Named for Nana

  I really like the way that lots of independent pattern companies use names instead of numbers, don’t you? Although I am one of those people who just remembers numbers (sorry, maths geek, somehow they just stick) it seems to give a garment rather more personality when it has a name.

I particularly like the names applied to patterns by Tilly and the Buttons; so far there are two which share a name with two of my favourite female relatives.

The first of these, from the Love at First Stitch book, was the Margot pyjamas.  This is my Aunty Margot (on the left, with my mum – yes, they are sisters!)

I’m 4 pairs of Margots in and it still makes me smile!

The other is the Agnes top. To me, Agnes was my mum’s mum, my Nana, someone I miss enormously though she’s been gone for years. She was a very petite but rather glamorous lady: here she is (again with my Mum, who may be grumpy should she ever find this blog: sorry Mum!)

Tilly has chosen to give the name to a close fitting jersey top with a choice of sleeve lengths and potential for ruching on the sleeve and neck.

It’s one of those patterns which I didn’t like on release. I have absolutely no interest in ruching of any kind and I wasn’t that keen on such tight fitting tops (mum of two here, my tummy does not need to be hugged snuggly by any kind of jersey). Gradually though I saw other versions popping up on line and it began to grow on me.

Eventually I succumbed and bought it with the Arielle skirt (not made that yet either!).  I  decided that without the ruching and with a slightly looser fit than intended, it might just be a really useful wardrobe addition.

I decided to make my first version in a cotton jersey from Fabworks.  This is one of those relatively poor recovery fabrics but it’s nice and soft, I love the flamingo print, and I think it was Β£4 a metre so not too expensive for a trial run. I bought 2m (the pattern suggests 1.5m)

For the short sleeved version, you absolutely do not need 2m.  Or indeed 1.5m. Even allowing for cutting  flamingoes very carefully, you can it this onto less than a metre of 60″ wide. Live and learn.

As with all Tilly patterns, this was easy to follow. Although my measurements would indicate a straight size 4, I cut a 4 at the bust and graded out gently to nearer a 5 by the time I got to the hips to give that slightly looser fit I was after. I sewed on my machine but then used the overlocker to finish each seam, so I’m really chuffed with how neat the innards look!

I don’t have a twin needle so the stitching around the hem and neck is just two rows for very careful top stitching.

I’m pretty pleased with the end result, except for two things.  

Firstly, it was a poor material choice for me: I think something with a higher Lycra content and hence better recovery would work better.  

Secondly, and very commonly for me, the neckline is too wide and shows some bra strap unless carefully adjusted.  Which is so not going to happen so looks like this is one to wear with my hair down!

(The headless shots are not because I can’t steer the new camera, I’ve had the awful cold bug that’s been going and it’s fair to say I’ve looked better!)

In order to correct the neckline problem, I took a scrap of paper, traced the neckline curve front and back then stuck it to my traced pattern piece so as to narrow the neckline slightly (does that make sense?) I doubt this would work with a large adjustment but I only wanted to shift it in the width of a bra strap. I did ensure that front and back neckline still matched and trimmed the neckband pattern piece a little.

I then cut a second top out of a fabric I’ve had for about a year which was sourced from  This was when I was going on the Coco workshop and trying to buy fabric on line: not at all easy when you’re new to stretchy fabrics and don’t know what to look for! I loved the colour and feel of this one but decided it was too light weight for Coco. It was described as 95% cotton 5% spandex and to me is a much better match to this pattern.

I took the pattern suggestion of cutting a stripey neckband perpendicular to the direction of the stripe and I love the finished effect!  I’m also much happier with the neckline.

The finish on the sleeves is great; I seem to have some slight waviness on the bottom  hem which is still there after washing but it’s not bad enough to put me off (I don’t notice it on so who cares?!)

So all in all I’m very happy with this pattern and I can see several more versions in my near future. I have plans to try making it a short sleeve instead of elbow length plus I fancy at least one full length sleeve version.

I’m still not fancying the ruching though!

I wonder what Nana would make of her namesakes? I’m not sure Agnes would be entirely her style but I like her all the same.

Becca x

22 thoughts on “Named for Nana

Add yours

  1. Loving both versions. I have about 6 now and my fails (practice ones) became pj tops. That reminds me I bought Maria Denmark Karen dress must get that made up K xXx


  2. Love the flamingos! I am part-way through my first Agnes top too, and I’m impressed with how neatly the pattern comes together! I’ve just been putting off hemming it though, hehe. Like you, I plan at least one long-sleeved one and a few more shorts! A very versatile pattern.


  3. I’m a sucker to not getting round to making stuff with my new patterns! You’ve definitely done this one justice, the stripy ones my favourite, but I bet you’ll get loads of wear out of both. πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, my grandmother was Agnes – and my name is Rebecca: Small world! Love your tops. I am not a fan of ruching, either. Hope you get to feeling better!


    1. I can’t remember which blog I saw where they’d made the ruching free version and this pattern suddenly made sense! Funny how sometimes you can’t see past the pattern envelope isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

Red W Sews

Adventures in dressmaking from an improving sewist!

Susan Young Sewing

Passion for sewing, fashion and fabric

Button & Pip

Sewing a Handmade Wardrobe

run | sew | read

and all things related that make this a good life.


Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,

Naomi Sews

All things sewing with Naomi

The Little Dressmaker

Finding my Style & Sewing a Practical Wardrobe


A Sewing Blog for Everyone

jessamy b makes

building a handmade wardrobe and home

Jodie Laura

Buttons, bows and pearls

DIY Wardrobe

Making clothes for real people

Spare Room Style

My sewing show and tell

Sew Make Me

Sewing Making and Me

Merrymaking Sewing

Adventures in learning to sew

%d bloggers like this: