An Experimental Wiksten Tova

Everything about this sewing project was an experiment. A potential game-changer in my wardrobe. If successful, my discovery would lead to the perfect harmony of style and comfort.

I’ll start at the beginning: while exploring the Hiller Aviation Museum last Sunday, I spotted a mom wearing a beautiful navy (jersey?) knit shirt with a woven (voile?) yoke in a navy floral print. At the same moment, I realized that the style was very similar to the Wiksten Tova. My excitement could not be contained at the possibility of a knit+voile tova!

The closest thing I could find from searching a couple of my favourite shops is the Castello V-Neck from Anthropologie. I think I need to learn how to embroider…

I used whatever fabric I already had, being experimental and all. For the front inset, collar and sleeve cuffs, I used the cotton voile from the Geranium dress I made for Froo, called “Treasure” in Courage. The heather pink cotton/lycra blend knit fabric is from Jo-Ann. Both are not fabrics I would have chosen for myself. On a personal note, I rarely wear pink. I’ve always been told that I was “cute”, so I avoided anything pink, wearing colours like navy and grey instead. Pink and aqua–now we’re into sorbet and pastel dessert territory. Yikes. But I soldiered on, hoping for the best, yet, wondering if it might end up in my pajama pile.

Ta da! My knit+voile Wiksten tova!
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
If you look closely, you’ll see a seam running down the centre of the shirt. Totally unintentional–I cut 2 front pieces instead of one piece on the fold. I didn’t have enough fabric to cut a new piece, so I serged the 2 pieces together. Oops.
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
I’m still not sure if the aqua and pink are working together or competing against each other. This is my fourth tova and by far the best job I’ve done on the front inset. The voile makes such a huge difference! I also machine-basted the collar before top-stitching it together.
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
When sewing the knit fabric, I followed most of the instructions from the pattern. My sewing machine has a built-in walking foot that helped keep the fabric from stretching. The knit does not need to stretch where it meets the voile, so a straight stitch worked well, finished with edges serged together. For the side and sleeve seams, I only used the serger, to give it more ease. Since the tova is a loose-fitting shirt, I hemmed the shirt with a straight stitch as well.
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
I had Froo take some photos, but she kept chopping off my head. Next time, I will have her stand on a stool. Or maybe I should just buy a tripod and remote. But taking photos with Froo is oodles fun–she’s seriously bossy and my photos end up with some interesting perspective and angles.
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
We came back inside and got one in front of the mirror:
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
Then we took a couple more photos together. We part our hair on the same side, but that’s where the resemblance ends. Froo is a carbon copy of the hubs. She thinks my new pink shirt is lovely and asked me how I got her dress into my shirt.
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
The result of my experiment: this version is too bubblegum pink for me, but the knit+voile tova definitely works as a super comfy and stylish shirt. After dropping Froo off at school this morning, Boo and I took a drive to San Francisco for a “Friday Fabric Field trip” at Fabric Outlet. I managed to pick up fabric for 3 more knit+voile tovas. It was hard to narrow down my choices–with the endless possibility of prints, contrasting solids, tone-on-tone combinations, embroidered voile in swiss dots and eyelet–so exciting! As an added bonus, all of the fabric combined was cheaper than the Nani Iro double-gauze I used in my previous tova. (Still my all-time favourite shirt.)
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
The lightweight blue voile is gorgeous–it has the look of indigo-dyed plaid, with subtle textured diagonal stripes. Not something I would have considered, if it hadn’t been for my attempt to find something to match the navy knit.
Knit + Voile Wiksten Tova
For my next knit+voile tova, I think I will size it down–the front inset tends to gape open from the stretch of the knit. I might even be brave enough to try one with a lace back, like the incredibly sexy one by Venus of Suburbia Soup. Although, I like the knit version because it hides all of the squishy bits, instead of exposing them! I think I will send my experimental tova to my sister–it is better suited as a nursing shirt. Serendipity never looked so good.

I am celebrating my one-year blogiversary today. It’s already been one year since I first published this post. My desk does not look like that anymore. I would update my photo, but it’s pretty messy all the time at the moment. My beautiful jewelry box has been vandalized by Boo, in an attempt to open it. But it’s still glued shut and the contents will remain a happy mystery. Thank you for visiting my blog!

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22 responses to “An Experimental Wiksten Tova

  1. What a great idea. I’m a few blocks from fabric outlet now, maybe I’ll have to go pick something up for myself!

    • Love the shop, lucky you are so close! I could have spent much longer in there, if it hadn’t been for my little boy who needed to touch EVERYTHING and having to pick up his big sister from school!

  2. Red

    I love the pink and aqua, but then I like to play up my femininity and feminism simultaneously. I get what a challenge that can be, being ethnically Chinese too.

  3. kara

    I absolutely LOVE this wiksten tova! It almost makes me want to try one. You did a fabulous job!

    • Thanks Kara! You should definitely make one, I spent the entire day wearing it and it was super comfy! But now it’s been washed and in an envelope, waiting for postage so it can be mailed to my sister. All of my new fabric has been washed, so I can’t wait to get started on some new tovas!

  4. Lia Zak

    I love it! It definitely looks very “sweet”, which usually is not my go to combo either. But you and your girl could match! (If you two like that kind of thing). You did an impeccable job though! Can’t wait for the other versions!
    And: you are really beautiful!

  5. It’s a sweet top, and although you avoid pink and pastel, you do really look great in it! it’s interesting to know that knit can be combined with voile. I’m looking forward to seeing your next Tova, the fabrics you’ve selected are all very pretty, especially the blue combination.

    • Thanks Erin! I’m saving the blue one for last because I’m thinking of adding hand embroidery to the woven inset, but I’m not sure how since I’d need to learn how to embroider first!

  6. That’s a wonderful top. Not my colours either but now you’ve got me thinking of something like the dark one in the original pic. Can’t wait to see your next ones. You both look gorgeous together in those pictures and happy blog birthday!

  7. You and Froo are just so cute together! I love your top, but I can see what you mean about it being very sweet! Even so, I think you look great in pink 🙂

  8. Too cute for words! I can’t wait to see what you do with the prefered colors! -Caroline

  9. You are definitely tempting me to try this pattern myself! I can’t wait to see the navy ( my favourite colour).

    • Navy is such a good favourite colour! You should definitely try the pattern, I have made 6 already! You can’t really go wrong with the Wiksten Tova.

  10. Pingback: Grey Wiksten Tova & Flashback Skinny Tee | FROO & BOO

  11. GAH! Now I have to make one!!!! I was wondering how it would look with knit and woven together and it looks FAB!

  12. Lucinda

    Congrats on your one year blog anniversary! So glad you decided to start blogging:) And I love the knit/woven Tova combo – super cute plus super comfy. I don’t think the pink is too “bubblegum” on you . . . it looks beautiful with the print you chose.

    • Thanks Lucinda! I mailed the pink Tova to my sister and she loves it! p.s. Just waiting for you to start blogging all of your wonderful creations 😉

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