THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

June 24, 2006


Filed under: Fabric,Fit/Pattern Alterations,Pattern Reviews — Gorgeous Things @ 9:19 am

by Diva Ann, GorgeousThings 

This spring, I’ve been taken with the ready to wear I see made from mesh. It’s cute, it breathes, and I just thought it would be a cool thing to sew. So I went rifling through my pattern stash to see what I could find that would work. I came up with New Look 6405, a cute top pattern:

I want to insert a little aside here. I never used to even give New Look patterns a glance, but they have some great basics that are very well drafted and very easy to sew. They include all sizes in one pattern, and they are bargain priced compared with the big 3.

This top fit the bill for my experiment for a number of reasons. It’s fast to make, it has nice lines, and it’s a style that I think will have legs over several seasons. So after pulling this pattern, I gave a call to (insert shameless plug here) Kashi at
Metro Textiles
237 West 35th Street
5th Floor
New York, NY 10001
(end of shameless plug, and aside from being friends with Kashi, NAYY).
“What have you got for Mesh, Kashi?”
“I have some pink mesh that would be very nice.”
“How much?”
Well for crying out loud, I just paid $47 for a top made from this mesh. I can’t say no to that! “Send me two yards, will you?”

I started working on my pattern while waiting for my fabric to arrive. I love New Look, but they tend to make their tops short, and I like to have a little extra length. So I added an inch of length at the waist. I also did a full bust adjustment. This top is asymmetrical, so the FBA was very slightly more complex than the norm, but not much. Here’s what I did. The right front pattern piece extends all the way across the torso as you can see in the picture:

Starting at the right shoulder, I did my standard FBA, which you can see pretty clearly. The left front pattern piece is just a shoulder to top of bust piece that gets sewn with trim to the right front:

I laid the Left Front piece over the left side of the Right Front piece (still with me?), overlapping at the seamlines, and I taped them together with the sticky end of a Post-it note to hold them in place temporarily. Then I folded along the Center Front line so the left shoulder was lying directly over the right shoulder, and I traced my markings for where to slash the pattern. I unfolded, removed the Post-it notes and slashed the pattern pieces. You can see the results in the pictures above. It took a couple of minutes of extra time, but the results are worth it. And face it folks, if you’re sewing for yourself, let your inner Diva loose and remind yourself that you are worth every bit of effort!

My fabric arrived from Kashi the next day. It’s a pale pink mesh. I decided to make the shirt double layered in the front and back, leaving the sleeves single layered. Here’s why:

Can you say, “Violation of decency statutes”? By adding the second layer, the fabric becomes much more opaque:

It’s even more subtle against my skin, which isn’t striped (usually). You can’t see it in the photographs, but the double layer of mesh also causes cool moire patterns whenever I move.

To make this work, I serged all the seams, then topstitched with a narrow (1mm) zigzag stitch. I didn’t bother to finish the bottom edges. None of the RTW I have seen uses finishing on the hems of mesh tops, and only a few mesh bottoms have hem finishes, and those are all narrow rolled hems done on a serger.

You can see the entire garment at PatternReview


  1. Ann – I can’t to see this in person!

    Comment by Phyllis — June 24, 2006 @ 9:47 am

  2. I’ve been wondering about the breathability of the nylon meshes — what do you think, Ann?

    Comment by Nina — June 24, 2006 @ 10:10 am

  3. Nina, I don’t think you’ll have any problem with breathability. The mesh ventilates quite well, even in a double layer. I wore it when it was in the 90s, and I wasn’t any hotter than I would be in a cotton tee.

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — June 24, 2006 @ 10:29 am

  4. I hadn’t thought about doubled mesh giving a moire effect. That sounds interesting! and better than seeing striped skin :O

    Comment by Mary Beth — June 24, 2006 @ 11:17 am

  5. That is beautiful, Ann! I have some printed mesh in my stash that would work really well with this pattern which I probably also have. I bought it after seeing some mesh tops (at Neiman’s, I think) that were close to $100!

    Comment by Gigi — June 24, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

  6. Ann ~ I have shown your top to my DD who has the New Look pattern in her pattern stash (I think I started a monster here!) and some mesh that I bought her from my SF trip. Since she is out of school, I am sure that I will see a version of this top in a few days! Thanks for inspiring a young sewer!

    Comment by cmarie12 — June 24, 2006 @ 8:18 pm

  7. Very helpful regarding FBA. Nice top from view on PR.

    Comment by Linda — June 25, 2006 @ 4:30 am

  8. Great top Ann.

    Comment by Els — June 29, 2006 @ 5:36 am

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