So I know this isn’t a common thing to do on sewing blogs nowadays, but, I actually sewed! I made a thing! It’s not too in-depth of a project, but it’s at least something, and I’m pretty excited about it. Possibly a bit more excited about the actual act of sewing than the finished product, but that’s probably a sentiment that can be examined more in-depth another day.
Here’s my version of the top:
I wanted to show off the top (obviously, because that’s what I’ve just sewn), but I did include one photo styled with a cardigan, because that’s how I’m likely to be wearing it this fall. I’ve also styled it with my slightly crazy print corduroy trousers here – the overall look might be a bit much, but I thought it’s be fun for the photoshoot. I also tried to show off a bit of the detail with the twist, and how I did the stitching of the neckband to make it super flat (I attached it with the serger and then went over it with the coverstitch).
And here’s my official pattern review:
Pattern Description: Knit top with twist front detail, sleeve, and hem options. I made View B, which had ¾ length sleeves and a regular back hem. McCall’s calls this top “close fitting” but I don’t know that I would agree with that. I think both my version and the model photos show a bit of a looser fit.
Pattern Sizing: Sizes SX-M and L-XXL. I made size M, with a minor adjustment to the back hem sizing.
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions seemed ok, though I did not really follow them to the letter. I used my coverstitch machine to do the hems and to stitch the neckline down, and I used my serger to seam the pieces together. I also ignored the construction order and set the sleeves in flat, then stitched the side seams at the end. So, while the instructions were fine (they did make the twisty knot piece very easy to construct), I mostly ignored them in favor of other techniques I prefer from past experience.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it? Yes I think it does. I was hoping it might be a bit tighter fitting than the model image, but it does have the same relaxed fit.
What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern? I really love the twist front detail and I really like the options for the sleeve lengths and details. I did not like the fit across the mid-back. I felt like the looseness might be important to get the drape right in the front, but I also feel like the way the back hangs is really boxy and somewhat unflattering because of it. I might try shaping the back piece a bit more in future iterations.
Fabric used: A thin poly knit from Fabric.com. I used it because it had a nice drape, which I thought would work well with the twist detail. I also wanted to play with the stripe detail and the twist, but ultimately I’m not sure how successful of a design feature that ended up being.
Pattern alterations or design changes you made: I used the measurements printed on the pattern pieces to determine that I should use a size M. I also measured the individual pattern pieces, and determined I should increase the width around the back hip by about an inch, so I added ½ inch to each back side seam at the hem, and tapered to nothing at the waist.
Would you sew this again? Would you recommend it to others? I think I might sew this again. I’m not as in love with this top as I had hoped I would be, but I’m not really sure why. It’s just… ok. I mean, I like the way it looks on my dress form and on the hanger, but on me it’s a bit… meh. Perhaps this is a case of the pattern/fabric mix just not doing it for me. I typically like draping things and I like stripes, but maybe something about combining them with this pattern in particular just isn’t creating the overall experience that I want?
Conclusion: I think this is a good pattern, and I have no complaints over the drafting or the instructions. However, I’m just not as excited by the end result as I had hoped I would be. I think in the future I would use a solid or a more organic print to help the seam lines of the style disappear a bit more, instead of being emphasized by the stripe. I also might adjust the back bodice piece a bit to be a bit more curved so as to be more fitted around my swayback/waist. I still like the knot detail and I want to try this design with other sleeve and hem options. I definitely like the fit of the neckline and shoulders, which is a plus for future alterations, and I think the twist detail is fun and super easy to achieve with this pattern. So overall, I think this is worth testing out in a different fabric to see if I can be happier with future versions. Even though this top might not be the best thing ever, I do think it will see heavy rotation in my fall/winter wardrobe. I am in desperate need of new clothes to wear to my new job, and this top would be appropriate for that.
How does this fit in with the Sew Your Kibbe Challenge? Does it work as well for you as you expected it to? I think this fits in with the Sew Your Kibbe challenge because this top has a lightweight fabric, some draping, and slight waist emphasis. The stripes are probably a bit too harsh of a print for Kibbe’s Soft Natural recommendations, but the colors aren’t too strongly contrasted, so that does help tone down the geometric emphasis a bit. Overall I don’t think this top works as well as I had hoped it would – the emphasis is perhaps not drawing the eye exactly as I would like, and the fit is perhaps not exactly what I wanted. However, it is very comfortable and I expect I will be wearing this top quite a bit since my work wardrobe is very limited at the moment. I also think I will enjoy having it as a layering piece – the issues are mitigated somewhat when worn with a nice cardigan or jacket, and in that sense it might have better utility as part of an overall wardrobe than when considered as an individual piece. I also think this could be a good top to wear with jeans and a jacket, in addition to a more formal work trouser, so in that sense I think it is also quite versatile. I maybe don’t love it quite as much as I had hoped, but I do think it will be a much worn garment all the same.