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Pattern Reviews> Simplicity> 4277 (Khaliah Ali empire waist tunic)

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Reviewed by:Sherril Miller
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About Sherril Millerstarstarstarstar
Member since: 8/24/02
Reviews: 142 (patterns: 131)
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Skill level:Expert/Couture
Favored by: 197 people
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Posted on:3/22/06 1:41 AM
Pattern Size:Plus-Sized Regular 
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people    Very Helpful by 25 people   
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63 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
waikikimum said... (6/16/08 2:05 AM) Reply
Sherril, this top is amazing on you. The fit is perfect and the fabric lovely. I am attempting this top but having difficulty. Thanks for the review and I will be following the adjustments you made for my attempt.
Lanna said... (5/14/08 10:13 PM) Reply
I thought yours looked better than all the other reviews of this pattern. maybe we like the same fabric and shapes I guess. did you make it again?
CharityAK said... (2/24/08 12:16 PM) Reply
This is really pretty on you. Very flattering. I'm not usually a tunic person, but this one is tempting me!
Cody7 said... (11/12/07 10:57 PM) Reply
Hi Sherril, I think the top looks really nice on you in the picture.
Bonny Dune said... (9/6/06 2:35 PM) Reply
You look lovely in that top. It makes such a nice outfit. Thank you for your detailed review.
Ec said... (7/27/06 1:25 AM) Reply
my honest opinion is "yes" it does suit your shape, but I would make it WITH the zip and I would cinch it in a little at the underbust to accentuate your waist. I am not a highly experienced sewist but I know something good when I see it and I really like this top - especially since you put so much work into it!
juliette2 said... (6/26/06 11:30 PM) Reply
Perhaps adding a gussett at the underarm seams would give you enough arm ease and make this top wearable. It looks so cute -- it's a pity to not wear it!
shellshell said... (4/11/06 3:08 PM) Reply
I LOVE THIS SHIRT ON YOU SLEEVELESS! I do agree that the fabric is a little busy but still looks great. I think it would be really cute in a light pink cotton fabric.
bunz said... (3/25/06 6:52 PM) Reply
I missed this first time around, so let me just say that the colors make you look happy and beautiful and young! They are great for you, so if you really can't wear this, I hope you can chop it up and use it for some other top. Red pants are great, too.
Sherril Miller said... (3/23/06 11:06 PM) Reply
Thank you all so very much for your comments. I'm going to remake it in a knit. The sleeves keep my arms pinned to my sides. The pic shows all the movement I have. I think it's a result of adding so much to the sides and underarm seam. The armscye shape is distorted and so is the sleeve head. In the knit I'll take a TNT knit top pattern and copy the armscye and sleeve and adapt them for this top. I do like the band smaller and high since it is supposed to be an empire style. Moving it down would only put it on my waist and then it wouldn't be an empire. I can't decide on what knit to use. I have some onionskin or stretch lace to use. I'll probably use one of those. As for fixing the sleeves on this top, the armscye is too distorted to put in a sleeve so I'm going to have to go sleeveless. This fabric does make me happy so I don't want to get rid of it.
ncegbu said... (3/23/06 8:48 PM) Reply
I like the style on you. IMHO the contrast of the band gives you more of an appearance of having a waist. I agree that a wider band, lowered a bit would help the silhouette even more. I love cheery florals, too!
slanden99 said... (3/23/06 3:38 PM) Reply
I love the fabric--very beautiful. IMHO empire waists are not very flatting on apple shapes--think maternity clothing. But, if you like the empire waist, you might try a solid color for the waistband and/or a solid color for the bottom half. Or you could do the whole thing in a darker color for a more slimming look. I do think this is a pretty top.
BSYMPLS said... (3/23/06 2:25 PM) Reply
Your review makes me want to try this pattern, and I would not have even considered it before. I think the key is the great fit through the neck and shoulders. Once you get a comfortable fit in the arms, whatever changes you have to make, I think you'll enjoy wearing this and get plenty of compliments on it, too. Thanks for asking for comments re fit and style. I've enjoyed reading the different perspectives of those commenting.
