|Pattern Description: |
From their description: "Knit Top with horseshoe neckline, cap or elbow length sleeves and a seamless four-leaf-clover-shaped peplum."
Bust size, 30-55 inches. You measure yourself and play dot-to-dot to incorporate your bust, waist, and shoulder-to-waist-over-bust-apex measurements into the pattern.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Mostly. I had trouble in 2 spots:
1) Instructions call for 1/2" fusible stay tape along the shoulder-arm seams and also a 1/2" seam allowance. I wasn't sure if that meant I stitch on or off the tape. I asked the pattern designer, and she promptly responded, "I tend to lay the interfacing about 1/8" from the raw edge, and my stitching ends up on the interfacing." She also added, "...even if the stitches don't hit the interfacing, the interfacing still prevents the seam allowance stretching and I think would still work."
2) I didn't quite understand how to attach the peplum (instructions say "Near the slashes, peplum fabric and Top fabric will not align"), which left me wondering if I was supposed to pull up the peplum so that the point of the slash was even with the shirt waist (leaving little triangle "ears" of peplum above the top fabric) or if I was supposed to keep the top edges aligned except for the legs of the slash. This step from the sewalong provided the clue I needed - that is, the latter, with a tiny itty bitty seam allowance at the nadir of the spread-out slash.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Like: 1) It's an interesting looking top, flattering, customizable. It looks unusual, but not in a gawkish, costumey way. 2) The peplum length (size 30s) worked out really well for me (I'm 5'4"), but I did not hem it (used a serger to make a rolled-hem edge).
Dislike: 1) I'm not crazy about cut-on sleeves in general, but I thought I'd try this one. Conclusion - still not a fan, it looks a little bunchy in the armpits when my arms are down. 2) The long sleeve length ended at a very odd point on my forearms, and the lack of sleeve shaping made it unflattering. I chopped off 5 inches from the sleeve and hemmed by folding over and coverstitching. 3) The narrow, deep neckline looks a little odd to my eye. I would make it wider, next time.
ITY jersey (100% polyester) from Gorgeous Fabrics.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
In her blog, the designer mentions possibly dropping the waist seam placement in short-waisted people. I tried that by keeping the narrowest part of the pattern in line with my true waist and then widening as I extended the length by 1 inch. This inexplicably looked very frumpy on me. I went back to the original length and attached the peplum at the true waist - so much better. Hard to believe an inch made such a difference, but it did.
As I mentioned above, I also cut off the sleeves, did not do the binding on the sleeve hem, and used a roll-edge hem on the peplum. In addition, I topstitched the neck edge (2-needle cover stitch) to stop the binding from flipping downward and topstitched the waist seam (1-needle chain stitch) to keep the seam allowance pointing downward.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might sew this again. If I kept the cut-on sleeves, I'd have to do a forward shoulder adjustment. I'd widen the neckline. Or I could modify the body of a TNT t-shirt pattern to match the waist measurement and placement and just attach the peplum to that.
I do recommend it, it's a flattering top for so many body shapes and sizes. I also like supporting independent pattern designers, and I appreciate that the designer was quick to answer my question.
Random other thoughts:
Random gusts of wind: Beware of wearing this on a windy day, the peplum flies up all over the place like the Marilyn Monroe subway picture. Wear a high-waisted skirt or pants underneath, unless you want to display your belly!
Cut-and-tape patterns: I think this is the .pdf pattern that has broken my proverbial camel back. I can never get adult patterns to really tile 100% accurately over dozens of sheets, and I think I'd rather spend the extra $ and wait a few days for a printed copy. I'm still willing to do .pdf patterns for kids clothing, but no more adult patterns.
Notions: I didn't realize fusible stay tape was something you could just buy on a (noncurling) roll in the desired width. I cut mine from tricot fusible interfacing, and MY GOD, that was a pain in the kiester to fuse because it curled like crazy. It probably took me an hour to apply the tape to the 2 shoulder seams.
Stitches: I used the "lightning" stretch stitch on the seams (first time using this stitch) and also finished all seam allowances on a serger. I hate my lightning stitch, it turns out. Horrible, slow, thread-heavy stitch, terrible to rip out. I much prefer a plain zig zag.
Negative ease in the waist: I was worried about the pattern note that indicated the waist was drafted with 1" of negative ease. Did I really want to emphasize my lack of waist by bringing the fabric in extra tight? But as it turns out, it doesn't seem to have any negative ease at all. It doesn't hug or bind, it looks and feels comfortable.
Peplum slashes: I made the peplum part twice. First time, I cut all the way to the dots and had no room left for the seam allowance. Second time, I cut 3/8" into the diagonal and had enough room left for a real seam allowance. When I serged over it, part of the serging went into the air, but I think the seam is reasonably secure.
Fun, flattering top! I am enjoying wearing mine!
More pics on my blog