Leap of faith top

This top involved several leaps of faith. Firstly, buying the fabric. It was in an op shop and cost a massive $2, but the bag was sealed with a “do not open” sign on it (and on all the other fabrics).

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I liked the look of the fabric, so I broke a sneaky hole in the bag and felt it to ascertain the fibre content.


The photos are a re-enactment of the event as I didn’t take any photos of any of this as I hadn’t anticipated what was to come.

I happily handed over my $2 and was keen to see how much I had. By the size of the packet I figured there would be enough to make a tee-shirt, such as a Scout. When I tore open the packet to my dismay lots of pieces fell out. They looked like scraps and I was so disgusted that the op shop had kind of misled me. However, it was only $2 so I threw the bag of scraps into the naughty corner and thought no more about it (well nearly – I did seethe a bit occasionally).

In my recent clean up I found the bag and thought that I would see if I could salvage something. I found a sleeve shaped piece, and then another, and then a couple of pockets, and I decided to start looking at each piece. I found a piece which was obviously a front with a v-neck, and it was at that point that I decided I had a garment, albeit in pieces. My apologies for the lack of photographs, but at this point I was totally engrossed in the fabric puzzle and didn’t even think about it. In the end I had the sleeves, the pockets, some strips of fabric of various lengths, and then I had four very strange shaped pieces. For those who are interested in such things, the fabric seems to be a viscose/spandex blend. It is soft and rather lovely. I’ve washed it a couple of times and it is well behaved in that department.

My second leap of faith involved piecing this top together. It took hours. I had no idea what the finished garment would look like, or if it would even fit me, and there were some very odd shapes. I found the neck binding fairly easily but there was a short piece which I eventually decided was a pocket welt – well, that’s where I put it anyway! Then there was a long piece which I thought was for the bottom but the bottom wasn’t even, so I had no idea what to do. I considered cutting it to make it even, but I could see it might look weird even weirder. There was also a rectangle that seemed to belong to the back. This involved my third leap of faith – I basically put everything where it seemed to match and started stitching, occasionally having to ease the pieces together. Then I remembered to take photos!

Here is the front – interesting? I took the photos after I stitched the flaps out, but before I cut them off.


Well, this is the back and that is even more interesting!IMG_5449

Can you see the two little flaps on the back and there is one on the front. Again, I forgot to take photos but they stuck out in a most peculiar manner. I cut them off. Then there is the “princess seaming”. Look at the angle! By now I was concocting a story about this top in my head. I decided that it had belonged to a young design student who was trying for edgy but concluded that his/her teacher wouldn’t like it, so threw it out. OR… it was a person like me who saw a top in a shop and tried to replicate it, but it all went horribly wrong. Whatever, it certainly looks like it’s made for someone who has a strange body shape. Speaking of which, here it is finished and on me – my fourth leap of faith was actually wearing it!


I had no idea what to wear this with, so went with my new black tights, which I am totally in love with and wear at every opportunity. The back is kind of baggy but I quite like it, I’m pretending that it gives me a decent shape in the backside department.DSC07579

OK, the front is barely decent, but I can’t do a lot about this. It doesn’t improve with a change of angle either! This photo below shows what I had to do with the bottom. The band starts high and finishes low, but doesn’t meet up. I’m a bit sorry now that I wasn’t more organised and used my little flaps to fashion another pocket. But one pocket is better than none – right?DSC07583

I had thought that this might be a good camping top. It’s a tad small in the bust but I think I’ll get away with it. Now I’ve worn it round the house for a couple of hours I am considering wearing it in public, but trousers might be in order!





32 thoughts on “Leap of faith top

  1. What super fabric and the top looks great on you. I continue to be impressed with your ingenuity and your stamina for completing so many garments.

  2. You’re like me. It’s the journey that’s interesting, and the end result is just a bonus (well, most of the time)! 😄 I really like your interesting top! It looks very designer-y. Perhaps a shortish black skirt underneath would make it a tad more respectable for town wear? At least that’s what I’ve seen suggested elsewhere with slightly too short tops, so I can’t claim its my own idea.

  3. Can you imagine, Sue, if you ever bump into the person who gave this unfinished dress to the op shop? She will be amazed! “Oh! I shouldn’t have given up!”

  4. This is so funny and such a wonderful story. I think the end result is really nice and definitely wearable in public. I loved the re-enactment pictures!

  5. I love mysteries so enjoyed your taking us through the mystery of this DO NOT OPEN BAG! Such fun, love the top
    and your cleverness to completion. With your great legs, I agree about a short black skirt here. Smashing and thanks
    for the ideas your present.

  6. Oh this would have been like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle without seeing the final picture before you start. You have done a magnificent job creating this top and I think this should be worn in public and not relegated to house wear. Love your work!

  7. Great leap! It looks terrific on you and I think it looks very decent with your tights. I think your tights aren’t like shop bought – thin and see through so they’ll be fine. Maybe the person who cut it out reads your blog…

  8. What a fascinating top and the fabric is gorgeous. I think it looks great on you with the tights, very avant-garde.

  9. I think I would have been tempted to put this together too, and I agree with your surmised back stories. I like it on you too. Great outcome even if it is one of the quirkiest stories I ever heard.

  10. It looks fabulous! what a fun exercise… an intriguing find with a happy result too; I kinda wish I could take on a project like this!

  11. I love this on you Sue. (Dont know whether to call it a top or a dress). Great fit, great colours and print on you. Agree that a short, pencil skirt will compliment the style. Amazing result from a ‘do not open’ op shop bag!

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