And... voila! Version 2
In pink this time. Loads better than the blue one, still not as good as I'd like so I won't be making another one exactly like it. It needs further refinement before I can use this as a template.
There is some diagonal pulling going on from the bust point downwards. To be honest: I'm not really sure what causes that nor how to fix it. I'll need to pop this on my tailor's dummy and investigate. Maybe the bust darts need to be a bit deeper?
I am still glad how this falls from the shoulders, so that's a good starting point. I'm happy with that.
I find the side picture the most interesting: I can see that the angle of the dart is rather too steep, I will raise the starting point. The armhole is pretty baggy towards the top, that needs tightening up by taking the side seam in a bit more, both front (quite a bit more) and back (not nearly as much)
A spontaneous improvement on version 1: I used facings to sew behind the hems too - I did curve the front hem and wouldn't like any creasing from turning the hem just over. I would have needed to steam the life out of it to get it to lie flat.
I am going to add a fastener at the top corners, just not got round to it yet.
The shoulders are definitely still too broad and I didn't cut the slimmer version rounded enough, I need to go in towards the middle a bit more because this bulges out a bit. The centre back could do with a touch more cinching in than I did too. Not sure if this will take care of the bunching up at the back of the waist - there is too much fullness there still.
All in all: quite happy with the improvement. It was really interesting to work with a much stiffer less drapey fabric: much easier to sew but not as nice to wear.
I will have another try, again with a wearable muslin because I need to use up my stash fabrics. I wonder what other material I have? This one was a sort of quilt quality of cotton, it's a little on the stiff side for this type of top.
What I did hate about this are all the facings that need to go in. I naively thought that this consisted of only two pieces: front and back, but when you count every single facing as well there are actually 12. I must find out if there is something else I can use to prevent raw edges near the edges of the garment. I don't want piping (don't like the look) but isn't there some kind of ribbon or braid that you can sew onto the inside to hide the overlocked edges turned inside?
I was even tempted to try rolled hems but that wouldn't be suitable. I supposed I could just line the whole thing - I would grudgingly do facings for the neckline to make that sit better, but the rest? Just bung in some lining in the right sort of colour on the inside. I didn't mind the hem facings so much, they do improve the look of the garment no end and were much easier to deal with than turning the hem over twice but I did hate doing the armhole facings. Just never-ending!
Maybe I should have a break from this top and start on my simple skirt template next?