Hello there! It's been a little while since my last post, hasn't it? Things tend to get a bit quiet on my blog towards the end of a year because I'm busy making Christmas presents that need to be kept secret. But now the gifts have all been given, we're into a new year and I have a project to share with you - the Tilly & The Buttons Nora top.
Nora is a modern, boxy t-shirt or sweater with drop shoulders and wide sleeves. It has options for a high neck or regular neckband, and you can also choose between short, elbow-length or extra-long sleeves as well as a long hemline or a cropped and stepped deep hem with side splits. Plenty of variations to play with!
I opted for the high neck, extra-long sleeves (more on that later...) and cropped and stepped hem.
The pattern is fairly simple to sew and has excellent instructions. I didn't have any trouble when I was making my Nora, and it was finished within a couple of hours. The boxy shape also means that you probably won't need to worry as much about fitting as you might with more figure-hugging silhouettes as this is a fairly forgiving style.
The pattern is available in UK sizes 6-20 (bust sizes 30" to 44"), however there is quite a lot of ease in the pattern so it might work for slightly larger bust sizes too. I went a size down (my measurements put me in Tilly's size 5, but I made a 4) and there's still plenty of room for me.
In addition to sizing down, I also lengthened the pattern. This is a common adjustment for me because I'm 5'9". I added my standard 1" to the length, but probably should have added a bit more - if I'd followed the instructions it would have ended up just a bit too cropped for my liking (you don't want to have a sweater that's supposed to keep you warm but actually exposes your middle!). As the pattern instructions mention, the hem for Nora is quite deep (7 cm), so I just made mine a bit shallower (4.5 cm) to give myself some extra length. So in total my Nora is about 7cm/almost 3" longer than the length out of the packet.
Along with lengthening the bodice section of the top, I should have lengthened the sleeves too. I like the look of the extra-long, wide sleeves, but even if I'd have used a smaller sleeve hem than the pattern intended, the sleeves would have ended up a length that just didn't look quite right on me when combined with the wide shape. I decided to solve the problem by cutting a couple of centimetres off the end of the sleeve, then using a 3cm hem and inserting 2cm-wide elastic (just a touch longer than my wrist measurement) to cinch the ends of the sleeves in a bit. I really like the effect, and I think it'll make the sleeves much more practical for me.
I'd also recommend you consider the length of the high neck piece. I have a large head, and my fabric wasn't super stretchy so I added a couple of centimetres to the neck piece - I'm glad I did because I can just get it over my head now. The neck is quite high, but that makes it nice and cosy. It also looks good folded down in half as I've done in some of these photos.
The fabric I used for my Nora is a sweatshirt fleece from Fabric Godmother - although it's currently out of stock. The colours are lovely and bright and the fabric itself is nice and warm so it's the perfect choice for keeping me cheerful and cosy during a chilly January!
All in all, I'm really pleased with how my Nora top turned out. It's nice to start the year with a successful project, and I'll have to explore some of the other options in the pattern at some point - a t-shirt version would definitely be fun for the summer!