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Conversational Threads

Biased topper in Issue 143

Kork | Posted in General Discussion on

I have just attemped to make this attractive topper [page 44]. As I was consturcting it, it was obvious that it was not going to fit, but I put it together as I wanted to see what it would look like. It ended up being four to six sizes too small. I have read the directions numerous times and recalulated and still come up with the same measurements. Has anyone else had the same problem with this jacket?

Here is what I did…my hip measurement is 38″. I divided this in half…19″ on the diaginal. From this measurement, I used my cutting mat created a square of 13.5″, I rounded up to 14″.,So my small square was 14′ by 14′. I doubled this measurement for the large square which came to 28 X28. I added the inch to each square for seams. It all came together just like the picture, but, alas, it didn’t fit!

What am I doing wrong? I have enough fabric that I plan to make another jacket if someone can help me. Thanks in advance for any helpful information.


  1. Palady | | #1

    Though I'm uanble to offer you anything because the magazine is unavailable to me at the moment, your post spurred me to be certain to check out the issue when I visit my daughter in upcoming days.

    After the reading I was reminded of my attempt at a fashion many years ago from a Women's Day grid pattern.  I erred in using the wrong fabric and embarassingly now admit I overlooked the seam allowances!

    Other members, or magazine editors, might get to read your post and offer thoughts.



  2. starzoe | | #2

    I haven't received my copy yet but one thing that occurs to me is that you didn't allow for any ease when measuring your hips, and that perhaps seam allowance should be added to the other sections before sewing.

  3. gailete | | #3

    I have my copy so I know what you are talking about. I also thought about trying that top and while thinking it through, (I haven't felt well since it came) I thought about the way they want you to cut along that diagonal which is half your hip measure. By the time you get to cut it, you have sewn seams on the sides so have already lost at least an inch off your hip measurement! There is no ease calculated into the measurement that I could see and for those of us that are larger, you can't depend on something on the bias to fit when it is already 1 inch smaller than your hip measurement. (and what if you have a poochy belly?). I think the numbers are screwy and although I'm not glad you had trouble with it, you had exactly the problem I anticipated when thinking it through. Were you able to get into it? How did the bust and waist fit? or was it too small all over? I thought the concept was interesting, but I'm not yet willing to make a garment that isn't finished on the edges, so I was having trouble figuring out how to finish the neckline cleanly.

    I was really hoping this top would work as it looked good.


    1. Kork | | #5

      Thanks for the input. To answer your question about fit...it didn't fit at all. It probably would fit my eight year old granddaughter. I don't give up easily...I purchased some muslin yesterday and plan to try again before cutting into the linen fabric that I plan to use. This time I am using 2/3 of my waist measurement as the diaginal measurement and refigure everything from that figure plus add an inch to each square for seams. To finish the edges, I am going to turn under twice and topstitch. The picture in the magazine looks like it may have been made out of an ultrasuade or a fabric that doesn't need a traditional hem. So I may run into trouble there too.

  4. funkyjazzdesigns | | #4

    I don't think that you did anything wrong, according to the directions in the magazine.  There were instructions to add seam allowances and you did that.  I was also interested in making this top/jacket.  I think that what was left out of the instructions was ease.  So what I think I'll do is figure out what I want my "finished" hip measurement to be and use that as my starting point instead of my actual hip measurement.  Wish I could say that I'll get to this right away and be able to report back to you but alas there are other items waiting in the pile.  I'd also make up a muslin first in some fabric that you can discard if necessary.  And think about donating the things that don't fit to Goodwill or Salvation Army.


    Edited 5/13/2009 8:10 am ET by funkyjazzdesigns

    1. Kork | | #6

      Hi Christine,

      By making the diaginal 2/3 of my waist and adding seam allowance, I think I am figuring in about 10 inches of ease. Do you think that the picture in the magazine looks like it has more or less around the bottom than this? Thanks for your thoughts.



      1. funkyjazzdesigns | | #7

        I think what I would do is to try on a top/blouse/jacket that I like and that fits the way I like and then measure the bottom circumference of that and use that as my starting measurement.  Or another method would be to put the tape measure around your hips and then loosen it until you have the desired circumference.  The second option might require another set of hands so that the tape measure doesn't slip and slide.

        You're getting me interested in moving this project higher up on the pile.


        1. User avater
          Deana | | #8

          We apologize for the error, but there was a mistake made in step 1 of the instructions. You'll see the corrected instructions and diagram here: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/7166

          Edited 5/15/2009 5:23 pm ET by Deana

          1. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #9

            Ahhhhh, now I think I understand. The sides of the fabrics are based on your hip measurement. The ease then comes from the diagonals being the dimension going around your hips. Forgive me for beating a dead horse, but the last two editions (#142 and #143) have had problems that caused consternation among experienced sewers. Imagine the problems it causes novices. Deana, I know you are as exasperated as some of us are, and you've already apologized. No need to restate that. This is just an observation on my part.Keep the interesting articles that stretch our minds and talents coming.ETA: I printed out the corrected instructions and inserted in my magazine. Thank you so much.

            Edited 5/15/2009 5:18 pm by JunkQueen

          2. funkyjazzdesigns | | #10

            Thank you for the correction.  Now I can proceed with confidence and without having to try to figure out how to get a good fit.


          3. GailAnn | | #11

            I wanted to make the top, but as I read over the directions, it didn't pass the "reasonable test" with me.  It just didn't SEEM as if it would work.

            I've been sewing since the mid 1960's, I know my way around a sewing machine.  Your last two issues have been severly lacking in the "proof" department.  What??  Have budget cuts, eliminated your "testers", and cut back the number of experienced seamstressess on your staff, so you could go out and hire more "AD MEN"?