Pecan said... (3/23/06 10:27 AM) Reply
I am going to echo a number of the comments here...I really like the print you used. Maybe it looks different in person, but I immediately like the bold print when I saw the pic. I also really like the look of the sleeves on you, particularly still allowing you some visibility of your forearm. I am not certain as to what might look better on you, but I think the empire waist looks good here. I think I might suggest making the band thinner in a solid contrasting color, preferably dark. Maybe hold up a strip of dark fabric and play with the widths and have your buddy critique it. I think the top as a whole puts you in better proportion. Again, maybe the pic just turned out better than it looks to you in person. The sleeve style is flattering and help balance your figure and the V neck helps draw the eye up and down rather than side to side. It just seems that the identation of the waist is higher than yours, however thats part of the empire waist deal..all in all, I like it and one of the earlier comments about making this in a sheer with bodice lined...I agree TOTALLY!!
AnneM said... (3/23/06 8:33 AM) Reply
Honestly, I rather like it on you. In particular, I think the front view is really nice. The back view looks fine, although I think the seams make it a bit color-blockish. Matching the print in back, or using a smaller pring or a solid, I think would work more nicely. But really, that is just being picky - it is very wearable as it is.
ryan's mom said... (3/23/06 7:08 AM) Reply
Sherrill, another thought on the wider waistband comments. I always thought with short waist one is supposed to go narrower to de-emphasize the short waist, at least with belts that is the case. So if there is something wrong with this train of thought, someone please PM me and explain this. That would be very helpful to me.
ryan's mom said... (3/23/06 6:59 AM) Reply
Sherrill, thanks for reviewing this pattern since I just bought it 2 or 3 weeks ago. I, too, have made that mistake with not putting sleeves in when doing my muslin :( . I think the top works for you, but... have you thought about trying a smaller print or solid color on the top? I would love to see how this works for you with a bold, solid color top, with that same print you used for your pattern photo in capris or a short skirt. I really think this pattern can work for us short-waisted girls. You and I share two traits--short waist but with great legs. So, IMO, I would love to see this top on you in a solid with a print on the lower half. But overall, I really like this on you. Definitely give it another try!
keelyb1 said... (3/23/06 6:42 AM) Reply
I like it. I think that a sleeveless/short sleeve version probably works better. The large floaty sleeves almost add width to the body visually. I like the fabric too.
BillieJean said... (3/23/06 6:11 AM) Reply
Oh, Sherril, you worked so hard to get the fit right, and in spite of what you say about the sleeves, the fit looks really good. I don't think this is the best style for you. I don't think the fabric is too loud or bold, but I can just see this in a button front shirt worn open over a cami. I think that would give you a longer line and be more flattering. Billie
SewTwin said... (3/23/06 4:44 AM) Reply
Sherrill, I have always read your reviews twice, as they have so much info.From a short-5ft,1inch person perspective I would also do a drapey knit, or rayon.I would elminate the extra band, would be similar to the infamous KS-2694.You could do a matching stretch lace trim, or narrow ribbon would blend in,but still give detail.The RTW's at the better stores have that, but they never fit me.They still think you are narrow at the hips & tummy if you are short!Kudos for your efforts, and good luck on the outcome.You could also put a sheer overlay on the flower print. It would tone them down, but would be more summer floaty!Then you could do the sleeves in the same sheer.Let us know what you do!
KarmenG said... (3/22/06 11:01 PM) Reply
Ditto - Ditto - Ditto!!! I looked at the photo first before the review, and said "Sherril looks so pretty in that"!! I think you will like it in the knit. You might want to shorten the sleeves a bit to show more of your arm below the fabric. I think the bodice is very flattering on you, as well as the print!
Tailypo said... (3/22/06 10:13 PM) Reply
I'm with the herd on this one -- this pattern TOTALLY worked for you. I love it.
beangirl said... (3/22/06 6:53 PM) Reply
Sherrill, you're officially nuts! This looks so cute on you! I don't see anything wrong in the photo with the sleeves, but you could adjust them a little probably if they bother you. It all looks really good from the pictures. Very nice! Try the knit for sure, I think that will be really interesting.
carolynw said... (3/22/06 4:23 PM) Reply
Wow Sherril you have sure got a lot of comments here. Like some others I was quite surprised to see your comment "pattern did not work for me" as I think it looks beautiful - not sure what I was missing so went back for a few more looks and still feel it is lovely. Is this your first use of the big bright florals that are in vogue this year? I have just made a shirt from a very big and bold print and find I am put off on the results because of the print I used as I have not worn this bright an outfit for a long, long time!! One review suggests making the band under the bust wider and I think that would help if you feel you need to emphasise your waist - please do not discard this top - remove sleeves if you have to but it is way too pretty to dump.
jemgirlca said... (3/22/06 12:58 PM) Reply
I think this top looks really pretty on you. I think it would look great in a solid drapey fabric, too, but like the colors with your pretty dark hair.
