody told me how, when nixing sleeves from a pattern with sleeves, one should ideally adjust the curvature of the sleeve opening so it goes a little higher than the sleeved version. You need that extra wiggle room when you wear the sleeve, but not for a sleeveless. So I learned something new that day, but of course, the tunic was already finished, so I didn’t have a chance to incorporate it then.
This first tunic was made with a white sheet from the “fuka” also known as the open-air second-hand market here in the African town I live in. The contrast panel is cut from a pillowcase found at the same market. The pillowcase was from IKEA, which I find hilarious, as I have always loved IKEA, and growing up in Norway it was a household name. So when I find linens in the second-hand shops here that originated in IKEA, it feels like a little bit of home is catching up with me.
The second Tova was started right after I finished the first. For this one, I got bolder, having finished my “muslin”, and decided to cut into some Denise Schmidt fabric for the contrast panel, and even chose a second print for the inside of the neckline and the center front. But then I started on Tova # 3 and number 2 got stuck in the pile of UFOs. You see, a neighbor pointed out that one of our new friends, who was seven months pregnant, had a urgent need for maternity wear, and I offered to make her a blouse. So I took my Tova pattern and added some extra with to the front, and this time used short sleeves. This Tova is also made from a white vintage sheet and Denise Schmidt’s Hope Valley collection. This is actually the only Tova I’ve made that features the original gathering in the front, as for the other two, I chose to pleat instead. I quite like the gathering, and now wish I’d done that for one of my own… I’ll just have to make a fourth version, I guess!
This was the very first time I ever made something with set-in sleeves. And I was really happy with the result. It’s so easy to sew for people who are slim and actually fit in the “standard” measurements. For myself, I usually have to grade the pieces up somewhat, and for a newbie like me, that can prove a challenge. I did three different tries with different sleeve shapes for my third Tova (actually number 2, but it was finished third), and was never successful. I ended up doing a cap sleeve, but while it looks ok when my arms are down, it’s too tight for comfort when I raise my arms. I’ll have to work on my alteration skills some more!
I have now posted the picture of Tova # 2. (The kids did not stay outside playing until now, two days later, but you know how it goes...)