Yes, it’s a busy time of year, but I managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing…a Gelato top! This lovely relaxed top might be my holiday attire of choice. I don’t know about you, but on Christmas, I prefer a day of relaxed fun…cooking and eating with friends and family, playing games, sitting on the floor by the fire, maybe even a holiday movie! Given my agenda for the day, relaxed dress isn’t optional, but required. This gelato top in bright poppy and teal will work perfectly.
This pattern is lovely for many reasons, but the detail that caught my eye was the button-up back.
I first saw this top on the blog, Girls in the Garden. Lori’s version was so cute, I had to try to make my own. The cut of the top, is relaxed and loose, but fun and flirty. The Gelato top is designed by Liesl and Company. It comes with two views – – a top like mine or a long shift -style dress.
I quite like both options, don’t you?
I made my version out of a beautiful rayon with lovely drape. Because of the oversized nature of the bodice on this top, you wouldn’t want to make it from a stiff fabric.
Construction: The button back detail looks harder than it is. The tab for the buttons is made by folding the fabric twice and stitching. The toughest part is the buttons and button holes which I made with my machine. Fit was easy because it’s a loose fitting pattern. The neck is finished with bias binding…also quite easy! The top came together in three hours including pattern layout and cutting.
I love my new top and am so glad I squeezed a bit of sewing time into the holiday schedule.
Hi All – – When I saw the sketches of the new Bonnie Top from Sew over It London I was thrilled. If you’re like me, you have a closet full of high waisted pants/skirts, but no tops to go with. I knew that this lovely ‘cropped’ top would fill a hole in my wardrobe. Not only that, but the Bonnie top has pleats! The Bonnie has a 1940s vibe with its defined waist, button up front and vertical pleats. It has a cute flat collar and short sleeves with little turn-up cuffs, a design detail that is subtle but effective. I like that the button placket is concealed – – it makes it a bit more polisihed – – a top that can go to a dress up event. There’s a dress version as well that has a knee length gathered skirt and a comfortable elastic waist. I do love the pleats, but if you want a faster make, there’s a version of the Bonnie without pleats too. I know there will be a version of that view in my future.
I used a lightweight rayon for my version of the Bonnie, and it worked perfectly. Sew Over It recommends rayon/viscose, lightweight crepes, georgette, chiffon or very fine cotton voiles, in other words anything soft and drapey. I’d warn against anything heavier like a stiff cotton. The pleats wouldn’t have a chance to shine. If you are making the pleated version, the wider the fabric the better, as you need lots of room to lay out the front bodice as the pleats make it fairly wide.
Fit and sizing – – I made my size according to my measurements and it fit nicely, without adjustment. I spent a bit of time fussing about the fit of the waistband, but I shouldn’t have bothered. The buttons don’t extend there so the waistband falls open ever so slightly…the fit isn’t tricky at all.
Construction– -When it comes to the pleats, I found the trick was to carefully mark them on my fabric. From there, construction was simple…. All I had to do is fold, press and sew!Thankfully, the Bonniehas very clear markings. I transferred them using a chaco marker. Once I’d accomplished that, pleat constructions was easy and fast. The concealed front placket was pretty simple too once I had the markings transferred.
I love my new Bonnie top and plan to wear it with my high waisted skirts (the skirt I’m wearing is blogged here), pants, perhaps even with jeans. I can imagine an even dressier version out of silk or chiffon, and the dress version is on my ‘must-make’ list. Really, the Bonnie is one of my favorite Sew Over It patterns! Thanks to the Sew Over It London team for giving me the opportunity to make this lovely pattern!
Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!
As a Sew Over It Pattern Insider, I received a download of this pattern for free, but the opinions expressed here are my own.
The term ‘back interest’ on a pattern always makes me chuckle, but when I’m done, I give it a long second look! That’s what happened with this Burda make. The photo on the envelope made me yawn, but then I flipped the envelope over and saw the line diagram of the V- back…Sold!
The weather has been promising here this week. We hit 100 degrees two days ago, a bit much for me, but so inspiring. Hot weather is perfect for my newest make, Burda 6439.
Usually, my Burda makes are laboriously traced from the pattern sheets included in the magazine, a task I sometimes resent. I’m so thrilled that this particular Burda pattern required no tracing at all, just a purchase at Joann’s. I made view B, because, well…the V! I made it from a lovely crinkle rayon, purchased at Joann’s as well. I love the drape of this fabric. There was a slight breeze the day I took these photos, and the fabric fluttered in such a lovely way!