elizajo said... (3/22/06 12:07 PM) Reply
The fit looks perfect even if you know the sleeves aren't ;you did a great job on alterations. I love the cheery print. Since you asked for opinions: if you make it again, I would try to eliminate the center back seam on the bodice and waist band so that it looks as well-designed from the back as the front.
cmarie12 said... (3/22/06 12:06 PM) Reply
Sherrill ~ after reading everyone's comments, I have a question to ask. What look are you trying to achieve? Do you want the latest look ~ spring florals, floaty look? Or do you want the "style" in a color that makes you look slimmer, taller, etc? I think your fabric choice should be based upon the answer to my questions. If you are going for trendy ~ stick with the florals. If you want to appear taller and slimmer ~ choose a drapier fabric in a solid color or smaller print with the wider band. The answer to those questions will definitely determine your outcome. BTW, thanks for all the fitting tips. It was a very thorough review and made me a believer in the pattern because on first glance I thought maternity wear for plus size women!
Georgene said... (3/22/06 12:04 PM) Reply
Do it in knit and it will work a whole lot better for you. I'd say a solid knit with a solid pant or straight skirt would be a great look for you. Nothing wrong with your print, but you're going to love it as one long solid silhouette too. For summer try a printed stretch mesh with a solid mesh underlayer too. (no underlayer in the sleeves)
SueV said... (3/22/06 11:37 AM) Reply
I really really like this on you. It is so cute and I don't see any fit issues. This would be a cute top using 2 or 3 different fabrics like I've seen in the stores lately. I like the color, print, style, everything on you. And very nice review! Thanks.
Gigi Louis said... (3/22/06 11:36 AM) Reply
Sherril, I think the fit and style are great on you! I think busy florals are generally hard to carry off especially with such a contrast between the flowers and the background. I like the idea of making it in a knit or a drapey rayon. I think you'd love it in another fabric.
SouthernStitch said... (3/22/06 11:22 AM) Reply
I love the print, and would wear it just because it would make me happy. I agree that the sleeves are just lovely and do balance everything out. I also would bring the band back to the original length just for fun and see how you like it. Overall, I think it's a very good look for you. Do try this again with some different fabrics and I think you've got a winner.
moushka said... (3/22/06 11:19 AM) Reply
Sherril, I have to eat my words. The top looks darling, and I love the fabric. Thank you for persevering with this. I may give it a try after all. I adore the style and would not have thought it would work for us short-waisted apples. So glad I was wrong! Great work. You're an inspiration :-)
LCT56 said... (3/22/06 11:12 AM) Reply
Your top looks great on you. The combination of the print fabric and the design are really attractive. Why don't you just put gussets in the underarm area? With the print, no one will ever see them even if you raise your arms.
CatherineN said... (3/22/06 11:04 AM) Reply
Thanks for the pictures of how you use a muslin to get the fit you need. This review is very helpful to me. The style is becoming to you and fits you well, except the sleeves, of course.
SarahWeb said... (3/22/06 10:41 AM) Reply
Sherril, I hope you'll find you can wear this top comfortably enough, because it is so pretty on you. Yes, there may be things you would do differently next time (aren't there always?) but the colors, the print, the neckline, sleeves and the whole look are very fun and spring-like, and, I think, flattering as well.
drsue said... (3/22/06 10:37 AM) Reply
You know, I wouldn't have picked this style for your shape but I think the top looks pretty dang cute. I think it's pretty slimming and gives you a more hourglass looking shape. I think the key was how well fitted it is over your bust and midriff. Personally I don't think large prints are bad on short people as long as they are handled well. I think this print is just fine. All this goes to show that sometimes we need to move out of our comforte zone and try new things. I think this is a winner.
appleC said... (3/22/06 10:06 AM) Reply
Sherril, I like the springy print fabric on you. Very flattering. Then, when I look at your muslin, I think another one in solid linen/eyelet might look good too. If I make this top, I'll use invisible zipper on the side instead of on the back, just to avoid the unmatched seams as shown. Thanks for review.
Debbie Cook said... (3/22/06 10:04 AM) Reply
I like it a LOT! The fabric, the style, everything. What exactly is wrong with the sleeves? They don't look too tight in the pics.
