I love love love my Favorite Things “Prairie Girl” top (really more of a tunic length) made up in Anna Maria Horner “Little Folks Baby Bouquet Sweet” cotton voile!!! The pattern pieces (obviously larger) and instructions were exactly the same as the “Little Prairie Girl” top (pattern review here). You would have thought that I would have whipped it out with no problems, considering how easily I made the first. Sadly, no, I ended up doing quite a bit of seam ripping on this one. I got a bit full of myself and didn’t pay attention ~ arggh!
In all fairness though, this is the first time I have worked with cotton “voile” and had some difficulties working with it. I had seen this voile referred to as “butter soft”, ha ha, no joking, it was slippery like butter in my hands. Cutting it out was a breeze, but manipulating the buttery fabric to make the gathers was a tad tricky. Distinguishing the right side of the fabric from the wrong side of the fabric was difficult at times, and I actually sewed the ties to the wrong side of the “skirt” (this top could also be made into a dress) and had to rip and start over. You really MUST pay close attention when working with this fabric.
When finishing the seams on this top, I so wish I had had a serger! Because voile is such a sheer light weight fabric, I ordered the Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP “Fine” thread (here) in white, and it worked superbly! Fabulous thread, but I had problems with the tension on my Viking sewing machine when trying to finish my seams with a zigzag stitch. After some fooling with it (and lots of seam ripping) I was able to get it just right. It really is time to get it into the shop for a tune up! I managed to get a clean enough zigzag on all of the seams, with the exception of the sides of the “skirt”, and after ripping them out a couple of times because the tension was too tight, decided to just use my pinking sheers and see what happened after washing. I’ve washed it twice since, and there has been no signs of unraveling on any of my pinking cuts (I typically cut the excess fabric after zigzagging with pinking sheers). Next time I will skip the zigzag stitch and just pinking sheer the edges.
As for the sizing, the instructions for the top suggest making the size according to hip size over pants. Because of the adjustable ties on the back, I went with the size for the bust measurement (I have small hips) and the fit is fantastic. I was debating between two sizes, ended up going with the smaller one, and am quite pleased with my choice (sorry Molly, no top for you this time!)
Even with all the difficulties I encountered working with this voile, I am so happy that I used it! When you wear it, it does feel buttery soft next to the skin, is so feminine, and has such a nice drape! I think the quilting cottons are a bit stiff and don’t flatter the figure the way this voile does. I will definitely be ordering some more of these “Little Folks” voiles to make up a few more of these tunics!