For this dress, I cut the smallest size (according to my measurements) and it was still a bit big. I had to adjust the side seams and the back seam before inserting the invisible zipper. I’d recommend sizing down if you’re in the mood to give this one a try. Also, my crinkle rayon may have been a factor as the weave is loose. A fabric with a tighter weave (linen, cotton) would likely behave differently. The pattern goes together quickly ( no sleeves to set in) and the fit of the bodice is forgiving, so there isn’t anything tricky here. The instructions were very complete too, which made it such a pleasurable sew!
As I recently shared here, I had a few aha moments about what I like to wear during Me Made May. I was surprised to discover that if I have an option, I choose pants over dresses. Upon further reflection, I think my wardrobe choices during May are often weather driven. It’s never as warm as one would like in Oregon. Now though, the weather situation has shifted dramatically. Yesterday, it was so hot, I wore a dress and was so happy I did. So, I see no immediate reason to abandon my passion for sewing dresses…I’ll continue to do so but with more intention. This dress has already attended a barbecue and will likely go on a summer vacation as well.
This is my second make with crinkle rayon and I love wearing it! My fabric stash is loaded with linens and cottons, but this make renewed my love of rayon. It breathes and feels like silk against your skin. It’s always nice to remember there are lots of lovely fabric options. I also love wearing longer lengths in the summer. Mid length is such a nice option in rayon because the fabric breathes!
My fabric stash is huge right now, so I’m back to enforcing my rule that I must sew 3 stash projects before a fabric purchase can be made. I’m going to Italy and London this fall and must have my stash under control before I visit those lovely fabric stores:).
I have always looked forward to each issue of Burda Style, but the inspiration I’ve found in the last couple of issues has been amazing. The March issue had so many options I wanted to explore, I abandoned my other sewing projects in favor of a bit of quick gratification. Here are some of the items in the March issue that I found especially appealing.
I love (!!) the two mint green jackets. I’m sure you’ll see a few from this collection here over the next few months!
To start though, I focussed on two tops that looked simple but satisfying. The first (3/2019, 112) has assymmetrical gathering in the front, a challenge that looked stylish and comfortable.
You can see from the drawing, that there are some interesting seams and gathers involved. There was no way I could resist this pattern! From the photo above, it looks like the pattern is made from a knit, but it’s actually for wovens. I noticed that this pattern is also available in the Burda pattern book so if you want to avoid the ordeal of tracing this one, hurry down to Joann’s and it will be yours.
Construction challenges: The difficulty rating Burda gives this pattern is three dots (intermediate). At first glance, I couldn’t imagine why, but it was a bit of challenge. To make life easy for yourself, choose a lightweight fabric with a good amount of drape (I chose rayon). Then, cut out and mark the pattern carefully, paying close attention to the placement of the gathers. If you add gathers where there aren’t supposed to be any (even just a bit!), the front will not hang correctly. Trust me, I found out the hard way, LOL. My rayon is really lovely with a drape that reminds me of silk. But it does not like to be unpicked. So, when I extended the gathers a bit too far, it wasn’t fun correcting my mistake. But I love the assyemtrical gathering here – so worth it!
My second make (3/2019/104) is pretty straightforward. It also requires a fabric with good drape (in my opinion), although Burda recommends cotton shirting for one version of this pattern.
Well, when I saw the drop shoulders and the big gathered sleeves, it was all over for me:). There weren’t too many challenges here. I cut my usual size but was amazed at how large the neck opening was. Since I have narrow shoulders, I knew that would be a disaster, so I took out 5/8 inch at the center back to correct this. I’m so glad I did, because as you can see, it is still a generous neck-line. I used a rayon that’s almost a gauze, and finished all seams with my serger. I absolutely love these sleeves and they weren’t difficult at all. You just gather the fullness into some cuffs and call it good.
I’d love to try this in another more colorful fabric for spring, maybe a rayon batik or a double gauze. I was very tempted to head to the fabric store after I completed this version, but fought the urge as I’m trying to sew from my stash. My rule this year is for every three pieces I use in my stash, I can buy one. So, eventually, I will be shopping again!
I’m happy with both of my tops – – they were well worth the time it took to trace the patterns from the magazine insert. Perhaps these two successes are a sign from the universe that my wish-list from the issue should be fully pursued!
#So50visible Instagram Challenge: However, my love for Burda these days does not change the fact that I am less than pleased at their blatent disregard for the sewist who is over 50. Of course, they are not the only company who chooses to ignore us. The Big Four are no better. Have you seen the #So50Visible challenge on Instagram? When you look at pattern catalogs/magazines, it is rare to see a model that is over 50. This is so disheartening to those of us who have supported the Big Four companies for so many years. We’re a huge part of the sewing community and the market – we cannot be ignored. So, find a pattern that features a over 50 model, make it and post it to celebrate how wonderful we all are no matter what our age. I’ll be participating in the challenge and hope you will join me, no matter what your age.
It took me awhile to fall in love with this new pattern by McCall’s. The cold shoulder style put me off at first. I thought I was over that look, but this summer, I’ve discovered that the cold shoulder tops and dresses I made last year (here, and here and here) are the ones I reach for time and again. The style is perfect when hot days turn to cooler evenings. There are design details I really like about this pattern – – the sleeves cut into the bodice, the flounce detailing on the bodice, the off-the-shoulder look, the wide shoulder straps. I’m not particularly found of the front and back bodice seam, although I didn’t think much about that until I started to cut my fabric. Because my fabric had a horizontal print, I had some pattern matching in the front which I hadn’t planned for. Thankfully, I did have enough fabric!
McCall’s 7780 has so many fun options. You can make the top with straps that tie, you can add a front flounce or a sleeve flounce, or make the top without any flounces at all. I love the solid white on the pattern envelope, but since I have more than my fair share of white tops, I chose to use a rayon print instead (fabricdepot.com). I made version C with the straps of view B without the ties. I’m not wild about ties at the shoulders as they tend to tickle and annoy me.
As I mentioned, the front and back center seams required pattern matching…I barely pulled this off.
The sleeves are cut into the bodice so their shape is created by folds in the fabric. If your fabric is too stiff, the sleeve folds might look too distinct and the openings for the cut shoulder could lack the soft drape they need to look right. A soft linen, or rayon or silk would be perfect. Also, I have narrow shoulders and the shoulders fit me perfectly. If you have broad shoulders, I’d do a tissue fit or muslin to make sure they won’t be too tight.
Besides those challenges, I found the construction of this top, easy and straightforward. I love the style and am glad I finally fell in love with it. It’s the perfect date-night top, or for a lunch out with a friend. The length of the sleeves makes it comfortable on a cool evening too – – great to wear as we transition into Fall!
I usually start my Fall sewing mid way through August, but our weather has been so warm, I’m still inspired to make warm weather clothes. Perhaps, I should be cutting into heavier fabrics, but it’s hard for me to sew something I can’t wear right away….not sure if I’m the only one? I love a bit of instant gratification, I guess. So, until the weather changes, I remain a linen/cotton/rayon obsessed seamstress! How about you?
Hi All! I’m sure none of you will be surprised when you see my make this week, another long flow-y kimono! Yes, admittedly, I do have a ‘thing’ for long toppers of any kind (see others here, here and here). So, I couldn’t resist this Simplicity pattern for a long kimono.
In my defense, this pattern is a bit different from my other tried and true pattern (Simplicity 1318, shown here and here), in that it doesn’t have front bands (although view D includes them), the two piece sleeves are longer, and the bodice style is empire with a tie.
Truly, the pattern is a keeper as the options offered are endless; You can modify the length of course but also the bodice style as well as the sleeve options. I love the bell sleeves and the gathered sleeve option, which gives it a bit of a boho vibe. The empire wasit is a nice change as is the front tie closure, an option I really appreciate after wearing lots of free-minded, open fronted kimonos in the past.
My fabric is very special to me, because I bought it last year in a wonderful fabric store in Barcelona.
It’s a rayon border print and it was love at first sight. I bought just enough to make a long version of this kimono – – which in the XS takes 2/1/4 yards. The fit is very loose – – my measurements showed a size small, but I went down a size and I’m glad I did. Rayon is a dream to sew with – even though it doesn’t fray much, I finished the seams with my serger so it would look nice inside when the wind blows it open.
I love the way this fabric moves – so important when you’re trying to pull off this long kimono look. If you used a stiff fabric, it would likely be a bit of a disaster.The pattern is quite easy to assemble; a beginner could do it. The hardest part for me was making my slippery rayon stay in place as I sewed (lots of pins and some wonder tape helped). The sleeve length is just right on me. If you had longer arms, you might want to lengthen them a bit.
