Taking Style Tips From Tuppence

At the end of last year, I won some beautiful Merino jersey fabric from Kat at Sewing Muse (for this dress in the Muse Loves Merino sewing contest). It took me quite a while to decide what to make from it, as the fabric was so special and soft! After looking through my wardrobe, I concluded that I could really do with some stretch knit tops, so I decided to begin there.

Recently I have been reading Tasha’s recent series on Wrap Tops, and whilst wrap tops generally do not suit my figure, I did especially like the ‘faux’ wrap top idea with a high neck line. An example of a pattern which has this style is New Look 6150, which Tasha mentioned in her series.

I chose to make version A from the pattern envelope, a faux wrap top with high neckline and long sleeves. Except, the pattern did seem to have ‘quirks’ in it. Firstly, I already knew that modern patterns tend to have much more ease than vintage patterns, and indeed, from checking the finished garment measurements on the envelope I was right. I made the size 6, but really I think I could have even got away with the size 4. The sleeves turned out to be a weird length too, from the illustration on the envelope it looks like they are supposed to be 3/4 length, but on me they were bracelet length, so I shortened them to make them into 3/4 lengths.  I also shortened the entire top, as from reading other blog reviews on this pattern, I was aware that it can turn out extremely long. Now, I do have a long body – but not that long! So I think I shortened it by somewhere around 2inches (I can’t actually remember, but I did mark it on the pattern pieces for next time). Also, the shoulders are rather wide on this pattern, so that is something to take into account for my next version.

Now – the oddest part of all.. the neckline pleat. This part didn’t seem to make much sense to me, so I improvised and did what I thought & that worked out, so hey-ho! Also, I must admit I wasn’t entirely convinced by some of the other instructions detailed with the pattern – the directions for the setting-in of the sleeves was one of those moments. Yes, the method given would work nicely for wovens, but for knit fabrics.. not so much. So at that point I confess I lost faith in some of the instructions and instead relied on my own intuition and knowledge.

Now, moving on to the title of this blog post. Back in the Summer, in the UK there was a TV series which aired called ‘Partners In Crime’. Based on the Tommy & Tuppence Agatha Christie novels, the series starred Jessica Raine and David Walliams. It was set in the 1950s, and Jessica’s character; Tuppence, wore the most fantastic costumes! For a little taster of the costumes, watch this short interview:

Now that my hair is shorter, I am starting to look at different clothing styles and muses, Tuppence from Partners in Crime, and Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina being my most recent inspirations. I love the skirt suits that Tuppence wears, and I think with this outfit I was definitely taking a few style tips from her character!

Coincidentally, my hair set turned out quite 1950s for these pictures, which worked well! Usually when I set my hair I never quite know how it will turn out when I brush it out, but this time it worked perfectly. The front part even cooperated and smoothed itself into a nice ‘faux bangs’ roll, which I bet if I tried to do again, I wouldn’t be able to!

Thank you so much to Kat from Sewing Muse for this beautiful Merino fabric, I have also made a turban and a pencil skirt from it, so expect to see more of it in future!

*Side note – the neckline on my top looks a bit wonky as my silly necklace decided to misbehave and push one side of the V neck to make it look asymmetrical. I didn’t realise this until I got home and looked at the pictures – DOH.

Until next time dears!


14 thoughts on “Taking Style Tips From Tuppence

  1. Cate says:

    Wow, you’re really flying with the stretch fabrics and this top is fab! I still haven’t been brave enough to tackle them but I did find a old piece of jersey fabric in my stash that I’m going to have a play with before I do anything specific. xxx

  2. Jessica Cangiano says:

    Everything about this elegant look is so sophisticated and pretty. I’m sorry that the construction of your top came with some hiccups. I think it turned out marvelously in the end and that it looks deeply pretty on you, sweet dear.

    ♥ Jessica

  3. Wendy Bayford says:

    What a great outfit and lovely top, its great that such a modern pattern can turn itself to such a classic style! I loved all the costumes Tuppence wore in Partners in Crime, they made up for the fact I didn’t enjoy the show as much as I had hoped I would, she always looked super stylish no matter what she was getting up to!

  4. margo says:

    Where are the beach huts in your hotters advert??looks so lovely and so like Preston on sands ,outside Torquay.

  5. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Margo, The photos were taken at Hove Lagoon. I have been to Torquay and admired the colourful beach huts there too though, I do enjoy a brightly coloured beach hut! x

  6. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Wendy, I know what you mean about not enjoying the show as much as hoped. I felt that way too, although I’m not entirely sure why. I haven’t read the books so I haven’t anything to compare the storyline and plot too, although I did feel that the scriptwriting lacked something. But, Tuppence’s costumes did make-up for it in some small way! Haa ha! xx

  7. Jenny Frances says:

    Thank you so much my dear Brigid! I’m annoyed about the necklace interfering with the neckline of the top, but hey-ho. I shall make sure I check my pictures before leaving the photo location in future! 🙂 xx

  8. Jenny Frances says:

    Thank you so much Jessica! I usually make mock-ups of any garment before working with my ‘main’ fabrics, but for this one I just went straight on ahead. But now that I have made the pattern up, I will know what to alter and look-out for next time! 🙂 xx

  9. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Cate, I know – I have caught the stretch fabric sewing bug! Haa ha! I am definitely going through a stretch fabric phase at the moment. Next on my list is another top the same as this one, but in a versatile cream. Unfortunately I couldn’t get hold of any merino stretch fabric in cream here in the UK (most merino jersey is in New Zealand, indeed where I won this teal merino from), but the fabric that I did find is a nice weight/stretch and texture. 🙂 xx

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