A Bronte top – and a new friend…

Hello again! I’m back with another t-shirt. I feel quite apologetic about this, but actually this is responsible sewing! T-shirts (and their friends the knit-dresses) are the only things that reliably fit me at the moment, and are mostly what I feel like wearing. So I should be sewing more of them than I am… Anyway, what’s exciting is that the Bronte top pattern by Jennifer Lauren vintage provides a way to make a t-shirt a bit more interesting and smart looking than a t-shirt, while still maintaining all its comfort and flexibility properties – hurrah!


These are not the most flattering photos of me, but that isn’t the top’s fault, it was the day after the mammoth drive home, same as these. Except that this lot were taken before I realised it might be a nice thing to brush my hair. Dear oh dear. Anyway, here it is! I’ve had this knit for a long time, and haven’t known what to do with it. It’s a cotton lycra blend (I think 7% lycra) and it’s quite light and obviously very stretchy. It was actually quite nice to sew, but I was never sure I liked the colour or the pattern. But I do like this top! Incidentally I also still like this skirt, which  is my maternity Grainline Moss.


You can see the neckline detail much better here. I slightly messed it up around the sleeve heads, so there are some puckers, but I don’t think it’s that obvious, most of the time, hopefully… I’m very pleased with my decision to use this yellow fabric as binding – it’d be a shame not to highlight the nice neckline. I’ve had this pattern a while, and I think one of the things that’s been putting me off is not having nicely contrasting pairs like this. The neckline was very simple to sew, probably easier than a normal neckline actually. The only tricky bit (which clearly I failed at) was the part where they overlap, and making sure there isn’t any puckering. Next time I will be more vigilant. But it isn’t the pattern’s fault, the directions were very clear.IMG_3740

This blog post wouldn’t be complete without a look-how-I-got-my-belly-to-fit-in-this shot, and here’s this one. Classic gathers! Jennifer made a helpful tutorial about adapting the Bronte to maternity, which was what prompted me to make this. It’s really the same as the technique I used here, and in fact I included the hem band again, because I like how it makes the top sit firmly under the bump. If I can uncover/procure any more nice matching knit fabrics I may well be making more of these!

But anyway, that’s not the only thing I’m excited about…. Have a look at the insides:

PicMonkey Collage_bronte
I would pretend that I used white thread to provide a helpful contrast so you can see the stitching. But actually I’m just lazy, and that’s what was in.

That’s right! I have an overlocker!!! I have been waiting for this day for a long time, and thanks to my very kind parents (and an upcoming birthday) he is mine! His name is Bernard (original, I know) and he’s a Bernina  800DL.

See how majestic he is! But please ignore the dead flowers in the background.

Giving him a name makes me less prone to sudden episodes of rage when something happens that I don’t understand. It’s been much much easier to adapt to than I expected  – I’d never used an overlocker before, much less threaded one, and I’ve been whizzing things through him like nobody’s business. But still, he’s much more sensitive to things like thread not being quite in the right place than his friend Jerome (my Janome sewing machine). This top took about 90 minutes from cutting to finished, which is MILES faster (and must less frustrating, and it looks neater, and is probably stronger) than just with my normal machine. Maybe once I’ve been brave enough to do interesting things (rather than just the 4 thread overlock, and occasionally changing the differential feed) then I’ll do a review or something. But I just wanted to introduce you all. Do you name your machines, to quell your rage when they are insubordinate? Do you have any tips for a brand new overlocker user?


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3 thoughts on “A Bronte top – and a new friend…

  1. I really love that neckline! Reminds me of the ones on onesies but in a good way 🙂 I’m totally jealous of your baby bump – I miss being pregnant… well the fun aspects, not the peeing every 20 minutes, waddling like a duck, sweating nonstop… anyways you get the point LOL And congrats on the overlocker!!!

    1. Thanks! Yeah I think it is basically a babygrow neckline 🙂 also thank you for reminding me to be happy about the bump! I’m very happy about the baby inside it but I feel like a grumpy hippo at the moment getting bigger and bigger!

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