I love this pattern – – it was easy and fast to sew, (a must for me during the summer) and I feel so stylish in my kimono. I can imagine another version in silk velvet for fall.
Apparently, my ‘thing’ for long flowing toppers will be around for some time to come! I know there are other kimono patterns out there… would love to know if you have a favorite.
Hi all – I love a good challenge and so I couldn’t resist the #Tops that Pop challenge, created by the talented Faye of Faye’s Sewing Adventures. What a brilliant theme! Who doesn’t want to sew a top?
I’ve been wanting a kimono sleeved wrap top for the longest time, so I was thrilled to find McCall’s 7627 on sale at Joann’s.
When I first looked at it, I didn’t think it was the pattern of my dreams, primarily because I was focussed on the statement sleeves that went with view B. Yes, those sleeves are interesting and very fashion forward, but I can tell you, they are just too much for me :). So I combined the sleeve in view D with the short wrap bodice of version of View B.
Fitting Challenges: Because I’m short-waisted, fitting a wrap dress/top is a bit tricky. On this dress, after a paper fitting, I could see the waist was way too long, so I shortened the bodice by a full inch. My other fitting dilemma on wrap dresses is that I usually get a front gap at the neck because I have narrow shoulders. To prevent this, I took out a 5/8″ in the back shoulders. This helped tremendously.
Fabric: McCall’s suggests crisp fabrics for this top. I chose a softer rayon (Fabric Depot) because I wanted it to look drape-y. I love this rayon – it’s so soft and comfortable and was a dream to sew.
The pattern was pretty well designed and the instructions were clear. I’m not wild about the darts at the shoulder though….not sure why they’re necessary since they aren’t very flattering.
All in all, I do think this pattern is a keeper. I may make the dress version at some point, and may take out the shoulder pleats. But there are so many patterns and so little time, so who knows if I’ll make it back to this one again.
Thanks to Faye for creating this fun challenge. She’s posting all of the #Tops that Pop on her blog, and there’s lots of inspiration there.
When I made this version of the Charlie Caftan, I thought to myself, Hey, I might as well get rid of the rest of my clothes because is the only piece of clothing I will ever wear.
This dress is so well designed (Heather of Closet Case Patterns), I just want a million of them! The Charlie is comfortable and easy to wear, but this yummy fabric pushes it to another dimention. This silky rayon (Fabric Depot) has the movement this long caftan needs to make it feel breezy, yet enough body to hold the shape of the deep v-neck. (If the fabric looks familiar to you, that’s because I used it for this dress a few months ago, yet I still had enough left for this long Charlie, LOL!)
I’ve made the Charlie before here, so I knew it was a fun, three-hour sew. But I also knew there were a few adjustments I needed to make to the pattern.
1. I applied the front inset to the bodice instead of inserting it.
2. I raised the front panel by an inch and a half because it sat too close to my waist.
3. I took out some of the gathers in the front bodice by reducing the width of the front panel by 1 1/2 inches (and it’s still plenty full.)
4. I made my ties 45” long, so that I can tie them at the front instead of the back. (This is just a bit of fussiness on my part. Back ties bother me when I sit down in a hard backed chair.)
There were a few minor irritations as I made this pattern. I felt the inset instructions could be improved, but there is a how-to tutorial from Heather, so maybe the issue is more about me :). Also, the pattern steps aren’t numbered, so it’s easy to lose your place, a minor flaw that likely bothered me because I was in such a hurry to see this long version of the Charlie!
There are some great Charlies out there in the sewing community, and here are a few of my favorites: here,here and here.
My conclusion? You can never have too many Charlies in your life. I’m in love with this pattern and will likely make another. However, I think it’s time to sew with our upcoming cooler temperatures in mind. I’ve been trying to figure out how to modify the Charlie to make it compatible with Fall. I could lengthen the sleeves I suppose, but I’m not sure that would look right with the caftan style. I suppose I could just leave them ‘as is’ and plan on wearing a tee or something underneath for extra warmth. Hmmm… Thoughts? Can you style a caftan for fall?
Sometimes, you make one version of a pattern, and you love it so much, you rush have to make another.
It wasn’t just the versatility of the pattern that inspired me to sew two (2) versions, it was envy too. When I saw these versions in ready to wear, I had to have one (or two) for myself.
Version 1 is by Sea, and version two is Chloe. You can wear either one with the tie ‘tied’, or not, depending on your mood and it still works!
