It’s not often I make doubles of the same pattern in one go, but in my defence:
I’ve been smitten with Marilla Walker’s Maya’s top and dress pattern for ages (you can see my first version here). It’s a great little workhorse of a pattern and a pattern I find myself considering again and again.
You can see why.
The Maya has top and dress options, plus the option to have a button front in either version. The drop sleeves are really flattering, and the construction details are spot on. It’s all tidy facings and French seams on the inside. Sweet.
Of course you wouldn’t realise that versatility based on my two, near-identical makes. Whoops.
I had sneaky dual objective with these makes: I wanted to reduce my stash and I wanted to get some tops ready for Me-Made May – the yearly self-directed sewing/selfie challenge.
I bought the mustard rayon on a trip to Walthamstow (same time I picked up the fabric for my Fen dress). I didn’t really know what I was going to make with it, just that I loved the colour.
And the drape on this baby is totally legit.
I had thought about making this into a Fen top, or perhaps a Sutton blouse. But in the end I plumped for Maya on instinct.
Way to go instinct.
Decent drape. Perfect amount of slouch. I think I’ll take that as a win, thank you very much.
As I was cutting out the fabric for this (on a Friday night – I know, wild, right?) I got a bit excited and decided to cut into this (super awesome) kitty-print knit I’ve had in my stash for a-g-e-s. I had been planning to turn it into some Hudsons, but I felt the pull of the Maya.
I’ve learnt that it’s best not to fight these things. Kitty-print wants what kitty-print wants.
The knit is a jersey I picked up from Regency Rags on eBay. I’m not usually one who falls for prints, but I was totally smitten.
Quite right too, I mean look at that kitty goodness.
I feel like this make is a good alternative to the French terry inari I had planned as part of my spring sewing plans. Maybe not as basic or versatile as a plain white tee, but definitely more interesting.
And it ups my crazy cat lady credentials. Meow.
For both versions I cut a straight size 2. This was more from experience then anything else – the last time I made the Maya (in size 4) I found it came up rather large on me. I think this is more to do with my especially poor ability to believe my measurements and habit of sizing up.
Each version is finished in a slightly different way from the instructions and from each other. You can read more of the gory details below, if you’re into that sort thing (dude, I totally am).
In the end this was a really successful stash bust and a solid contribution to my Me-Made May wardrobe.
Double Yay for me.
So, are you taking part in Me-Made May? Are you getting ready for it ahead of time or are you taking a wait-and-see approach?
Pattern: Marilla Walker Maya top
Fabric: mustard rayon (sold as Italian silk) from Saeeds in Walthamstow, and jersey kitty print from Regency Rags on eBay
What changes did you make to the pattern or construction?
No changes to the pattern, apart from sizing down to a size 2.
Construction wise, there’s quite a bit of difference.
For the mustard rayon I followed the instructions up to the facings section and opted to finish the neckline with self-made bias binding. While I do think the facings are a stellar feature of this pattern, I thought the narrower stitching achieved with the bias binding would suit the fabric better than the facings. I turned the sleeves under twice and hemed. Simples.
For the knit I sewed everything up on the serger. I finished the hem with a simple 1.5 cm turn up and used twin needles to sew the hem in place.
The neck is finished with a custom neckband – essentially I cut a long, even rectangle that was slightly smaller than the neck. I then attached it with the serger and opted not to top stitch.
The sleeves are finished with custom cuffs – cut and attached in much the same way as the neckband.
What did you learn?
The world will not explode if I use a different finishing technique than what’s included in the pattern.
I know, hardly surprising, right? But I’ve always been a little nervous about taking finishing techniques into my own hands. Finishing sews nicely is definitely NOT my strength. Happily though, I think I’m slowly moving into a world where I can start to make more informed decisions about the finish I want to apply rather than just following instructions.
What are you most proud of?
I’m really proud that I was able to make this work for a knit. Not too long ago I was sort of unsure about knits and fretted a bit about how to achieve the best finish. But I think I kinda rocked my finish on this, especially that self-drafted neckband.
Finishing knits level up!
What would you do differently next time?
Man, what ideas don’t I have for this pattern? I’m really tempted to give the button down front version another crack, either as a top or as a dress. I also like the half button down idea (seen here).
Or what about a Maya-Fen mash up, with Fen’s gathered skirt and Maya’s button-up vibe? Very cool.