New tops: Seamwork Rory twice over

I was quite attracted to the Seamwork Rory pattern when it came out last year and I remembered it when I was putting together some ideas for my loungewear plan. I rather like cut-on sleeves for a tee as long as it’s in not too stiff a fabric and also liked the base shape of the tee, which is gathered into a hem band with two ties.

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Like all of Seamwork’s patterns, Rory comes in two size ranges: 0-16 with a C cup and 18-30 with a DD cup. I made the 14 graded out to 16 at the hip because, even though it’s a cut-on shoulder, I didn’t want it to be too big. My high bust is 40″ – so I could really pick anything between a size 12 if I used my HB measurement as the “bust measurement”, up to the 14/16 if I added on the 3 inches for the C cup to get to 43 inches, which is right between 14 and 16. There are different ways to approach this, but I would probably tend towards the narrower shoulder, so the 14 was my decision and I find a Seamwork 14 shoulder quite a good match for me. I actually think I would have been fine with a 14 all over as there’s a decent bit of ease going on, but the shape isn’t bad at all.

SeMWORK rORY LINE (2)

I made the first Rory as per the pattern and chose this Cloud 9 grey and black striped organic interlock knit, because it’s one of those fabrics that goes with lots of things – including my lockdown roots – sigh. I’d actually bought it to make my husband a tee, but he says he doesn’t need any more (huh), so I decided to use it myself. It’s a lovely mid-weight and has decent drape for an organic cotton knit. I would definitely buy it again.

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Construction is mostly pretty simple since there are no sleeves as such (they exist on the body pieces already). The tie is part of the hem band and you create a vent in the tee before attaching the hem band, which gives you space to then tie the band knot. I found this a little fiddly and my machine did NOT like sewing that part for some reason, but I got there eventually. The neck is finished with a neck binding, where you sew on the neckband and then turn it to the inside and topstitch from the right side. It’s not an unusual finish for a boatneck, but I was a bit concerned my knit might be a little thick for all those layers. Actually it turned out to be a nice finish, if perhaps just a touch too wide for me.

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One important tip to pass on is to make sure you gather the bottom evenly. I didn’t pay enough attention to this aspect and so the length varies a bit. It’s shorter in the centre back where I have more gathers, and longer at the side where I didn’t ensure enough of a gather. You can see it best (or worst) from the back. Still totally wearable though.

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Nevertheless, I liked the resulting top a lot and decided to run up a second version with a few changes. The hacks that were included in the Seamwork magazine for Rory (May 2019) are really cool, but I thought my bra might show in an ugly way at the shoulder slashes and I didn’t have quite enough fabric to do the placket version, boo.

seamwork rory hacks

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I found this knit fabric I’ve had for AGES in my stash and decided it had a bit of an 80s punkish vibe, which is no doubt why I got it. I thought that perhaps to break up the print, cool though it is, I’d cut a few slashes in the knit fabric and really embrace that trashy 80s look.

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I also left out the ties for this version and just serged on a complete band at the hem. I lengthened the body by two inches and also scooped the front neck slightly, finishing it with a neck band, rather than a binding.

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The slashes were semi-successful, but unfortunately the fabric curls outwards, rather than inwards as I was expecting. In addition, I think the fabric is too thin and there’s too much ease, so the slashes sort of droop. I’m thinking I might try a little embroidery and sew some thick threads across the gaps to keep the slashes flat or maybe insert some contrast fabric underneath. It was fun to experiment though!

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The length will work for “regular” garments (the black jeans I’m wearing are very high-waisted Dawns), but I also over-calculated the hip ease on this pink version and I could do with gathering the base a little more for that Rory shape. Ah well – that’s what wearable muslins are for, eh?

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Overall, this is a nice quick little sew of a tee with a bit of design detail. I think it goes very well with high-waisted garments in particular, but is dead easy to adjust to your own requirements. Fun Seamwork sew!

Note: I’m a member of the Seamwork ambassador team, which I’m very excited about. It gives me a chance to have some input into the behind-the-scenes workings over at Seamwork HQ, giving feedback on patterns, magazine articles, etc. In return I am subscribed to the service for free for a year. Nevertheless, I’m not under any obligation to write subjective reviews of Seamwork patterns and all opinions remain my own. You can read more about the ambassador team here if you’re interested.

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