Hi, it’s Amanda and I’m here to share my latest Dublin Dolman with you! Ever since the pattern came out, I have wanted to try the gathered V neck as it’s very similar to a ready-to-wear top I’ve had for over ten years that I may have worn out, so I finally took the plunge.
Fun random fact….I won the naming contest for this and chose to name it Dublin as I was about to move to Ireland. The Dublin Dolman has been representing New Horizons here in Ireland but not sure it’s made it to Dublin yet…I’ll have to snap a pic there wearing it next time I’m there.
Okay, back to my new amazing top. I used luxe rayon spandex (or viscose spandex as it’s known here) and it’s a great choice for this view, as well as the gathered back view. Both with gathers really need a fabric that drapes well and isn’t too stiff. For the yoke though you could use something more stable if you choose but I wanted it all out of one fabric. Because it was so lightweight, I chose to interface all yoke pieces. Not sure if you need to? I decided based on how difficult it was to line up the interfacing…if the fabric is super fiddly and won’t cooperate well for that step, it will probably need it on all yoke pieces!!
Now onto some more tips….first step is cutting your pieces. I like to mark center front and back on all yoke and bodice pieces while they are on the fold with a tiny notch to help with construction later—just make sure you only go about 1/4” in so it will be hidden within seam allowance. You could also mark a notch with a fabric pen or pins, but I find it fastest to do it while it’s laid out on my cutting table.
Next up is interfacing. I used a lightweight fusible and to apply it, I lay the fabric right side down, layer the interfacing fusible side down on top, then cover with a pressing cloth. I apply even pressure in one place with the iron for a count of 5, then move to a new spot and repeat until it is all fused.
When sewing the yoke pieces, I like to use my sewing machine for a few reasons. One, it creates less bulk than a serger. Two, it will be hidden anyway so no need to be finished. And last, I am much more accurate with seam allowances on my machine than on my serger. Make sure to press those open before sewing the neckline.
After stitching the yoke lining to outer, I like to go back over the v in the front with shorter stitches, making sure to leave the needle down and lift the presser foot to pivot at the point. I snip to the point as well to make it easier to press and get it looking sharp. I used pinking shears for the curve but you could cut little v’s instead. Just make sure none of these little snips get through the stitches!When sewing the yoke pieces, I like to use my sewing machine for a few reasons. One, it creates less bulk than a serger. Two, it will be hidden anyway so no need to be finished. And last, I am much more accurate with seam allowances on my machine than on my serger. Make sure to press those open before sewing the neckline.
Then, turn it right sides out and press well with steam!
Next, the gathers. I really started sewing when I was making lots of dresses for my baby girl so I got burnt out on gathering early on….so I get it. No one loves this step. To make it easier, I use a long basting stitch on my machine and add tension by holding the thread coming off the spool with one hand. What this does is gather the fabric as I go so that I don’t have to pull on the threads to gather it, since I tend to get frustrated and break threads. Usually I only do one row of gathers too, but not for this top. Because you’re only gathering a small section, take the time to do two rows.
When going to attach the bodice, use lots and lots of pins or clips. I match shoulders, front and back center, notches for where gathering ends, then ease in-between. Carefully check that gathers are nice and even also. Then I baste the collar on my machine to make sure I like how the gathers lay before I serge.
Make sure to remove the basting too!
Now back to the finished top. I love how it can pair well with a cute skirt for a date night look, but realistically I wear with something like Portlander Pants more often. These I made out of jegging fabric for a comfy look for running errands with the kids.
Hopefully you’re not nervous about making your gathered front Dublin Dolman now! Can’t wait to see your creations.