This is the second item for my spring capsule/Pattern Review Wardrobe Contest. I’ve entered the top-making phase of the contest, one down and 2 to go. This isn’t the sort of top I typically wear, but I actually really enjoy the shape of the sleeves and relaxed fit.
Here is my version:
Here is my official pattern review:
Wardrobe Contest Notes: This is the first of the three tops for the Wardrobe Contest. It is also part of my larger spring capsule wardrobe sewing plans, and my year-long “Sew Geeky” self-challenge. My inspiration for spring was Hunchback of Notre Dame, one of my favorite books/movies/stories from when I was young. I felt that the sleeve shape and flowing, loose fit of this top fit in nicely with my style inspiration mood board.
Pattern Description: Women’s top with collar, length and sleeve options. I made view C – the shorter top with the open neckline and poofy 3/4 length sleeves.
Pattern Sizing: Butterick sizes 8-14 and 16-22. I made a size 8 and graded out to a size 12 at the hip. I’m usually a size 12/16, and this is still a very loose fitting top, so I would definitely recommend reading the printed pattern measurements, marveling at the insane amount of ease, then going down at least 2 sizes.
Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t have a problem with the instructions, but I also changed things up a bit. I’d read in other pattern reviews that people were very perplexed by the sleeve stays – basically, yes, you cut double sleeves and make an elastic casing at the opening. While I appreciate that the stays will help with the poof and drape of the sleeve, I left them off. Without them, this is a very basic raglan sleeve top with a few darts and a neck facing. Pretty straightforward, and the order of construction in the instructions is fine. I used my serger for the main construction, coverstitch for the hem, and the sewing machine for the pleats, darts, and understitching.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope once you were done with it? Yes, totally! I even used the same teal green color.
What did you particularly like or dislike about this pattern? Likes: I’m obsessed with the sleeves. The drape and shape is exactly what I wanted! I also like how quick this is to put together. Typically I don’t like super loose tops, but I’m sort of enjoying this one, it is really comfortable. Dislikes: The neck facing wants to flip up A LOT. I tacked it down by hand as much as possible, and I under stitched as instructed, but my knit is pretty thin, so, even with interacting and pressing, it doesn’t really want to stay put. Also, the neckline for this top is SUPER low. I might need to adjust it upwards a bit if I make this pattern again.
Fabric used: A remnant of some sort of (possibly?) rayon knit from the Michael Levine Loft. Nothing like a new shirt for under $5!
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added 1.25” of length because I like slightly longer tops for myself. I also left off the sleeve stays. My thought process was something along the lines of (1) do I need this? (2) won’t it be hot? (3) oh hey, I’m cutting out the regular sleeve with giant chunks missing from my seam allowance because I barely have enough fabric as is, but it’ll be ok because my serger is just going to cut off the rest of this, right? So yeah, no sleeve-stays. I don’t think they are really necessary anyway, and it is much cooler without a double sleeve layer.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I could see myself making this again, especially in one of the other views with the cowl neck or in the longer tunic length. If I make this view again I would probably play with raising the neckline a bit. and trying stiffer interfacing for the neckline facing to see if I can’t get it to be a bit more stable.
Conclusion: I’m surprised at how much I enjoy this top. It was something that I thought would work well in my capsule, but is very atypical for my personal style. I’m a bit disappointed with the neckline – I think the facing does create little divots where it is tacked to the seams – but overall I’m more pleased with this top than I expected. Hopefully it looks good with my capsule bottoms!