            Disappointedly yours, Gail

          4. gailete | | #12

            Printing out instructions as I type. I just knew something was wrong with the directions!

            I have found, unfortunately, many editing errors in ALL the magazines I get and most newly published books. Don't know why other than a way too high dependence on spell checkers, etc. that have no reasoning power.


          5. starzoe | | #13

            I don't think that spell checkers are the problem, as with newspapers the article goes from a computer directly to print and there is no proofreading involved (except perhaps by the writer and that's not a check at all).

          6. gailete | | #14

            I guess I'm thinking of the actual writer depending on spell check to catch their errors and words are all spelled right but aren't the right word. So the wrong word is printed and no one catches it until we readers do. Of course that doesn't work with measurements, but I knew on reading and looking at the design that something was wrong in this latest issue. Isn't that what an editor does? Checks for mistakes? Obviously not anymore. Editors seem to be more of directors in charge.


          7. Teaf5 | | #16

            "Copy editors" check for mistakes, but now that nearly everyone writes on computers, the writer usually has to do that him/herself.  I find errors in nearly every novel I read, too. 

            The last ones to proofread copy used to be the people in the printing room, but now that the printing process is computerized, there is no extra set of eyes to catch errors. 

            Errors, especially in instructions or illustrations, are hard to spot, and those who are most familiar with the topic are the ones least likely to notice them because they don't have to concentrate on word-for-word reading.

            My office had a typo in our promotional flyers for years (and tens of thousands of copies) before someone noticed, and you can bet that I've looked over this post at least five times to make sure I haven't made a mistake while writing about mistakes!

          8. gailete | | #17

            That's why I use the spell check when available. It was just funny as I read a LOT and it is only in the past few years that I noticed that most of the newer books have obvious errors throughout. Then it dawned on me it is part of being in the computer age, helpful for some things and not so helpful for others.

            How is this though. I sent my son a thank you note in the mail for the gift he gave me on Mother's Day (he is single and appreciates something in his mailbox other than junk and bills). He had to inform me that I should have let him proofread it first as I had numerous spelling and grammar errors--he is high functioning autistic and can outspell a dictionary!

            I sell on line and frequent several forums of other online sellers and find it interesting that when someone wants to know what we think of their listings, etc. if you mention spelling and grammar, there is always an excuse and the reasoning that no one cares anyhow. What they don't understand is how many sales they lost to people who do care and don't want to buy from someone that doesn't show pride in what they are writing (we are talking horrible here). I've seen some listings that are so bad you figure that their service is just as bad so you pass on to someone else who took a few moments to proofread and use the spell check.

            I don't think there is going to be any changes in the errors we see except for possibly more of them. Think of all the kids getting out of school who have never had to write a paper on anything other than a computer, their proofreading skills would be about nil.


          9. Stillsewing | | #18

            All this talk about ISSUE 143 brings me to the salient point when oh when will mine arrive?????

          10. Teaf5 | | #19

            Wow, maybe you should check subscription; our library copy has already been received, cataloged, and shelved.

          11. Stillsewing | | #23

            Thanks for that, its time that I got onto the subscription dept I know that I have another two months to run on my current subscription. I need my fix......

          12. GailAnn | | #21

            During the great ice storm of 1997, my parents stayed with us for 5 days.  We had electricity and heat, they didn't.

            On the table, beside my chair, sits my Bible, 25 or more years old, well used.  My mother went through, and corrected, in red, the spelling of my notes written in the margins throughout a quarter century of Sunday School Lessons and Sermons.  Gail

          13. miatamomma | | #22

            Whenever my DH, who can be somewhat sarcastic at times, receives something in the  mail that has spelling or grammatical errors in it he will make a copy of it, circle the errors and return it to the person who signed the letter, etc.  Doesn't seem to be helping much as the number of errors just seem to keep multiplying.

          14. gailete | | #24

            Wow, glad I only date and underline in my Bible, otherwise, I'm sure my son would eventually be correcting spelling there also. It is amazing how a date next to a verse can bring back the memory of a troubled or needy time in my life.


          15. GailAnn | | #20

            In 1999 I worked for a company where my boss told me, "You don't have the time to PROOF READ your work!" 

            I quit in February of that year, they begged me to stay until May! 

            The company in question???  THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM OF OUR CITY! 

            The boss?  The building Principal. 

            My position?   Secretary to the principal.

            Fine example for the next generation!  (sarcasm)  Gail

          16. Teaf5 | | #15

            Thank you for posting the corrections!  That top fascinated me, too, but I hadn't had time to try it out yet; this way, I'll have one less mistake to make....

          17. funkyjazzdesigns | | #26

            Reporting that I did make this topper yesterday (with the revised instructions), well almost to the finished product.  I tried it on before hemming to check on the sleeve length and it was ENORMOUS - much larger on me than on the model in the magazine photo.    And I even scooted the hip measurement an inch or two smaller as I'm in the process of dropping some extra weight.  The project will go back to the bottom of the pile again for sometime in the future - maybe.   I think if I make this again I'd go back to one of my earlier comments of figuring what I'd want the finished circumference to be and using that as the small square diagonal.

            I'm interested if anyone else has had any success as I really like the concept and the easy fit look of the style.


  5. Ceeayche | | #25

    Thanks Kork! For bringing this to our attention.  I had this on the "list of things to do" and I'd have been mighty disappointed!

    Thanks Deanna for updating us all with the corrections.

    Another case where I am saved considerable time and aggravation by our eagle eyed Gatherings community!

    Please Kork, if you do another one, please post a picture.  Heck it might be fun to see the first iteration as well!


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