Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Ballard Top from Straight Stitch Designs

This past week felt like two weeks combined.   It was exhausting but more on that after I share the newest pattern from Straight Stitch Designs:  The Ballard Top.  I was a lucky enough gal to pattern test and I am so glad.  The Ballard Top is described as business in the front and party in the back.  If you are impatient like me you can see why below....

Experiment:  Ballard Top, size 0

1 and 5/8 yards of pink knit
Coats and Clarks white thread

This is Kimberly's, of Straight Stitch Designs, second pattern.  Her first is the Ravenna top with an amazing back detail.  Hmmmm, the Ballard also has an unexpected back detail... theme or not, both designs amp up a top.  The Ballard is a knit tunic with 3/4 sleeves.
It features a gathered neckline which I adore as per my usual girly taste.  It looks like a sweet tunic from the front and then, BAM!, the peek-a-boo back catches your eye.
Subtle enough to be appropriate but oh-la-la sexy.  It is a beginner appropriate pattern.  The directions are straightforward, helpful for those who might be nervous about knits (I remember when I was terrified of knits).  Must be confident with knits especially stretching sleeve bands, waist band, and the neck band.  That really is the trickiest part of the pattern.  I used my walking foot to gather the front and hem the back pieces.  Then switched to my serger for the remainder. 
Kimberly's final pattern included a lower neckline and the sides are taken in just a smidge to give you a more sleek waist line.  I am loving this tunic with leggings and my boots. Fall -- watch out -- I am slowly preparing and building a wardrobe to wear with my cowboy boots.  

I have been dreaming up my next version ... I think I will go with contrasting waist-,sleeve-, and neck-bands while lengthening the sleeve.  I can envision wearing it out to a pumpkin patch or an outdoor patio for drinks (White Russian anyone??).  How would you make your Ballard Top? You can get a copy of this pattern at IndieSew.  Be sure to check out the Blog Tour of the Ballard Top -- these ladies rock. 
Happy Sewing!!

P.S. Below is the reason why my week was so very long!

This past week has been tiring and trying!  On October 13th, a squall line transected several states and consequently, we had a horrible storm come through northern Louisiana.  The storm ended up producing an EF2 tornado that ripped apart my neighborhood.  Luckily, it happened around 11:30 a.m. and amazingly, no one was hurt since most people were at work.   This was the view from my driveway.
The winds reached 125 miles per hour!!  Needless to say, I was without power all last week.  We had a rather large tree limb crash into our living room and now have a skylight (just teasing -- it is covered with a lovely blue tarp -- we have minimal damage compared to others)!  It is hard to describe the destruction of a tornado.  Here are a few pictures from my neighborhood.
For perspective, my family and I meandered through the neighborhood on foot since driving was impossible and biking dangerous because of downed power lines, trees, and other things.  The wind uprooted whole trees and houses were destroyed!  It was a very emotional week and such a sad sight to see all the damage.  It brought tears to my eyes as we walked.
My family is safe and for that I am truly grateful.  I had my Ballard top down a couple of weeks ago but with all the drama and no power, it took until yesterday afternoon to take pictures.  It is kind of bittersweet because the tree whose afternoon shade I used quite often (which provided perfect lighting for pictures) is gone.