Ikat Wiksten Tova

Well hello! I hope you’re well and having a good week. I keep reading about how the summer is nearly over (for those of us in the northern hemisphere at least), and I can’t decide how I feel about that. I am enjoying the sunshine. But I am warm! I also miss wearing boots. So I think on balance I’m excited about the autumn coming 🙂 Anyway, that’s all irrelevant. Here’s what I was planning to talk about.

IMG_3886It’s a Wiksten Tova! I’ve gone on previously (here and here) about my love for the Tova, but sadly none of them fit any more. Booo hooo!!! So I thought I’d make another one. I think my previous ones were in a size L, with some dodgy sway back adjustment going on. Since then I have learned about the forward shoulder adjustment, and that’s what I’ve mostly been doing. This is unsurprising in light of my academic computer programmer lifestyle. Hunching over a sewing table probably doesn’t help either…. Anyway, sometimes I feel a bit miffed about my forward shoulders, but it is nice being able to alter it. Are there some adjustments that make you feel a bit sad? The FSA is pretty simple, but one thing that doesn’t often get a mention is the sleeves. Heather has a great tutorial on how you should alter the sleeves. I think she also has a computer programming past. Anyway, this is an XL, mostly, except I kept the shoulders, sleeves and collar area at an L (I think).

Here you can see Molly, our dog, who decided to follow me around. Usually she hovers in the doorway, looking confused, but she must have felt more brave that day.

The fabric I used is an ikat cotton from John Lewis (oooo-er!) that I got on sale for £8/m. It’s lovely and soft, and was quite pleasant to sew. I’m not totally sure how I feel about the pattern, but it is so rare that I come across nice fabrics at a reasonable price with any sort of pattern that I like, that I snapped some up. It seemed good for a tova because it’s not too crisp or stiff. It’s very comfy to wear too. Sadly, as soon as we’d taken these photos we went in and had lunch, and I spilt tomato soup all down the front, so it’s in the wash. Boooooo to me.  But I’m looking forward to the comfort again once I’ve got round to doing some laundry.


The tova placket often gets mentioned as ‘tricky’, as you need to sew the corners together (the convex corner of the inset piece to the concave corner of the main front piece). The first Tovas I made were all in my first 6 months of sewing, and on those ones you can see it is a little bit messy (although it still doesn’t stop me from wearing them). This time it was actually fine  – there are no puckers in the corners, and the line of security stitches are well hidden in the seam. This was quite encouraging as it made me realise that I have actually progressed in my sewing abilities! Have you had moments like that? Maybe I should return to early sews more often.


This pattern has already been experimented on maternity wise (this one is beautiful). In fact lots of pregnant ladies have made the tova as is for the first few months, and certainly I was happily  wearing mine until a few weeks ago. For this one though I added 3″  to each side of the front pattern piece (just by cutting it with the fold line 3″ from the actual fold) so there’s actually 6″ extra in the gathers. Plenty of room for more growth!  I also lengthened it slightly, and made the hem curved, like a shirt. I need a little more length now, but the shirt-tail hem means it doesn’t cling to my hips.

Sadly though this top has confirmed something I kind of already knew, which is that my body is changing too fast to sew woven things, at least tops and dresses 🙁 So I am determined to be sensible and sew knits from now on (in fact today I cut up and started on yet another Colette Moneta after wearing this one a lot). There are quite a lot of niggly fitting things with this top (especially around the upper bust / shoulders / arms area) that I’m not quite happy with, but don’t have the energy or cunning to fix. Also, if I did, things would probably change again before long. So that’s my plan. Let’s just see if I stick to it… Have you had any revelations recently about sensible sewing plans?

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