Janet Major

 sustainable styling, sustainable textiles


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Harris Tweed
Versatile Top

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It all started with a versatile top, but one that didn’t fit

Some time ago I was tempted by this simple cream jersey top.


The construction was clever as it was double fronted and this gave a very neat neckline. However, I will only wear clothes that will really fit, so I made the following alterations:

Inside shoulder seam undone and lifted to stop the back from gaping

Bottom shortened – by about 6”

Sleeves shortened by about 3”

Underarm and side seams taken in by about 1 ½” so 3” all round.

At this point I thought that I could make one myself that would fit! This I have done on many occasions, gradually refining the design to get as near to perfection as I can.

The next stage was to draft a pattern from actual measurements, this was done too.


Notice that the neck has been cut higher but still leaving space for a necklace! (This one still needs the finishing touches!)

The next stage was teaching others to do this. This has been done too! It has given people confidence to get their sewing machines out, produce a top that is very versatile and we have discussed other uses of the basic top block. Several have gone to their wardrobes and re-modelled and fitted existing garments. This is keeping some garments from landfill, as well as improving sewing and fitting skills and promoting sustainability principles.


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