Sewing for Me: Tova 2.0

The first day of school went very smoothly yesterday and while K filled her brain with knowledge, I finished up my second Wiksten Tova. As I happily sewed, I remembered how when I was a corporate drone, a colleague once told me that I always looked comfortable yet stylish. It was really one of the few nice things that happened to me while I worked there — I was so flattered and that has become my sartorial mantra though I don’t consistently succeed: comfort without sacrificing a sense of style. I feel like the Tova fits that description to a tee.

I love the first Tova I made. It was initially too tight in the shoulders and bust, but after a couple of wears, the fabric has molded to my body shape, and I can now lift my arms much more easily. It’s still a teeny bit snug, so for my second version, I added a scant 1/8 inch to the shoulders and 1/4 inch to the underarms of the front and back pattern pieces. I also added 3/8 inch to each side of the sleeve pattern at the underarms, like so:



And that’s all it took! What a difference an inch or so makes; the top is so much more comfortable now. Such a great pattern. As for this lovely plaid, yet again, I have to write: “I have no idea where I got this fabric from nor do I know what its fiber content is”, but the silver adds some much appreciated fun factor. The silver stripes aren’t bling bling shiny, but they shimmer subtly and give the top an unexpected twist. The look is lumberjack-meets-glam.

The fabric is very sheer, and I could have french seamed the whole thing, but I found that regular seams looked fine from the outside. I did attempt to match up the plaids and would say I managed to get about 75% to look seamless.

I’m already thinking of Tova 3.0…I see now why people sew this top over and over. I’m dabbling with the idea of trying a different sleeve shape and maybe lengthening it to a dress next time. I contemplated making this plaid more of a tunic length, but when I tried it on, I liked the shirt length A-OK. I think it’s a success! What do you think?



30 thoughts on “Sewing for Me: Tova 2.0

  1. Very nice! Great job on plaid matching, and I love the plaid brings out the bib on bias. Re “comfortable and stylish” – that is always my mantra for shoe shopping. It’s a good lesson to impart to our daughters, too – never wear anything that doesn’t feel great.

    1. Thanks June! And yes, it’s a good mantra for all. I remember I had a crazy sixth grade teacher who used to tell the girls that too-tight, uncomfortable jeans would get us pregnant and I think that freaked me out and left a lasting impression…

    1. You need to bust it out, Jams! It’s actually pretty quick to sew and it’s becoming one of my favorite patterns. 🙂

  2. Hi Sanae,
    i think you look wonderful everytime i see you here, so i have to agree to you colleague! The Tova is again stunning, the purple color suits your tan very well. I often think of purple as a difficult color, i not usually drawn to it for myself but i like it on my daughter which is blonde with a lovely tan. The silver plaid is just fun!

    One question about the french-seaming-thing: when you decide to french seam a garmet, do you add a wider saem allowance than usually? i just do it on a pair of pants i sewed for my daughter and the turned out a littly skinny bc i french seamed them. the original seam allowance was 3/8 and the first seam i sewed was 1/4 but the fabric was a heavier twill so after ironing the seam and making the second seam, the whole thing was a little smaller than ecpected. Your know what i mean?

    I eventually sewed my first dress for my daughter, it’s on my blog, i case you want to see it. It’s a geranium dress, another famous blogland pattern, and i love the finished look of it. She loves it, too, that’s the best.

    Sending you greetings from late summer germany

    1. Thank you, Marit! Your Geranium is so adorable! Your daughter looks so happy wearing it!

      It’s funny that the color looks purple – it’s actually an inky blue but can look purple-ish depending on the light.

      I did a test seam to see how it would look without French seams for this top, but it has a 3/8 inch seam allowance as well so normally I would add at least another 1/4 inch to the seam allowance if I go the French seam route.

  3. love how you made “french seam” into a verb:)
    This fabric sounds so lovely! That silver shimmer you describe really upgrades it from, as you said, lumberjack, to something comfortable yet stylish. And the diagram of your seam allowance changes is very helpful – learning that I’m a visual learner. I am sure this Tova will get lots of wear, and is the perfect topper for a great pair of jeans. Glad 2.0 is such a success!

    1. Thanks, Lucinda! Another thing that I really liked about this fabric was that it was easy to iron even with the metallic threads running through it. I’ve had problems with the iron sticking to metallic fabric before so it made things easier 🙂

  4. Your fit fixes look fantastic. Isn’t it amazing how such tiny adjustments can have such a big effect on comfort? I like the ideas you had for playing around with the pattern – what kind of sleeve shape are you thinking?

    1. It really is amazing how such tiny tweaks can make a world of difference in fit. I’m so fascinated by the whole process – it’s flexing my left brain! As for the sleeves, I think simple cap sleeves would be sweet or even some kind of loose tulip sleeve might be interesting…

  5. Thank you for including such a great diagram for the changes you made! I think I can do this!! (I might not have to do it for my next tova, since the fabric is slightly stretchy, but this will not be my last ;-)! )
    I love your tova and the way you played with the plaids, they are so great for fall.
    And also thank you for including infos on the seams, I have been wanting to ask you about how you usually finish the seams in your garments (and K´s). How are they holding up after being through the wash several times?
    Looking forward to your third tova!

    1. Oh, so glad the diagram is helpful, Ute! I’m pretty careful about washing the handmade clothes – I always use gentle cycle and then normally air dry them because the dryer is so hard on the fabrics. The clothes are holding up well! P.S. I usually finish seams with my serger or French seams if the fabric is super sheer.

  6. I agree with Ute…the addition of your diagrams for the slight changes you made are very helpful. The Tova will be the next “me project” and any tips and tricks that get thrown our way are most welcomed! I just finished my first Wasi and I am feeling a bit more bold when it comes to sewing for myself. I need to keep up the momentum! Can’t wait to see your 3.0 version!

    1. So happy to hear that, Shelley! I’m excited that you’ll be trying the Tova next – it took me forever to make it and now I feel like I can’t stop 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Gail! These are such minor tweaks I feel like they shouldn’t even count, but they really made a difference – one day I hope to be able to figure out more advanced fit issues 🙂

  7. This is one of my favorite garments for you that you’ve shared. It has a very pretty drape and looks so comfy and versatile. Yayyy for the kiddo being back at school to get some long sewing time in. This time of year is always a bit bittersweet, but mostly super exciting, right?

  8. love the plaid! i am always on the lookout for plaid specifically for tovas. i love the look of the bias placket. nice work on those alterations!

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