Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Two Fehr Trade VNA Tops


Ain't I a lucky girl?!  I've been able to test every single one of the Fehr Trade patterns since the company started up last year!  Melissa issued a few weeks ago a test version of the VNA Top to a spectrum of seamstresses.  Yep, I have gotten me a free copy of both the test version and final version of each of the patterns, an opportunity to better understand the process of how an indie pattern in created and a chance to share my input/discuss the pattern/directions/etc.  Every single thing I've ever said (and will say) about the Fehr Trade patterns as a tester are all 100% my own thoughts and experiences with absolutely no expectation from the company owner to ever blog about it.  I just can't help myself, I have to blog about them, like everything else I sew.  I'd buy and blog about these patterns even if I didn't test them, they are exactly what I want/need to sew for my life as an amateur runner.


Now here's my first go at the pattern. I used two fabrics, both nylon/spandex with a 4-way stretch top.  The pink stuff is the same material as this bodysuit, the gray and pink is an odd leftover bit of swimwear from Fabric Mart (I used this to make a self drafted swim bottom I never got to blogging about last summer.)  This was my test version, a very wearable muslin with some mistakes I made whilst sewing.  I needed to work out the fit so I skipped top stitching and the neckline gapes up a little in front because I should have shortened the bindings.  For my Fehr Trade tops I have stuck with the same size-- small bust, medium waist and large hip, then I added length. 


I added 2" (5 cm) here.  The design lines are unorthodox, which is the selling point for this top for me!  You can see how I lengthened my pattern pieces above in the photo... but what's nifty is that the directions include several common alterations, even including this one on how to add length.  There's info on how to do a FBA, but as you can plainly see, I have never had to do a full bust adjustment in all my days. 


And I just whipped this second VNA top up this week.  The brown is supplex (nylon/spandex) from Fabric Mart, the yellow is a nylon/spandex (supplex-ish, not sure though, it was from a box of giveaway fabric), and the green is a nylon/spandex swimwear material from Fabric Fairy--- I used it to make a bathing suit here and another top here.


The side view is my favorite, with all those lines and bits of fabric meeting up.  There are several v-points in this top on the neckline and sleeves openings with the bindings.  The directions s-p-e-l-l out exactly how to land those points nicely with a really clear illustration.  And yes, I totally needed that info to get them right.


I think you can see my sports bra poking out a little on back here, it's a pale blue so it blends with the green of the top some. But the sweet point in back... oh, how I love that perfect spot where the pieces join precisely to make that v-shape.  And the directions told me exactly how to accomplish that, too.


I've worn the pink and gray one on a couple runs.  It did what I wanted as a shirt... I didn't have to tug on it or think about it at all-- I never want any article of clothing to bother me while I run, I'm slow and need the energy to continue moving forward up the massive hills I seem to find.  And if you have eagle-eyes you will see that the some of the pics of the green/brown top don't have top stitched bindings.  I thought I was out of green thread so I skipped it, but then found some and went back and took more photos a few minutes later.


So if you want to buy the pattern Melissa has a coupon code good til the end of June 2014.  Use the code LASEREYES” and get 10% off any of the Fehr Trade patterns.

12 comments:

  1. You are lucky that way. You like stretch tops too and you got all the opportunities to test too :) This looks like a fun design by the way. I like the one with green patch very mod Kathy :)

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    1. Thanks Diya!!! I have been really excited to test these patterns since they are things I'd make anyhow.

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  2. Ooooh, super sharp top! I really like that this can be made from a combo of leftover fabric from previous projects. I'm currently in the process of making my first XYT top --- now I "need" this pattern too :D.

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, I used all these itty bitty bits I had been saving, I hardly throw out any of my knit scraps because of projects like this and lingerie sewing. I LOVE the XYT top... it might be my favorite of the FEhr Trade patterns because of the great fit I got and a hack I did... I wear the dress from the XYT pattern all the time, actually am right now.

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  3. You did a great job on both tops!! I love the design elements of them both--very unique. I also like that the patterns include common fitting alterations, because I wouldn't have a clue what to do with those pattern pieces in order to get them to fit. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Thanks Vanessa! Yeah, it's pretty impressive how the directions really are super complete and helpful. I know you'd be able to for sure.

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  4. Kathy, these tanks are awesome! I am seriously considering making one (or a few) in some supplex for an upcoming rafting trip. Can you sew the entire thing with a serger or is a regular machine required to get the corners sewn up correctly? Maybe i should do the XYT top instead, since it has a built in bra. decisions!

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    1. Thanks! You don't HAVE to use a regular machine. Melissa suggests using a regular machine stitch to baste the points into place... I just used my serger to baste out of pure laziness to switching to my regular machine. The one time I did use the regular machine was to baste the point right there above the butt to make sure I got a perfect match... but really you could even hand baste those few stitches if your regular machine isn't working or something. I did use a twin needle on my machine for the hem and the top stitching on the bindings. Technically you don't have to top stitch the bindings but it gives it a nice flat look and feel.

      I have a week long camping trip this summer and gotta really think about what I need to sew up!

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  5. thanks for the response, kathy! my regular machine is limping along, but i much prefer using the serger out of laziness. my regular machine has a twin needle on it almost all the time now, i only use it for hemming knits! I wanted to sew a long sleeve, lightweight shirt for camping this summer, but i haven't gotten up the motivation! maybe by august...

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  6. I really-really like the pink one - the colour suits you so well and the fabric seems really nice. I admired it already when I saw your bodysuit muslin and I keep wondering why you seem to be wasting such a nice fabric on muslins... The ohter top is also nice, but the pink one - I just love it :)

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  7. Super super cute. I love your color mixing here.

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  8. Very nice! thank you for showing your alterations.

    Rose in SV

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