The T-shirt Project #2: Boden Twist Jersey Top

So I guess I’m getting to April’s knockoff here on May 10th.  I will aspire to be more on top of things in the future.

At any rate, I sewed up 90% of this at my last fitting group meeting.  Maybe I’m getting more efficient, but t-shirts really are becoming a quick sew for me–a mind cleanser from big projects like jeans–but I think I’ve said as much before.

On the board is Boden’s Twist Jersey top.

It’s a great empire waisted crossover top with a little detail, but nothing too difficult.  In a matter of total coincidence, Aleah also knocked this off recently for PR’s RTW contest.  I think she got closer to what I’m about to show you, particularly in the pleating in the crossover.  Jalie 2804 (my base for this top) doesn’t have any pleating on the crossover, and I kind of miss that about this pattern.  In general, there needs to be some shaping in the bust on this pattern.  It’s still a good pattern, and it got the job done, but if you’re looking to knock this off, you might check out Aleah’s base of Simplicity 1916.  I’m definitely picking up this pattern for some of the variations at the next sale.

To start off, I had to fix some issues I had with this problem from the last time I made it.

I had huge problems with the depth of the empire line when I made this as a maternity top. I swear this pattern is for the bustless among us as the seam hits literally inches into my braline, even though I’m probably not quite a D these days and wear really well fitting, not cheapo bras. At any rate, rather than struggle through several muslins as I did in my maternity version, adjusting the empire line, I compared the pattern to an empire line that I knew worked for me–that of Vogue 1027. To give you an idea of how high up there the seam is , I had to add a full 1.5″ to the bottom of the crossover pieces to equal the seam on the Vogue pattern (I subtracted 1.5″ from the lower bodice piece). The Vogue fortuitously hits a little below my bust line which was helpful because after I made my muslin, I realized that I needed to do a kind of large petite adjustment–3/4″ vs. the typical 1/2″ that I usually do on patterns. There was *just* enough length in the added length of the crossover to accommodate this.

Comparing this pattern to my TNT, which is Jalie 2921, I noticed that the drafting is really quite different–the aforementioned bigger armscye and it’s slimmer fitting as well. It’s not a complaint, just something I wouldn’t necessarily expect.

To make this twist:

1.  Cut two rectangles the full width of the empire seam plus an inch X 7″ wide. I folded them in half, wrong sides in and serged the raw edge and turned the tube. Rather than pressing the seam at the bottom of the rectangle, I moved the seam around so it was more or less in the middle of the rectangle. This allowed the top and bottom of the tube to be seamless from the right side–a feature that appears to be on Boden’s top. You could do just a single layer of fabric and hem the top and bottom, but my jersey was pretty lightweight and I never like the look of hemming on twist tops, so I went with the double layer instead.

2.  Next, I folded the tubes in half and slipped one around the other. I put a pin where CF landed just to keep things together for the next step. From the wrong side of the twist, put right sides together on one side of the twist and serge or stitch as far as you can before you hit the twist itself. Repeat on the other side. I then gathered the sides of the twist which is really clearly there on the Boden top. I made sure I had extra length to play with in case the twist ended up being too tight. I figured it’d be easier to fix it if it were drooping than the other way around. I basted the twist under the empire seam into place and basted the side seams to check the fit and placement. With my particular jersey, I had about an extra 5/8″ that eventually had to get whacked off the sides of the twist. I got the placement where I wanted it the second time and cut off the excess before I serged the side seams.

3.  I tacked down the center of the twist at CF so that it wouldn’t droop and so that it would still cover the empire seam.  You’re really going to want to do this because even if you hemmed and made a single layered twist, it’s going to be heavy, and anchoring it helps distribute that weight so the poor side seams aren’t having to do all of that work.  Also, I didn’t want the empire seam showing since the twist already provides a horizontal line–it seemed too busy, and I’m all for disguising empire lines in general.

I flatlocked the seams as I’ve been doing lately because it’s ultra fast and produces a really nice finish on the inside–nicer than a twin needle, but mostly just faster because I can use my serger for the whole thing. To do so, change your tension for flatlocking (0 on your needle, the highest on the loopers or at least higher than normal) you press up your hem then treat it like a blind hem. Though, watching some of the Power Sewing videos, Ron Collins showed the same method without switching the tension settings for flatlock, so you just get a seamed hem. I will definitely try this the next time I feel like serging a hem.

I don’t think I need another one of these tops as my short-waistedness makes me feel a little Princess and the Pea about anything around my midsection.  I should have noticed the proportion difference between me and the Boden model, but the twist kind of blurs that.  I’m sure if I were to try on their regular version of this top (they do make a petite version too), it’d be something like tunic length on me.  I’m not disappointed though.  I think part of creating is figuring out what works for you and what’s better on someone else.  You tall and long waisted people, this is a great choice for you!

As for me, I’m still enjoying my version with my linen shorts today with friends and all our kids at the Train Museum for MMM ’12, day 10.  It was hot and sunny, but a nice day for crawling around inside of trains.  And as predicted, I’m really glad for the breathe factor of the linen.

My review of the top is here.

5 thoughts on “The T-shirt Project #2: Boden Twist Jersey Top

  1. Ha, I can’t believe we chose the same top to knock off independently! Yours turned out great with the Jalie pattern – which I will have to check out since I am, in fact, one of the bustless! Your twist instructions are great, and that’s exactly what I did but you explained it much better.
    I love your t-shirt project idea too. I tend to want to make mostly dresses, so a goal of one top a month sounds like a good thing for me. Can I join up a couple months late?

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