This pattern is part of Butterick’s fall collection. It offers several options, a narrow tie collar, and a broader tie that’s incorporated into the neckline.
Because the tops slip over your head, they’re easier than some to sew. But as usual, the devil is in the details. I found the two collar options to be quite different to sew.
The bow collar on this version is part of the neck line finish. It’s only two pieces which are sewed onto the collar opening….so easy!!! It becomes the facing and the collar – – so efficient. This version is made from a very stubborn rayon, that was a bit tricky to sew, but feels great to wear.
The fabric was very ‘shifty’. This version is ‘as designed’ with one modification. I eliminated the elastic on the sleeves and added a self-drafted 3″ cuff.
Version two is the narrow tie option. I made this out of a yummy rayon (fabric depot.com).
This version (shown here with my jeans skirt) was a bit trickier to sew because there is a narrow collar that is sewn on after you insert the narrow ties. Narrow ties are hard to turn, for one thing (an understatement. My finger tips will never be the same). Then, the ties have to be placed just ‘so’ before you attach the teeny-tiny collar. Sure, it’s not impossible to get it right, but you need a bit of patience :).
I love both versions and can imagine making antoher in silk with, maybe….Hmmm….bell sleeves?!? I am not done with that look yet! Anyway, I’m giving this pattern a thumbs up. It’s a great transion look, I think, a nice bridge between the seasons, and if I could find some great fabric like the Chloe or Sea versions, I’d be all over making version number three.
Long sleeves….I think that makes this a ‘Fall’ project, even though the temperature is in the mid-90s here! Have you started your Fall sewing yet?
I will admit. When it comes to sewing a top, I am a bit of a speed demon. I’m happiest when I’m sewing fast, and I will not stop until I’m done. Yes, I can leave a coat, jacket or dress on the sewing table to be completed another day, but a top? No way! Tops take ONE DAY, don’t you know?
Enter Simplicity 1280: a cross-over top with a keyhole neckline. The top has a bit of a ‘ANTHRO’ vibe and it can be made in a day!
I made two versions of this pattern, using a not-so-special rayon, and a fabric that I’d saved for just the right project (both from Fabric Depot). Wouldn’t you know it? The not-so-special fabric turned out to be the one with the best drape for the project. (Can you guess which one it is?)
I made view C with long sleeves and skipped the elastic on the sleeves as I wanted a bit more of a boho look.
The top went together pretty well, and it was done in ONE DAY!!
The pattern instructions are great. Here are some construction tips that I can offer after making two versions!
The neck is roomy. If you have narrow shoulders like me, you might want to do a muslin, or, at a minimum, baste the neck band on to make sure it doesn’t droop. I found the extra small to be a bit roomy and had to make it even smaller so that I wouldn’t have an ‘off-the-shoulder’look without intending to. Yes, it is trendy, but….
The construction of the front crossover pieces is interesting. The pattern instructions tell you to topstitch the two panels together before you have the back bodice attached to the front bodice. If you use a lightweight fabric like I did, you don’t really know if the drape is nice until the top is sewn together, so when you topstitch the two fronts, you can get some gathers and puckers that have to be corrected when the top is finally put together. Personally, I hate to unpick. So, I’d take a pass on that topstitching step until after you’ve tried the top on and checked fit and drape. On my first version of this pattern, I had to unpick the topstitching and redo it after the back was sewn to the front because the drape was so different once the bodice was completed and there were so many strange puckers to fix! Blah!!! Second version, I just basted the two front pieces together with a short stitch. Then, after I’d confirmed I had a good fit, I topstitched like I meant it.
The good news….Once you have these crossover pieces topstitched together, they will not gap or move as you wear the top! Yay!
The top really needs ‘drape’, so stiff fabrics will give a much different result. I used lightweight woven rayon, and could imagine it would have turned out even better if I had used silk. Next time….
Both fabrics were chosen in hopes that I could mix things up a bit by wearing the prints with my striped Morris Blazer. It’s a wardrobe challenge as only solid tee shirts seem to work with it. Alas, I’m not sure either of these prints works either..opinions welcome!
I keep hoping that I’m on the road to having a true capsule wardrobe, but, well, Hmmmmm. Maybe not today?
I hope your Spring sewing is going well. Me-Made-May, are you in or out? I might pledge one Me-Made a day, as Linda at Nice dress Thanks I made it, very wisely suggested. We’ll see.