Irene Q said... (3/22/06 9:52 AM) Reply
I've been trying to come up with some constructive criticism, but it looks pretty good to me! I'm always afraid this style of blouse will have a real "maternity" look but you seem to have avoided that. Even if you try a knit, I'd still try to correct the sleeve tightness. If they're impossibly tight now, they may still be bothersome even in a knit. If you go sleeveless, you might want to go shorter, too.
Anamoo said... (3/22/06 9:42 AM) Reply
Sherril, I agree with everyone else, it's very flattering.
Patti B said... (3/22/06 9:39 AM) Reply
Sherril, I love the top -- so springy and I think it's flattering. I think you'll really love it in a knit.
kmouse said... (3/22/06 9:33 AM) Reply
I love the top on you! Your step-by-step approach to fitting your muslin was great! Thanks for taking the time to post all that. The top is a lovely fit and does not look "sacky". You have a lovely fit through the bust and shoulders. I even loke the length. The print and color are lovely. It is colorful without being loud or all. From your post, I gather this top was a step "out of the box" for you. Keep going! By all means, you can add this with a skirt. You could also try some of the pants or capris that are slim through the hips and leg but flare slightly below the knee. Low heeled're set for summer!
rosephreak said... (3/22/06 9:30 AM) Reply
Sherill, it's a cute top and looks cute on you. I was eager to read your review because I have the same pattern sitting on my table waiting to be sewn. I personally love the fabric - it is something I would have chosen. I particularly love it with the red pants. What if you tried, as was suggested, making the waistband wider, but also doing it in a contrasting color? (Like the red). I wonder how that would look. I think the sleeveless version works nicely too. It is young, cheery, and youthful on you. One thing I thought from the back view was that the waist looked about an inch or so too high from your natural waistline. Is that the way it is supposed to lay, or is that just my poor eyesight? :) You might also like this in a lighter weight sheerer fabric with the bodice part underlined, but not the skirt or sleeves. That would be very summery - say do the bodice in a floral print, but the sleeves, band and skirt in a solid, pale sheer. Just a thought. I might try it even. Good job - you inspire me! Claire
Mely5862 said... (3/22/06 9:24 AM) Reply
I think this looks teriffic. Firstly, the sleeves balance the whole look. Don't go sleeveless IMHO. you would lose the balance. Also the color is great for your coloring and I think a solid would draw more attention to your shape than the print. Just a thought.Great job.
Mary Stiefer said... (3/22/06 9:12 AM) Reply
It's seems as though everyone has a different idea about the fabric - but the same idea about the pattern - it looks great on you. I, personally, like the fabric but I love bright colors anyway. I like the idea of a wider band under the bust. That would give the illusion of a longer waist. If you don't like sleeveless, how about those tulip sleeves? I think that would look great. So much work and it looks fine. Just a bit more and this is one of those pattern that you could do many different things with color combinations.
KimP said... (3/22/06 9:10 AM) Reply
Sherril, I think your top is very cute. What I would suggest is this: put it in the closet and let it "age" for at least 10 days. After you let it "age", you will probably pull it out and say to yourself "this isn't so bad". Right now you are too close to the project. All your altering efforts have exhausted you and instead of seeing what's good about it, you see the not-so-perfect things and it is a human reaction to want our garments to be "perfect" when we put that much time and effort in them! Go ahead and do the knit version and then come back to this one with fresh eyes. I think you will see what we see. I love the big, spring print - I always applaud those people who actually wear color and let their personalities shine! If you are still unhappy with the sleeves after the "aging" process, I'd make short ones in the future - more summery and more ease of movement. Keep up the good work!
BjP said... (3/22/06 9:05 AM) Reply
I, too, think this style is very flattering on you. These colors look fabulous on you, but I also vote for a more subdued print. Fix the sleeves - this is definitely a wearable top! Am glad to hear you are going to try it in a knit which will probably help that comfort level. Don't give up on this style, tho! You look great in it.
Celeste said... (3/22/06 8:41 AM) Reply
I love the WHOLE thing. I love the color, the print, the style--I looked at the photo first and was surprised you said it didn't work for you! It looks stylish and fun, beautiful job.
Mini said... (3/22/06 8:34 AM) Reply
I think the poly fabric, and the lack of a sleeve muslin, caused the problem. If you use a rayon with good drape and a bit of give in the fabric structure, it should work better. I think the sleeveless view would be cute, if you wear sleeveless tops. The style flatters your figure, but I think the high contrast large print is too distracting. Thanks for testing this - it helps to see it on someone with a similar figure before trying it myself. Plus, you did all the work:)!
