Sewing Anne out of Africa – a Bluegingerdoll pattern

So last year when I was on a quest to find some different, good quality knit prints to use for making tees for myself and Craig, I came across Ixat – a supplier from South Korea who was recommended by a number of bloggers.  I ordered a few yards that have been patiently waiting in my stash ever since.

When Abby of Bluegingerdoll released her latest pattern collection recently, I snapped up the gorgeous Anne top and knew that now was the perfect time to set these zebra beauties free!

anne top 1

I’m thrilled with how this top has turned out!  I love the peek-a-boo detail on the front and feel it turns what would otherwise be a basic tee to something a bit more fun and fancy.

The pattern has four sleeve options – I went for short sleeves this time around but I think I’ll try another one soon with a 3/4 length ready for our approaching winter.

anne top 4

According to the size recommendations, I cut a 10 for the bust and graded to a 12 at the waist.  I was actually expecting it to be more fitted but I’m happy with the looser fit.  It makes it more practical and comfortable for everyday wear.

anne top 2


anne top back

As mentioned, the main zebra fabric was a deliciously soft jersey knit from Ixat.  It has a really subtle shimmer through it and is quite lightweight although not see-through at all.  The contrast grey was just a Spotlight basic I had left over from Craig’s Strathcona tee which is no match to the main fabric quality wise.  I really struggle to find decent quality solid knits locally in Perth so if anyone has any recommendations PLEASE share!!

Time wise it was a brilliant sew.  I literally made it in an afternoon from printing the pattern through to sewing (and a bit of hemming the following day) which pretty much never happens to me.

anne top hem

I’ve really been struggling to get twin needle hemming just right so instead I’ve used two rows of narrow zig zag here.  I’ve googled and googled to try and find a solution but no one seems to mention having the same problems as me which is a bit disheartening!!  I have no problems with the actual twin needle sewing, it’s just that after a few washes they always seem to pop.  I’ve tried wooly nylon in the bobbin which doesn’t seem to make any difference either.  I chatted to a very experienced dressmaker friend of mine about it a few months back and she seemed to think that it’s really hard to get a good quality professional finish on a domestic machine.  I suggested about getting a coverstitch (which I’d love but have NO room for right now!) and she said she wasn’t convinced they were that great either.  Definitely not the answer I was looking for so if you have any solutions for me I’d be VERY grateful!!

Back to the pattern…

I describe the instructions of all the BGD patterns I’ve made so far (like the Bonnie, the Betsy and an almost finished Ava) as comparable to commercial paper patterns with black and white illustrations and fairly brief instructions.  However this didn’t pose any problems with this make and I had no problems putting it together.

anne top neck

anne top 3

So what do you think?  Are the zebras too much?

I actually love them and figure if things start getting a bit wild at home (which, with two boys, do most days) I can always head off to the Serengeti and blend in with the scenery.

Nat x

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