Like the rest of the universe when Rae made and posted the first washi dress, I fell in love. And then when she FINALLY released, there was a collective Kermit arm waving moment all over. I of course bought the pattern, and then started it, waited for a few weeks to finish it and I finally finished it last week. We’ve had a bit of sunny weather, and so that would just cast weird and funky shadows; today’s overcast weather was perfect to take pictures! Oddly enough.
Here it is! I used Voile in Sky by Anna Maria Horner, and the fabric around the neckline is none other than Liberty of London. I FINALLY splurged and bought just 1/2 yard.. I was too chicken to buy any more than that for now. I ADORE feathers, and i thought these were perfect together.
So, onto the informal pattern review.
The pattern is pretty straightforward. three main pieces, optional sleeves and a facing for the neckline, which is in two pieces (one for the front one for the back). So that’s a total of seven pieces, not including bias tape to finish the sleeves. And the hemline if you’re into that, I just did the fold twice and sew once method.
One reason why it took Rae nearly 3 months to put the pattern out is because of the sizing. She was SUPER meticulous about it, and her sizing was pretty spot on! I already know due to my stature (4’11”) I would need a x-small top, but my bustline is not exactly xsmall. I took my measurements, and I measured at a Medium. I was rather skeptical, since the sizing always seems to be off in patterns I purchase, BUT NOT THIS ONE. I did a quick muslin after grading my pattern from an x-small shoulder and armhole, and then just extended the side seams to medium. And guess what, it was PERFECT! I was SHOCKED. Unfortunately, I did have the gaping at the back of the neckline, so when doing my freezer paper cut out, I simply shifted the pattern so it came in an extra 1/2″ and that fixed the problem.
But because it was my first time making the top, I was wading and there were a few hiccups. The biggest one was the neckline. I didn’t interface it due to the fact that I didn’t have any fusing that was light weight enough to use with the voile and the lawn. I don’t regret this by any means, but due to the fact that the neckline area was a press and pin process, I kind of fubared the right side of the neckline.. it goes straight up instead of curving like the left. This is easily fixable however; I just need to pick out that section of the neckline and carefully repin and stitch it. And of course, nobody’s really noticed but me.. so I’ll take that as a good thing
What I did differently from the directions:
The pattern suggests to sew the the shoulders of the main top together, and then sew the facing pieces together and then attach it to the top. Like the sewing rule breaker that I am, I sewed the facings to the neckline on the back and front pieces, did the fold under press and sew down the facings and THEN sewed the shoulder seams together. It makes for a much nicer finish and I don’t have to worry about weird poofing up of the facing.
The pattern also suggests to sew the side seams together, and then sew in the bias tape to finish the armholes. I really dislike trying to match it up and make sure there’s no extra bulk, so I sewed on the bias tape and then sewed the side seams. I did french seams, so it’s all hidden and finished perfectly inside.
Those were pretty much the only way I deviated from the pattern. I did decide for next time if I sew a contrasting facing, I’m going to cut TWO of each facing pieces, and then sew the facings facing together, clip the curves and then continue onto the sewing the facing down. This will allow me to have a less lopsided neckline, and it saves me from having to use interfacing!
I can’t wait to make the top again! I’ll most likely create my own sleeves for it since the weather is getting cooler, and I’ll probably add pockets this time. I didn’t have enough of the blue voile to make pockets. It’s a really cute and versatile pattern, and I’d recommend it to any sewist who’s looking for a flattering and easy top to sew!
And before I forget, here’s the back of the washi. The facing isn’t 100% perfect back here either, and I’m with it. THe shirring wasn’t perfectly straight either, but due to the nature of the shirring it’s not noticeable at all. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself.