Monday, 23 September 2013

Walking top(s)

My parents came to visit over the summer, and I went with them to central Switzerland to go hiking. I have been meaning for ages to make some suitable tops for exercise, so this seemed like a good opportunity.

Gathered raglan sleeve top

You may recognise this from my February Burda Challenge... I made the short sleeved version here to give my shoulders a bit of coverage in the sun, using a wicking fabric (from for the front and back sections, and a slinky knit for the sleeves and neck band.

I wanted the neck band a little wider, to make the most of the contrast fabric, but this has made the band gape a bit at the front. This doesn't really bother me for a walking top, but if I wanted this effect again I guess the solution would be to make a separate piece for the neckline, rather than using a band. The hem and sleeve hems are turned up and stitched with a three-step zig-zag. Whilst not as RTW look as a coverstitch would be, it looks much better on this sort of fabric and style than a plain zig-zag or a twin needle.

This turned out really well. The contrast raglan sleeves look sporty, but the gathering keeps it "pretty" looking. The fabric is also much nicer to walk in than cotton, it dries really fast and doesn't show the sweat too much (yum). It has pilled a bit on the front from the chest strap of my rucksack, but other than that it has stood up well to a fair amount of use this summer.

Cowl neck sleeveless top

Whilst this isn't a wicking fabric, this rayon jersey is lovely to wear in warm weather (you may remember the dress I made from it last year), and doesn't get hot or sweaty. This top was originally intended as another walking top for the same holiday as the one above, but wasn't finished in time. When I did finish it, I found I liked it so much that it's been a regular wear instead!

It is self-drafted, with the cowl kept quite high to keep the sun off my chest. The back neckline and armscyes are finished with my usual method of serging on folded strips. I surprisingly don't have many photos of me wearing this, given how often I do wear it! In this photo I'm also wearing my new jeans skirt.


  1. Nice tops and I like the zigzag finish. I converted to elastic stitch on my machine instead of twin needle... Less fuss

  2. Nice tops-this is the type of sewing I do the most.