|Pattern Description: |
Semi-fitted top with your choice of draped sleeves, flirty double ruffles or a classic sleeveless shell. Top features princess seams and no closures.
Sizes 0-16. I made a 14.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes! It looked like the plain jane version, which is what I intended to make.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, very easy. I was worried about princess seams being too difficult, but they weren't difficult at all.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I wasn't interested in this pattern at first because the sleeves just aren't for me, but then I saw Amy's version on her blog. I had somehow missed that you can just make a shell from this pattern, but a well-fitting shell was something I was on the hunt for. I tried the Collette Sorbetto and it was a disaster. It did not fit me whatsoever, and none of the alterations I did helped at all. I gave up on it and drafted my own shell pattern, but I've never been quite happy with it. Enter the Pendrell, which has princess seams to allow for better shaping. I have a swayback and/or prominent buttocks and a whole host of issues with my back, so princess seams seemed to be just the ticket. They ended up being perfect for what I needed.
Stretch cotton shirting from Vogue.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I originally cut a 14 on top and widened out to a 16 below the waist because that's what I had to do to get my Sewaholic Renfrew to fit how I liked. That turned out to be totally unnecessary - I think I'm actually just a size 14 in Sewaholic patterns (that's what my measurements indicate!), but I just like my knits to have a little more ease than patterns call for. I ended up taking out all of what I added in below the waist.
The shirt was a little too big at the back and above my bust when I made a muslin. I always have funky wrinkling and bubbling above my bust because my above bust measurement is WAY smaller than my bust measurement. The princess seams allowed me to take care of this - I'm not sure because I've never made an armhole princess seam top, but I think the fact that these are shoulder princess seams made the alterations I needed to make even easier. I pinched out a bust dart at the armhole where the bubbling appeared and then rotated it into the princess seam. I also cut the shoulder pieces a bit narrower because they were a bit wide on me and that also contributes to the bubbling I get in that area. Those two alterations made the shoulder/armhole fit perfectly. Next, I took in the princess seams at the waist on the back of the top, which were the perfect thing to combat the bubbling I get at and above the waist on tops. You can see from the photos that there's still some wrinkling - the fit could still be perfected, but this is leagues ahead of anything I own right now in terms of back fit. I did all of this at the muslin stage. Once I made the top, I noticed that there was a little bit of extra fabric above my bust - it looked as though maybe the bust point for the top was higher than mine, though the shirt fit me well at my actual bust point. I just took in the princess seam right above the bust a bit and it worked perfectly. Finally, I lowered the neckline because high necklines (especially in solid colors like the one I made here) do not tend to look good on those of us with large busts - we need something to break up that huge expanse of fabric! Oh, and I also hacked a huge chunk off the bottom. I could have worn this as a very short dress if I had wanted to! I don't plan to wear this tucked in, so I wanted it shorter. Even if I had planned to wear it tucked in, it would have been way too long!
This sounds like a lot of alterations, but it was mostly just tweaking here and there to get things to look better. I could have left it as is and it would have looked just as good on me as anything I'd buy in a store. I really appreciated just how easy it was to get a great fit with just small alterations because of the princess seams.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'm gonna sew this again like nobody's business! I have a few pieces of fabric stacked up waiting to be cut for more Pendrells, and I know it's going to stay with me as a go-to basic. I'm almost considering one with the sleeves!
I love love love Sewaholic patterns! I resisted them because I didn't think any of the styles would be flattering to me, but after seeing so many great Pendrells and Renfrews, I decided they must just be universally flattering, so I thought I'd give them a try. I'm SO glad I did. They're well-drafted, easy to work with, and the styles really are just so flattering. I only bought the two patterns, but next I want to get the Cambie dress, the Cordova jacket, and the Minoru jacket.
Here's the side view. You can see that there are some wrinkles and pulling happening with the back, which I'll try to fix with the next version of this that I make. But this is nothing compared the hot mess of bubbling and blousing that usually happens with RTW and some other patterns. On the front view linked above, the wrinkles at the princess seam are just there because I don't have a proper pressing ham yet - the seam isn't really wavy!