Shock, horror, I bought me a new pattern…

Yep, thought it about time I had a go at something different. Think I’ve made enough Trapeze tops for now!

I fell in love with the Imogen top from sew me something, as it had a neckline I liked. However The neckline turned out to be a bit of a challenge.

The pattern says its suitable for beginners, however I beg to differ. I do have sewing experience now, but I feel if I’d tried this as a beginner I would have packed up my sewing machine and just stopped. I feel the instructions could do with being a little more detailed and more pictures wouldn’t go amiss either. So despite the experience I do have I still managed to bugger it up! I was able to rectify it though.

Totally forgot to take pictures of the buggered up version, as I was thinking it was a right off and was feeling very despondent, I really liked the fabric and was unhappy about the waste. And then I checked in my scrap pile and found I had enough scrap left over to give the buggered up bit another go.

Basically I put the collar on upside down, simple mistake to make, I was looking at it like a facing as thats what I’m used to. I unpicked the upside down collar and started again. Of course I had to compensate for some fabric that had already been cut off, but it worked out fine.

I also had a little problem right at the start with the placket not fitting right. There’s a little V like cut out in the neckline and I believe when I cut the fabric out I must’ve somehow made the bottom of the V a bit wider than it should have been (if that makes sense?) And once I’d attached both the plackets they didn’t overlap like they should. I was almost ready to give up at the first hurdle.

And then because I thought I’d ruined it already I thought why not cut it down the middle through the centre of the V and put back together with a small centre seam? Why not indeed! So thats what I did, and it worked. So I carried on. Which partly made me more determined to sort out the upside down collar situation.


I was able to get a UK size 12  out of 1.5m of fabric.

Below is the placket situation before I sorted it out. As you can see the placket pieces do not in anyway shape or form meet or overlap.


Ta daa! Here it is, and I love it.


Despite all my problems with it, I thoroughly enjoyed making this top. I learned several new things, not least how to insert elastic to make the sleeve cuff. It also had a different technique for sleeve insertion.

More pics


See what I mean about the lovely fabric. Its a cotton denim coloured chambray with little stars on it. It wasn’t expensive, I just really really liked it. And didn’t want it to have been a waste.


It has a lovely curved hem, and here you can see the elasticated cuffs too.



In the picture below you can see little more clearly the slight mess of the plackets and that the collar still isn’t quite perfect. I had to zigzag the seam at the base of the placket neck opening as the seam wasn’t quite big enough for me to finish it off properly on the edges, so that looks a bit messy, but I can live with it. Also the placket isn’t sitting quite right, but again I can live with it. I also made the row of stitching that anchors the bottom of the collar to the bodice a little too high from the neck seam. I think it looks Ok and again I can live with it.

The top is perfectly wearable and after giving it a good press the neck sits pretty nicely.






Anyone care to venture a guess on how many of these I will make? I can tell you now it will be more than one…



  1. Jenny

    Sarah, that’s a lovely top, and it looks great on! No one will notice the things you’ve pointed out, and they are mistakes anyone could make.

    I think you did a good job – it takes experience and some skill to remedy wrong-turns, and end up with something that’s not only wearable, but good, too!

    Nice one!

  2. Thanks Jenny. It does seem that when I think I’ve failed big time I then get really brave and try stuff. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. But I think the trick is to always try. Thats the only way to learn really.
    And I know we shouldn’t really point out our mistakes but I do think it might help others to see that making a mistake is not always the end of a sewing project. Like the quote in your latest comment “Mistakes are not only okay to make, they are required for improvement.” Xx

  3. so glad it worked out in the end. I have a couple of sew mw something patterns and love them – their pj’s pattern is brilliant.

  4. Yes I must try the Pj pattern. Xx

  5. Jenny

    I saw this on Closet Case Files’ blog today and thought of you – and of my own attempts to get back into sewing. I think it’s encouraging – hope you find it so, too:
    What’s the one piece of advice that you wish you had heard when you began your own art?

    Mistakes are not only okay to make, they are required for improvement. Forging ahead into uncharted territory can be much less painful once one embraces the fallibility inherent in being human. If you preemptively plan to make mistakes, and set aside scrap wood for that express purpose, then your learning is hard-earned and substantial.

  6. Jenny jenny

    Hello again!
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
    I’m back at the sewing machine, just finishing off my first Imogen, inspired by yours! A few strange things – had a lot of fabric in the sleeve pieces to gather onto the neckband, but not much at all on the front and back. I think perhaps my markings were out. Think I may also have cut the neck band out against the grain, so didn’t have the give I should have. Oops! I might try to put the placket on the other way around next time.
    And for final operator error… I went to such trouble to lay out and cut out the pattern pieces economically, but cut along the edge that should have been on the fold on the front AND back pieces. I must have been on drugs…

    I’m going to wash the fabric for my second. This pattern comes together nicely (I think the abovementioned issues are all mine, not with the pattern).

    So, thank you for sharing your make! I told the pattern designer that you inspired me!

  7. Hello Jenny,
    I had a lovely Christmas thank you, was working Boxing day so you know! Hope you had a lovely one.

    From your description of the gathering the sleeve pieces for the neck band I’m wondering if you did what I did, which was put the it on upside down! Hope for your sake you didn’t its a nightmare to unpick. Have you finished it? If so you’d know by now if it was upside down. Have to say that damn placket is a nightmare, its fine once done but doing it is a real head scratcher I feel. However as you say it is a lovely pattern to make, and I think it has become my new favourite item of clothing. Well the second one definitely.

    I’d love to see your makes, do you have pictures you could share? And I thank you for all your lovely feedback, always puts a smile on my face. I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Xxx

  8. Jenny

    I finished my second today. I didn’t do such a good job of the placket this time, but can see what I did wrong (making those angled cuts in bad lighting is a really dumb thing to do…).

    I was careful with the collar piece both times – because of reading about your experience. I was more careful with the markings this time and the gathering worked out better. This time around, I made a hash job of the collar and spent hours stitching and unpicking. The issue was the width of the collar piece and seam allowance. For some reason (again, operator error), on the curved parts either side of the neck (ie either side at the back of the neck), the collar was 1/2cm narrower and it bugged me til I sorted it. Joy!

    I will try to get some photos to share. One is red with white spots, the other a bluey-mauve and navy, some fabric I got on a trip to India.

    I agree with your comment in your post on your second one – there are points at which the instructions are scant. I have thought about writing in a few extra instructions, and some notches on the collar piece and neckline!!

  9. Yours sound lovely, would really love to see them. I can’t wait to make my third, with the adjustments I’ve made. I’m also a bit wary as I know it won’t be sailing.
    Thanks again for your lovely feedback. XXX

  10. Jenny

    Forgot to say, I put the gathering stitches (two rows) on each piece once they were all attached, rather than before I attached them as the instructions suggest. I think that enabled me to get a cleaner set of gathers, taking into account the seamlines.

    Your gathers are very good!