(#3, as promised! I finished this one, technically, last Friday, but I’m going to say I finished it yesterday because I ended up taking the seams in more at the sides to help with an issue at the empire waistband– it’s way too stiff and was sticking out funny. I think it helped.)
(Incidentally, I’m liking this Pattern Review thing–the template makes it easy to talk about!)
Pattern Sizing: 6-20 (I made a 14)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much (especially since I made it the same color!)
Were the instructions easy to follow? The part that I used was pretty simple– I only used them for the crossover bodice and then sewed it my own way for the sleeve/side construction (sewed the sleeves in flat and then did the underarm and side seams all at once, which worked great!)
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Like: it came together very fast (once I finished with the embroidery), and it’s a good length. Dislike: There’s too many layers at the lower band of the empire waist– between the lower shirt, the bodice, the bands and the interfacing, I was sewing through something like 8 layers of fabric at the points where the crossover band met the horizontal band, and my machine/serger had a bit of trouble handling it. And it doesn’t quite lay right either, because it didn’t press well. I also had a bit of trouble at the shoulders where the band meets the back shoulder– maybe it’s because I used my serger for the construction and that added extra seam bulk, but I could not get it to be a smooth line!
Fabric Used: Some kind of poly-cotton knit blend from Joann’s. For the embroidery, I did it by hand (and that took FOREVER! But since I was trying to copy a very specific embroidery design, it was worth it.) Extra note: I blatantly stole the design from Eowyn’s white wool dress from The Two Towers. Yes, I know I’m a geek. But she’s pretty much my favorite fantasy story character EVER, so I’m ok with that.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I used the flared sleeves from views B/C instead of the straight ones that came with view A. I also took smaller seam allowances (1/4″ instead of 5/8″) at the shoulder and empire waist seams, because I was concerned about where exactly it would hit me. If the fabric had been thinner that probably would have been unnecessary, but with the bulk of the layers it’s probably good that I did. Finally, I blind-hemmed it by machine instead of doing a regular straight stitch, and it worked well both for not being easily seen and avoiding stretching out the hems.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? It’s a good basic top pattern that seems like it would be easy to modify/customize, and I like the length. So I probably will at some point. However, if you’re making the crossover view with the band, I would recommend a lightweight knit– mine was a bit on the thick side, and I think that may have been part of the issue. Or maybe either just interface half of the horizontal band, or leave the interfacing out altogether. (It’s definitely stiffer there than I would prefer.) Also, if you’re concerned about how low-cut it is, it’s a good layering top for a camisole (that’s how I wear it.)
Conclusion: While I wish that certain parts of it had gone together more smoothly, I do like this top– it’s very comfortable, and I’m thrilled that the embroidery turned out how I’d envisioned!
So here’s my extra pics… they’re a little dark, but you can see where things got a little bulky on me. The one on the left is a closeup of the embroidered bands (you can see that it sticks out just a bit in front on the horizontal part—fortunately, the neckline doesn’t gap! Though I wouldn’t wear this one without something under it anyway.) The other picture is where the shoulder seam joins the front and back… it’s not very obvious in this pic at all so I feel kind of silly pointing out my mistake, but that brighter point does show where it doesn’t quite line up smoothly.