Thursday, 14 February 2008

Simplicity 5220 mandarin collar top brocade

I finished the mandarin top from my daughter's wardrobe pattern 5220 last night. We are very pleased with it. I used a synthetic brocade from Timmel fabrics. This was a little more difficult to work with than the cotton used in the trial version, and the top is a bit more fitted because of the thickness of the fabric. I needed to cut carefully to avoid flaws in the fabric. The top is trimmed with minipiping made from imperial batiste at the collar and at the false diagonal front. I made frog closures from the same fabric, making a very thin tube, then sewing the frogs as described at this website,,HGTV_3325_1376352,00.html

The frogs are only decorative. I did make a version of the frogs using pale pink braid, but these looked too bulky for the garment. The garment opening is an invisible zip at the back. I used the 25cm zip called for in the pattern, but this makes the top a little difficult to put on. The longer 35 cm zip used in the trial cotton top is a much better length for ease of dressing. I inserted the zip before applying the collar, and the back of the collar stands above the zip, which allows it to sit well and for more comfort at the neck. In the trial version we found the back neck was too high, so I lowered it 1.5cm in this version, extending the length of the collar slightly at the back to match this alteration.
I bound the sleeve edges and bottom edge of the top with skinny bias binding made from the same fabric.
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