I loved this top and wore her constantly until she died. I had rather thought it would feel like “stunt-dressing” to wear such a heavily embellished top, but I loved the extra interest the styling brought to otherwise plain outfits.
I learned a thing or two while wearing this top- while elastic might be a stretch trim, it can make the top ride up one’s waist. For the other, I really wanted a collar, and a slightly longer length than the original.
The Bonny Sailor top uses grosgrain ribbon as the trim, rather than elastic. I like the effect even though it doesn’t stretch. Unusually, I interfaced the entire collar exterior. Ok- I suppose that’s normal for most, but I tend not to interface if I can avoid it. In this case, however, I thought the collar needed a lightweight fusible fabric interfacing with good drape. I chose Armoweft because it ticks all those boxes and I know it washes well without bubbling.
If you’re planning to make this collar, do not use a stiff interfacing or your top will be unwearable. Find an interfacing that is as much like actual fabric as possible, and slightly lighter weight than your shirt fabric. Do not use non-woven fusibles made of poly or paper fibers pressed together and glued to the fabric, because after the first few washes your collar will look terrible.
Armoweft is easy to find and a really good choice for this application.
I’m really proud of the seam finish on the inner collar for Bonny, and I’m sure you will too. It’s neat, light, strong, and simple. Some time ago, I quit paying much attention to sewing manuals that demonstrate heavy/outdated sewing techniques. I turned instead to RTW (ready-to-wear), constantly ripping apart old/thrifted garments and “sneaky shopping” in high-end retail clothing stores. This is a finish I picked up studying the necklines on polo shirts. In the Bonny pattern, it’s very simply spelled out for you- complete with a neck binding length guide.
I used a contrasting bias tape, but twill tape or ribbon or a matching bias tape would also work quite well.
The princess seaming on the front provides support for the buttons- take care about the placement! Remember, the pattern is only a guide, it’s better to use your eyes and common sense than to walk around with button-nipples!
I’m especially fond of the Bonny Sailor with my yellow organic cotton twill Hummingbird Skirt! You can see more photos of this style at the Bonny Galleries on sewingcake.com.
What kind of interfacing do you most often use? Do you ever take apart RTW to learn from it? What did you discover? Ever heard of Anne Bonny, the 18th century female pirate?