I actually finished my first Tova (note: the pattern seems to be in stock right now) in early January, just before we went to Vietnam.
I made the shirt out of Spotlight “Japanese Tana Lawn” (not sure that they have run that name past any intellectual property lawyers). Despite any concerns I have about their naming practices, I love this fabric. While not quite living up to the quality of its namesake (but only by a very slim margin), it is only $14.95 per metre, less, if they have it on sale. I am also quite happy to cut it. You see, I suffer from perfection paralysis with Liberty Tana Lawn. I love, love, love the stuff, and have a fair stash of it, especially since I found Shaukat. But if I cut it, and the project turns out anything less than perfect, it is just so disappointing. This stops me from starting most projects with it – what if they don’t work out? All psychiatric advice is welcome….
I made several changes to the pattern, both accidental and deliberate. The deliberate changes:
- I added buttons (and buttonholes!) to the yoke. I knew that I was planning to wear this shirt travelling, and I think that it is easiest to wear a shirt with buttons under a sweater. My machine has a one step button hole, and after a practice run they were easy enough to do.
- I made the sleeves full length. When I am not wearing a sweater, I roll them up, but I find shirts with full length sleeves easier to wear under sweaters, and thus more versatile for travelling.
I did make the shirt a bit shorter than I intended. I measured a well loved shop bought tunic in a similar design, and thought that I was adjusting the pattern to that length when I made it 4″ shorter. You really should read all the pattern instructions prior to cutting out. When I read that the bottom hem on the shirt is 1 3/8″, unlike all other seams in the garment, which are 3/8″, I might have let some florid language slip. I tried just hemming it with a small hem, but then the hem seemed too insubstantial. As a result, the shirt is 1″ shorter than I would have liked. If I get motivated, I might unpick the hem, sew on some of the left over fabric (concealing the seam in the hem), but that seems fairly unlikely to happen. I keep wearing the shirt regardless.
Next time I make it, I will add some featherweight interfacing to the collar, placket and cuffs, and will also add some stay stitching around the yoke. I found fitting the yoke a bit fiddly, and felt that some stay stitching might have kept everything a little more stable.