GorgeousFabrics said... (3/22/06 8:21 AM) Reply
Sherrill, I made the exact same mistake on a muslin (no sleeves) once. Only once :). I got the bodice to fit perfectly, or so I thought. Then I made the final version with the sleeves on and couldn't move! Lesson learned. For $40/yard - yikes! -Ann
PhyllisC said... (3/22/06 8:11 AM) Reply
Sherril - I think this style is great on you! I wish I could wear these tops. All that work was worth it. You did something that I think is kind of tricky - that is, getting just the right amount of proportion to an empire style, I think that's hard to do actually, regardless of one's size. I do agree the floral fabric is a bit loud, but I like the idea of doing it in a knit. As for a woven print, I think maybe a batik would be nice, or Provencal-type mini-print with the band in a contrast fabric for some definition and extra interest.
cookingsherri said... (3/22/06 8:09 AM) Reply
I love this on you. I think it is incredibly flattering. That a great pattern for you and the fabric is great for spring.
Linda F said... (3/22/06 7:45 AM) Reply
Sherril, The fit is fantastic on you. You did a super job. I started a thread under the plus size section in the Khaliah Ali heading so that we could chat more about this top. I hope this was okay. It has so much potential. I think it looks great on you. Linda
julieb said... (3/22/06 7:35 AM) Reply
Hi Sherril: I think this is a lovely top and is flattering on you. You've done a good job (and a lot of work) on the fit of this garment so I would stick with it. I really love how the sleeves look on you so it might be worth working on the fit. I agree with Linda L that it might be worth making the band wider to see if that adds length to your torso. I think the top's length is good from the photo you posted but can't see exactly where it hits on your leg -- often apple shapes have lovely thin legs and it is worth showing them off. The only other thing I would do, if possible, is cut the center back on a fold (if the seam is straight) and the back portion of the band, too. Visually I think that would look better (this is, of course, if you don't need the zipper).
CarolynGM said... (3/22/06 6:33 AM) Reply
It is a very attractive top and worth continuing effort. I agree with other comments -- wider band, more subdued fabric, maybe shorten the top a bit. Those sleeves are quite cute so maybe you could widen them in your next version.
amadoofus said... (3/22/06 6:31 AM) Reply
My very first impression, was, "Oh,a Happy Top!" The fabric is cheerful and says Spring to me: something I'm wishing for desparately! I think the pattern works for you. Maybe talk to your teacher about sleeve ideas.
Danvillegirl said... (3/22/06 5:24 AM) Reply
I think that it is a wearable top for you. I love the fabric and like the look of the pattern. I would suggest a couple of things since you asked. You say you are short waisted, I would make the band wider as it looks in the pattern photo. I think that will give the illusion of a longer waist. (IMHO) The narrower one ends so quickly beneath the bust area that I think it makes your waist end there, thus emphasing your being short waisted. I personally love large floral prints, but I am short and all the fashion critics say, small floral prints for shorter people. Sometimes I listen to that sometimes I don't. So this may be another suggestion to try for this pattern for you. I like the sleeves but if you can't move your arms, not a good thing. I do like the longer sleeve length with width at lower arm as it gives an illusion of slender arm, hopefully you can get the sleeves to work. I think the pattern does have promise and will work for you.
Liane M said... (3/22/06 5:12 AM) Reply
I always look at the pictures first, and I was surprised that you rated the pattern as "did not work for me. I like the sleeveless version the best. The flower print is the culprit here. I think this would be fine in a more subdued print or a solid. I would try it in a knit for more ease of movement. Thank you for reviewing this pattern, you always give me inspiration to try new things.
Sew4Fun said... (3/22/06 4:24 AM) Reply
Sherril, I clicked on the photo and thought, "What a lovely top". Then I saw the 'did not work for me rating' and thought, "Huh?" First impressions are generally right. :) I like it.
starchildmom said... (3/22/06 3:22 AM) Reply
I think it looks great. From the picture you cannot tell that the sleeves are too tight. Since they are, I think it would be most flattering sleeveless. Oh, and I LOVE your bookshelves!
Cathy Loves Fabric said... (3/22/06 2:57 AM) Reply
Well, I would wear it. I was surprised when I saw you rated it " pattern did not work for me". I think it's really cute. The sleeves are what add the fullness not the top design which I think is fine. If it were me I'd probably just go with short sleeves.
linda*** said... (3/22/06 2:38 AM) Reply
*thank you*
leigh7911 said... (3/22/06 2:35 AM) Reply
I like it! It's cute and fun.
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