I made something: Breton top

Goofy photo credit to my friend Polly.

Once, on guide camp, I grossly exaggerated my horse-riding skills so I could go on a bracing hack with the experienced riders, instead of being led around on a fat little pony at snail-speed. I recall the darkening faces of the horsey girls as they realised that my total lack of experience had put the kibosh on their afternoon’s fun, meaning a trot was the fastest we’d ever go.

After signing up to the Thrifty Stitcher‘s Breton top sewing workshop (some mastery of the sewing machine a prerequisite), I worried that I would yet again be holding up a team of competents. My sewing sessions tend to end a bit tangly. However, friendly tutor Melissa put me at ease and helped me out when I got stuck, and the other sewers were sympathetic, lending the day a companionable glow.

The workshop was held in a small sweet sewing room inside a scary studio complex in Stoke Newington. First, we chose our stretchy stripy fabric. Then we pinned and cut out our fabric using paper patterns. We used an overlocker (special machine for stretchy seams and very exciting) to join shoulders, collar and sides from cuff to waist. At different points in its genesis, my Breton was mentally consigned to ‘nightwear only’ or ‘layering only’, but eventually ended with triumphant ‘workwear if I wore my hair down to hide the wonky collar’ status.

I enjoyed this workshop, taken with my sister as advance reciprocal Christmas gifts, and recommend it (though at the time of writing I can’t see any future classes advertised). If I had my time again, I would have done horizontal stripes on the collar (vertical looked a little clownish) and remembered to increase the overall length (nothing as unfortunate as a short top) as well as the sleeve length.


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