Ditsy Floral Polly Top From By Hand London

So my new years goal for making a new item of clothing per month has started with a bang, this Polly top which is a free pattern downloaded from By Hand London is the second thing I have made already! I am one month ahead! This was also the first 'real' pattern I have tried, by which I mean one that I haven't drafted myself. To be totally honest I think I made the wrong size, its a little bigger than I would like and thats after taking it in a little, but nonetheless I am pleased with the results.

I am very conscious that if I start making my own clothes its very easy to make lots of dresses and a few skirts and then end up with only half a wardrobe. So I really wanted to start with a few tops and make practical items. This one will be great when the weather warms up and a get a bit less pasty pale but I can easily wear it under a chunky knit for now.

One thing that I had to consider when cutting out my pattern pieces was how I could fit them all on to my fabric. The pattern suggests using 1.8m plus extra to make the bias binding. I only had 1.5m and couldn't easily get any more. To fit them all on to my fabric I did this:

I moved the fold of the fabric from the centre over to the left. This way I had enough space to place all my pieces on the fold and had lots left over to cut the bias binding from. The binding for the sleeves easily fit onto the space available. The binding for the neckline was cut out of two thin rectangles and stitched together to make one long piece.

I really enjoyed using a 'real' pattern, next time I will just have to get someone to measure me more carefully. The instructions with the pattern were very helpful and simple enough for a beginner. I definitely think I will invest in some other patterns in future, I am considering another pattern from By Hand London that I could make a summer dress from and then a winter dress from later on in the year. Do you think it's worth it? Do you have a particular pattern maker you prefer? I would like to have a good look around and investigate all the different ones.

The other thing I made was a top from jersey (stretch) cotton and I am pretty disappointed with it. This was in part because the fabric I bought was very thin and therefore tricky to work with but also because its not very flattering on me. Would you like to see it any way? Let me know. Zoe x

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